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Hardest Engineering Degree?

  1. Jun 23, 2008 #1


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    Hey. Not that it will sway which field of engineering i end up deciding to study, but i was just curious, is there any field of engineering which students generally find harder than the others?

    Ive heard things about civil engineering generally being a bit easier than the others, but i cant confirm that it was from a reliable source at all.
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  3. Jun 23, 2008 #2
    The one you're the least interested in.

    I always enjoyed hearing my MechE, AeroE, and EE friends talk about what they were learning and working on. Industrial seems like it isn't too tough, work-wise, but when those guys told me about what they were working on it seemed excruciating.
  4. Jun 23, 2008 #3
    I'd say physics or aerospace, but analog EE can get tricky if you are hardcore about it. But yes, Will is right that if you are not interested in what you are doing it will be very tough to focus and do well.

    Civil is the easiest, I'll confirm that. My friend who graduated with his bachelor's in civil said that if they ever showed an integral in class, everyone would freak out.
  5. Jun 24, 2008 #4


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    Yea thats a good point. Ive heard so many people at uni say they are going to do civil engineering because its supposed to be the easiest, but like you say, its not going to be easy if they arent interested in it.
  6. Jun 24, 2008 #5


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    You must be kidding about the integral story. I'm not a CE major but I seriously doubt any engineering field, excluding perhaps biological engineering would have that little maths. For example, the Euler-Bernoulli equation which I'm pretty sure every CE major would have to learn in their first year is a 4th order DE.
  7. Jun 24, 2008 #6
    Yeah right. Bio engineering is all fluid systems in the body!
  8. Jun 24, 2008 #7


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    It depends on the school and in which country you live.
    I studied engineering physics in Sweden (at one of the "better" universities) and that is usually considered to be the hardest MSc engineering program (4.5 years) in Scandinavia. About 50% of the students who started the program finished and got their degree (the year before it was about 30%, many left during the third year which was quite insane).
  9. Jun 24, 2008 #8
    ChemE is supposed to be really hard from what I hear. I'm AstroE though, so can't confirm this.
  10. Jun 24, 2008 #9
    From what I hear... (most difficult at top)


    But I think it also comes down to the classes you select as well.
    Many of the Senior Environmental Eng. classes at my school merge with the Chemical/BioChemical Eng. curriculum.

    I do know that EE requires the most courses in the mathematics department (at my school at least).

    Like others said, I think it also comes down to what interests you as well. If you're slogging through hours of work that seems boring to you, it's going to be hard no matter what.
  11. Jun 24, 2008 #10


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    I can attest that the work-load in a high-level Chem E program is killer. If you're not really interested in your classes, it's a heck of a grind. You can expect lectures, recitations, and labs in the Chemistry and Physics courses at a minimum, and your mathematics courses will be accelerated to keep your math skills up to the demands of your other science courses.
  12. Jun 24, 2008 #11
    i agree with whoever said that it depends on where you study... i am electromechanical and some of the hardest subjects end up being easier because of, interest for the most part, and because of a teacher that knows what he is talking about and knows how to communicate it. Either way you will have to know alot of mathematics and physics for electrical or mechanical... but i enjoy them and find them logical so they are not incredibly hard for me... but then you ask me to make some abstract art and i lose my mind haha... its all about interest.
  13. Jun 24, 2008 #12
    I would say engineering physics at a school that is taking it's programme very seriously. like the elite schools of developed countries.
  14. Jun 24, 2008 #13
    true but not only that... theres alot of factors... some of the smartest teachers i knew were also the worst teachers... they new exactly what they were talking about and had many patents but had trouble conveying their knowledge!
  15. Jun 24, 2008 #14
    shamrock5585: Of course. But the best courses are actually the courses which get graded on the fail side of things. That means a normal person fails two or three times and a gifted person doesn't get more than a pass the first time. A engineering degree with only exams like that would really be an elite degree.
  16. Jun 24, 2008 #15
    Who the hell cares if one is harder than another? This is such a bullsh!t compairson. Anyone who does not realize this is well...........not cut for engineering. Or, more likely, they dont have a clue about anything.
  17. Jun 24, 2008 #16


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    I tend to agree with Cyrus's last comment.

    A degree is hard work - if you want to be the best.

    I don't think comparing different engineering disciplines is useful. One needs to find a discipline in which one enjoys and is willing to make a contribution.

    The level of rigor will be program dependent, and personally I prefer a rigorous program.
  18. Jun 24, 2008 #17


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    That is key. The Chem E program at the University of Maine was a key feeder program for the Pulp and Paper industry, which was HUGE in Maine in 1970. The program was tough and thorough.
  19. Jun 17, 2010 #18
    Dear friends

    i have gone througu your replies let me introduce my self i have done my B.TECH,M.TECH in civil engineering and presently pursuing Ph.D in civil engineering , so who believes that civil engineering is the easiest branch, kindly make ur mind set update civil engineering is the oldest and most toughest branch of engineering and it is the only branch which has more than 12 para branches like structural engineering, environmental engineering, water resources engineering, construction management,transportation engineering, geoinformatics,soil mechanics,town planning and housing,valuation,concrete engineering etc.

    so its my request that do not under estimate any branch not only civil engineering , all branches are great in their own so please do not insult their greatness by co:redface:mparing with this little word of hard and easy.

    For your knowledge as per experts maximum use of mathematics( caluclus,trignomertry) ,physics, chemistry(in environemntal engineering) is available in civil engineering , one can confirm this.....
  20. Jun 17, 2010 #19
    Nope, they don't necessarily treat the Euler-Bernoulli equation properly, since it is roughly the only piece of higher maths a CE undergrad need they often just teach them how to solve that equation for special cases.

    But of course they will have to learn the fundamentals of maths like multi variable calculus etc like all other engineers, it is just that they barely use it in other courses so they get bad at it.

    NEERAJRWH, calculus and trigonometry is the bare fundamentals any engineer should know, it is not advanced maths. Also you can't combine all the tough parts of all the branches you can go afterwards since you don't do all of that as a single person and people usually talk about the undergraduate degree when they talk about engineering.
  21. Jun 17, 2010 #20
    To be fair, at my school, I'll only have ODE's and PDE's after the three-course calculus sequence... I'll actually be taking linear algebra just for fun. I'm in aerospace, btw.
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