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Other programs like this

  1. Aug 14, 2009 #1
    Okay, I'm a high school junior looking at colleges for my undergrad degree. I am passionate about mathematics and also interested in physics and chemistry. I originally assumed that engineering would be the right field for me, but I'm not so sure now. I've talked to engineers in the family, and the design end of engineering isn't interesting to me at all (nor am I particularly good at it). So, now I'm thinking that a degree in applied(?) mathematics or maybe chemistry or physics is the right idea. I'd like to go to grad school anyway.

    A little research on the subject led me to the http://www.scienceone.ubc.ca/home/" [Broken] program at the University of British Columbia. This sounds perfect to me: a small, accelerated program covering all of the major sciences at once for the first year, but still contained inside a large university with the ability to choose a normal major second year.

    Which brings me to my question: are there any other programs like this? Here are the characteristics that I find attractive:

    - small (for 1st year) classes covering a broad range of fields at a fast pace
    - working together with the same group of motivated students in all classes
    - the ability to go back to the regular program and specialize after 1st year

    Are there any similar programs at other universities in Canada and the northern United States?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2009 #2
    Sigh... I'm just having trouble figuring things out. Most of the engineers in my family are mechanical majors, so that's what I've been hearing about that doesn't appeal to me. I just looked at some EE courses on MIT OpenCourseWare, and while it's way over my head it looked more like my kind of thing.

    The troublesome part is that I just love mathematical proofs. The induction required is really fun for me; do you think I would get the same feeling from EE or engineering physics? Perhaps I could major in engineering but take a bunch of pure math courses for fun...

    The Engineering Science program at the University of Toronto is another idea that interests me. I hear that they take rigorous classes with a theoretical bent. Maybe that would work...?
  4. Aug 23, 2009 #3

    EngSci looks good, except that I might fail Praxis...
  5. Aug 23, 2009 #4
    Most first year science programs are pretty general and allow you to move in any direction in your upper years (most students don't know what they want to do until their final years). I started in a general science program taking first year Chem, Bio, Physics, Calculus, and an arts course. I then went on to specialize in math.

    Engineering programs that I have seen do not give you the room to take other courses like getting a BSc in math would. Even so, first year is still very general.
  6. Aug 23, 2009 #5
    I have heard that it's easier to go from engineering to math/science than the other way around, which would be an argument in favor of taking a broad, math-heavy engineering course initially. Does that sound right?
  7. Aug 23, 2009 #6


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    The University of Washington has a program called http://fyp.washington.edu/programs/learning.php" [Broken]. The program groups students together who have common interests, but maybe aren't ready to declare a specific major.

    When I was there, they didn't have these yet but I've heard good things about them (especially that class registration is a lot simpler).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Aug 23, 2009 #7
    ^ Interesting, but not broad enough. I want a full program of study.
  9. Aug 23, 2009 #8


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    Do you have any preference regarding where you end up attending (e.g., which country)?
  10. Aug 23, 2009 #9
    I am fine with both the US and Canada. However, I would prefer to stay up north (I don't like heat). Probably from the brightest lime green on up on this map.

    I prefer large, public schools but will happily accept recommendations of other institutions as well.
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