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Courses Physics then Engineering or Engineering then Physics?

  1. Dec 27, 2017 #1
    I want to study for both Engineering and Physics degrees at some point throughout my academic career; I am having to choose what degree course I want to apply for by the 15th of January, the two courses that I am currently torn between are Physics and Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

    The idea being that I would do one first and then the other later for Graduate/Postgraduate study i.e Physics Undergrad then Engineering Masters for example

    My question is thus - which method has a higher probability of success? I have read through other forum posts that have said that it is easier to qualify for a Graduate education in Engineering with a degree in Physics rather than the other way around round, but of course I have heard the converse being argued also

    Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2017 #2
    In my view, I would just narrow your field of study to what you want to do in the future.

    Why engineering ? are you wanting to be charted ? what career do you want to do ? Why have a physics and engineering degree ?

    There seems little point in doing both, not to mention the massive financial aspect.

    If you are wanting the do a Physics Bachelors then Engineering Masters. You will find it challenging as you would have not covered aspects like Finite Element, CAD design etc..

    Likewise with Physics, In engineering you would not go as deep into the theoretical side.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  4. Feb 1, 2018 #3
    This really does not seem to be well considered. You need to think more about where you want to go, what you want to do. Then choose the one that goes in that direction.

    Let me speak from my own experience here. In high school, I was pretty good in math, and I was told that I ought to become an engineer. I really knew little about engineering, did not know any engineers personally, and had little source of information. But based on my high school guidance counselor's advice, I said I was going to study engineering.

    My parents wanted me to go to a small private college, and as an obedient son, I went there to start. There was no engineering offered at that school, and the physics professor scorned engineers (he told me that they were dumber than dime store clerks). In my first semester, I took physics (intro level mechanics) and I loved it. I said, "this is what I want to do." After a couple of years, I transferred to the state university, and eventually found my way into the college of engineering there. That's where I should have been all along, although my time in the wilderness was not wasted. I had taken a lot of math classes and several more physics courses, none of which were wasted. Eventually, I began to study mechanics in more depth, and I've made a whole long career (60 years) out of the subject that I first fell in love with as a freshman.

    So to the OP I would say, go where you think your interest lies, and then make mid-course corrections as required.
  5. Feb 1, 2018 #4


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    As DrD has stated, you seem to be focusing on what to study, rather than what type of a career that you wish to pursue. The latter will dictate the former.

    We get this type of question very often. So rather than retype what I have written numerous times, I will direct you to what I've said before:


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