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Switching Majors BA(English) --> MS/Meng Civil Engineering


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Hello to all of you impressive applicants!


I was hoping to receive some feedback and advice pertaining to the topic title.  I want to enter into a civil engineering program at the graduate level.  The problem is, my bachelor's degree is of the art variety, English specifically.  Is it possible to make this switch?  


I am planning on applying for the 2016 Fall semester.  I would like to go to a UC as I am a California native.  I have already taken the GRE (V:166 Q:165).  The BA is from San Francisco State University with an Jr/Sr term GPA of 3.1.  My work experience has been six years teaching at home and abroad (S. Korea).  


I know experience in the desired field is severely lacking.  That is where I need advice.  What can I do to make a compelling application this winter?  Is it even possible?  Is it heard of for schools to accept a student but require them to take prerequisites before beginning the graduate load?  What is the best avenue to bolster my academic record / tackle prerequisites (extension classes, etc..)?  


Any information provided will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance for your time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Honestly, there is no way you could get a Civil Masters without at least a Mathematics/Physics background. You would be better off getting a Civil Engineering Bachelors if anything.

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It depends on several factors. First of all, do you have STEM courses in your bachelor's? Will you have LORs from STEM professors? Can you take the requisite classes between now and app time?


Generally, engineering departments sometimes (you can check with each department) can admit you and lay remedial coursework on you.


So, it can be done, it isn't black and white. Just know I have an engineering background, so it is possible to change fields.

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  • 1 month later...



I have a BA in English and French. I'm just finishing my MS in Mechanical Engineering this semester.


Here's a link to my post on this topic. I'm proof that it's possible.



Feel free to PM me with any specific questions. Best of luck to you.

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A switch is certainly possible, but if you have zero STEM coursework, then you'll be wasting your time and money and your chance of being admitted to any engineering program is zero. Remedial coursework at the beginning of a graduate at degree is one thing, but your post makes it sound like you'd need an entire remedial degree. You need to take a whole lot of math, science, and some basic engineering courses before you even consider applying.

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