1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal 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!

Switching majors to Mechanical Engineering - Advice needed

  1. Aug 29, 2014 #1
    Hi all!

    Currently I'm a business major and I realized after a month long car rebuilding project that I should probably pursue another major. My entire life I've been fascinated with building contraptions and what not.

    I'm pretty behind in the game right now, and would like to do as much learning on my own as I can to help me better once I get into a mechanical engineering program.

    I've spoken with admissions at UMASS Dartmouth and they told me that academically I am in excellent standing with regards to eligibility (GPA wise). I simply have to complete a calculus course in order to get into their program.

    I've always been very good with math. But given that I thought I would be pursuing business I kind of fell behind math wise. I am going to be taking precalculus this semester, and I hope I can take a intersession calc course.

    So now that my plan and history is understood! Is their any online resources that I could take advantage of to help teach myself calculus? Furthermore, do you have any suggestions on some good reads for me that deal with engineering concepts?

    Thanks all!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    There are many choices but two come to mind

    khans academy. https://www.khanacademy.org/library

    Mathispower4u http://mathispower4u.yolasite.com

    Also you look into Schaums Outlines for Precalculus and Calculus. They provide summarized topics solved examples and many problems with solutions in the back and great for disciplined self learning.
  4. Aug 30, 2014 #3
    Thanks Jedishrfu! I knew about the first, but the later is new to me.

    Can anyone suggest any good reads that deal with mechanical engineering?
  5. Aug 30, 2014 #4
    Engineering Mathematics by K.A. Stroud
  6. Aug 30, 2014 #5
    MIT OCW have great courses on engineering mathematics (calculus, diff equations, linear algebra, etc.) and mechanical engineering.

    Check out their website/YouTube channel.

    At my university, you take 'Physics I' then the first mechanical engineering subject you take is called 'Engineering Mechanics', which covers:

    Free-body diagrams; equilibrium; force systems; stresses and strains; coordinate systems; statically indeterminate systems; flexure; bending under combine loads; torsion; power transmission; kinematics; relative motion; particle kinetics; impulse and momentum; vibration; rigid body motion; angular impulse and momentum; work and energy.
  7. Aug 30, 2014 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    Yes this is a very good book. It uses that structured learning strategy where a problem is presented and a line is drawn where you stop reading. Once you come up with an answer you proceed past the line to get the correct answer and move on to the next topic.
  8. Aug 31, 2014 #7
    Great! Thank you for all your help, I'm really excited to start along this path.

    Sounds like I have my work cut out for me! No more easy sailing with this business stuff :approve:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook