Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Engineering Dual Degree

Hi! I'm Melissa, a junior majoring in Chemical Biomolecular Engineering in SEAS and Economics in the College. Engineering has some of the most intense curriculums at Penn. Most of my friends take at least five if not six or more classes every semester. With all of this work, a lot of people find the idea of a Dual Degree, or even the newly formed Dual Major option, to be a bit daunting.

My freshmen year, I took one Economics class each semester, just because I thought Economics was a subject worth getting my feet wet in. I enjoyed the classes and took more the next fall with the idea that I would get a minor in the subject, but the more classes I took, the more I became interested. Economics for me, I like to tell people, is like psychology with math -  you use models and equations to try and predict or reason out why people make the decisions they do.

When I first decided to pursue a degree in Economics, the Dual Major option was not yet available, so I began taking other Humanities and Social Science classes to fulfill the general education requirements in the College. As a result, I have taken quite a few classes that I otherwise would not have bothered to try and fit into my schedule, and I have enjoyed most of them a lot. But I know that learning about long readings and writing papers are some engineers worst nightmare, so if that's you, the Dual Major option would be the way to go.

With the new Dual Major option, there is a lot more possibility to just take classes in a major without the general requirements. There are a lot of students in Engineering who try to enroll in a dual degree in with Wharton, but quite a few of my friends and classmates are pursuing degrees with the College. I really enjoy my CBE classes, but my Economics and College classes are a nice break from the computational thinking we're required to do all the time in SEAS.

There are some amazing classes and professors outside of Engineering, so if you like a subject in Humanities or Social Science, I'd definitely suggest taking a few classes to see if you enjoy it enough to want to pursue a major.

Have questions about Dual Degree or Dual Major?  Contact awe@seas.upenn.edu

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