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Engineering Sciences

Basic Structure of the Department

  • The Engineering Sciences Major is taught by faculty in the Thayer School of Engineering.  However, engineering students are not differentiated at the College from non-engineering students, and all students are working towards the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • The department offers a Major and a Minor in Engineering Sciences, a Major in Engineering Physics (with the department of Physics and Astronomy), a Major in Biomedical Engineering, modified majors with biology, brain sciences, chemistry, environmental sciences, computer science, economics, earth sciences, public policy and studio art, and a Minor in Materials Science (in conjunction with the Chemistry and Physics departments).
  • An AB in Engineering Sciences is a four-year liberal arts degree. To enter the engineering profession requires the BE (Bachelor of Engineering) degree, which usually takes an additional year of study beyond the Engineering Sciences Major. However, that time can be shortened with careful choice of electives, and some students satisfy the requirements for both the AB and BE degrees in four years.
  • The department encourages non-engineering students to take engineering classes.  Most engineering courses satisfy either the TAS or the TLA Distributive Requirement.
  • All courses in engineering sciences below 20 are designed for non-majors. ENGS 21, for majors, has no prerequisites and has been deemed appropriate for non-majors as well. That said, a first-year student should not take ENGS 21 in the fall term, but should wait for the spring term offering.

Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans on Pursuing Engineering

  • Common to all majors are prerequisites in math (3, 8, 13), physics (13, 14), chemistry (5), and computer science (COSC 1 and COSC 10 or ENGS 20).
  • Prospective students should complete the math and physics prerequisites in the first year.  It is recommended that students with AP credit for Math 3 take PHYS 13-14 and MATH 8 or 11/12 in the fall and winter terms.  However, if planning a major modified with chemistry or biology, physics may be postponed to the second year so that CHEM 5 and 6 may be taken in the first year.
  • It is not necessary, although desirable, to complete all the prerequisite courses before beginning the major courses.  Some students may be able to take a major course in the spring of the first year.

Other Information

  • Many students complete an Engineering Sciences Major along with a second major or minor. Students also participate in one of the many off-campus programs. The major itself has a core of required engineering courses designed to build broad competence in engineering problem solving, followed by courses in particular engineering disciplines. Any student thinking of majoring in engineering sciences is encouraged to plan a course schedule in consultation with a member of the engineering faculty. Questions about the major and its requirements may be directed to Professor Erland Schulson, chair of the department.

Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives

The ORC

The Engineering Sciences home page

Last Updated: 9/6/13