Is an Engineering Degree More Difficult Than a Math or Physics Degree?

In summary, the questions revolve around the difficulty of transitioning from a bachelor's degree in math to a master's in engineering. The individual has some concerns about the workload and the challenges of working while studying. However, they have also been accepted into the program and will be taking four undergraduate engineering courses over the summer to catch up. There is some discussion about the employability of someone with a master's in mechanical engineering and the difficulty of certain core courses in the ME curriculum. Overall, it is recommended that the individual take their time and not rush through the coursework, as it is important to fully understand the material.
  • #1
dsaun777
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How hard is an engineering degree compared with a mathematics or physics degree? I am considering going back to university for a master's program that is 30 credits. How hard will the transition be from someone with a bachelor's degree in math with some physics and a few courses in engineering? I've heard that engineering is a very difficult field to study and I have only a few engineering courses, dynamics and statics. I was accepted into the program under the condition that I complete 4 courses of undergrad engineering over the summer. I'm at a point in my life where I have to work to support myself and I am not so confident I can pull off work and completing this degree. Any helpful advice will be appreciated.
 
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  • #2
[Thread moved to academic guidance.]

The questions you are asking are disjointed. For your specific situation, suffice to say it will be more difficult/more work to transition to engineering for an MS than it would be to pursue a math MS. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, and the 4 undergrad catch-up courses they want you to take should help you figure out how much harder it's going to be.
 
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  • #3
Do you have any idea about how employable someone is with a master's degree in mechanical engineering today? Mind you I don't have a bachelor's in engineering only math.
 
  • #4
dsaun777 said:
Do you have any idea about how employable someone is with a master's degree in mechanical engineering today? Mind you I don't have a bachelor's in engineering only math.
Very employable. If anything the multi-discipline education will be a benefit, not a hinderance.
 
  • #5
I think if you are capable of completing a math degree, then you are likely capable of completing a masters in engineering. Time and drive are the constraining factors. Working during will likely be challenging. Go for the funding (which usually includes a stipend). 30 hours probably doesn't mean 30 credit hours of coursework, but you'll have research as well - which often doesn't have a well defined weekly hour limit.

Taking the 4 courses will be a solid litmus test. After statics/dynamics, the next few courses in my mind are:
Mechanics of materials
Fluid Mechanics
Heat and Mass Transfer
Thermodynamics

The last three are arguably the most difficult courses in the core undergrad ME curriculum. If you can knock those out in a summer, I wouldn't worry about grad school difficulty.
 
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  • #6
onatirec said:
I think if you are capable of completing a math degree, then you are likely capable of completing a masters in engineering. Time and drive are the constraining factors. Working during will likely be challenging. Go for the funding (which usually includes a stipend). 30 hours probably doesn't mean 30 credit hours of coursework, but you'll have research as well - which often doesn't have a well defined weekly hour limit.

Taking the 4 courses will be a solid litmus test. After statics/dynamics, the next few courses in my mind are:
Mechanics of materials
Fluid Mechanics
Heat and Mass Transfer
Thermodynamics

The last three are arguably the most difficult courses in the core undergrad ME curriculum. If you can knock those out in a summer, I wouldn't worry about grad school difficulty.
Yes those are the courses I am taking in fact. Thermodynamics and strength of materials are to begin in May... I am excited and nervous 😓
 
  • #7
The four courses mentioned by @onatirec
onatirec said:
Mechanics of materials
Fluid Mechanics
Heat and Mass Transfer
Thermodynamics
are the heart of the ME undergrad program. Even if you can complete them in a summer with a passing grade (a big IF), I suggest that this is too much too fast. This material needs to really be learned and well understood, not simply passed. Is there a way to take these one or two at a time before you plunge in fully? These four courses would constitute nearly a full load in a long term semester.
 
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  • #8
Dr.D said:
The four courses mentioned by @onatirec

are the heart of the ME undergrad program. Even if you can complete them in a summer with a passing grade (a big IF), I suggest that this is too much too fast. This material needs to really be learned and well understood, not simply passed. Is there a way to take these one or two at a time before you plunge in fully? These four courses would constitute nearly a full load in a long term semester.
I'm taking two in the first summer term and two in the second term. I'm not taking all at once. Does that make it seem more plausible?
 
  • #9
dsaun777 said:
I'm taking two in the first summer term and two in the second term. I'm not taking all at once. Does that make it seem more plausible?
In many respects, I think that is worse. Can you hope to learn in 6 weeks what you would normally spend 12 weeks on? Remember that a large part of these courses is problem solving. How many problems do you think you can work in 6 weeks?
 
