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Engineering or Physics?

  1. Nov 10, 2006 #1
    Ok, so I went to college with the original intent of wanting to become an engineer. The school I'm going to has a really great engineering program (Trinity University in San Antonio), and they gave me a lot of scholarship money, both of which are reasons of why I am here. However, after almost of one semester of it, I have decided that I like physics and math better.

    I came in with a bunch of AP credits (I took two years of calculus and one year of non-calculus physics and another year of college-level calculus-based physics), so I am currently in Calc III and Modern Physics as well as Intro to Engineering Analysis and Design (and a few other courses). Both of my parents are engineers and my older brother is getting an engineering degree, so my parents have kind of expected me to become an engineer.

    When I told them I wanted to be a double major in Math and Physics instead, they sounded disappointed on the phone. They said that when I register for next semester's classes next week, I should continue to try engineering courses rather than upper level physics courses. However, if I did, I wouldn't be able to take any physics courses. My academic adviser was also disappointed when I told him and told me to try it for at least one more semester (he happens to be the chair of the engineering department here).

    However, when I spoke with the chair of the physics department, he seemed pretty excited, but told me to "do what I think is right for me." He also told me that I would have an exciting chance to do research with some one of the professors here next semester (weather or not I was a physics major, so whatever I choose, I could still do this research).

    So I guess my dilemma is this. My family will be disappointed and so will the chair of the engineering department (but I guess i don't really care about him). Also, Trinity was recently rated the 5th best undergraduate engineering program in the US, but the physics program isn't as well known (they usually only graduate about 4 or 5 a physics majors a year).

    How can I convince my parents (and my adviser) that what I want to do is right for me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2006 #2
    It is my oppinion that you should do what you want, but perhaps try to see where your parents are coming from. Your parents obviously care about you and want you to succeed. Do they maybe figure that you will have a hard time finding a job with a physics/math major? I found that my parents believed this, and they are probably correct to some degree so you must take that into account.

    I would suggest you think about your future and decide DEFINITELY what you want to do. Then meet with your parents and try to find out why they are worried about the switch. I think that they will understand, but if they don't.... I PERSONALLY would do what I wanted anyway, after trying my absolute BEST to bring my parents on board with me.

    PS your academic advisor probably isn't dumb, did he give any reasons that the switch may be bad? If not, find out!
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