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How many degrees can one man get?

  1. Apr 2, 2009 #1
    I was just wondering how college degrees work. Lets say I got a degree in general physics but also have knowledge of electrical engineering. If I wanted to obtain a degree in electrical engineering on top of a degree in general physics would I have to do the whole 4 year electrical engineering course from the start or could I enter more advanced stages of the course based on my knowledge?

    Also are there many practical advantages to holding various degrees in fields like this which overlap in many areas?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2009 #2
    Some credits usually transfer for prior work... no one expects you to retake freshman chemistry, calculus I, or any required humanities courses, so a second bachelor's degree would take less time, depending on the amount of overlap in the programs.

    There is not a terrible amount of practical advantage in having various degrees though. If an employer wants an electrical engineer, they won't really care if you have a degree in physics or not, and vice versa.

    It can be a lot of fun to study many different things though, so it might be worth it to you personally.
     
  4. Apr 2, 2009 #3
    Often credits won't transfer from one bachelor's degree to another if you do the degrees in series. If you wanted to take advantage of double-dipping in general education credits, as well as basic requirements of calc, intro physics, etc, you would have probably have to do both degrees at the same university, at the same time (in parallel) double majoring in physics and EE... which I've seen people do, since at many institutions the first two years have similar curricula, and usually if you take a full load each term you can squeeze in upper levels and electives (particularly if you come in with AP credit for some courses.

    It is, however, possible for you to pursue a graduate degree in one field even if your primary degree is in the other. Ex: I have a master's in electro-optical engineering that followed my bachelors degree in physics. The disadvantage of this is that without an undergraduate degree I presently can't (without massive petitioning) become a PE (professional engineer), because of the way the certification process is set up in most (if not all) states in the US.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2009 #4
    ive seen a double PhD
     
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