Physics or Civil/Enviromental Engineering

In summary: Doing a 5 year plan double major and getting my physics and civil/enviromental and then going to grad school to get my masters in physics.This is a good idea.
  • #1
glennpagano44
64
0
I am currently looking at colleges either penn state university or drexel and I was wondering what you think would be a better major. Either Physics or Civil/Enviromental Engineering.
Thanks ahead of time
 
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  • #2
To quote from the Yellow Pages: "Boring see Civil engineers"
While engineering will pretty much guarantee you a job on the day you graduate it may limit you to a particular part of one field - physics generally gives you a lot of opportunites to work in different areas of engineering.
 
  • #3
Boring? me? i highly doubt it! :cool:
 
  • #4
i want to be a civil engineer also, but since that bridge collapsed in Minnesota, I've been having some doubts because I don't want to be responsible for deaths.
 
  • #5
Hydrargyrum said:
i want to be a civil engineer also, but since that bridge collapsed in Minnesota, I've been having some doubts because I don't want to be responsible for deaths.

I am a civil engineer and i have not been responsible for any deaths!
 
  • #6
Really? What kind of work have you've done? I plan on going into structural engineering
 
  • #7
Recently, I was the resident engineer in the construction of an 8 stories building in reinforced concrete. I was also a design engineer of hot mix asphalt pavements in an Asphalt Plant. So far, I've worked in the construction 2 buildings and 1 highway. Right now, I'm in the administrative section of the company working on budget analysis of other projects.
 
  • #8
that sounds interesting
 
  • #9
From recent threads I have read that it is really hard to get a decent job not teaching with a undergrad degree in physics. On the other hand I've heard that it is really easy to get a job with civil eng degree. This might swing my decision a lot. What do you guys think is better decision. How much physics is included in civil eng degree because I really love physics and I am hoping to make around 45,000 right out of college. How is my chances working with lockheed martin with a undergrad physics degree. Or should I do a dual enrollment and do a 5 year plan double major and get my physics and civil/enviromental and then go to grad school to get my masters in physics.

P.S Is it true that the government or someone else will pay for your graduate schooling. Also will it be easy to get engineering jobs if I have a physics degree
 
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  • #10
There was a thread a while back (haven't found it yet) about the degree of Engineering Physics. You would be able to learn a little about several areas of engineering while still knowing the physics.
 
  • #11
glennpagano44 said:
How much physics is included in civil eng degree because I really love physics and I am hoping to make around 45,000 right out of college

From what I read about it, civil engineering is pretty much all physics. Despite the website's reputation, here's some more information of civil eng. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Engineering
 
  • #12
i am expecting more maths and physics(mechanics, fluids, Hydraulics) in this course

what I am worried about is how to be a creative designer of buildings...
 
  • #13
If you want to be creative, you should be an architect instead of an engineer
 
  • #14
There's more creativity in engineering a building so that it can be built, will be safe and will stay up than there is in doing a few freehand sketches and claiming it will be 'a statement about light and space'.
 
  • #15
Well Civil Engineering doesn't go beyong Newtonian Mechanics.

Here is a list of all the physics i took in my undergraduate (well the ones i can remember):

General Physics I
General Physics II
General Physics III
Static
Dynamic
Strength of Materials I
Strength of Materials II
Fluid Mechanics
Structural Analysis I
Structural Analysis II
General Hydraulic
Soil Mechanics

i think that's it unless i am forgetting something else...
 
  • #16
From recent threads I have read that it is really hard to get a decent job not teaching with a undergrad degree in physics. On the other hand I've heard that it is really easy to get a job with civil eng degree.

It depends on the market and other factors. But it'll be much easier to get a job with an engineering degree than a physics degree.

This might swing my decision a lot. What do you guys think is better decision. How much physics is included in civil eng degree because I really love physics and I am hoping to make around 45,000 right out of college. How is my chances working with lockheed martin with a undergrad physics degree.

Lockheed is one of those companies that take physics people for engineering positions. But you have to a minimum GPA if I recalled (+3.0?) and at least take some engineering courses during your undergrad. But if you are applying for a EE/ME position, then it all comes down to yourself to get the position from those WITH EE/ME degrees.

Or should I do a dual enrollment and do a 5 year plan double major and get my physics and civil/enviromental and then go to grad school to get my masters in physics.

