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Undergrad Physics and Mathematics (Pure) or Undergrad in ME

  1. Nov 11, 2007 #1

    Lately I've been having second thoughts about whether I want to pursue a career in engineering or a career in math and physics and end up doing research. So here are three questions which i'd like being answered :)

    1. Lets say I get a B.Sc in Mathematics and Physics, will I then be able to do a masters in a particular branch of engineering? Such as aerospace engineering, or my qualifications wouldn't meet the requirements of such course?

    2. I know that in an undergrad program in maths and physics one has to speciailize in a particular branch of physics. Does it really matter in which branch you speciailize if later you end up doing engineering? (such as ME, EE or Aerospace)

    3. Would it be better to study ME at undegrad and continue doing a masters in Aerospace or something similar later on? (this is only happening if I end up deciding before I enter university)

    Thank you in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2007 #2
    No, you don't. You just get a general "physics" or "math" degree.
  4. Nov 11, 2007 #3
    Maths _OR_ Physics? My university says that the candidate can choose any 2 subjects to major in (from the sciences group) and math and physics are in the same group. so I guess you get a degree in Math and Physics not in one of them.. or maybe i'm mistaken
  5. Nov 11, 2007 #4
    I'm on a maths and physics course in the UK, so here's the way it works for me.
    I have absolutely no choice of modules in the 1st and 2nd years, because there's core material I have to cover in both subjects: Classical mechanics, waves and oscillations, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, the structure of matter, special relativity, labwork (etc.) for physics, and linear algebra, probability, analysis and calculus of single, many and complex variables in maths. In 3rd year I choose 3 maths courses from about 8 options, and in physics 2 of my 3 modules are compulsory and I have a choice between a module in Stars and Galaxies or one in theoretical physics. Then in 4th year I can do whatever I like in both, provided that I take a project in one of the subjects, and I have to have studied theoretical physics in third or fourth year.
  6. Nov 11, 2007 #5
    muppet, that sounds very similar to what I had in mind. But after completing your undergrad program, can you enter a mechanical engineering graduate program for example? or?
  7. Nov 11, 2007 #6
    I'm more theoretically minded myself, so I can't say that's something I've ever looked into. I have heard in conversation of people doing undergrad physics degrees then a PhD in engineering though. My advice would be to suggest that most places give you some idea of their entry requirements on their webpages; I'd find a few courses you might consider doing and see what they ask for. (Apart from anything else, this might give you a better idea of what direction you want to head in!) My best guess would be that you would find it easier to be accepted onto a postgrad course in ME after doing physics than to be accepted onto a physics/math course (say like the cambridge part III) with an engineering degree, but don't quote me on that!
  8. Nov 11, 2007 #7
    why don't you go into an engineering program and take math and physics electives that sound interesting to you?

    i can't speak for other schools, but for mine, it's easier to switch into math or physics out of engineering than the other way.

    also, i don't think going to grad school in engineering necessarily gets you accredited as a professional engineer, just that the research you'd be doing would be related to engineering problems.
  9. Nov 11, 2007 #8
    No, you can do both, all I'm saying is that you don't specialize in "Nuclear Physics" or something like that in undergrad. You just get a general "physics" degree.
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