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Wanting to be an ME masters/PhD... but the research is in the AE department


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I've recently been admitted to both the mechanical and aerospace engineering departments at UT Austin, and am very excited. A professor in the AE department has specifically made an offer to me to join his resarch group, doing robotics and sensing which I am very excited about.

However, one of the perks of ME is that you can work almost anywhere. If I decide to leave with just a masters, which is about a 20-30% chance I'd say, a mechanical engineering masters would be more useful than an aerospace engineering masters. However, the research isn't necessarily aerospace-specific. Should I try to be co-advised by the ME department? Is that petty to do that just to get the name on my diploma? Are there any other advantages of being in one department if your professor's research is in another?

Would the mechanical department even want me if I instead wish to co-advise with a faculty member in the aerospace engineering department?

Please advise, I am wary of options here.

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Okay, so some questions. Do you have an offer to join a lab/group in the ME department? If not, why are you considering ME? Have you looked into the placement of each of the departments and research groups? Have you talked to those in the field to see if they have the same perception you have about the significance of the department name on your degree?

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