What else can you do in graduate school after an undergrad engineering degree? Can I get a PhD in economics?
Anything... in theory. People often change fields going into grad school - my wife has a BS in elementary education and is now pursuing an MS in historical archaeology! But there is a difference between "can" and "have a real shot at".</p>
<p>Going into a grad program, adcoms are looking at general qualities and specific preparation. General qualities means that you have good grades, some decent research experience, acceptable GRE's, etc - indicators that you are hard-working and have some level of intelligence. Since these apply across all programs, you can generally see where you stack up. And yes, research counts as research even if its in a different field - perhaps not quite as much, but it is still valuable and instructive.</p>
<p>Specific preparation refers to foundational coursework needed for your research area - how much of it you have, how well you did, how much "catch-up" you will need to do. Bear in mind that many people don't have all the prerequisites even when they DON'T change fields, but the big concern with someone who IS changing fields is that (a) you might be starting off too far behind and (b) you might not be any good at those courses. They don't want to bring you in for a year of undergrad-level catchup only to find out that you really have no talent in Celtic Medieval Literature. </p>
<p>This means that your chances of getting in drop off the farther you get from your undergrad degree. Engineering to economics? Depends on the engineering. Aerospace or electrical are probably a decent match, as you have a ton of mathematics. Chemical or civil you might be in trouble. Conversely, a chemical engineering might have a better shot at a biology degree than an EE.</p>
<p>You can alleviate this by taking additional courses or even a minor in this second field of interest - my wife was a history minor, which helped her get into her archaeology program. A double major is generally not worthwhile, and even a minor might be too much (if the minor doesn't hit the senior-level coursework that programs really want to see), but taking at least a few courses can really help.</p>
<p>Of course, another option is just to major in economics. I know, crazy.</p>