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What engineering minor would complement a physics major?

  1. Jun 18, 2011 #1
    I was thinking about majoring in physics with a minor in an engineering like chemical. electrical,or materials science. I want to ultimately have a PhD in physics and an engineering.
    Do you think this is advisable? Or should i major in an engineering with physics minor?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2011 #2
    You can't get a PhD in "physics and engineering." In some sense, you don't even get a Ph.D in "physics." You get your Ph.D in some subfield of physics, really.
  4. Jun 18, 2011 #3
    That really depends on what you want to do with yourself after you finish school. Is your interest in physics a pure interest in the science itself, or in its application? If the answer is the former, then get a degree in physics. If it's the latter, get an engineering degree and back that up with physics. Have you considered a math or CS minor instead of engineering? If you want to pursue engineering, your focus really should be in the application and back that up with the physics - that's a strong degree. But if your interest is in the science, I would recommend looking around at other options than minoring in an engineering discipline. Remember: engineers aren't scientists - they're engineers.

    On another note, physicists are very valuable in all industries, so don't count out minoring in something like business.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  5. Jun 18, 2011 #4
    To change the tone from other posts, what engineering field are you interested in?

    I have meet people that are doing minors in Nuclear, Mechanical, Electrical, and a few others. It really depends on what you like.
  6. Jun 18, 2011 #5
    I really like theoretical physics, but I wouldn't be happy just working on the theories and not getting my hands dirty physically applying the knowledge. That's why I thought an engineering minor would help.

    But now that I think about it, I might actually prefer the application of physics as opposed to the "big ideas" of theoretical physics...so I'll probably get some field of Eng major and physics minor.

    How practical/useful is a physics minor to an engineering major?

    Which engineering field uses the most physics application? I know all of them do, but which one has the most? How does electrical Eng compare? Is it more computer related?
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  7. Jun 18, 2011 #6
    A physics degree and an engineering degree have a very similar beginning. My suggestion is to just pick one, and take some of the intro-level classes for each, and decide which you like from there. There's no rush.
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