Undergraduate Curricula

The curriculum of each undergraduate degree program offered by the College of Engineering consists of three components: Hub requirements (for students who matriculated in fall 2018 or after, and transfer students who matriculated in fall 2020 and after); College of Engineering requirements; and program requirements.

College of Engineering requirements include most freshman- and sophomore-year courses designed to provide a common academic experience and foundation for all engineering undergraduates. Program requirements build on the common College of Engineering requirements and include major-specific courses and electives taken mostly in the junior and senior years. Engineering students should refer to College of Engineering program planning sheets for the specific curricular requirements of their program of study. Most of the required Hub units are integrated into the College of Engineering and program requirements. Remaining BU Hub requirements will typically be satisfied by writing seminars and Hub electives selected from a wide range of courses or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences (see below).

The engineering degree programs evolve from the common College of Engineering requirements, which include a set of mathematics, natural sciences, and core engineering courses that provide students with the rigorous foundation needed for more specialized engineering coursework in the major area of study. All of the programs of study provide students with the engineering science, design, and laboratory background 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.

The BS programs in biomedical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org).

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of all of the engineering BS programs will have:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Mathematics and Natural Sciences Requirements

All undergraduate engineering students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits of coursework in mathematics and natural sciences. The specific requirements in each of these subject areas are described below:

Mathematics

The College of Engineering requires all undergraduate students to complete at least 16 credits of instruction in mathematics through multivariate calculus and differential equations. Typically, this requirement is fulfilled by the four-course (16 credit) sequence: CAS MA 123 Calculus 1, CAS MA 124 Calculus 2, CAS MA 225 Multivariate Calculus, CAS MA 226 Differential Equations (or equivalents).

Credits awarded through qualifying Advanced Placement scores (e.g., AP/IB—see Advanced Credit Guide) or transfer-in corresponding courses may be used toward fulfilling this requirement. Students without credit for Calculus 1 should generally start this sequence with CAS MA 123; those with credit for CAS MA 123 should start with CAS MA 124; those with credit for CAS MA 123 and CAS MA 124 may start with CAS MA 225.

Students who studied calculus in high school but did not take the corresponding AP/IB exam should discuss their situation with their freshman advisor. An approved petition is required to start in CAS MA 124 (or CAS MA 225). Additional mathematics or technical coursework (at the 200 level or above) will be required to fulfill the credit deficiency created by not taking CAS MA 123 (or CAS MA 124).

Natural Sciences

Every engineering student is required to take a minimum of three natural science courses: an introductory chemistry course, CAS CH 131, and two physics courses, CAS PY 211 and CAS PY 212. Students in Biomedical Engineering are required to take the two-semester sequence of CAS CH 101 and CAS CH 102 instead of CAS CH 131. Some majors are required to take additional natural science courses. See specific curricula for each program. Students who are undecided but are considering Biomedical Engineering as a major should take CAS CH 101 instead of CAS CH 131.

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 109 & CAS CH 110
  • CAS CH 111 & CAS CH 112

Students who wish to obtain a more in-depth foundation in physics may enroll in the following 2-course sequence in place of CAS PY 211 & CAS PY 212:

  • CAS PY 251 & CAS PY 252

Writing Requirement

Students are required to satisfy the writing requirement by successfully completing CAS WR 120 and CAS WR 151, 152, or 153 (or the equivalent). Students in the Kilachand Honors College (KHC) satisfy their writing requirement through the KHC writing studios.

Engineering Core Requirements

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

  • ENG EK 103 Computational Linear Algebra (3 cr)
  • ENG EK 125 Introduction to Programming for Engineers (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 131 Introduction to Engineering (2 cr)
  • ENG EK 210 Introduction to Engineering Design (2 cr)
  • ENG EK 301 Engineering Mechanics I (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 307 Electric Circuits (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 381 Probability, Statistics, and Data Science for Engineers (4 cr)

These courses are required for all engineering majors and are usually taken in the freshman and sophomore years. Students in some programs may take EK 381 in the junior year.

General Education Requirement—students who matriculated in fall 2018 or later, and transfer students who matriculated in fall 2020 or later

Students who matriculated in fall 2018 or later, and transfer students who matriculated in fall 2020 or later, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in the College of Engineering ordinarily satisfy 18 of the 26 BU Hub requirements through required coursework in the major. Remaining BU Hub requirements must be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of writing seminars and available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

General Education Requirement—students who matriculated prior to fall 2018, and transfer students who matriculated prior to fall 2020

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. Students are required to complete 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 Sequence 8 credits
Social Sciences and Humanities Distribution 12 credits
General Education Elective 4 credits
Total 24 credits

Writing Requirement

Students are required to satisfy the writing requirement by successfully completing CAS WR 100 or 120 and CAS WR 151, 152 or 153, or the equivalent.

Social Sciences and Humanities Distribution

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.

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.

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.