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Which of these options is best?

BayernMunichBayernMunich 3 replies5 postsRegistered User New Member
After anxiously waiting for all of my college decisions to come out, I narrowed it to three colleges. San Jose State University (Mechanical Engineering), UC Riverside (Chemical Engineering), and UC Santa Barbara (Undeclared -> Physics B.S). UCSB (3-4 hours from home) is the college that was my top choice when I first started applying colleges, when I got in I was extremely happy, but then I noticed that I didn't get into the Engineering department which was sort of a big deal to me because my end goal is to have a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After contacting UCSB, they told me they were unable to offer me a wait list for the College of Engineering, so my last choice was to choose a major in the College of Letters and Science, where I am choosing Physics as it it closest related to Mechanical Engineering. UCR (30 mins-45 mins from home) was a little different, they accepted me for Chemical Engineering, I was happy that I got into the Engineering department, but I truly know that deep inside, that Chemical Engineering isn't something that I really want to do for the next 4-5 years. Finally, SJSU accepted me for my major of Mechanical Engineering and the college is in the heart of Silicon Valley which is basically internship galore. But, the college is way too far from home (8 hours) and I heard that living in that area can be very expensive. Putting tuition costs aside, how hard is it really to get a job as a MechE with a Physics degree? Or should I consider my other two options? Does the prestige of UCSB vs a Cal State really matter when it comes to attending and seeking a job after? What Should I Do?

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Replies to: Which of these options is best?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77234 replies672 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    UCSB criteria to change to ME: https://engineering.ucsb.edu/undergraduate/academic-advising/change-major-college-engineering
    UCR criteria to change to ME: https://student.engr.ucr.edu/policies/requirements/majorchange.html and https://student.engr.ucr.edu/policies/requirements/majorchange/me.html

    I.e. UCSB, with a competitive process but no information on past competitiveness or college GPA benchmarks, is an unknown and probably high risk of not getting into the ME major. In contrast, UCR has college grade and GPA benchmarks that you can know before hand. Of course, you are already in the major at SJSU.

    In terms of cost, what is the total net price of each school for you, after scholarships and grants?

    Many physics majors do go to engineering jobs (because physics jobs are not that common), but it will be more difficult, since a physics major will be a second choice compared to the desired kind of engineering major. Note that physics does not include the engineering design course work that engineering employers expect engineering graduates to have done. Also, if you want to go for jobs where a PE license is expected (more common in civil, but sometimes in other types of engineering), it is best to have an ABET-accredited engineering degree.
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