Hey guys! For this post I decided it might be cool to take advantage of the fact that I live in a suite with 8 other engineering majors. Below I compiled a small summary of 5 different Tufts engineering majors.
Chemical Engineering is definitely one of the broadest engineering majors at Tufts. Think of it as applied chemistry, which can be extremely useful when it comes to manufacturing and industry, but also to medical research and many other applications. Chemical engineers really spread themselves out across different industries. With this type of degree, you really can get into almost any type of production you want to. However, you’re not just limited to the business world, as a plethora of ChemEs delve into research after college, developing new materials and devices for future use.
Positive: It’s like regular chemistry but you get to see how it’s applied in the real world (synthesis of materials, battery construction, hydrogen fuel cell cars, biotechology).
Negative: Like mechanical, lots of required classes, even if you don’t want to take them.
Classes everybody should take: Human Tissue Engineering with David Kaplan, Cell cultivation
Actual careers of Tufts graduates: Anheuser-Busch manufacturing, blood testing with medical devices, hydrogen fuel cell production
Mechanical engineering is definitely one of the largest spanning engineering majors. While most people think of airplanes and cars, MechEs also deal with everything from wind turbines to sensors to tiny things like bolts and screws. Whenever people ask me the difference between electrical and mechanical engineering I always just say think of anything covered in your Physics: Mechanics class as mechanical and anything covered in Physics E and M as electrical. Many of my friends who are mechanical engineers are obsessed with things like fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and…trebuchets (Jay Wright and Ray Bjorkman, two good friends of mine, built their own).
Positive: Going to the machine shop at Tufts (blades, drill presses, and laser cutters!!)
Negative: Lots of intro classes before you get to the cool stuff (but sort of true for most of engineering)
Classes every MechE should take: Fluid Mechanics, Simple Robots with Chris Rodgers
Actual careers of Tufts graduates: Working for a flying car startup company, making a self-stabilizing motorcycle
CompSci is one of the only engineering majors at Tufts you can do if you’re in the school of Arts and Sciences. The premise behind it is not only CODE CODE CODE but also the theories and rules with how a computer interacts with what it’s given. You’ll visit things you would expect to learn like creating websites, programs, and compilers, but you’ll also dive into more theoretical applications, such as program runtimes, algorithms, and artificial intelligence.
One of my favorite things about computer science is that it’s incredibly easy to learn on your own. Every other engineering major on this list will look at you and say: Oh, you don’t know Calculus? See you later!” but computer science deals with applications for which you don’t need quite as much academic preparation.
Positive: Very collaborative, especially at Tufts
Negative: Very time-consuming, you’ll spend hours and hours coding.
Classes everybody should take: Introduction to Computer Science with Ben Hescott, Web Design with Remco Chang
Actual careers of Tufts graduates: Publishing and Advertising at Google, Server side software at Microsoft
Computer and Electrical Engineering
Time for EE and CompE, my major, woooo! If you think of compsci as the software in technology, then think of EE/CompE as all of the hardware. Apple and Microsoft products, HP, Dell, Intel, Nvidia, and many other companies that are at the core of the tech industry hire primarily people with an electrical or computer engineering degree. While EE compiles all general electric technologies (everything from iPods to electric and power systems to medical technology), CompE deals primarily with the transfer of data through electronics (computers).
Positive: You get to dive RIGHT into the core of the tech industry after college and go work in one of the most up and coming industries in the world (aka Silicon Valley).
Negative: Conceptually, it can be one of the more difficult engineering majors.
Classes everybody should take: Music Engineering, Satellite Communication
Biomedical Engineering at Tufts is a special kind of engineering major, as it’s part of a brand new program. Although only 15 students can choose BME as their first major, an unlimited amount can select it as their second major (if you choose to double). Biomedical engineering is a combination of chemical, biological, and electrical engineering, as much of this major’s research deals with medical technology. Robotic arms, synthetic biological materials, and x-ray machines are all a part of biomedical engineering. However, at the same time, many students will get their undergraduate degree in Electrical or Chemical Engineering and then transfer to biomedical later on, generally because BME is a relatively specific field of study.
Positive: You get guaranteed research for your entire time in the program at Tufts University
Negative: Because it’s a combination of many different fields of study, there are a relatively large amount of intro classes to take. (However, this just makes the upper level junior and senior classes even more awesome!)
Classes everybody should take: Tissue Engineering (the biomedical version), drug formulation and reduction
NOTE: Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Human Factors Engineering, and a couple of other engineering majors are not included on this list. Not to fear though! I just didn’t want to make this post too long, they will be coming in future posts though! You can also feel free to shoot me a message at Andrew.Carp@tufts.edu if you have any questions.