is a double major in physics and engineering a good option, this is what we’ll be talking about in our post.
Can I double major in physics and engineering
Yes, you could double major in physics and Engineering but it is difficult and requires a lot of time and effort to complete. Your focus will be divided between two majors, doing design and experimental projects in engineering, and physics resolving physics equations like in quantum mechanics or thermodynamics. so it is very challenging.
In addition, most students who decide to double major in physics and engineering spend a lot of time and can barely complete a program in 4 years. Some students take 5 to 6 years to complete the curriculum. So a double major in physics and Engineering must have a significant reason not just to impress your friends.
If you love to study engineering and physics, there is an alternative program or branch called physics engineering. It seems more practical than a double major program.
Why double majoring in physics and engineering is a bad idea
let’s take an example:
If you decide to double major in physics and computer science or computer engineering, you would have the benefit of having a physics background to use in some computer engineering industries like computer hardware and gaming., but it is still not worth it, and here is why.
Is it right that computer engineering requires some basics or foundations in physics topics like electricity and electromagnetism but double a major in physics and computer engineering would force you to study other unrelated topics you will not be used in computer engineering like physics relativity and mostly quantum mechanics?
so you will be studying a whole physics major to just use fewer physics topics which is not efficient costing you time and energy.
So the same thing happens with many double physics majors, we would be talking about them in the next paragraph in detail, mentioning the pros and cons of each of them.
In addition, you have to understand that employers don’t care about double majors, it would not be adding any value. You would be applying for the same jobs that regular major graduates do.
So if you are interested in pursuing your studies in physics it is better to take physics as a major and look for a Ph.D. On the other hand, if you are interested in getting hired fast and starting earning some money. You have to focus on engineering because it is the easiest and Safest road.
The 6 famous engineering double majors you can take
We’re going to list the six famous physics and Engineering double major students, ask a lot about them, and notice the pros and cons of each one.
1 – Double major in physics and mechanical engineering
Most students prefer that double majoring in physics and mechanical engineering is difficult. You would have a lot of workload and a lot of separate topics to study.
In mechanical engineering, you have to focus on Design and building practical projects, while in physics you would be focusing more on theory like doing quantum mechanics and physics relativity.
but you still find some common topics like thermodynamics and math that both majors are required to complete.
In math you would have to complete all the calculus courses, meaning single variable calculus and multivariable calculus.
Most experienced students recommend taking four classes per semester to not become overwhelmed, but it will require you more than 4 years to complete this major.
2 – Electrical engineering and physics double major
It is right that physics and electrical engineering meet in some fields or areas like electricity and electromagnetism but it is not worth it to take a whole physics major to study some unrelated topics like relativity physics or quantum mechanics especially if you are interested in working in the electrical engineering field.
In the two first years of a double major, you would study some common subjects, but when you arrive at the third and seniors years you will find the irrelevance between theses both majors, especially when to start studying these kinds of subjects like:
3 – Physics and aerospace engineering double major
A double major in physics and aerospace engineering will not increase your odds to get a job in physics or in aerospace engineering. because in physics you mostly need to continue your studies and get your Ph.D. To find a respectable job occupation. while in aerospace engineering There are no considered job occupations to take.
According to BLS, Only 5100 jobs are offered annually in aerospace engineering. If we compare this number with mechanical or electrical engineering. We find mechanical or electrical engineering hiring more than 20,000 people every year which is 4 times more than aerospace Engineering.
This is not to discourage you but you have to understand one thing:
Whether you double major in physics and aerospace engineering or a single major in one of them. The only thing that matters is you have to be very good at the curriculum and get enough internships in this topic.
We would recommend taking on a major choice between physics for aerospace engineering and giving all your effort to get good grades and raise your GPA to finally have good odds of success. Rather than taking a risky useless doubling adventure.
Or choose the best scenario which is getting a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and then minoring in aerospace engineering.
4 – Physics and computer science double major
We wrote a complete article talking about doubling majors in physics and computer science. You would be discovering all the pros and cons of this program.
5 – Chemical engineering and physics double major
A double major in chemical engineering and physics are two different branches, they don’t have a big overlap.
You would be required to have some Physics basics when you take organic chemistry or physical chemistry subjects, but don’t require to take a whole physics major and spend your time studying relativity physics or quantum mechanics to understand chemical engineering.
The best thing to do is to focus on one side, chemical engineering if you want to get hired as soon as possible, or physics if you are looking for academic studies like a master’s or Ph.D.
6 – Nuclear engineering and physics double major
Nuclear engineering and physics have a lot of overlap and relativity. It would be a good idea to double major in physics and nuclear engineering if you are interested in Nuclear physics, Plasma physics but engineering focuses more on design than theory, you will not be finding a significant value in this program.