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Should I opt for this EE Masters opportunity?

  1. Jun 29, 2015 #1
    I'm a US-born guy who has lived in Mexico all his life. I study an international honors program in Engineering Physics in a Mexican university (Monterrey Institute of Technology) and have a very good GPA.

    I have been offered the opportunity to enroll in a "double degree" program. The first degree is in Engineering Physics from my current university, the second one is a Masters degree from SMU @ Dallas, by extending my studies only by one semester or so. This Masters degree can be in EE, C.E., C.S., or ME. – As a student of EP, I only apply easily to ME and EE.

    My interests are however, in EE and CS. I think the most realistic option for my case as an EP is EE. But, I have several qualms about this deal.

    For the first part, SMU is not a very good university (AFAIK). It is good, but I have the feeling that I could apply to better ones; but this wouldn't provide me with the "one semester more of studies" opportunity that SMU does.

    On the other hand, SMU is extremely expensive and charges about $2,580 per course. I'll take about 10 courses for this Masters degree. If I then decide to further my studies in physics, I'm pretty sure my family will kill me if I make them pay one more penny.:rolleyes:

    I'm mostly considering this because EP is not that employable, and I want to be an industry engineer. I think EE is a fascinating branch of engineering and that the day-in-the-life along with the salary :woot:of an EE is nice.

    I might be having a misconception here. Perhaps this masters degree in EE from SMU wont increase my chances at all of having a good salary and having a really cool job and being employable. What do you think?

    I'm not interested at all in Academia BTW.

    I might not be considering many important aspects here, so please feel free to include whatever you feel is relevant. Perhaps you could tell me something about CS vs EE?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The second part of my question is related to the program itself. I'm asked to choose a "track". By this they mean a specialisation. The areas are : Communication and Networking; Signal Processing and Control; Computer Engineering; Electromagnetics and Optics; and Electronics Materials, Devices and Microelectronics. I'll take ten courses in total and 8 of them have to be in 2 of the areas listed above (A minimum of four in your primary area and two in the secondary area).

    I have included the courses offered in each area as photos in the following link which should be an album http://imgur.com/a/iJbcB . If this doesn't work, please tell me.

    What do you recommend my path should be and why? I'm specially hot for Communication and Networking.

    As for my preferences I will say the following. I don't think Electromagnetics and Optics is a good option, considering that as an EP student, I will already know about advanced EM theory and Optics. My preferences are towards heavy math. I really will prefer a mathematical field versus a really scientific, empirical, and hands-on field.

    THANKS A LOT FOR READING THIS, I know it might've been tedious to read.:kiss:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2015 #2
    I'm supposed to apply this summer by the way, so everything might be too hasty :S
     
  4. Jul 1, 2015 #3

    PhanthomJay

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    Apparently different countries have different requirements and definitions for masters degrees. As a US employer, hiring a EE , or CE or ME, I'd be looking at a minimum, for 4 years of undergrad studies , which would have included course in calculus at three levels, physics at three levels, engineering science courses in CADD, circuit theory, mechanics of materials, statics, dynamics, fluids, thermo, and then about 10 courses in years 3 and 4 in subjects related to your chosen field. And a year or 2 more than that would be a plus and more money. Can you meet those requirements with your dual degree?
     
  5. Jul 1, 2015 #4
    I think definitely yes.

    I don't think I'll ever see mechanics of materials or statics, since I think those are courses that MEs see; but I could take them as part of my plan of studies, if I wanted to.

    My Engineering Physics degree is basically an undergraduate in Physics, except that instead of taking classes in astronomy or similar "non-applied" topics, I'd have courses like circuit theory and logic devices, etc. Again, I could see those "non-applied" classes if I wanted to.

    I don't think this plan is "light" in any way. SMU @ Dallas considers it a full Masters degree program, and my university considers Engineering Physics a 4 year regular major as well. I'll have to take the GRE and all that stuff.

    Why do you mention this, by the way?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Jul 1, 2015 #5

    PhanthomJay

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    I mention it because I get nervous to see someone with an engineering physics degree ( no issue with that in its own right), but then one semester later is a bona fida EE with a masters degree. Bothers me, sorry.
     
  7. Jul 1, 2015 #6
    Haha. Maybe I forgot to say that you begin your masters degree before your Engineering Physics graduation. In total you'll take about 4 semesters (maybe less, or more, not sure).

    Its still 10 courses. I think thats the standard course number for a masters isn't it? It could be masters with thesis, in which case its only 8 courses.

    Maybe my school peers wouldn't be on a double degree thing, and will be just regular masters degrees students.
     
  8. Jul 1, 2015 #7
    If this weren't phishy at all, do you think it sounds like a good deal? Theres this thing about costs that I mentioned...

    Namely, it costs a hell of a lot of money. And I'm pretty sure that this would be the last amount of money my parents will invest on me for the rest of my life. So if I wanted to become a researcher in physics, which would mean go to grad-school in physics, etc … then I'm doomed in that respect. (Maybe not completely).
     
  9. Jul 2, 2015 #8

    PhanthomJay

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    As long as you will have taken the same core courses as students who will be getting just a single degree in EE, you should be ok, provided, of course, that EE is where you want to be. I just want to be sure that since you have the dual degree, you won't be taking 'watered down' courses in EE. Also, I don't quite understand the "
    masters' title...in the US, a masters in EE requires at least 5 years of study (10 to 12 semesters) and some 40 to 50 courses including don't forget a few in the humanities and languages.
     
  10. Jul 2, 2015 #9
    Thanks for telling me this. I'll say this to my dep. head when I see him today. Any ideas why a US university is calling it a masters degree?

    If I did take this route, do you think future employers will raise their eyebrows if I tell them about this?

    I mean if you'd want a master EE then I would heavily disappoint you with a 10 course "one semester more" worth of knowledge, right?
     
  11. Jul 2, 2015 #10

    PhanthomJay

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    I don't know why they call it a Masters. A masters in EE typically requires, in the US, a 4 year undergraduate BSEE degree, followed by 1 to 2 years in graduate school for the MSEE. At least that is what i'd be looking for if I wanted to hire a Master's EE. Maybe what you'll be taking is equivalent? I want to see calc courses, physics courses, engineering science courses, some chemistry, 8 courses in the humanities/language, and a dozen or so heavy EE courses. BS degree OK , MS oft preferred, because students are better trained and disciplined. No PhD, please.
     
  12. Jul 2, 2015 #11
    Yeah I'm taking the equivalent: 4 years B.S. and 1 year/2year graduate school. The thing is that this will overlap.

    I've decided not to go this route. I'll take my traditional B.S. and then consider grad school afterwards...

    What do you mean with this comment?
     
  13. Jul 2, 2015 #12

    PhanthomJay

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    If you're looking for a non-research, non-academic EE job, a PhD doctorate degree would over qualify you, and I wouldn't be interested. i've worked with hundreds of engineers in all disciplines in my career....2 had doctorates, and both were specialized vibration experts xris-crossing the country. The others were hard working (generally) BS and MS grads doing the varied important day to day work associated with the profession.
     
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