is it better to do a dual degree (or double major) or just minor

i wanted to do a dual degree (or double major) in EE, and Physics. If I were to minor it would be in physics.

i was thinking about going to university michigan

Minors and double majors generally have little to no actual payoff in either industry or academia, so the answer really depends on the costs. I would oppose either option if it requires significant time or money, steers your course selection away from where you want or need it to be, lowers your GPA, or limits your ability to do research or other useful activities. If you can do only one without adversely affecting your studies and career, then do that one. If both are reasonably low impact (a possibility, depending on your exact interests!) then do whichever you prefer.

I would also warn that a good number of students switch majors once they get to college.

A physics program is designed to gear you for graduate school in physics. Doubling in physics is only useful if you’re actually interested in pursuing a career in physics but want a backup plan (EE) in case it doesn’t work out. However the more prudent path in that case is to take courses in EE as is convenient/desired rather than cram an entire 2nd degree into 4 (or even 5) years. Use the MS in EE as the real backup plan.

On the other hand, if you are interested in physics because you believe it will give you some deeper understanding of electrical engineering, you would be better served by cherry picking electives in physics, math, EE, etc. Forcing a minor, and especially double, into your EE degree plan is asking for trouble (overloaded semesters, taking longer to graduate, $$). If the electives you pick add up to a minor then that’s just a plus, but as @cosmicfish‌ stated there are other more useful ways to spend your time than coursework alone for experience/hireability/grad school apps:
-projects outside class (especially honors or team based)
-legitimate leadership (head of IEEE chapter, etc)

Some students coming out of high school have a desire to double or triple major as you find several areas interesting… I am of the view that taking engineering in college is basically a “trade school”. you are preparing yourself for a career in engineering. Double majoring just because you find another area interesting interferes with that goal. Cheery picking a taking a few classes in another field isn’t as much of a problem, but taking enough classes to double major means fewer classes in your major; and that can be a problem.

I was an engineering manager for a large aerospace company and we would get many more applications than we had positions. We would weed out those resumes, first by cutting those with a GPA below a certain level and then by who was best prepared for the position offered. Most applicants had more classes than the minimum for their major with a possible exception being those that double majored. Double majoring also puts a doubt into the minds of the person doing the hiring as to whether that applicant was truly interested in the job we were offering. As much as we would be doing a fair amount of training of any new hire, we wanted someone who was going to stay with us for some time, which that doubt would certainly hurt.

So my advice, don’t double major unless you can work out the double major into ONE specific area that you would looking for employment after college or grad work after your undergrad.

Double majors may be useful in specific niche areas where both fields are applicable, but for other employment where one’s major matters, generally only one major will be most relevant.

Don’t bother with either. I was EE undergrad and only a few classes away from a physics double major. I took all the upper level physics classes that were interesting to me and chose not to fulfill the lower level classes that would’ve certified the second major. I could’ve easily done them but chose to study abroad for a semester instead. It was a good choice.

I went on to EE PhD at Stanford, worked with a famous advisor, won a national fellowship etc. etc. In practice, nobody is impressed with double majors - all it means is you jumped through some bureaucratic hoops. The research I do today is more physics than EE and it’s never mattered because I just learn what I need as I go along.

Do the minor if it has some other benefits (e.g. honors at graduation), but definitely don’t do a double major.

I agree with the other posters - don’t double major. It is almost impossible to graduate on time with a double major if one of the majors is engineering. If you are uncertain which major you would prefer, select your first semester classes as if you were going to double major, but plan to pick a single major later, after you’ve been exposed to both areas.

I have often given the same advice about double majoring in this forum and as a faculty advisor, I give this advice to my students. I have to admit, however, that I did get two degrees in college, Physics and Chemistry. I chose to do this because of very specific circumstances. I was able to start college in an early admissions program at UIUC (no AP courses back when I was in high school…) and so I was done with my physics degree in 3 years. At the time, I was still young and not really ready for graduate school (maturity and all that) so staying the 4th year was a good choice for me.

These kinds of mitigating circumstances are relevant and need to be considered, however, as a general rule, staying a 5th year is probably not a great idea and even less so if you plan to move into the workforce right after graduation. Even for someone who wants to go to graduate school, it is sometimes viewed negatively to have a second degree in a different field. The question that admission committees might ask (I have heard them in person) is whether the student was really serious about major A if they took the second major, B. With all that, i have to say that general rules are made to be broken, you just have to make sure you understand the implications of your choices.