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Studying Studying engineering on a part time basis

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1
    I was wondering if it is possible to obtain an engineering (mechanical specifically) degree by attending school on a part time basis? Reason for my question is that I work full time and attend a local community college for general ed's. The community college offers pretty much all courses in morning and evening so it is very convienent. What experiences/thoughts do you guys have on the subject in terms of class time offerings at your university and the rigor of the subject? I have friends in college that tell me it is pretty impossible (they are not engineering majors, however). Thanks everyone.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2007 #2
    Yes, it is done quite regularly. I know several people in my EE program that are taking on average two courses a semester and one course over the summer. The program I'm in (UT Austin) requires by default that students take at least 14 hours a semester, but scales those requirements back based on how many hours a week a person works. The requirement for full time emploees (>40 hours work) is 6 hours a semester.
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3


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    Attending university part-time is perhaps more common these days than say 2 or 3 decades ago. The faculty at my university encouraged students to go full time, and if possible, encouraged students to find part time work. However, that rule usually applied to students coming straight out of high school. People working full time or older folks who had gone to work straight out of high school were much more likely to go to university part time in their undergrad program.

    As for grad school, I was encouraged to go full time and I was awarded research and teaching assistantships. During my MS program, I also found a full time job at a local municipal water production facility. A friend, who was a PhD candidate in a different program, also work at the facility, but he worked the graveyard shift.

    Math, science (e.g. physics) and engineering, can be sufficiently rigorous that to be effective, one should take as many classes in the shortest period of time as possible.
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