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question regarding undergrad and grad degrees

theflash7269theflash7269 86 replies39 threads Junior Member
edited January 2008 in Engineering Majors
i am currently a freshman studying biomedical engineering, however i have also developed an interest in chemical engineering. is it possible to do biomed for undergrad and chemical for grad or vice versa? ive been hearing people say that the biomedical engineering field isnt as great as people make it out to be so i want to at least open my options a bit. ive also heard that employers like when the undergrad and grad degree are in different disciplines. is there any truth to that??

thanks for the input!
edited January 2008
2 replies
Post edited by theflash7269 on
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Replies to: question regarding undergrad and grad degrees

  • Saxonthebeach6Saxonthebeach6 513 replies11 threads Member
    It's very possible to do UG in one field and pursue a masters/PhD in another field (a la chemE and bioE). I personally know quite a few graduate students who majored in chemE in college and are looking for a PhD in bioE. The opposite is also common, but in my opinion not as useful, and here's why...

    Bioengineering is a very complex, interdisciplinary field. While most universities have you focus on a specific area of bioengineering as an undergrad (i.e. robotics, materials, tissues), the field requires knowledge from too many disciplines to be very useful. You are required to know quite a bit about computer science, physics, math, biology, and chemistry. Yet while you learn about many, MANY subjects, you aren't very proficient at any of them - the saying "jack of all trades, master of none" is often used to describe bioE at the undergraduate level. Also, bioengineering is a relatively new field and isn't well established at many universities (go bears!).

    For this reason I believe it's more practical to major in a more traditional field such as chemE and pursue a PhD in bioE. You'll learn far more as an undergraduate and will be better prepared for grad school. But what do I know, I'm a bioengineering undergrad right now too =P.
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  • lebensformlebensform 33 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I'm a graduating chemical engineering major, hopefully going to start a PhD next year with one of the various chemical engineering professors who do work in systems biology next year. I'm obviously somewhat biased, but chemical engineering gives a very good foundation from which you can understand all sorts of biological processes (I'm in graduate biology classes this semester, having done no biology for many years, and it's not proving nearly as difficult as you might think). And chemical is more established than biomedical, as Saxon says, and consequently more focussed.
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