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!

Urgent Advice

  1. Jan 22, 2008 #1
    Urgent Advice!!

    Hey guys and gals,

    I have recently been accepted into the University of Melbourne in their new generation science course and finished enrolment yesterday... only now i cant decide what i want to do with it and i need to decide pretty quicksmart.

    I've started threads along the same line of this before... physics or engineering... what discipline should i choose etc. But now i really need help deciding what i should do.

    Right now to Keep my engineering career options open i need to do Maths and Engineering as 2 of my 4 subjects per semester. One of the other two subjects must be outside of the faculty of science, this is called a breadth subject which is supposed to broaden a student's knowledge. My final subject is a science subject (chem, physics or biology). The way the course is set up i dont have to choose a major until the end of second year... i can eventually major in any of the subjects that i choose in first year.

    My Problem:
    My passion is Physics. When i talk about it my eyes light up and i can't stop and when i read something new i have to tell someone, and even though they dont care and dont understand at all, i keep on telling them with full enthusiasm despite their obvious boredom :).

    This makes me think i should obviously study physics, and indeed i would LOVE to study it and learn all there is to know. When i go onto a thread on this site and read your guys responses to such a wide array of technial questions i wish i could do the same.

    But then i think at the end of the day what job am i really going to get with a major in physics? Apparently most people who major in physics dont even get a job where they actually use physics. Right now im not really interested in any kind of career path where you dont use science and maths... so then the answer seems so simple: Engineering!

    My problem with this is that i am most interested in Chemical and Aerospace Engineering. At Melbourne Uni there is no aerospace course, the closest thing to it is a mechanical engineering degree in which you study some aerodynamics etc. Chemical engineering appeals to me because of the later study of fluid mechanics and heat and mass transfer etc... these i think i would really enjoy. But the thing is i have to choose chemistry in first semester, so i miss out on physics... will never learn general and special relativity or electormagnetism and such in great detail which i would really love to do.

    So my dilemma is should i choose to do a physics major, where i learn the physics that i love so much, but risk not getting a job that i will like. Or should i do Mechanical engineering with some aerodyanmics and hope i get into the very tiny aerospace industry? Or should i do Chemical Engineering and get a job i think i will really enjoy, but never understand the biggest and most exciting mysteries in physics which intrigue me SO much.

    This decision is really getting to me, right now im feeling really down because i just dont know what to do... My subject advisor enrolled me into chemistry (leading to chem eng) and said go to the first week of lectures and see if you like it... But i know i will like it because i find chemistry interesting aswell, but who says because i like it i wont like physics more? so i need to decide soon wether to change my subject to physics or keep chemistry.... :(

    Sorry this thread is so loooooong, i started to vent my frustration i think lol. And also sorry that it is another one of those "what should i do" threads because it is really down to me eventually. I know this, but i really need some advice from you guys because with the advice given to me so far i am still stuck in this dilemma.

    Thanks SOOOOO much for any help! Really appreciate it alot.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2008 #2
    Well, your head says engineering, but your heart says physics. It really depends on you, If you scared of taking physics because of future related, then you should go mechanical engineering. If you can do physics, I bet you'll do well in engineering and take minor in physics if your school allow it. It will help you for your research in future I think.
  4. Jan 23, 2008 #3


    User Avatar

    You say that you love physics but that you would also love a job in chemical engineering.

    You know that even if you did study chem enegineering and worked in that field, you could still learn by yourself pretty much any physics topic you are interested in (inlcuding general relativity).

    This is one possible option. On the other hand, if you want to learn physics and get a job that will allow you to do exactly what interests you the most in physics, you have to be willing to go on to the PhD level and (probably) postdoc level. And it's true that even then there is no guarantee that you will get a job allowing you to pursue your passion full time (but at least you will have spent several years focusing on the stuff that is the most interesting to you). I don't know if the prospect of spending 6-8 years after your undergraduate studies doing research in physics sounds like a good thing to you.

    I obviously have no answer but I wanted to add those points to maybe help you decide what would be the best for you.
  5. Jan 23, 2008 #4
    I've heard about Melbourne's change in engineering degrees to those like in Europe.
    While i'm not sure how exactly it goes, you could still do Physics related and continue onto engineering for your masters?
  6. Jan 23, 2008 #5
    Yes, you do a bachelor of science (3 years) and provided that you do maths and engineering subjects this can lead onto a professional masters of engineering degree.
    Your engineering discipline is dependant on your major in your bachelor of science. The majors such as chemical systems and mechanical systems require you to do either (in this case) chemistry or physics.
  7. Jan 23, 2008 #6
    Can't you pick up the minor in physics during ure engineering course? Alot of people do that as well. It'll be a pleasant change when you have some semester with now Engr courses.
  8. Jan 24, 2008 #7
    If i did an engineering (say mechanical) which i would do physics as the base science... How mhch physics would u think i would cover? I think it would be 4 semesters worth of classes.
  9. Jan 26, 2008 #8
    You could take on summer semesters, that is if the courses are offered then too.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Urgent Advice
  1. Urgent Advice Needed (Replies: 7)

  2. Advice on maths (Replies: 2)