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Should I stay in MechE or change to Electrical?

  1. Feb 15, 2016 #1
    Hey people. First of all, I'm now in the third semester of my course in Mechanical Engineering. I have interest in aerospace/aeronautics, so there are plenty of things in mechanical that I like - fluid mechanics, aerodynamics - and that was the reason I choose this undergrad. Nonetheless, I do like some stuff in electrical too - microprocessors, automation - and I like the greater emphasis given to programming in Electrical Engineering - I'm right now learning C++, and planning to learn Python.
    I'm in doubt if I should change my undergrad to Electrical Engineering or try to reconcile both things. I've first planned to take some electives in subjects that I want to learn about: electrical circuits, digital systems, eletromagnetism, electronics... But I'm not sure if this would be a good move. For me, it would be great if I could major in some field where mechanics and electronics merge, like automation and control. I've read that control is a covered by both mechanical and electrical engineering. Looks like a field where it will be needed to have a solid understanding of mechanical and electrical principles.
    So, should I switch to electrical or stay in mechanical, take some electives and major in some mechanical/electrical field later?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2016 #2


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    Does your school offer a mechatronics program? If not, you can pursue the electrical as electives or, if you really like the electrical, switch over. But you may also be confusing electrical with comp sci as programming is a separate discipline itself. Control theory can be covered by all three, it is just how it is covered / taught that is different. Comp Sci looks at algorithms, electrical (and mech) will look at block theory (with electrical looking at circuits vs mech looking at systems). All will cover different types of responses, but focus on the earlier coursework to build upon (hence how they approach teaching the subject).
    Bottom line, you are probably fine where you are, but you can start taking electives in the curriculum you might transfer into. You probably have 1-2 semesters before you actually slip from graduating on time, if you are prepared to take a heavy course load to compensate for the extra classes (and harder electives) to keep yourself on track to graduate on time.
  4. Feb 15, 2016 #3
    Yeah, my school offers a mechatronics program, but I don't feel very comfortable about switching to it. I prefer to undergraduate in mechanical or electrical so I have a broader scope and basis, and then seek specialization in a master's degree program.
    I would like to cover basic subjects in electrical so I have a better basis when I start a major, and I like programming as well, so I've been studying it independently during summer.
  5. Feb 16, 2016 #4
    UPDATE: I would like to ask one more thing: it's conceivable that, after my undergrad, I specialize in robotics and embedded software - or it's too far away from core mechanical engineering?
  6. Feb 22, 2016 #5
    My undergrad was mechanical and I did my PhD in biomechanics. You can definitely do robotics from a mechanical.
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