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Engineering Engineering in Undergrad and Physics in Grad school

  1. Nov 22, 2008 #1
    I'm thinking about majoring in ME for undergrad and pursuing physics in grad school since I wanna be a physicist. I don't wanna major in physics for undergrad because I've heard that job opportunities are extremely slim for students with bachelor degrees in physics, and in case if I can't go to grad school (I'll already be thousands of dollars in debt from college loans), I'll be stuck with a B.S in physics and be jobless if I do physics for undergrad. So, my question is, would I be prepared for grad school without a B.S in Physics? Do you know some other people who did the same thing? How did it turn out for them?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2008 #2
    Many grad schools will allow you in based on a qualifying year that requires you complete certain requirements that you would've missed in a ME degree.. Since math requirements are similar, the qualifying year would be filled with the physics courses you would've missed.

    On the other hand, if you're smart about, you may be able to use your science options to take some of these physics courses and this would give you an easier qualifying year.

    This is a question you would ask a physics adviser though, any forum responses should be taken lightly.
  4. Nov 22, 2008 #3


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    Education Advisor

    The following advice is blunt, but intended to be very helpful:
    Don't make life decisions based on rumors you've heard. Make it based on facts that you've researched yourself.

    Physics graduates aren't jobless. In fact, they have a high economic value.
  5. Nov 22, 2008 #4
    It's really not wise to trust links advocating physics from aip.org. Clearly, they will be biased.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  6. Nov 22, 2008 #5
    Quincy: I'd definitely go with engineering in undergrad if I were you. If you like, you could pull off a 2nd major in physics or you could just take a few upper level physics courses. That should get you into a grad school if you do well enough. But the engineering degree is a smart move. It will be much easier to find work with an engineering degree than with a pure science degree like math, physics, chem, etc.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  7. Nov 24, 2008 #6
    Many schools offer programs in Engineering Physics or Engineering Science.
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