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Online Mechanical Engineering program

  • Thread starter ssyed
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Summary:: From Physics to Mechanical Engineering

Hi All,
I am in search of some guidance to start my education/career in Mechanical Engineering.
I have an undergraduate degree in Physic and would like to go for Master’s in Mechanical Engineering if possible. Does anyone have an experience going this route? Also, any recommendation on the online universities in USA? Thank you!
 

Answers and Replies

DEvens
Education Advisor
Gold Member
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It's odd. My PhD supervisor went the other way. He had an undergrad in mech eng and did his grad work in physics.

It depends how much math and experiment you did in your undergrad. Get the calendar for the universities you are considering and see if you have the correct classes. You should be able to at least request these on line, possibly even receive electronic copies. Google will help you here. Find the web sites for the universities and look in their physics department sections and see what you can find.

Also, look for direct contacts with the departments you are interested in. Send them an email and ask for the information you need. Be sure to include the following:
- Where you did your undergrad, and what program it was.
- What program you are specifically interested in.
- Ask specifically what subjects you need to have taken, and what the requirement is for entry.

If you can find candidate profs to be your graduate adviser, send them an email also. Same basic information. If you can find something about their research program, and find a way for you to contribute to that, that would be very helpful. It might even get your foot in the door.

It may be that you already have nearly everything you need. The biggest differences are likely to be:
- Engineers do more and different kinds of labs.
- Depending on the kind of engineering they may have a lab project requirement for fourth year.
- Engineers do ethics classes and economics classes. Most physics degrees don't.
- Engineers may have industry work requirements, depending on the university and degree.

I have no experience with online universities. Again, Google should help you there.
 
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I don't have any first hand knowledge to offer, but as DEvens said, "Engineers do more and different kinds of labs." I have never figured out how they can substituted for these in an on-line engineering degree program. For this reason, I'd have reservations.

Most engineering programs have what is called a "senior design project" (this may have been what DEvens had in mind when he spoke of a 4th years lab project). I'd say this is a major difference between an engineering degree and a physics degree, both in terms of the specific course requirements and also in philosophical terms. Engineering is often legally defined as the capability to design. Design is a tough topic to teach, but few who have not at least been exposed will have the capability.
 

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