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TOO Much?

  1. Oct 28, 2005 #1
    too much, or Ok ?

    Would it be too difficult, in 4-6 yrs. at a good university,
    to major in
    *Pure math
    And also
    *Physical Engineering
    *Chemical Engineering
    It seems those fields have quite a lot in common (math, physics, & chemistry! :smile:),
    but would it too difficult to achieve at least a BS or MS in each of those fields?

    I am a HS senior, I take CalcIII and have taken 1st semester Organic Chemistry, and am currently self-studying for the three AP Physics exams and one exam for English Literature.

    By the time I graduate, I would have taken a total of 11 AP exams (AP--->Statistics, English Lang/Comp, English Lit, Calc BC, Chemistry, Biology, MicroEcon, MacroEcon, and the three AP Physics exams)

    I am interested mostly in pure math, theoretical physics, and organic chemistry. But would adding major in engineering be too much for 4-6 at a good university? At least to achieve a BS or MS in the selected theoretical and in the engineering sciences in that time?

    I do not mind taking additional courses during summers and will self-study if need be.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2005 #2


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    4-5 Bachelors in 4-6 years. No. My university wouldn't even let you do more then 2 majors and I've never heard of a degree in "physical engineering" or "chemical engineering" so you'll have to check into what universities have degrees in those fields.

    You do realize how much work is involved to get a BS right?
  4. Oct 28, 2005 #3
    No, that would be stupid. Stack your degrees vertically, not horizontally.
  5. Oct 28, 2005 #4


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    Yah, 1 phd looks far better then all that crap combined. An employer would basically see you as very mediocre in a lot of things whereas someone with a phd is seen as extremely knowledgable in a certain field.
  6. Oct 28, 2005 #5
    BS?? Noo! I plan to at least MS in each of those fields...which is why I asked about the 4-6 year BS!
    (which I would have to acquire before the MS of course)

    But the honor of a PhD, I would only for pure math, physics, and chemistry.
    If not all three, then pure math + physics.
    If not those two, then only pure math.

    **The true "must complete" objective of my university education is (as always has been) a PhD in pure mathematics. That is my primary degree goal.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2005
  7. Oct 28, 2005 #6


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    Well I must admit im not that big of an optomist but I'm sure no one around here is optomistic enough to even think about saying you can get a Masters in more then 2 of those fields. 1 phd at the most as well. Do you realize how much work goes into a Masters degree in the sciences?
  8. Oct 28, 2005 #7
    If you must, do your undergrad in math and physics and get a PhD in one of them. Your plan is completely crazy to be honest with you and I would go as far as to say physicaly impossible, especially in 4-6 years. Each of the subjects you listed has more information in them than anyone could learn in a lifetime and are life time endevors. Atleast an MS in 6 fields :rofl: College isn't highschool, but you will find that out soon enough.
  9. Oct 28, 2005 #8


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    after about 20 years of schooling, yeah you would have a MSc in those.
  10. Oct 28, 2005 #9
    All those APs aren't going to do you any good, you probably won't get credit for most of those. AP classes are really nothing like college classes. Taking Calc III won't help either; unless you go to pushover undergrad school, you'll end up taking theoretical calc I-III.

    As far as majoring in all those subjects, forget it. Not only is it not possible, it's stupid.
  11. Oct 28, 2005 #10
    Pengwuino, yes there is Chemical Engineering and Engineering Physics Programs, at least in Canada.
  12. Oct 28, 2005 #11
    I don't see why you want to major in so many different fields. Some of my high school classmates took about same amount if not more college level classes than you but it doesn't help them in college. They certainly cover general requirements but do not bear any weight for a specific major.

    Once you start taking intermediate level college courses you'll find out it's not possible to take more than 6 classes per semester. Focus on one degree and if you can get double or triple major then go for it. You'll probably change your mind about certain fields after taking a few classes or doing internship/research.
  13. Oct 28, 2005 #12
    If you try something like that, you will likely fail miserably in all those fields. College is nothing compared to highschool. Especially your junior and senior year, thats when you tackle the heart of each major.
  14. Oct 28, 2005 #13
    Because he wants to be knowledgable in many subject areas in science and math. I think that's very admirable, just not practical. Like everyone has said previously, all that work and time and money will not pay off as much as you'd hope, and while 3 Ph.D's is a fun idea to play with, one is enough for most people's tolerability.
  15. Oct 28, 2005 #14
    I would recommend not to do it, but just for comparison purposes, the only person (who is famous) that ever had 4 BS is Nikola Tesla.

