What's your Major?

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Discus: Individual Schools: US News Top 25: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 2004 Archive: What's your Major?
By Neo (Neo) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 05:57 pm: Edit

What are you planning on majoring in next year, if you go?
Also, are you planning on grad/med/law/business school afterwards?

For me:

Aero-Engineering or Biology.

By Chardonnay (Chardonnay) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 06:20 pm: Edit

chem e or chemistry

By Misterpeachy (Misterpeachy) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 07:15 pm: Edit

Physics, EE, Materials

MIT all thru Ph.D I'm hoping ;)

Maybe a junior faculty appointment afterwards? We'll see


By Sunflower189 (Sunflower189) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

MP, didn't they change their policy to get rid of triple majors? I believe that our class only gets two majors + two minors, max. Though I don't see how they would prevent you from taking the courses...

Biology & EECS major, BME minor, Russian certificate (or however much of that I can handle without getting myself firehosed into the next county)
There's a juicy Harvard/MIT program in health technology that I'm eyeing for grad school.

By Angrod (Angrod) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 08:59 pm: Edit

EECS or EE. Not sure which one. Anyone know about the differences and pro/cons? I love computer science, but I don't want that to come at the expense of my electrical engineering. Wasn't thinking about double majoring until I heard you guys! I guess my reasons for not are I am planning on doing a lot of the UROP research there, the big summer internship program, and the 5 year bachelor's/masters EECS program. I thought that would keep me pretty busy, what do y'all think?

By Coderdeity (Coderdeity) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 09:25 pm: Edit

Either EECS or Math with CS, havent quite decided.

By Girlnotgrey (Girlnotgrey) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit

There's a single major at MIT called "Physics with Electrical Engineering," maybe that's what Misterpeachy was referring to? If so, that's what I'm planning on doing as well. I wonder if you could double major that with EECS, since you'd already be getting your EE credits...that's probably a really bad idea, though.

I'd like to minor in French, as well...we'll see how that goes.

By Zzii (Zzii) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:01 pm: Edit

I'm going for Mechanical Engineering.

By Bmckn (Bmckn) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:17 pm: Edit

If I understand what I have read previously, I believe misterpeachy intends to get three separate undergrad degrees. I've heard of people getting two separate degrees (not double majoring), and I think what he's planning is similar.

Out of everyone I've met on this board, I think he could totally do it.

What do you intend to do with the Materials degree, peachy?

By Mrowry (Mrowry) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:21 pm: Edit

Course 6 here. (Yes, I'm unoriginal.) Maybe a minor in music?

By Kamil (Kamil) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 01:22 am: Edit

major: math up to MA

By Nhlgoalie (Nhlgoalie) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 05:06 pm: Edit

Bmckn is correct, misterpeachy plans to rape MIT for every degree he can :)


By Irishgoldenbird (Irishgoldenbird) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 09:38 pm: Edit

Major 2x - Physics and Astronomy, minor in American History - definitly plan to go to grad school - astrophysics! - Shel

By Neo (Neo) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 10:30 pm: Edit

I didn't think MIT had an astronomy major...

By Abyss (Abyss) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 10:56 pm: Edit

Can someone explain to me why there is such an obsession here to double (or triple!) on majors? What do you all really feel like you are achieving by this?

By Willothewisp (Willothewisp) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit

I think a large percentage of us are obsessed with learning more than with careers. Then again, you don't have to major in a subject to take classes in it...

By Webhappy2 (Webhappy2) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit

I would primarily double-major for career purposes.

Why isn't anyone mentioning CS + Biology (or some other biotech combination)?

By Neo (Neo) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:06 am: Edit

I think I'll double major only if I combine an 'easy' science with a fine arts major, i.e. Biology + English. If it's a hard science, i.e. anything engineering, then there's no way in heck I'm D-m'ing, because:

A. There's more to college than studying. Even at MIT.

B. MIT has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation for a reason -- kids try to bite off more than they can chew in an already hyper-demanding environment. It's not worth the pressure, prestige, or risk of heart failure/physiological breakdown.

C. I'd still like to have time to play my guitar, and to work on my writing, because I might turn out to be a novelist as well as a doctor/engineer someday.

Of course, it's different for everyone, but these are my reasons. You've got to remember that you don't have to major in a subject to experience it, as someone posted, and perhaps more importantly, you don't have to sign up for multiple majors at once, since you'll likely flip-flop between favorites until you're in your sophomore year.

