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Physics, Engineering, and Business

  1. Dec 10, 2008 #1
    I have post on this forum some, but have mainly lurked for a longer time.

    Now, I am a freshman at Carnegie Mellon, and have to choose. I am currently enrolled in the engineering school as a Chemical Engineering major, but would really like to study phyiscs, too. The problem is, both interest me and I cannot choose one. So, if I do do both, I will have to overload (I am not opposed to this) to get through what are considered the two most rigorous programs in engineering and science, respectively. So, that is not a big deal. However, I am also interested in the business end of things, and there is a 5 year bachelors in engineering/MBA program. If I do this, I will not be able to dual major due to time constraints, and at most can minor in physics.

    As a frame of reference, my father is the dean of the college of engineering, and he has my dream job. Tied to business, but never tottaly leaving the roots of research and creating new knowledge.

    So, here are some questions:
    If I only minor in physics, but decide nexy year that I want to pursue a physics grad degree, will a reputable physics university take me with only a minor, and a bs in chemE and an MBA?
    What do you think about the whole situation?

    I realize that only I can decide what I want to do, but the more input I thinkl about, the better informed my decision will be, so please do not refrain from telling me that I am an idiot to consider this, if that is what you think.

    Thank you for your help,
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2008 #2


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    Education Advisor

    To the first question, in general no. You need a degree in physics to get into a graduate program in physics. If you did engineering physics, the situation might be different. Some schools are willing to look at your course work and evaluate you in that manner, but a minor will not give you sufficient background to pursue graduate studies.

    Unfortunately, at some point, you're just going to have to make a choice. At the freshman level I would try to make sure that your program has elements of everything you think you're interested in and make your decisions based on that. And remember that you can always change your mind if things don't work out on the path you decide on.

    If you enjoy physics more, I would
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