    Even as a Child prodigy (At least the sources say it) He didn't get 4 Masters in all areas he researched. Wanting to be diverse doesn't mean you have to take millions of degrees. Thats just plain stupid, and not even noble.

    A example of this is Linus Pauling, who (Nobel Laurete) got his degress in chemical engineering, but contributed to many fields such as quantum chemistry, molecular Biology, Mathetmatical physics (he was a lecturer in that) and near the end of his life, he was working on high temperature superconductivity. Pretty diverse i would say.
  16. Oct 28, 2005 #15


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    Getting a BS in 4-6 areas would be extremely difficult and arduous even in 6 years. One might manage 2 subject areas say phyiscs and one of the engineering disciplines.

    Realistically, one would have to sit down and determine the exact requirements. Normally there is considerable overlap during the first and second years, but third and fourth years require specialization in ones science or technical discipline, and related electives are usually in the minority.

    By "Physical Engineering", I would assume one means Mechanical Engineering, which itself contains many diverse areas such as Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Materials (and there could be a separate Materials Science department), Corrosion, Machine Design, Systems and Control (not necessarily Industrial Engineering) - e.g. http://www.mengr.tamu.edu/

    I think if one tried to master 4-6 subjects, especially with rigorous detail, one would burn out.

    Each MS degree would require 1 to 2 years beyond a Baccalaureate.
  17. Oct 28, 2005 #16

    Tom Mattson

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    Yes, it would. And if you tried it you would tire of it very quickly. One of the things you will gain from a college education is that you will learn how to learn independently. Once you become educated in one field it will become easier for you to read up on others without taking formal courses.

    It would be too difficult because those fields don't have much in common after the core courses are over and done with. Upperclassmen majoring in mathematics, physics, engineering and chemistry lead very different lives.
  18. Oct 28, 2005 #17
    I was like before I first started uni, wanted to do Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Medicine, Biomedical, Computerscience, Philosophy and some more...

    When you actually finish your first semester things change. Now I'm just doing Science/Arts conjoint (major: Maths/ComputerScience/Logic/Philosophy with emphasis on maths, doing pre-medical next year hopefully), a friend has been working on three degrees with about 12 majors - it's been about 5 years and he's only just finished his first degree. He's not going to do the rest, instead do graduate in Logic.

    Even if you do end up doing all that in college, it is very unlikely that you'll end up doing it past undergrad. In your case, why not do Engineering (Chemical/Physical) and Science(Math/Physics or just Math)? That's a huge workload but maybe a bit more manageable...

    good luck
  19. Oct 28, 2005 #18


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    5 Majors............I don't mean to be rude but, believe me, No matter how many AP courses you can do in a year. You don't know University level courses. They require ALOT of work and, especially in the sciences, you have to love it and be serious about it. Wait to you get into college, you'll understand. It soudns like you are just interested in may thing contained in a variety of fields. In thi case you best bet would be a pure science, I'd say. For example electrical engineers at my school take courses like circuit deisign and robotics etc. This is all part of electromagnetism. If you were instead a physics major, you would have courses on E-M, but also on many other topics, even into your junior and senior year, like classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, statics, particle physics etc. Good Luck, and be realistic!! :smile:
  20. Oct 29, 2005 #19

    I never said AP classes can compare with college courses.
    By all means, public education fails horribly when it comes to advanced materal.

    The reason I asked my question was to inquire if adding an engineering component to the pure math, and theoretical physics & sciences I wish to major in.

    If I do major, then at least I'll triple major: Pure Math, Th. Physics, and Org. Chem.

    NOT any specific engineering in my mind---->but the engineering that uses the knowledge from my pure & theoretical education (which are primary goals)

    Basically, would an "engineering" component in my education be too much to handle? (I have specific goals for pure math and Th. sciences--->the question was regarding a possible additional engineering component, that's all)

  21. Oct 29, 2005 #20
    I couldn't even imagine triple majoring. You'll get out of school after about 6 or 7 years of undergrad, and guess what? You have no life. You don't know anybody, all your friends are gone, and all you've done for the past 7 years is sit with your nose in one book or another. Think you'll have time to do anything else while you're triple majoring? HAH!!

    Also, I hope your parents are rich or something, because you can forget about a job.

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