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ME - Undergrad or Grad?

  1. Sep 19, 2011 #1

    I'm stuck on the decision of having my undergrad degree be an ME or my grad degree be ME. I'm currently listed as Astronautical Engineering (which is what I really want to get into) but I know that it's essentially specialized ME. I don't want to limit my job sphere, so I'm pondering doing the ME-Astro route or Astro-ME route. Will this hinder me in any way if I keep my Astro and then do my grad as ME?

    Thanks bunches :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2011 #2
    I would recommend the Astro-ME route.

    If you apply for aerospace jobs, you have a degree in that field. And if you want to apply for a more broad range of openings, you can emphasize your grad degree in ME.
  4. Sep 20, 2011 #3
    So there is no disadvantage? I was told that whatever I get my grad degree in is the profession that I would be most likely hired for. It also seems like most people go the ME-Astro route due to more specialization.
  5. Sep 20, 2011 #4
    Of course, do what you feel most comfortable with.

    Yes, your grad degree will get the most attention. You could do your grad degree in mechanical and a minor in aerospace. This gives you the most career options. A masters in aerospace would be best for this field of course, but may limit some of your choices.

    In the end, I don't think you can go wrong with either approach.
  6. Sep 20, 2011 #5


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    I have never heard of a minor in graduate studies. Your graduate degree will get the most attention though.

    Most people do ME to AE because graduate schools is typically about specialization. As an undergraduate, having some breadth is good so doing ME is a good idea if you don't know if you really want to do AE or if you want to be qualified for a wider array of jobs. However, when you do graduate school, you generally are specializing, so you want to get into a research area that interests you the most, not maintain the most breadth possible.
  7. Sep 20, 2011 #6
    For my masters at a major public university, my major was mechanical engineering and my minor was nuclear engineering. There was 30 units in the major (including thesis) and 15 in the minor. This was about 15 years ago, so maybe this is not the practice now.
  8. Sep 20, 2011 #7


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    I don't know for sure, but it certainly isn't commonplace these days.
  9. Sep 20, 2011 #8
    I thought about this and would like to share my acedemic and career experience.

    I earned a BS in nuclear engineering and worked at a nuke right out of college for 4 years. Great experience, but learned that I had limited my career options. Now, I enjoyed (and still enjoy) nuclear engineering. But I was also considering my long term options.

    To make a long story short, I figured a masters in mechanical engineering coupled with my experience would create new oppurtunities for me. And it did. So I would consider graduate school as a way to increase breadth if it makes sense for the individual.
  10. Sep 20, 2011 #9


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    That makes a ton of sense. Graduate school would definitely be a way to branch out if you are in an industry with limited options. I feel like it doesn't serve that function so much if you never were in industry and were trying to get into an industry, however. Then again, it would serve that exact purpose if you were never in industry but still wanted to branch out. I suppose it is all about what you want. Most people do graduate school to specialize it seems.
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