What to major in?





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: What to major in?
By Cherrybarry (Cherrybarry) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 03:46 pm: Edit

If I wanted to work in the nanotechnology industry, what type of engineering should I pursue?

Also, can anyone give me more information on electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering?

What courses do each include? Where is the emphasis (chemistry or physics)?

I am interested more in chemistry and originally decided on chemical engineering but I'm not really interested in the PRODUCTION of chemicals, but moreso, just the chemicals themselves. I didn't want to major in chemistry because I'm interested in technology and applying the science and I need a major where I can work on the atomic level. I know material science suffices this but I'm planning on a double major with something in addition to mat sci. Does electronic engineering satisfy this?

I'm also interested in astronautical engineering but I know it is more physics based. But of course, some parts of spacecraft depend on EE and MechE.

I guess what I'm trying to say is what major focuses more on the atomic level (for a nanotechnology job) and what major is best coupled with materials science?

By Cherrybarry (Cherrybarry) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:17 am: Edit

bump

By Arthurd (Arthurd) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:27 am: Edit

All of the engineering disciplines have more physics than chemistry (with the exception of chemical engineering, duh). Of the other engineering fields, Mech E has the most chemistry involved. EE is rather limited in chemistry (I only had to take one chem course, thankfully ) and pretty heavily physics oriented.

A double major in materials science and any engineering field is likely to be very difficult, but if you can manage it, it probably would fit in best with chemical or mechanical engineering. However, chemistry fits better than both.

I don't know of any schools that offer an undergrad nanotechnology degree (at least not in the US). Usually people who want to go into nanotechnology study either Physics, Electrical or Microelectronic engineering as an undergraduate.

My 3 cents.

By Im_Blue (Im_Blue) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:31 am: Edit

"If I wanted to work in the nanotechnology industry, what type of engineering should I pursue?" In order of popularity for nanotech, I'd say Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

"Also, can anyone give me more information on electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering?" EE majors study a wide variety of topics, such as circuits, signal processing, electronic devices, electromagnetics, and computer science. Nanotech focuses on electronic devices. Aerospace is like a more focused version of mechanical.

"What courses do each include? Where is the emphasis (chemistry or physics)?" They start out with basic courses in calculus and physics, and then move on to more advanced courses that build upon these ideas (math as a tool and physics for the concepts). I'm not sure about mechanical, but one or two (or none at all) chemistry courses might be required for EE, so it isn't too applicable to undergrad.

"I know material science suffices this but I'm planning on a double major with something in addition to mat sci. Does electronic engineering satisfy this?" Most of the core undergrad EE courses aren't really on the atomic level. That comes more in graduate courses.

"I'm also interested in astronautical engineering but I know it is more physics based. But of course, some parts of spacecraft depend on EE and MechE." What about astro interests you? Although astro and nanotech are both integrated into spacecraft, they're pretty different majors.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is what major focuses more on the atomic level (for a nanotechnology job) and what major is best coupled with materials science?" I'd recommend just majoring in materials science. Double majoring in Engineering is very rare, and will most likely take you 5 years or more to complete unless the school has a prescribed double major curriculum (like Berkeley). It sounds like you have very specific interests, but you haven't taken any Engineering courses yet. After one or two years of courses, you should be in a better position to evaluate this.


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