Undergraduate Curricula

The curriculum of each undergraduate degree program offered by the College of Engineering consists of college-wide requirements and program-specific requirements. The college-wide requirements include freshman- and sophomore-year courses designed to provide a common academic experience for all engineering undergraduates. Courses in the college-wide requirements include mathematics, the natural sciences, writing seminars, the social sciences, and the humanities. The program-specific requirements include junior- and senior-year program requirements and program electives. Engineering students should refer to College of Engineering program planning sheets for the specific curriculum requirements of their program of study.

The engineering curriculum evolves from a common core of social sciences, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and basic engineering courses. The core curriculum provides students with the rigorous foundation needed for the specific engineering disciplines. All of the programs of study provide students with the engineering science, design, and laboratory methods required to enter industry as fully productive engineers in their chosen fields. The engineering programs also provide a foundation for graduate study in engineering and other fields.

Mathematics and Natural Sciences Requirements

All undergraduate engineering students are required to complete a minimum of 16 credits of coursework in mathematics and 16 credits of coursework in the natural sciences. Specific requirements in each of these subject areas are described below:

Mathematics

The following four courses in college calculus are required:

  • CAS MA 123 Calculus I
  • CAS MA 124 Calculus II
  • CAS MA 225 Multivariate Calculus
  • CAS MA 226 Differential Equations

Students in their first semester of study typically enroll in CAS MA 123 Calculus I, unless they have Advanced Placement examination credit or transfer credit in calculus. Students with Advanced Placement examination credit or transfer credit for Calculus I may use it to satisfy the requirement for CAS MA 123. Such students typically enroll in CAS MA 124, then CAS MA 225, followed by CAS MA 226. Students with Advanced Placement examination credit or transfer credit for Calculus I and II may use it to satisfy the requirement for CAS MA 123 and CAS MA 124. Such students may opt to first enroll in CAS MA 127 Calculus Review, then CAS MA 225, followed by CAS MA 226. (Please note: students receive degree credit for MA 124 or MA 127 but not for both.) All students must complete CAS MA 225 and CAS MA 226.

Students who have previous experience in calculus, but do not receive Advanced Placement credit or transfer credit, may first enroll in CAS MA 124 or CAS MA 127 with approval of their faculty advisor. These students must still meet the 16-credit mathematics requirement. An advanced mathematics course normally taken to satisfy the requirements of a major can be used to fulfill this requirement.

Honors-level courses in calculus and differential equations (CAS MA 129, CAS MA 230, CAS MA 231) are acceptable substitutions for CAS MA 127, CAS MA 225, and CAS MA 226, respectively.

Natural Sciences

Every engineering student is required to take a minimum of three natural science courses: an introductory chemistry course, CAS CH 131 (or CAS CH 101), and two physics courses, CAS PY 211 and CAS PY 212. Students in some majors are required to take additional natural science courses. See specific curricula for each program.

Students who wish to have a more in-depth foundation in chemistry may substitute one of the following 2-course sequences in place of the CH 101/CH 102 sequence:

  • CAS CH 101 or CAS CH 109 and CAS CH 110,
  • CAS CH 111 and CAS CH 108, or
  • CAS CH 111 and CAS CH 112

Students who wish to have a more in-depth foundation in physics may substitute the 2-course sequence CAS PY 251 and CAS PY 252 in place of the PY 211/PY 212 sequence, and CAS PY 351 or CAS PY 352  in place of CAS PY 313.

Students who are undecided but are considering biomedical engineering as a major should take CAS CH 101 instead of CAS CH 131.

Engineering Core Requirements

The engineering core courses required in all engineering programs cover basic engineering sciences:

  • ENG EK 127 Engineering Computation or ENG EK 128 Engineering Computation++
  • ENG EK 131 or  ENG EK 132 Introduction to Engineering
  • ENG EK 102  Linear Algebra
  • ENG EK 210  Introduction to Engineering Design
  • ENG EK 301 Engineering Mechanics I
  • ENG EK 307 Electric Circuits

These courses are taken by all engineering majors in the freshman and sophomore years.

General Education Requirement

The College of Engineering General Education requirement is intended to enhance the ability of engineering students to communicate effectively and to better understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and/or societal context.

All College of Engineering undergraduates are required to take a minimum of 24 credits of general education courses: a writing sequence (at least two courses); distribution in humanities and social sciences (at least three courses); and a general education elective (at least one course). A minimum of 4 quarter hours or 2.50 semester hours of credit constitutes a course. The general education requirements are as follows:

Writing Requirement 8 credits
Social Sciences and Humanities Distribution 12 credits
General Education Elective 4 credits
TOTAL 24 credits

CAS Core Curriculum

The CAS Core Curriculum is an alternative path to completing the General Education requirements. Students who wish to complete their General Education requirements with the Core Curriculum or some combination of the Core Curriculum courses should contact the Undergraduate Programs Office for more information.

Writing Requirement

All College of Engineering undergraduate students are required to satisfy the writing requirement by successfully completing CAS WR 100 and CAS WR 150.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Distribution Requirement

All College of Engineering undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits (three courses) with at least one course in the social sciences and one course in the humanities.

The social sciences are the study of individual relationships in and with society. Students must take at least one course in the social sciences. Courses that fulfill this requirement are chosen from an approved list.

The humanities are the branches of knowledge concerned with individuals and their culture. Students must take at least one course in the humanities. Courses that fulfill this requirement must be chosen from an approved list.

Students should be aware that not all CAS courses meet the social sciences/humanities requirement. A course is acceptable if it is designated in the Humanities (HU) or the Social Sciences (SS) divisions on the list of CAS divisional studies courses in the bulletin or is on the lists of acceptable courses which follow. A course that has one of the listed courses as a prerequisite is also acceptable.

General Education Elective

The general education elective allows students to be exposed to fields of study beyond the social sciences and humanities in order to further broaden their education. This 4-credit elective can be satisfied by appropriate combinations of 1- to 4-credit courses that include additional writing, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and others. Please see the list of courses that can be used to satisfy the general education elective.