Mechanical engineering degree

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  • #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
russ_watters
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[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
dsaun777
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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
russ_watters
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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
onatirec
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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
dsaun777
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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
Dr.D
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The four courses mentioned by @onatirec
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
dsaun777
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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
Dr.D
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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
dsaun777
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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
dsaun777
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Every time I come here o get depressed I don't even know why I bother...
 
  • #12
Dr.D
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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
Dr.D
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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
dsaun777
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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
Vanadium 50
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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
dsaun777
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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
Dr.D
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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.
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
berkeman
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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.
 

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