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PHysics vs. engineering?

  1. May 29, 2005 #1
    Can anyone tell me the main difference between a person who studies physics and one who decides to study engineering. Anything is helpful, but in particular I'm interested in the mentalitiy, the level/type of math that is most helpful, etc. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2005 #2
    depends on the engineering...
    maybe if your interested in both you can study engineering physics...or a joint major
    engineering physics &physics. I had quite a few friends in the engphys programm at mcmaster but i'm not really sure what they studied...a bit of optics/communications/quantum/biology(i found the last one funny). their year and thesis was to build small cars to race down hallways which was cool...one of my buddies is leading towards research in mems/nano.
  4. May 29, 2005 #3
    engphysics huh...? That sounds like something I'd want to do. I've been torn between Eng and Phys ever since I built a coil gun last quarter... Doing both would be Heaven! :D

  5. May 30, 2005 #4


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    My advise has changed since last time I posted here: dont waste your time on a dual degree/major.

    Pick one thing that is dear the most to you and go through bachelors and masters and phd with it. A PhD in any field will give you a flexibility to apply yourself to vast number of similar fields, and I would recommend that.

    A Physics major over EE major will have intro courses from all engineering disciplines and might also include a few grad courses in theoretical areas that arent in any engineering degrees. On the other hand, an engineering degree is a professional degree that will allow you to have a lucrative starting salary as well as other benefits that are mostly applicable to engineers. Sure you can get into engineering with a BS in Physics, but starting salary wont be that of an engineer with a BS. You might start at 30-35k/year and work for a few years before you'll be promoted to an engineer - and even then you cant practice without a PE license.

    So pick which one is really important to you, and stick with it. Get the basics out of the way as soon as possible and go for advanced stuff
  6. May 30, 2005 #5
    Nobody said anything about dual degree's. Engineering physics is one (1) degree that apparently combines both, but I'm not 100% sure on this. I need to know more. It sounds really interesting.

  7. May 30, 2005 #6
    Poop: look at mcmaster's engineering physics programme if you need more info.
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