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EE/Physics Double Major

  1. Aug 22, 2012 #1
    Hi, I am considering double majoring in EE and physics. I have looked through this fourm and found some stuff on the topic. I was ordering how feasible it would be and how much the majors would overlap. I also believe it would provide me with enough or nearly enough math courses for a minor. If anyone knows about this combo or has any advice, please say it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2012 #2
    Isn't the overlap only similar for the first 2 years, then after that you have 2 years of completely different classes, i.e. NO overlap. So maybe a 6 year for 2 majors?
  4. Aug 23, 2012 #3
    Also would I be able to enter/break into banking or fiancé with these degrees or maybe even quant work or would a finance degree be necessary. Specifically I am looking at investment banking.
  5. Aug 24, 2012 #4
    At my school, after I receive a bachelors degree in EE, I only have to take two more Physics classes to qualify for a bachelors in Physics. And I think its 3 classes for the minor in math. So here they overlap pretty well.
  6. Aug 24, 2012 #5
    The overlap would be any liberal arts requirements dictated by your school and freshman/sophomore level math and physics courses. Junior/senior level (i.e. upper level) physics courses would most likely not be required by, and thus not overlap with, any EE courses. An exception could usually be made, however for upper level electromagnetism.

    Either major could be useful for becoming a quant, but they often want people PhD's. If you're goal is to eventually become a quant, then there's several graduate programs specifically in quantitative finance that have popped up over the last few years. I think these tend (are all?) MS programs, so that would seem like a better route than doing a traditional science/engineering PhD. I would assume that an undergraduate physics/EE background would be perfect for these MS programs.
  7. Aug 25, 2012 #6
    Good to know, and thanks for the advice.
  8. Aug 25, 2012 #7
    Whether or not it would be a good idea depends a lot on your specific school as well as your future plans. Most schools have very strict engineering requirements in order to have ABET accreditation, while physics is typically much more lenient. My school has a 4 year EE/Physics double major where the tech electives for the physics BS are filled completely with the EE classes. Therefore, you're able to take ONLY the core physics classes (mechanics, E&M, thermo, quantum, etc). This option would be awesome for someone who wants to end up in an EE grad program because they will already be prepared for quantum mechanics etc, and they will not loose any engineering electives (only tack on additional physics classes). On the other hand, if you're aiming for grad school in physics, then this double major would probably be a poor choice because you'll only have the basics and no course work in any particular sub field of physics. It all really depends on where you want to end up...

    For me, I'll probably just do physics and take some EE electives which will allow me to go to physics or EE for grad school. I'll be much more restricted in EE grad programs but I'm only interested in the more physics oriented EE topics anyway.

    As for becoming a quant... I have no idea really but I would think that physics/math or physics/finance(?) would be a better option than physics/EE. And that's only if you REALLY just can't see yourself not doing physics, otherwise, I would say just do math or finance.
  9. Aug 25, 2012 #8
    I would argue physics/EE over math/finance. The reason the quant people like physicists is because physicists tend to understand how to translate worldly phenomena into equations. Physics figures out how to model interesting things as an equation while mathematics looks for equations that might be interesting for the sake of being interesting. An exception to this is maybe if you found a very good applied/industrial mathematics program.

    As for EE, the caveat is that you would want your specialization to be signal processing. Stock prices, dividends, etc. are all just stochastic signals.

    And why I would be against "traditional" finance, well when the highest level of mathematics you learn is "calculus of business majors" ..... enough said.
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