By Hankinator3000 (Hankinator3000) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:06 am: Edit

Physics, EE concentration?
something like that....

By Dewgrl55 (Dewgrl55) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:15 pm: Edit

Definitely just EECS here. I've been spreading myself out all through high school and I don't want to give up the opportunity to finally channel all of my energy into what I love.

By Abyss (Abyss) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

It's just that to me, taking extra classes because of interest is one thing, but scrambling to fulfill a credit requirement is quite another. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you're pushing yourself too hard (you may not be, but since many of you haven't exactly tried MIT, can you be sure?) or that you'll commit sucicide (better chances a car will hit you if you're not careful) but to all of you who are rushing head - first into double majors just because subjects seem interesting, remember that there's much more to getting a job and holding a career than that. Whereas some students may be getting expirience in a lab, or interning, you'll be studying for your extra EE course. Unless your career is very specific to two majors, you'll be fine without both; I reason that one of the most important things is expirience in the work field. They're not doubting that you're not smart, or that you didnt challenge yourself at MIT.. tell me if I'm wrong.

By Synikaux (Synikaux) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:23 pm: Edit

probably business, and maybe econ+stat minor.. if that's possible.

By Webhappy2 (Webhappy2) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:41 pm: Edit

Dang, why the heck is my dad so against EECS?

For all of those interested in declaring a major in only EE/EECS/CS, where do you live and what are your parents' occupations?

I'm curious to know, because my dad claims that his feelings right now in the Bay Area is that EECS has a bad future in America. To put my dad in context, he's very insulated from outsourcing (won't get fired/layed off/etc unless company folds or seriously starts to bleed money), but his (large) company itself has some issues (it's disliked by Wall Street).
And my dad gave an interesting statement along the lines: "Aren't you lucky to have a father that can tell you the reality?" And here I come on this forum and many of you seem so optimistic, so I don't know if I am so "lucky"!

By Angrod (Angrod) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:38 pm: Edit

Hey webhappy, I am declaring a major in either EE or EECS only. I am going to try and do the 5 year bachelor/master program and also the summer internship program, so I don't see how I could double major without turning into a zombie.

EECS is what I love, so that is why I am choosing that major, not because of its job outlook. I really believe that you should major in what YOU love or are interested in. If you are passionate about and enjoy what you are working in, companies will want to hire you.

MY relavites have told me that by attending MIT I can basically write my own ticket. That is overstating it I believe, but I do think that MIT is THE university to major in EECS in, and that it would be pretty hard not to find a job with an EECS major just because your degree comes from MIT.

Also, the job outlook for majors can change any time in the future. It might be bad now (I really don't think it is, but that is just me), but that doesn't mean it can't change in the future. Could working in California with its messed up socialist economy be what is affecting your dad's perception of the job outlook? It just seems to me that everything is messed up over there! :)

Well, those are my thoughts, what do y'all think?

By Binks (Binks) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:18 pm: Edit

We do have an astronomy major....course 12: EPS: Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Oh yeah, triple majors are outlawed here. They don't allow it anymore.

30%+ come here thinking they want to double major...only 15% end up doing.

By Angrod (Angrod) on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 09:08 am: Edit

Oh, I live in Shreveport, LA, and my Dad is a lawyer.
Sorry, I forgot! :)

By Dunadan (Dunadan) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit


There's a lot of literature about the EECS department at its home page.
The 6-1 option is mostly electrical engineering (semiconductors,
controls, electromagnetics); the 6-3 option is mostly computer science
(AI, programming languages, systems); the 6-2 option allows one to
combine parts of the previous two. There's also a bioelectrical
engineering option. Regardless of which option you choose, you have to
take four core courses.


There is an option in the math department that concentrates in
computer science. A lot of the required courses are taught jointly
with the CS department.


IMO, your dad is justifiably concerned about the future of EECS in the
US. Before I go on, let me be clear that I'm not trying to discourage
anyone from pursuing something that they love. However, the field is
not as rosy as it was a few years ago. Jobs that were once done in
the US are now being done outside the US for less money. There is
also the issue of companies consolidating, which reduces the number of
jobs. Also, jobs can be lost due to general industry instability,
such as stock market drops, inability of startups to raise capital,
etc. So if you do go into EECS, especially software engineering, be
aware that you could experience periods of unemployment, and you might
not make as good a salary as you might have made a few years ago.
(Something to keep in mind when considering how you're going to pay
off your student loan, if you have one.)

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