Jump to content
Engineer Boards
​ ​
 photo CHPE_AnimatedWebBanner_650x1202_zps5704d467.gif
rfrussell

Masters with no BSE

Recommended Posts

I currently am about to start my last year of school where I am pursuing a bachelors in environmental geology and a minor in hydrogeology. I have extremely enjoyed all the undergrad/grad hydrogeology courses I’ve taken, and as a result of the minor, I have also taken all of the general math/physics (up to diffe eq and physics II) required by a BSE as well as Statics and Dynamics and Fluid Dynamics. I currently have an internship and offer to be an assistant geologist, but with my interest in groundwater/water I will want something more than what that job would offer. I was thinking I could work for a bit and then go and pursue a masters in water resources engineering. 

With all that said, would it be possible for me to pursue that masters? And if I attained the masters, how hireable would I be without a BSE but still a good amount of knowledge from my hydro/math/physics courses in my undergrad? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition, I also realize attaining my PE is crucial to a career as well. So would I be eligibile for a PE without a BSE?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've known people who obtained a non-engineering related bachelor's degree, but then obtained a master's degree in engineering.  I don't think they had any problem getting picked up for a job after graduation.  I can't speak for every employer, but at least from what I've seen and from my own experiences recruiting, you shouldn't have any problem getting hired with that master's.  

And from someone who's in remediation and works with geologists daily - unless you reallllly love geology/travel and want to be in the field all the time doing groundwater sampling, well installations, and soil sampling, then get that master's, lol.  You'll get more money and won't be traveling all the time like a geologist would.

I can think of several people from this board who obtained a science degree and ended up getting their PE.  @caychanh, care to weigh in? You do WRE right?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing I'd like to note is to make sure you like the general work that a WRE would do before getting the master's.  It would suck to spend two years getting a degree and finding out you don't have an interest in the field.  My master's is in civil engineering, but I specialized with more remediation/environmental classes.  I was able to work out of a couple of departments (infrastructure, transportation, environment) before settling into remediation.  If you do decide that you like environmental work through your internship, you can still do remediation -  you could still do overlapping work with geologists, but also pick up engineering work and the engineer's salary.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a bachelors in biology and got a masters in environmental engineering. I have my PE in Civil WRE. What you're saying is totally possible. Depending on the state, you may need more or less years of experience before getting your PE. For example, in Minnesota you need more experience if you have a masters in engineering but not a bachelors. In California, you need 1 year of experience if you have a masters regardless of if you have a bachelors (less than if you just have a bachelors). After you have your masters (and especially if you're an EIT), no company will care if you don't have your bachelors in engineering. Just be sure you're getting your masters at a school where the bachelors is ABET accredited (usually masters programs aren't accredited). Feel free to ask if you have other questions! I personally am very happy with my transition away from natural sciences and in to engineering.

Edited by erinh12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While not the OP, that is good to hear. I have my Bachelor’s in Geology, have been in the work force for 8 years, and am considering going back for civil/environmental engineering Master’s. I’d likely sit for the Civil WRE exam. I’ve already run the idea by my state board, but it always helps to hear success stories. 

Edited by danidu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An undergrad in science and masters in engineering is pretty common. chemistry -> ChemE or Matl Sci; physics -> Nuke E; geology -> civil or mining or WRE. As @txjennah pointed out, most employers aren't picky in that regard. The key is getting is past the HR people or computer systems who don't recognize the overlap between degrees. But certainly a MS degree will get around that problem.

@erinh12 is correct that the kind of engineering degree is important for determining when a candidate is eligible to take the PPE or get licensed. In many states the experience requirements are hard-written into legislation for a candidate with and without a BS Engineering, and in those cases the boards can't make an exception for a graduate degree in engineering. Other states have more leeway though. If you are worried about getting licensed in a reasonable timeframe, I would look into if it's not too late to double major in say BS Civil Engineering Technology?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, you could become a PG and probably do a lot of the same work that you would do as a Civil with a focus in WRE, though you wouldn't be able to sign design drawings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/2/2018 at 12:45 PM, rfrussell said:

I currently am about to start my last year of school where I am pursuing a bachelors in environmental geology and a minor in hydrogeology. I have extremely enjoyed all the undergrad/grad hydrogeology courses I’ve taken, and as a result of the minor, I have also taken all of the general math/physics (up to diffe eq and physics II) required by a BSE as well as Statics and Dynamics and Fluid Dynamics. I currently have an internship and offer to be an assistant geologist, but with my interest in groundwater/water I will want something more than what that job would offer. I was thinking I could work for a bit and then go and pursue a masters in water resources engineering. 

With all that said, would it be possible for me to pursue that masters? And if I attained the masters, how hireable would I be without a BSE but still a good amount of knowledge from my hydro/math/physics courses in my undergrad? 

Pursuing the masters is up to the program that you apply for and what their education requirements are. It may just come down to taking additional courses that they consider essential before you can enroll in the program. This may vary scool by school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×