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Transferring from Physics to Engineering

  1. Aug 14, 2015 #1
    I'm a physics major looking forward to applying to a joint JD/MSc program OR PhD program. After participating in an internship, I realized that becoming a research scientist is not something I may want to do but I still would like to work with science. That being said, I would consider the JD/PhD before the PhD. I want to do something more hands-on like engineering. I would change my major to engineering but my physics department does a better job at funding, supporting, and preparing students. What can I do now to show engineering schools that I am prepared to work towards a Masters in Engineering or Engineering Physics?

    Things about me:

    -Physics major with math minor
    -3.86/4.00 GPA
    -Climate modeling research student at my university since freshman year
    -This summer I did an REU dealing with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR)
    -I know I can get great recommendation letters from my calculus and physics teachers
    -Don't know any languages yet. I will learn Python or FORTRAN (self-taught) this semester and C++ next semester (school course)

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2015 #2


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    JD? Lawyer?

    Why not look for an applied physics program? They're typically in the engineering department. You could also take some engineering courses through outreach programs to beef up your exposure to design vice theory before you apply to a program.

    Major engineering software includes things like Matlab, Labview, LTspice, Multisim. C and C++ are probably also useful. I'm not sure how much Python or FORTRAN would play a role.
  4. Aug 15, 2015 #3


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    You can most definitely do an a master's in engineering after having majored in physics. I know several people who majored in physics and are now doing PhDs in things like nuclear engineering, materials science, applied physics, and electrical engineering. If you take a few classes in the field of engineering you are interested you will be very prepared to go into engineering. Having a physics background is very good when it comes to engineering. I have friends who majored in physics and mechanical engineering and they did extremely well in their engineering courses.
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