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Enrolled as a freshmen and am having second thoughts on my major

  1. Aug 26, 2011 #1
    Enrolled as a freshmen in engineering transfer program (need some help)


    I have been lurking this forum for sometime, and absolutely think its an amazingly helpful place.

    Regarding the topic. I enrolled in a college to study computer engineering, but sadly, in my sophmore year in hs I had a change of mind and wanted to go into a non-science related field which made me concentrate on arts rather than math and science which put me back in terms of physics, chemistry, and math. Right before college I suddenly wanted to do computer engineering which probably spelled my doom in terms of getting into the university I wanted to go to because I did not meet the requirements (calculus, etc.) for their engineering program, so I enrolled at that one for computer engineering in at a sister-college (in transfer engineering transfer program.) So I'm wondering on what advice you guys have for me to do. Another thing which is worrying me is how behind am I in terms of math?

    So far my first semester looks like this (freshmen):

    English 100 (3 cred)
    Pre-Cal (5 cred)
    Introduction to Computer Engineering (3 cred)
    General Anthropology (3 cred) <-- for Social Studies,
    General Chemistry (4 cred) <-- am on weight list, and if I get the seat will switch out for Gen. Anth

    Ideal plan for second semester (freshmen):

    Cal 1 (5 cred)
    Chemistry 1 (5 cred, Gen Chem is the pre-requesite since I included something else instead of my Chem :[)
    Social Studies (3 cred)
    Computer Science (4 cred)


    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2011 #2


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    I think there may be a middle ground between the two (arts and computer engineering)

    There used to be a specialised program in my university on multimedia arts and image processing. I wouldn't be surpised if such program exists in other colleges around the world. Unfortunatedly they killed the programme because they had too few students so I am unable to link you the course page, let me have a seatch in the google cache though....
  4. Aug 27, 2011 #3
    I did something similar, I only took up to algebra 2 (a tiny bit of matrix manipulation, some basic algebra stuff, very, very basic trig) in high school (and no math my senior year) because I was taking AP art and practicing guitar 5 hours a day, thinking I wanted to go to music school. After I didn't get into my ideal music school I started studying up on math and physics and taught myself basic calc from a few different texts, mainly Morris Klein's book. So it is definitely do-able.

    I didn't get into a great college, nor did I try to, but I've made something reasonable out of my experience and it has worked out quite well. I worked hard (with some lapses later on) and was able to handle abstract algebra by my 3rd semester, doing grad courses by junior year etc.

    There is no reason you can't give it your all, don't be afraid to really go for it. If you work at it, your math skills will come together.
  5. Aug 27, 2011 #4
    Sorry if I didnt articulate, my point was I switched around too much in regards to what I wanted to do. And since I decided to go back to science I was hurt with my previous interest which I don't have anymore. I want to do CE, but I just hurt in my sophmore cause I wanted to study a non-science related topic, and now that I'm studying engineering I can't take calculus first semester, and have to take it second semester...
  6. Aug 27, 2011 #5
    The only advice I have to give is that you had a sudden change in heart for a reason. If I was you, I would stick with my engineering curriculum until I could say with certainty that I do (or don't) want to be an engineer. I am not really qualified to be handing out words to live by, so take it with a grain of salt. I am mainly replying to answer the pre-calc question.

    So, as far as your math goes: plenty of people start of in pre-calculus (and even lower) and do just fine. It is my personal belief that the "testing in" system is to a certain degree worthless. The only real pre-requisite for university level calculus is a good understanding of algebra; but this isn't the place.

    I know for a fact that there are multiple people on this forum who started off at or below pre-calculus (people who are doing perfectly fine, and are fast on their way to degrees in math/physics/engineering). Don't let this little hiccup push you out of a degree/profession which you would presumably get satisfaction from
  7. Aug 27, 2011 #6
    You are not behind.
  8. Aug 27, 2011 #7
    Welcome to PF Selig!

    I am a 2nd year Computer Engineering student myself so I could give you advice. I am looking at your schedule and you seem good to go as a Freshman. I did not take my first Computer Engineering course until the 2nd semester of my Freshman year. It is good that you are taking it in the first semester. I took Pre-Cal my first semester in college and currently in Calculus 2. I would say you are not behind as many of my fellow engineering friends started with Pre-Cal their first semester (a few took Calc). Though my 4 year plan assumes that you would start off with Calculus first semester. You should be fine though. I would see your advisor before you make plans for 2nd semester as they will steer you in the right path. One thing I would check is if you can take Calc 1 and Classical Mechanics at the same time.

    Good luck! :)
  9. Aug 28, 2011 #8
    I wouldn't sweat it too much. I actually have a music degree that I have never put to use for the most part, and so I never completed math higher than College Algebra!

    I started back at the university around 2 years ago, I am not a 3'd year physics student. I was set back a little this time around because I was lacking several courses that were required to take anything actually in physics, but attending during the summers non-stop for the past two years has put me now only a tiny bit behind.
  10. Aug 28, 2011 #9
    Thanks for all your replies. Helps me feel alone that I'm not the only one who started an engineering/science field not in calculus, etc.


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