Engineering vs. Science at Cal, switching

<p>I'm not sure yet if I want to study engineering in college or have a science major. Thus, I have a few quesitons:</p>

<p>How much harder is it to get into Cal as an engineering student?
My SAT scores are 780M760V, 800 SAT II math, 800 writing, 800 physics, 750 Chem.... GPA is 4.4 weighted. should I even worry about increased difficulty for engineers?</p>

<p>How hard is it to switch into engineering?</p>

<p>Also, would an engineering major provide me with better (i.e. more lucrative, interesting) opertunities than, say, a physics/chem double major or an applied math major?</p>

<p>thanks.</p>

<p>Yes, engineering is harder to get into. Although how much harder depends on which engineering major you're talking about. Your stats are strong, but there are no guarantees when it comes to engineering at Cal, especially certain highly impacted engineering majors like EECS. </p>

<p>Is it not impossible to switch into engineering, but it is extremely difficult. Most people, myself included, believe that it is significantly more difficult to switch into an engineering major than to get into it as a freshman. Again, how much more difficult depends on which engineering major you're talking about. However, no matter what engineering major you're talking about, every student who is thinking of coming in as a non-engineering hoping to switch in should be prepared for the very real possibility of being denied the switch. So you'd better have a backup major handy.</p>

<p>Finally, as to your last question, it really depends on whether you're interested in engineering or not. If you are, then the answer is probably yes, you probably will have better opportunities in engineering than something else. But if you hate engineering, then the answer is clearly no.</p>

<p>My take on money is simple. If all you care about is money, forget about working as an engineer. Get a job in investment banking on Wall Street upon graduation. Some of the big-league I-banks recruit Berkeley undergrads. I don't know of a faster way to make a massive amount of money than I-banking. You should do engineering because you are actually interested in engineering.</p>

<p>you should try applying for engineering first, and if you dont like it, you can always leave to l+s</p>

<p>Well, no, it's not that simple. Engineering is more difficult to get into than LS. There are quite a few people that are good enough to be admitted to LS, but not into engineering. Furthermore, you can only apply to either engineering or LS, not both. So if you choose to apply to engineering and don't get in, that's it. It's over. You don't get to go to Berkeley, not even for LS. </p>

<p>Basically, you can see it in the following way. There are several ways to get into Berkeley, some of them easier than others. The easier ways are to apply through LS, CNR, or other less selective colleges. The harder ways are to apply to the harder majors, like EECS. If you choose a harder way, and get in, then it's trivial for you to change to an easier major. The trick, of course, is that you gotta get in. But if you do, then you have the full breadth of all majors that Berkeley has to offer - if you want to stay in the (difficult) program you got into, fine. If you want to transfer to an easier program, fine. Contrast that sitation with the situation you would have if you got in the easier way, like applying through LS. A given candidate has a more likely chance of getting admitted, but if he does, it's very difficult for that candidate to then transfer to a high-profile major like EECS. </p>

<p>So that basically means that his choice of major is effectively restricted. A successfully admitted EECS student only needs to maintain a 2.0 to stay in the major. But a guy who gets in through LS and then wants to transfer to EECS has to get quite good grades and then apply to transfer, with no guarantee of success. </p>

<p>Some of you might see that as unfair. I do not. That's the price you pay for choosing the easier route of admissions. If you wanted maximum flexibility in your chocie of major, well, you should have applied the hard way, and if you are successful, then you will have full choice of your major. There has to be a difference between those students applying the easy way and those applying the hard way. Contrast that with a school like Stanford or MIT where your initial choice of major has no effect on your admissions chances. There is no such thing as an easy and a hard way to get into Stanford, there is only the hard way.</p>