1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is an Undergraduate in Applied Math with a Masters in Engineering good

  1. Jun 22, 2013 #1
    So I am currently going to be entering my 3rd year of an Applied Math BS at Fresno Pacific University (I know its a nobody school but I am there for athletics). I have always wanted to do engineering but my school does not offer it. I was wondering if having an Applied Math BS and getting a Mechanical Engineering Masters would be good or marketable for a job?

    Also, is an Applied Math degree even marketable for any decent engineering type jobs?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Welcome to PF;

    Depends on the undergrad - and the job.

    Applied math degree is not useful, by itself, for employment as an engineer - no.
    These days, if you want a job as a flurzoik you need a Bachelor of Flurzoiking minimum ... i.e. the degree has to have your job title in it. This is because of all the BFs applying for the same job. You may not even be allowed to call yourself a flurzoik without a flurzoik degree - depending on the laws where you live.

    For your purposes, it will be the masters that counts ... the math and athletics will be flavor.
     
  4. Jun 22, 2013 #3

    jasonRF

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is certainly possible to get a masters in engineering after undergrad in applied math, and your Masters is what would matter most when looking for a job. But you want to be as prepared as you can be. I suggest you take a look at prospective masters programs that you may be interested in, and make sure that you do what you can to take relevant courses so you are prepared for masters level work.

    For Mechanical Engineering I cannot say that I would know (I am electrical), but perhaps intermediate mechanics and thermal physics courses from the physics departments would help. These may be adequate substitutes for the required soph/jr level mechanics and thermodynamics/heat transfer courses that undergrad mechanical engineers usually need to take. there may be other obvious classes you could take as well.

    Some areas of electrical engineering are essentially applied math - signal processing, information theory, and controls comes to mind (you can do controls in Mechanical engineering, too!). Applied math would be a great background for these. For EE it would help to take an intermediate electrodynamics class and electronics from the physics department, and learning as much about Fourier analysis as you can. Your computer science department may off courses in logic / computer hardware design. These would be useful for EE, too.

    Finally, all engineers need to learn probability / statitics and computer programming. Numerical methods can be good, too. I am guessing you get plenty of that in applied math?

    In any case, your faculty advisor is likely a great (perhaps the greatest) resource to help you make the most of your current opportunities. Speak with them about your goals and take their advice seriously.

    I wish you the best,

    jason
     
  5. Jun 22, 2013 #4

    lurflurf

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    This can be done, but there may be some hassles. There may be licensing hurdles. Rightly or wrongly many employers will prefer engineering undergraduates. The masters degree is different than the undergraduate so you might not have all the skills and knowledge. There is also the possibility of a Post-Baccalaureate or second Baccalaureate program. Of course for some more specialized jobs the undergraduate degree won't matter.
     
  6. Jun 22, 2013 #5

    jasonRF

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Good point about licensing. i am an electrical engineer, and I know very few (and none who I work with) who went through the exams / process of becoming a Professional Engineer because many jobs do not require it. This may be different in mechanical. The OP needs to do their homework here!

    jason
     
  7. Jun 22, 2013 #6
    Thank you all for the replies, I have looked some things about licensing up and it seems that civil is one of the only that you are essentially "required" to have a PE license. For the Mechanical jobs I have looked at most of the requirements do not list that you need to have a PE license which is good.

    I am definitely trying to take the most classes I can that can be to as close to engineering as possible, granted my school sucks.

    On another note, my brother went from Physics undergraduate degree at the University of San Francisco to a masters in Mechanical Engineering at Fresno State; He just got accepted and will be starting his first semester in the program this fall.

    Another problem I even be able to get engineering jobs with only a masters degree in Mech (or whatever type) Engineering and an Applied Math Undergraduate Degree... That is what I am most scared of, I do not want to get a useless degree.
     
  8. Jun 22, 2013 #7
    Another question I have is that is there any colleges that accept second bachelors degrees in engineering? I have looked and it doesnt seem like that many (at least in California). All of the universities say that they accept very few second bachelor students. I mean I have a great GPA that could get me into places but most of the time that doesnt really matter, all that matters is if there is room and it doesnt seem that there would be any "room" to allow many second bachelor students in...
     
  9. Jun 22, 2013 #8

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Hmmm? - two Bachelors-level degrees is not all that unusual in NZ.
    Cannot speak for other countries.
     
  10. Jul 9, 2013 #9
    Anyone else got any more feedback? still looking for more opinions really.
     
  11. Aug 5, 2013 #10
    I would like to bump this. I am in virtually the same boat as the OP. I'll be graduating next fall and am very interested in going to grad school for mechanical. And just like the op my fear is that IF I do attend ill end up with a degree with little prospects. For this reason I keep juggling the idea of applying to a grad program in physics.
    Anyone know if a masters in mech e is worth the time in job prospects if the undergrad degree is in another field?
     
  12. Aug 6, 2013 #11

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    The lack of further input may be because the previous opinions are very commonly held.
    Refining the question off the previous replies would help get you better replies.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is an Undergraduate in Applied Math with a Masters in Engineering good
Loading...