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Liz , United States

AddedWednesday, June 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Choosing the Right Engineering Major
I'm currently a freshman in high school, and I want to know what kind of classes to take for the following years. I am planning to take Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus before I graduate. Do I need to take Physics and Chemistry 2 if I wanted to be an Engineer? I'm also planning on taking the Engineering classes that my school offers,but I'm not really sure if engineering is what I want to do. I love seeing how things work, and I enjoy building and fixing things so that they work the way I want them to. Even if engineering is the right choice, I wouldn't know which career to choose.
Related to Choosing a Degree, Math & Science, Preparation for College
  • Ursula Gibson , Dartmouth College
    Answered Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for your question! It sounds like you are definitely on the right track with the Math, and Physics will be important, too. The current guidelines for an accredited college engineering degree include Chemistry, so taking that in high school is a great idea. As far as picking an engineering track at this point, try the classes that your high school has, and see what you like. Also - not every engineering school puts you into a career box right from the start - places like Harvey Mudd, Dartmouth's Thayer School, Olin College, Smith and others do engineering as a cross-disciplinary program, and it seems to work really well. That way you get to take college level classes before committing to a track, and usually, it serves you well in your career to know something about the other kinds of Engineering. As you get closer to graduating, you can look at different college programs to find one that works well for you.

    Best wishes,
    Ursula