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Engineering electives or double degree

  1. Mar 15, 2004 #1
    I'm going to UW Milwaukee for electrical engineering, and they have a program where you can take physics classes instead of your EE electives, take about 14 more credits, and get a double degree in EE and physics. I figured the physics degree would help more then electives, but someone mentioned that the double major is for physics majors who want their degree to be more applicable. Is it worthwhile to get a physics degree instead of taking the electives? I'm thinking physics would be good to have to do R&D sometime but I'm second guessing it now. Any opinions on this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2004 #2
    Hello fellow UWM student :)

    Double degrees with engineering and physics are very common, but it's going to be alot more work and you might need to take an extra year. If your not interested in taking irrelevant electives then talk with your advisor and see what options you have.
  4. Mar 26, 2004 #3
    Just a thought - doesn't what you want to do after you graduate be the biggest influence on your course choice? What may happen is that as an engineer, you won't have relevant experience in your field of trade which is a bit detrimental to your marketability. On the other hand, you can take the EE courses - so to get a proper, full EE degree - but the courses you take will be totally irrelevent to anything you do in the future.

    Ja, I'm no help but my personal opinion is purely based on what you love and if you love physics, then take the courses!
  5. Mar 28, 2004 #4


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    I did EE for my B.S., and have somewhat regretted not taking any physics. I actually did run into a few closed doors where I worked that seemed to be locked except to those with the physics knowledge. Well, now I'm back in school studying physics, and I love it.

    How long have you been studying EE, and do you like it? Have you taken any upper level physics? It really depends on what interests you, but, if you are anything like I was, you may not know, and it will just be a shot in the dark. I decided to study EE literally because I wanted to find out what the practical use of imaginary numbers was, and my Alg II teacher told me that EEs use them. The happy (part of the) ending is that I did find out a "practicle" use for it, but the real moral of the story is that, when I went to work, I wound up pushing a pencil (so to speak) pretty much all day long every day, while my education slowly deteriorated in my stagnant brain. I used to hate it when I was studying for my EE degree and people would naively say that EE and Comp. Engr. were basically the same. But, in retrospect, I would have wound up in the same basic job with a Comp. Engr. degree, and I probably would have been more prepared.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. Everything above was somewhat personal, but glean what you may.

    If you like working around imperfections to meet specifications (that are quite frequently motivated strictly by money and have nothing to do with stability vs. resonance or anything like that) then probably go for the electives.

    If you like breaking ground and modelling and science, and yes, even philosophy to an extent, then I would recommend that you cut your losses this minute and go for the physics.
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