1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Selecting a major

  1. Oct 5, 2005 #1
    It's time now for me to be sending in my undergraduate applications. I am still stuck on exactly what I want to list as my choice of major. I'm pretty sure that I want to do mechanical or aeronautical engineering, but not exactly sure. I am, however, certain on the fact that I want to be taking advanced physics and mathematics courses. Should I just go in as 'Undecided' and pick the classes I want to take with the help of my Student Advisor?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2005 #2
    You can always declare with one of those majors and take the introductory engineering class along with math and general education requirements. That's basically what's going on wiht my schedule this semester even though I'm pretty much set on my major.

    Besides, it's normally very easy to change majors early in college. I actually applied as a history major and then switched to aerospace engineering.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2005 #3

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Please note that this depends VERY highly on the school you go to. At most schools, and certainly at UW-Madison where I went, engineering school is very highly sought-after and it is difficult to get into the various engineering dept. as a transfer IF they are already full. While I think if you are in the school of Liberal Arts and Science (or something to that effect) or other colleges that you may delay your choices, if you plan to go into engineering, I highly recommend that you make sure you select an engineering major early. Unless I forgot, you're planning on going to Penn. St. And so do a large number of other kids. I would then suggest you declare a major soon if you intend to do engineering. If there is a way for you to select an "general engineering" without commiting to any dept. within the engineering school, then maybe you might want to do that if you can't make up your mind.

    Zz.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2005 #4
    Thanks,

    Yes, that's right. I'm looking at Penn State. There's a major called "Engineering (General)" that doesn't commit to one department of engineering. Right now, that is my alternate major with my first-choice major being Mechanical Engineering. Maybe I should switch those.
     
  6. Oct 5, 2005 #5

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Make sure, make sure, make sure you double check with your advisor FIRST before committing to such things. Ask him/her how easy or difficult it is to declare you major later and whether you are guaranteed to get in (assuming your grades are within the limits they accept).

    Zz.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2005 #6

    Dr Transport

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Many engineering schools enroll you in general engineering until the end of your second year then you declare the department (civil, electrical, etc...). During the first two years you end up taking all of the common courses like mechanics, engineering programming etc.....
     
  8. Oct 5, 2005 #7
    Great information! Thanks!
     
  9. Oct 5, 2005 #8

    Dr Transport

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Have you considered Drexel, they have a good program and I have hired more than one of their graduates. If you want to get away from home, it isn't the place to go, Penn State is farther away. I used to live up the road from you not too far.
     
  10. Oct 5, 2005 #9
    Yes, Drexel is my second choice, however, I don't particularly like the location. That's cool, where did you used to live?
     
  11. Oct 6, 2005 #10

    Dr Transport

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Limerick....
     
  12. Oct 6, 2005 #11
    If you want to go into engineering, and want to take "advanced math", be sure to take something that's applied, and not something wholly unrelated to your field, like algebra, or number theory.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?