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Degree requirements & courses

Program overview

Beginning in Fall 2015, Cornell College will offer an undergraduate engineering degree program in engineering sciences. Our program will provide a strong foundation in engineering principles, just like at larger and more traditional engineering schools.

But our engineering program will also emphasize the best of Cornell College’s small school, liberal arts experience and our One Course At  A Time curriculum to provide opportunities that are not always found at larger schools.

In our Engineering Sciences program you will:

  • Focus on designing solutions to various engineering challenges, beginning with your first engineering course: Intro to Engineering Design
  • Regularly practice writing, teamwork, and presentation skills
  • Learn through hands-on classroom projects integrated into extended class periods
  • Have opportunities for internships at any time, thanks to our flexible One Course At A Time curriculum
  • Study the social, historical, economic, and environmental context in which engineering solutions are developed as part of your liberal arts curriculum

And as in all Cornell courses, you will be 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 with other talented students.

Engineering and the liberal arts

Engineering is fundamentally about developing solutions to complex challenges in a rapidly changing world. These challenges require more than just knowledge of math, science and technical skills. They also require the types of collaboration, communication, and broad-minded problem-solving skills that are best learned in a small, liberal arts setting.

We believe our approach to engineering education is exactly what was called for in a recent report by the National Institute of Engineering titled “The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century”:

“We aspire to engineers in 2020 who will remain well grounded in the basics of mathematics and science, and who will expand their vision of design through a solid grounding in the humanities, social sciences, and economics. Emphasis on the creative process will allow more effective leadership in the development and application of next-generation technologies to problems of the future.”

Developing broadly trained engineers with competence in the many and varied skills they will need in their careers is the basis for our program and the hallmark of what Cornell has always done best.

Dual degree option

Another option for students is to earn a dual degree by completing three years at Cornell and two or more years at another institution. Cornell currently has a formal dual degree arrangement with the University of Minnesota, and we can also work with other schools on an individual basis. 

Careers in engineering

An Engineering Sciences degree from Cornell will position you well for jobs that require training in electrical or mechanical engineering, as well as related fields such as computer engineering. These are some of the fastest growing fields in the U.S., with a diverse range of employment possibilities and high average starting salaries.

More information on engineering careers:

Post-graduate engineering degrees

While we have not in the past offered a formal degree in engineering, a number of our recent graduates are completing (or have completed) degrees at top engineering schools, either in graduate or undergraduate engineering programs.

Graduate school engineering programs

  • Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. in Sustainable Engineering (Class of 2013)
  • University of Minnesota, Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Class of 2012)
  • Wichita State University, Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Class of 2012)
  • Colorado State University, M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Class of 2010)

Undergraduate engineering programs

  • Colorado State University, B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Class of 2010)
  • Iowa State University, B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Class of 2014)

Learn more