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Engineering Graduate School w/ Physics BS

  1. Nov 21, 2011 #1
    I know it's possible to get an engineering graduate degree with an undergrad degree in physics. However, I'm not sure about specifics. Is it possible to go into different fields (Mechanical, Electrical, Aerospace, etc.)? Also, do people typically have more luck getting into MS or PhD programs? I'm really looking for any available information regarding this. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2011 #2
    ditto everything the OP said, but may I add 1 more question:
    Im currently a junior in the same position (assuming OP is a phys major), I'm wondering if/ what kind of REU or internship I might look for this summer if I wanted to gear it twoards engineering, even though Im a BS in physics
  4. Nov 21, 2011 #3


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    Your best bet would be to contact various graduate engineering departments. Usually, you can expect to be required to take make-up courses to cover what you missed, before you start graduate level work.
  5. Nov 22, 2011 #4
    I'd add to lisab's comments by noting that some "newer" programs in engineering (say biomedical, electro-optical, materials, etc) may be more open to various backgrounds than the established ones (say ME, EE, ChemE, Aero-) because there are fewer schools that offer undergraduate degrees in the specific sub-field. Typically these programs will state this kind of openness on their "perspective student" webpages or literature.

    Also, depending one where you are in your undergraduate education, I'd advise to start to take some upper-level electives through the department of engineering in which you are most interested. Strong performance in an upper-level elective in the field would show you've solidified your interest AND that you can perform at the same level as someone with a traditional preparation.
  6. Nov 22, 2011 #5
    i read in sydney university that it most cases you need a year extra and everything weill be okay
  7. Nov 22, 2011 #6
    Thanks for all of the replies! Here is a hypothetical: I complete a physics major at a top 10 school, including all of the standard coursework (Advanced Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, two semesters of Quantum) plus some more advanced coursework, and I take some engineering electives (Fluid Mechanics and Theoretical Fluid Mechanics), would I have a chance at top Aerospace schools to do aerodynamics research?
  8. Nov 22, 2011 #7
    I do believe that top aero- programs are a bit difficult to get into and may not guarantee funding. This would be based on my experience at CU Boulder (which is according to its website presently ranked "4" in Aerospace).... where I wasn't "in" the program, but did know some graduate students in the program (who were sometimes working real crap jobs around town to scrape by living expenses... even if their tuition was covered... and I'm not sure if even that was....).

    While this one data point is certainly small (and you should look for others), I'd be least optimistic about the field of aerospace (especially since there are some aerospace undergrad degrees around).
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