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Should I major in this program? Pros and cons...

  1. Feb 21, 2016 #1
    Hello! So I've recently been accepted to the University of Ottawa in the program of: Honours Bachelor's of Science in Physics/Bachelor's of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering. It's a double degree program for 5-6 years.

    I'm basically wondering if I should go to this university and this program. It is a new program and only one in Canada as far as I can tell. I'm in grade 12 and I've been wondering if the university has a good reputation, what jobs I can get, and whether doing this program is actually possible with the course load. In grade 12, I did okay in physics (86%), but I loved the class and how I could apply to to engineering and robotics. My knowledge mark was low, but my thinking, communication, and application were 94%+.

    I'm also wondering if I'm cut out for physics; basically scared, yet excited. Can some if you help evaluate the program and the university. The course load link is below. If you could also tell me what jobs I may get, and if it's worth it. Thank you.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2016 #2
    Anyone? Please.
  4. Feb 22, 2016 #3


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    If you did this you would be prepared to go to graduate school in physics or electrical engineering, or work as an electrical engineer.

    let me ask you this: why would you want to spend one or two years beyond a standard 4 year program and end up with two BS degrees? It seems to me that if you're interested in physics graduate school, majoring in physics would be better because you would be 1/3 to 1/2 through a Ph.D program in Physics by the time you finished this program.

    on the other side if you want to be an electrical engineer, in my opinion you would be better off getting a 4-year BS then an MS in electrical engineer.

    Ask yourself this: where do you see yourself in 6 years?

    If you're expecting to be working, I think a BS in EE and then an MS in EE would be a much better path.

    If you're expecting to be in graduate school I think a BS in EE followed by a PhD in EE would be better. So would a BS in Physics followed by a PhD in Physics.

    I don't really see the allure of this program.

    For what it is worth University of Ottawa is a good school. That said, lots of schools offer combined BS/MS programs in EE that take 5 years. I would look into that if I were you.
  5. Feb 24, 2016 #4
    Thank you. Okay, I will evaluate where I want to be in a couple of years. My dream would be to work for Tesla, Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. Although, I wouldn't mind starting my own company. The thing is, I love learning and don't just want to stop after 4 years. I want a bit of a challenge and want to stand out. Plus, as you said, having a physics degree would open up paths to graduate school, which would always remain an option if I ever change my mind. Unfortunetly, in Canada I don't know of any programs that combine a BSc/MSc or a BASc/MASc.
  6. Feb 25, 2016 #5


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    All the companies you mentioned have their hardware R&D within 10 miles of each other in California (Tesla = Palo Alto, Google & Microsoft = Mountain View, Apple = Cupertino) so you should think about graduate school in the US as that would make it slightly easier to access those companies (although coming from Canada wouldn't be a problem either). There are a lot of EE MS programs that you can get done in 12 months or so. You should think about that.

    Regardless of what you do, I would recommend you plan on at least an MS since you are the type that loves learning. The MS is pretty much the de facto entry-level degree for hardware engineers in Silicon Valley at this point.
  7. Feb 25, 2016 #6
    Thanks for that information. Honestly, it's very hard to get a job and stand out nowadays since most people have degrees. I felt this program with allow me to stand out. I think since the course calendar for 5th year is less intensive, so I might be able to integrate my masters into it. The issue with American universities is that they are CRAZY expensive, so I'd actually prefer to stay in Canada because tuition would be about 14-16k for this program. Thanks a lot!!
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