General Engineering or Chemical?

  • Thread starter What_Is_X?
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  • #1
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So the University of Queensland offers an optional first year general engineering program; at which point you choose a specialization. Alternatively, I think I can just jump straight into Chemical Engineering, which I'm pretty sure is the one i want. I can't know for sure until i get some experience with it though, so maybe I should do a general first year :/

My main worries are
General: spend a year learning a majority of stuff that i won't directly use. However, that could still be useful, and i might still enjoy it
Chem: If i find it's not actually for me I'll be in the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Not an immediate concern, since I have to choose in around 6 months but I figured it can't hurt to decide early. Anyone got any advice?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Why are you going into chemical engineering? If it's not at least fairly interesting to you (as in, you've wanted to do it for at least a year and aren't doing it because chemical engineers make a lot of money or something), I say don't risk it and do the year in general engineering.
 
  • #3
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If you're not going to lose any time for choosing general over chem, then I'd choose the general option to give you more time to think about and find out which specialization you want.
 
  • #4
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At my school, a lot of people find that they hate chemical engineering after it's pretty much too late to change. For this, I'd say to start out in chemical engineering so you know what exactly you're getting into. (I'm a chemE too)
 
  • #5
turbo
Gold Member
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OP, that's the model used by the engineering school I attended. All Freshmen took the same bank of courses for the first year, then declared. The chemistry, physics, and calculus courses were all accelerated 2x compared to those taken by other science majors (including pre-med - I had to help my pre-med roommate with his chem and physics homework). The first year for engineering students was actually pretty intense and time-consuming. There was no need to declare early, nor were students expected to. The only real exception to this were the few incoming freshmen that were selected to receive Pulp and Paper foundation scholarships. They were asked to commit (non-binding) to a 5-year program with upper-years emphasis on research and intensive study of processes unique to pulp and paper. All other Freshmen were undeclared.
 
  • #6
S_Happens
Gold Member
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Beyond what has been said why don't you post the differences in any classes you'd be taking during the first year of each. I'd be surprised if there was much difference. Whatever specialization towards Chem that there is, should be very slight. There are too many basics that apply across the board to specialize much in the first year. You'd probably barely be IN the creek, much less in need of a paddle.
 
  • #7
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Why are you going into chemical engineering? If it's not at least fairly interesting to you (as in, you've wanted to do it for at least a year and aren't doing it because chemical engineers make a lot of money or something), I say don't risk it and do the year in general engineering.
I'm not quite sure i follow... I'm not doing chemical engineering at the moment because I'm in year 12. I want to do chemical engineering because I've always had an interest and ability in chemistry, and I'm pretty good at maths.

@S_Happens, i'm not sure if there actually is a course list for general engineering...
http://www.uq.edu.au/study/program_list.html?acad_prog=2001
the above link shows the course list for each specialisation (chemE at the top) :/
 
  • #8
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At my school, a lot of people find that they hate chemical engineering after it's pretty much too late to change.
quoted for truth... not much chemistry involved.
 
  • #10
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Well I transferred from ChemE -> CompSci, but at the level I got to there was not very much chemistry, and the chemistry that was involved was not like general Chem. I took Organic Chem, but never really got the chance to use very much of it at all.

It was alot of thermodynamics, which sounds sexy and cool, but was basically finding out if the water inside the cylinder is steam or not.
 
  • #11
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Seriously? Can you elaborate?

Yes, it is true. I'm actually finishing my general first year of engg. and have to rank my preferences in a month. Anyway, at my school the chemical engineering program only involves 4 proper chemistry courses offered by the chemical department (out of the 40+ required by the program), all of which are specifically made for engineers:

CHEM 209 General Chemistry for Engineers
CHEM 357 Industrial Organic Chemistry for Engineers
CHEM 409 Applied Chemistry and Chemical Pathways for Engineers
CHEM 579 Surface and Colloid Chemistry for Engineers

Nearly all of the main chemical engineering courses deal with thermodynamics, fluid dynamics in pipe flows and chemical processes at the industrial level.
 

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