  • #10
Dr.D said:
In many respects, I think that is worse. Can you hope to learn in 6 weeks what you would normally spend 12 weeks on? Remember that a large part of these courses is problem solving. How many problems do you think you can work in 6 weeks?
Thanks for support 🙏
 
  • #11
Every time I come here o get depressed I don't even know why I bother...
 
  • #12
dsaun777 said:
Thanks for support
Would you prefer to hear lies? I had the impression you were asking for information, not a pep talk. Sorry to disappoint.
 
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  • #13
dsaun777 said:
You are a loser for discouraging someone from pursuing their goals.
No, really I'm not. I've finished my career as a practicing engineer and as an engineering professor. I speak from knowledge and experience.

All engineering curricula have the reputation of being tough, and it is for a reason. They really are difficult, and when you handicap yourself at the beginning (by trying to whip past the fundamentals), you will find it vastly more difficult.

As I said before, would you prefer to hear lies?
 
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  • #14
Dr.D said:
No, really I'm not. I've finished my career as a practicing engineer and as an engineering professor. I speak from knowledge and experience.

All engineering curricula have the reputation of being tough, and it is for a reason. They really are difficult, and when you handicap yourself at the beginning (by trying to whip past the fundamentals), you will find it vastly more difficult.

As I said before, would you prefer to hear lies?
Why would they offer the courses if they didn't teach what is necessary?
 
  • #15
dsaun777 said:
You are a loser for discouraging someone from pursuing their goals.
Oh, please.

You might want to dial back the drama (I'm also thinking about this thread) and your hostility towards people who are trying to help you (I'm thinking about this thread). Neither will serve you well in graduate school.

Or here, for that matter.
 
  • #16
Vanadium 50 said:
Oh, please.

You might want to dial back the drama (I'm also thinking about this thread) and your hostility towards people who are trying to help you (I'm thinking about this thread). Neither will serve you well in graduate school.

Or here, for that matter.
Well I already signed up to these courses then I get told by some "dr" that I can not complete them and even if I did complete them they wouldn't be enough. What kind of garbage is that to tell someone who just began a graduate program? That is not a mentor but an arrogant nit.
 
  • #17
dsaun777 said:
That is not a mentor but an arrogant nit.
The fact that I am not a designated Mentor does not make my words untrue. The Dr stands for Doctor, in this case, PhD. You see, I have completed both an MSME and a PhD(ME), quite possibly the road you are wanting to start, but I'm at the finish line of a long career.
dsaun777 said:
Why would they offer the courses if they didn't teach what is necessary?
No course you take is going to "learn you" anything at all. YOU will have to do the learning. It is not hard for any faculty member to present the material (in most cases, we have been through it many times before), but it is very hard for you, the student, to learn it. That is not because of inferior presentation, but rather because this is truly difficult material (as you are about to discover).
 
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  • #18
dsaun777 said:
You are a loser for discouraging someone from pursuing their goals.
No, he is trying to help you. Obviously he has the background to offer good, honest advice.

Since you are unwilling to listen to the good advice you are getting, this thread is done.
 

Related to Is an Engineering Degree More Difficult Than a Math or Physics Degree?

What is a mechanical engineering degree?

A mechanical engineering degree is an undergraduate program that focuses on the principles of mechanics, energy, and materials to design and develop mechanical systems. Students in this program learn how to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve problems and create new technologies.

What courses are typically included in a mechanical engineering degree?

Some common courses in a mechanical engineering degree program include thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, materials science, design and manufacturing, and mechanical systems. Students may also have the opportunity to choose electives in areas such as robotics, renewable energy, or automotive engineering.

What skills can I gain from earning a mechanical engineering degree?

Earning a mechanical engineering degree can help you develop a variety of skills, including problem-solving, critical thinking, technical writing, project management, and teamwork. You will also gain a strong understanding of mechanical systems and how to design and analyze them.

What career opportunities are available for those with a mechanical engineering degree?

A mechanical engineering degree can lead to a variety of career opportunities in industries such as automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, energy, and robotics. Some common job titles for mechanical engineering graduates include design engineer, manufacturing engineer, project manager, and research and development engineer.

What are the benefits of earning a mechanical engineering degree?

Earning a mechanical engineering degree can provide you with a strong foundation in engineering principles, as well as the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of interest. It can also open up a wide range of career opportunities and potentially lead to a higher salary compared to other fields. Additionally, studying mechanical engineering can help you develop valuable skills that are transferable to other industries and roles.

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