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Undergraduate Major Advice

  1. Dec 2, 2013 #1
    I need some advice for what engineering major to choose as an undergraduate. I understand that it is ultimately my decision, but a little advice would be extremely helpful.
    A little about me:
    Right now I am a freshman in electrical engineering.
    I do not find my introductory EE class particularly interesting (not because of the instructor but because of binary, encryption, and other computer engineering related stuff), and I am not sure if I made the right decision in picking my major.
    I declared my major because I was interested in semiconductor physics, nanotechnology, and MEMS in application to biomedical engineering.
    The professor I want to research for is an electrical engineer professor researching in nanomedicine and nanotechnology.
    I am particularly interested in the application of materials (not just semiconductors) and how they change properties at the nanoscale level, and I want a job that focuses in this research area. This is the primary reason why I am interested in semiconductor physics.
    I do not care about the difficulty of the curriculum.
    Should I stay in the EE department or should I change majors to material science or condensed matter physics? Any advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2013 #2
    EE will be more employable and practical towards your goals. A physics BS would be nearly useless towards these goals IMO, but you probably could still do research in the EE dept. Chemistry might be a smidge more applicable than physics in this case. Does your university actually offer a degree in material science? Usually that is a field, not a degree.

    Why cant you do the research you want to do with the professor you want to do it with as an EE student?
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  4. Dec 2, 2013 #3


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    Since the professor you want to do research in is an EE prof, and all of the subjects you are interested in are part of EE, you are probably in the right department. It is unlikely that you would love every course in any department that you were in, that is just life. And it ultimately is about the career you can get - school is just a handful of years compared to the decades of work in the real world.

    I am an EE and I didn't like my intro course either. It was all circuits and basic transistor electronics. I didn't like circuits - I did EE because I was interested in electromagnetics. I still love electromagnetics, but also find that I really enjoy signal processing and other sub-fields a lot now that I am in industry and see how all of the stuff I learned can help me design an interesting and useful system.

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