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Engineering or Physics for Undergrad?

physicsrunphysicsrun Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
I am currently a senior in high school and I am interested in advancing renewable energy technologies, possibly photovoltaics, but I want to be ready to jump into a new renewable energy field if one is created. Math and physics are my strong suits, and I am planning on majoring in Physics for my undergraduate degree, but would it be helpful to have some undergraduate engineering courses too? Or potentially change my major?

Replies to: Engineering or Physics for Undergrad?

  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,549 Forum Champion
    You can certainly get a good job in the areas you mention with a physics degree. You might have to sell yourself a bit more than an engineering graduate might but you would certainly have a broader background which is valuable in these kinds of industries. If you take a physics major, make sure you include some design courses (including CAD) as an elective. This is the kind of skill that can help you land a job. If you find an Applied Physics or Engineering Physics program to your liking that might also be a good option.
  • physicsrunphysicsrun Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thanks! Do you think a masters in engineering would be a good idea after the bachelors in Physics? I know that's very far in the future, just wondering.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,657 Senior Member
    Physics is the study of the physical universe. Engineering is the use of science (usually mostly physics) to solve design problems. Which do you see yourself wanting to do more?

    The first year or two of the physics and engineering curricula are similar, though the engineering curricula may have some additional engineering courses. You can keep your options open through the first year or two with careful course selection to stay on track for both.
  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,549 Forum Champion
    It is often a good idea to work for a while and then decide if a Masters is a good option and what kind of Masters would be best.
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