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Nuclear Engineering vs. Physics?

  1. Aug 15, 2009 #1
    Nuclear Engineering vs. Physics??

    So I am a sophomore at a community college and will have to apply to baccalaureate programs soon for entrance in August 2010. I have always been interested in physics but have recently become more involved in engineering through the engineering society at school and talking with professional engineers; now I'm not really wanting to go into academia as a physics professor and I definitely want to do something in industry.

    The only engineering physics undergraduate program available in the state has an aeronautics focus which I don't really want to go into; my other option is double-majoring in applied mathematics and physics at another school and studying engineering physics in graduate school.

    I have also recently become interested in nuclear engineering, which is, I am told, a very lucrative profession. The only nuclear engineering program in the state has been ranked as top 10 in the nation. The advisors in that program told me that double-majoring in nuclear engineering and physics would take another five years in addition to the two years I've already spent at a community college, and I don't really want to have to spend seven years getting my baccalaureate education.

    I already have my top choice of school for either option (physics or nuclear engineering), which is the same school that has the top 10 nuclear program. My question is...should I go into the nuclear engineering program at this school since it is one of the best in the nation or should I go into the physics program which isn't really ranked at all? I know I like both fields very much; I guess now it boils down to which one has the most options for careers. (and which has the better prestige)

    Any advice would be appreciated :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2009 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Re: Nuclear Engineering vs. Physics??

    One could do either, or both. I don't see why a double major in Physics and NE would require an additional 5 years beyond community college, but that may depend on where one is starting at CC.

    I'd recommend taking the Physics and NE course requirements and seeing how they mesh together in three or four years.

    Either program can be challenging.
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