Get Your Gears Turning
How many engineering disciplines can you name?
UCSB educates students in five key areas: chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science. However, there are over 50 other engineering disciplines to discover including aerospace, automotive, biochemical, civil, environmental, geotechnical, industrial, manufacturing, nanotechnology, nuclear, petroleum, security, telecommunications, and traffic engineering. All areas overlap with basic engineering knowledge and skills.
Learn how you can pursue your discipline or pivot your UCSB education into the area of your choice through a career path in Engineering + Technology.
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Explore Grad School: Engineering + Technology
For complete information on graduate school search strategies and the application process, review our starter tips to Explore Grad School in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.
Attending graduate school may feel like a natural next step, especially when you are constantly surrounded by professors and TAs who chose that path. However, graduate school is not for everyone, and you can have a very successful engineering career without attending a graduate program. Review the types of programs below to see if they fit your career goals.
Five-Year B.S./M.S. Programs
UCSB College of Engineering offers six different combined B.S./M.S. programs for students to receive two degrees within five years.
Here are the most common reasons for pursuing a 5-year B.S./M.S. program:
- To continue obtaining more knowledge and specializing in your current engineering discipline through pursuing a B.S./M.S. in Computer Science, B.S./M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, or B.S./M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
- To slightly pivot in engineering disciplines through pursuing the B.S. in Computer Engineering + M.S. in Computer Science, or the B.S. in Chemical, Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering + M.S. in Materials.
Completing a 5-year BS/MS program does not guarantee you a higher position or salary. To make yourself more competitive upon graduation, take advantage of the extra time at UCSB to gain additional research or internship experience. This additional knowledge from your program along with additional experience applying that knowledge will be very valuable to employers.
Traditional engineering master’s programs typically take two years to complete, though some are compacted into one year and others may take three years. Common motivations for pursuing a master’s program in engineering include obtaining more knowledge, specializing in an engineering discipline, or changing engineering disciplines. For instance, you can complete your B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UCSB, and then pursue a M.S. in another engineering subfield.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs
Ph.D. programs typically take five to seven years to complete. These programs are very research-oriented. Many individuals pursue Ph.D. programs if they want to learn about a very specific area of engineering and participate in the cutting-edge of research and advancement in that field. Individuals with Ph.D. degrees typically work at research universities where they teach and perform research (i.e. all of your professors), in an industry within research and development departments, or as the head of engineering or technology departments.
If any of these programs interest you, review our Grad School 101 tips to begin planning a timeline and preparing application materials for future consideration.
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