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Engineering@Princeton

ProcrastinationProcrastination Posts: 481Registered User Member
edited October 2008 in Princeton University
I'm really interested in doing engineering in college but I prefer to stay away from some of the more hardcore pure engineering colleges (MIT and Cornell, for example), the reason being, I appreciate the versatile "skill-set" that you can get from an engineering degree but I do not want to pursue engineering as a career. I'm under the impression that Princeton (and Columbia) both are seen as top-notch schools to do engineering at, with a liberal arts foundation. However, does this mean that one still needs background in engineering? I have very minimal science/math extracurriculars, with the exception that I have taken some upper level math in high school (in terms of the sciences, i took part of AP Biology and didn't appreciate the teacher, took chemistry through dual-enrollment, and will be taking honors physics senior year, the highest level offered). Although I feel this shouldn't hold me back, I know that at other engineering schools science/math extracurriculars are almost a must.
Post edited by Procrastination on
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Replies to: Engineering@Princeton

  • misralzmisralz Posts: 126Registered User Junior Member
    There's only so much I can tell you about Princeton engineering because I'm going to be a freshman there starting next week. I have little to no background in engineering, but I am good at math and science.

    They accepted me as an engineering major, so I have to assume they thought I was capable of doing well in their program. There is also an extra essay for people applying for engineering for you to explain your interest in engineering.

    Many people in Princeton's engineering program go on to careers other than engineering. Some people go to med school or law school. Some become consultants, investment bankers, or entrepreneurs. With a degree from Princeton you have a lot of choice in what you want to do.
  • ProcrastinationProcrastination Posts: 481Registered User Member
    misralz: may I ask what your "stats" were?
  • misralzmisralz Posts: 126Registered User Junior Member
    My SAT scores were math-800 reading-740 writing-630 and Sat II scores were math-800 us history-800 physics-700+ (I forgot the exact number). I had a GPA of 3.9.
  • TheMoment...ITheMoment...I Posts: 187Registered User Junior Member
    Um, for columbia engineering, it's a seperate school from the regular BA school. I foyu are not usre you want to do engineering, columbia Fu may not be the place you want to go.

    of course, research it and decide for yourself. after all, this is the princeton forum, and I don't think you should just take advice about other schools with complete confidence =).
  • ProcrastinationProcrastination Posts: 481Registered User Member
    I'm sure I want to do engineering, but supplemented with solid liberal arts. I don't want to go to an all math/science school.
  • Cibbir H.Cibbir H. Posts: 239Registered User Junior Member
    Don't worry, plenty of Princeton engineers don't go onto engineering. It's a tougher program than the A.B., but it gets good recognition outside the professional engineering world (i.e. finance and consulting like BSEs even if they're in chem e. or ELEs.)
  • ProcrastinationProcrastination Posts: 481Registered User Member
    Thanks Clibbir, but my original question was whether or not some sort of science/math extracurriculars are a must... I will be taking at least 2 science subject tests, if that matters at all, and I did well on the math/science sections of the ACT, however I am involved in music, fbla, and some other things (no math team, science olympiads, etc.).
  • GregoryHouseGregoryHouse Posts: 394Registered User Member
    Hey procrastination, which other schools are you considering/applying to, keeping in mind you want to do Engineering with a liberal arts platform?

    I am of a very, very similar mindset. Would love to know some places.
  • adrivitadrivit Posts: 1,047Registered User Senior Member
    After you apply for a BSE degree and you get in, can you switch to AB?? Or can you do both a BSE and AB degree??
  • Angie1690Angie1690 Posts: 51Registered User Junior Member
    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that you have until the spring of your sophomore year to switch to AB if thats what you really want after you get in although the BSE and AB requirements are different and you should try to figure it out sooner rather than later to make sure that you cover all your requirements. I'm pretty sure that you can't do both a BSE and AB degree.
  • adrivitadrivit Posts: 1,047Registered User Senior Member
    Why is it that you don't have to explain why you want to do AB but you have to write a full length essay if you want to BSE? Is BSE not in demand at Princeton? Are engg students a minority?
  • TheMoment...ITheMoment...I Posts: 187Registered User Junior Member
    I'm pretty sure you should say why u want to do engineering simply because you can more easily assign certain necessary skills to being an engineer, as opposed to the more broad AB. Also, BSE kids are definitely not a minority here. I meet them everyday, and I have plenty of BSE friends. My 3 roommates are BSE. (I'm AB though.)
  • Techy233Techy233 Posts: 604Registered User Member
    By "higher-level" math do you mean something that's a little more derivative (haha!) in the Princeton applicant pool, (like Calc BC) or slightly exceptional (like Linear Algebra?) Or really exceptional (like Topology?)
  • theLurkertheLurker Posts: 38Registered User Junior Member
    Procrastination, I wouldn't worry so much about not having math/science EC's coming into Princeton Engineering. Your high school math/science background only makes a difference in the intro math/physics classes, and the more hardcore types tend to select advanced intro level courses in these areas. As long as you have a pretty solid base from your high school courses (misralz's SAT II scores look decent), you will be fine. Keep in mind that they try to weed out kids during freshman year, though, so the intro courses are going to be tough regardless.

    BSE students are a sizable minority on campus (you will meet many engineers here). I'd say the extra essay requirement is due to the fact that engineering is a pretty serious committment, and Princeton probably doesn't want people to apply to BSE just to get into the university and then switch to AB (hence you have to show that you really want to be an engineer).
  • ProcrastinationProcrastination Posts: 481Registered User Member
    I did Linear Algebra and Differential Equations last year. I'm doing some honors multivariable at my state flagship. i'm allowed to register for topology or something like combinatorics and graph theory because i have the prereqs, but i havent because of the time i have right now with my schedule/ecs.

    to the above poster, is Princeton engineering easier to get into, then (and they want to prevent people from taking advantage)? or is it just that princeton wants to make sure they have a healthy number of engineers that graduate as engineers?
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