P.S Is it true that the government or someone else will pay for your graduate schooling. Also will it be easy to get engineering jobs if I have a physics degree

You can get a BA in physics, which allows more room to take a second major. In most, if not, all schools' programs have so many electives in their physics curriculum, one can usually take a second major while dual enrolling as a BS in physics.

It is extremely competitive and difficult to get an engineering job with a physics degree these days. My two classmates whom are physics graduates work in the IT field now, which doesn't even need a college degree, maybe a few certs. I don't have a job that has anything to do with what I picked up in college (physics). Instead, I'm working part-time while going to graduate school. I have not used anything "physics" in my work or job yet. Unless you count problem solving skills.

Maybe back 10-20 years ago, a physics grad can easily become an EE or ME, but now, employers want specialized knowledge. Not many employers want a physics grad unless your a Ph.D. BUT, you can pick up other jobs, like in the finance field and any other that requires a bit of math. But, it somehow destroys the point in studying physics. I studied physics because I want to solve problems and help design projects in an engineering-related environment, not show someone how much money they can save by switching to Geico.
 
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  • #17
Well thanks a lot for this info. I hope on getting my PhD in physics or EE (went to penn state engineering open house and decided that civil was not right for me, EE is) not sure of which one, but I will be going to school non stop until I get a PhD. Do you get paid for research working at a college
 
  • #18
Cyclovenom said:
Well Civil Engineering doesn't go beyong Newtonian Mechanics.

Here is a list of all the physics i took in my undergraduate (well the ones i can remember):

General Physics I
General Physics II
General Physics III
Static
Dynamic
Strength of Materials I
Strength of Materials II
Fluid Mechanics
Structural Analysis I
Structural Analysis II
General Hydraulic
Soil Mechanics

i think that's it unless i am forgetting something else...


So at least one chemistry class isn't required? How do you know which metal is appropriate? Or do you learn that in structural analysis?
 
  • #19
Why would he include chemistry in a list of physics classes...
 
  • #20
glennpagano44 said:
Well thanks a lot for this info. I hope on getting my PhD in physics or EE (went to penn state engineering open house and decided that civil was not right for me, EE is) not sure of which one, but I will be going to school non stop until I get a PhD. Do you get paid for research working at a college

I heard graduate research assistants get tuition fully paid at some schools.
 
  • #21
Hydrargyrum said:
So at least one chemistry class isn't required? How do you know which metal is appropriate? Or do you learn that in structural analysis?

Hahahahaha, now that is what i call random.

Yes, i remember i took two chemistry classes.

Btw there is a engineering materials class which covers the materials used in construction (sand, gravel, cement, asphalt, ceramics, ...)
 
  • #22
Cyclovenom said:
Hahahahaha, now that is what i call random.

Yes, i remember i took two chemistry classes.

Btw there is a engineering materials class which covers the materials used in construction (sand, gravel, cement, asphalt, ceramics, ...)

:confused: I thought it was an ok question. You make me feel stupid some times
 

Related to Physics or Civil/Enviromental Engineering

1. What is the difference between physics and civil/environmental engineering?

Physics is a branch of science that deals with the study of matter, energy, and their interactions. It focuses on understanding the fundamental laws that govern the behavior of the universe. Civil and environmental engineering, on the other hand, is the application of scientific and mathematical principles to design, construct, and maintain infrastructure and systems that improve the quality of life for society.

2. What are the main areas of study in physics?

The main areas of study in physics include classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. Within these broad areas, there are many subfields, such as astrophysics, particle physics, and condensed matter physics.

3. What types of projects do civil/environmental engineers work on?

Civil and environmental engineers work on a wide range of projects, including designing and constructing buildings, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure, as well as developing systems for clean water and sustainable waste management. They also work on projects related to environmental protection and remediation, such as designing systems for renewable energy and reducing pollution.

4. How does physics inform civil/environmental engineering?

Physics provides the fundamental understanding of how the physical world works, including the properties of materials, the behavior of fluids, and the forces at play in structures. This knowledge is essential for civil and environmental engineers to design safe and efficient structures and systems.

5. What are the career prospects for those studying physics or civil/environmental engineering?

Both physics and civil/environmental engineering offer a wide range of career opportunities in various industries, including research and development, academia, government agencies, and private companies. Graduates in these fields are highly sought after for their problem-solving skills and understanding of complex systems, making them valuable in many different roles.

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