Engineering degree options

  • Engineering major (B.S.E.)

Earning your bachelor of science in engineering can lead to a diverse set of possible career paths in engineering.

Engineering major program overview

If you want to earn your bachelor of science in engineering (B.S.E.) degree, you’ll need to major in engineering and complete the degree requirements for an engineering major.

The engineering major provides a strong foundation in engineering principles and emphasizes hands-on learning experiences. As an engineering major, you will:

  • Design solutions to engineering challenges beginning with your first engineering course: Intro to Engineering Design.
  • Gain knowledge of 3D design, model assembly, and engineering drawings
  • Learn by doing - Cornell’s One Course At A Time fosters experiential learning in the courses, enabling you to work on engineering projects in and outside of the classroom
  • Regularly practice writing, teamwork, and presentation skills.
  • Study the social, historical, economic, and environmental context in which engineering solutions are developed as part of your liberal arts curriculum.

As in all Cornell courses, you will learn in small classes taught by experienced professors whose full-time focus is creating engaging courses for undergraduates. Your classes will always be small, and you will quickly develop supportive relationships with your professors and other talented students.

As a capstone project to complete the engineering sciences major, you will work on a design project in a small group to formulate an engineering solution to a real-world problem. Specific projects are chosen in an area of the student’s interest with prior consultation with the instructor.

Engineering beyond the classroom

The One Course schedule helps facilitate connections to local industry in the form of classroom visitors, field trips, and short-term internships or job shadows. You can also dedicate entire blocks for independent projects, and you enjoy an early summer break that allows you to make the most of summer internships.

Physics and engineering majors and faculty regularly engage in collaborative summer research projects. These projects allow you to develop important research skills while working both independently and alongside faculty mentors, and they often provide a stepping stone to research opportunities at larger institutions. Current research projects include:

  • Creating a virtual-reality (VR) surgical simulator for orthopedic surgeons to alleviate the costs, risks, and errors associated with training surgical residents in real operating rooms.
  • Exploring properties of star forming regions.
  • Developing videos showing how to construct useful equipment for both doing physics demonstrations and exploring a range of physical phenomena

Admission to the B.S.E. degree

You can become a candidate for the B.S.E. once you have:

  • Completed seven Cornell courses with a GPA of at least 2.0
  • Been granted course credit with a grade of at least C- (or been granted exemption or credit by exam) in the following:
    • EGR 131
    • MAT 120 or 121
    • PHY 161
    • One other EGR course that counts towards the engineering major