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Scared to major in Physics, Chemistry or EE?

  1. Aug 11, 2009 #1
    Chemistry or EE? How do they differ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2009 #2


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    First up, why scared to major in Physics?

    Next, Chemistry and EE are totally different fields. Chemistry deals with the properties, structure, and composition of matter. Electrical engineering is the study of...electricity (duh) and electronics, as well as their applications.
  4. Aug 12, 2009 #3
    If you are scared to major in Physics then do not try an EE either because it have quite a bit of physics.
  5. Aug 12, 2009 #4
    You're a math gangster, physics shouldn't be so bad! All it is, really, is math+reality.
  6. Aug 14, 2009 #5
    Scared in terms of jobs.. I wouldn't plan on doing a PhD, although maybe a Master's. From what everyone says, Physics majors do Engineering jobs. I guess I'm confused on the whole Physics Bachelor's thing. I would like to get into scientific instrumentation. Like analytical Chem, or something like that. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  7. Aug 14, 2009 #6


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    I think it's easier to get a job with a BS in chemistry than a BS in physics (just based on my experience). Especially if you like working with instruments, you should consider going with chemistry.

    In my part of the world - Seattle - knowing environmental testing (e.g., EPA methods) is quite marketable, even in this economy.
  8. Aug 15, 2009 #7


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    Certainly different markets/regions may produce different demands for particular disciplines.

    MathGangsta needs to figure out what he/she wants to do professionally, then pursue an academic program that will provide the background and training to become proficient in the particular discipline.

    Beside physics, chemistry or EE, there is engineering physics, chemical engineering, or a variety of other engineering disciplines, as well as the possibility of double major, or major + minor.

    One has to determine what one would like to do professionally first. Otherwise, one can pick a program, go onto grad school for MS, and then hope there is a job out there.
  9. Aug 15, 2009 #8
    If you do engineering physics, one of the many specialties you can focus on is the engineering of new materials.

    From personal experience, the work I've been doing this summer focuses on part of the scientific foundation of quantum computing (via one method), the creation of quantum dots. One of the strongest new waves in the field (as I've seen) is the attempt to harness molecules to act as these quantum dots in one's computer circuits (so a lot of the articles I've been reading lately have a strong chemistry component to them as well as electrical engineering and quantum physics).

    Thus, my point is, if you do engineering physics, you can find yourself working with electrical engineering, physics, chemistry, and even computer science, a great mix if you're someone like me who likes to learn a lot about a whole lot of different, related topics.
  10. Aug 15, 2009 #9
    If you are only going to get a bachelor's degree, you will want it to be an engineering degree.
  11. Aug 15, 2009 #10


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    How are the prospects of an Engineering Physics major, both in terms of employment right out of college and graduate school?
  12. Aug 16, 2009 #11


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    From University of Saskatchewan
    About the Graduates and Jobs

    At University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    http://physics.illinois.edu/prospective/undergrad_curriculum.asp (Compare physics with engineering physics)

    EP is usually an undergrad program, but there are a few graduate programs, e.g., the one at RPI. Usually as a graduate student, one becomes highly specialized.

    See RPI's options here - http://www.eng.rpi.edu/mane/

    So there are lots of options both academically and professionally.
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