Pre-Engineering

Program Advisor: Kara Beauchamp

Pathways to Engineering:

  1. Combined Degrees Program (3 years at Cornell, 2 years at Engineering School, undergraduate degrees from both schools)
  2. Transfer to Engineering School after 2 years at Cornell (1 degree from Engineering School)
  3. Complete Cornell degree, then go to Engineering School (2 undergraduate degrees)
  4. Complete Cornell degree, then go to Engineering Graduate School

The best option for a particular student depends on the intended field of engineering and on whether or not the student plans to obtain a professional engineering license. For this reason, students should consult with the pre-engineering advisor during their first year of study at Cornell.

Combined Degrees Program in Engineering

Students in this program receive the baccalaureate degree from Cornell and the Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota by completing three years of study at Cornell followed by two or more years at the University of Minnesota.

Cornell students will be selected for entrance into the Institute of Technology based on the calculation of a cumulative grade point average using grades from courses in calculus, chemistry, computer science, and physics. This minimum grade point average will vary by the engineering major field but will not exceed a 2.8 average. Students must also satisfy the requirements set forth above under "Degree Programs in Combination with Professional Schools." When transferring to the Institute of Technology, students are expected to submit applications for admission, reciprocity, housing (if necessary), and financial aid on standard forms. These forms must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines published in the current Institute of Technology documents.

Engineering majors available at the Institute of Technology include aerospace, biomedical, bioproducts and biosystems, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, geological, materials science, and mechanical.

The courses that a student must take at Cornell vary for each major, but always include:

  • MAT 121 (Calculus of a Single Variable)
  • MAT 122 (Calculus of Several Variables)
  • MAT 221 (Linear Algebra)
  • MAT 236 (Differential Equations)
  • PHY 111, 112, and 114 (General Physics I, II, and Laboratory)
  • CHE 121 and 122 (Chemical Principles I and II) or 161 (Accelerated General Chemistry)
  • CSC 140 (Foundations of Computer Science).
  • For those planning to specialize in chemical engineering, CHE 225, 326, and 327 (Organic Chemistry I, II, and Laboratory) are also required.

Students should consult with the pre-engineering advisor to determine which Cornell courses are required for their intended engineering major. Summer engineering courses may sometimes be recommended in order to reduce the amount of time needed to obtain the engineering degree. Interested students should contact the pre-engineering advisor during their first year at Cornell.

Advantages of Pre-engineering at Cornell 

We believe our program offers a number of advantages over many larger undergraduate engineering programs.  First, students are typically able to enjoy much smaller class sizes and personalized attention in all their lower-level courses.  Second, they are able to explore all the opportunities inherent in a liberal arts atmosphere, possibly even settling on a path other than engineering along the way. Third, they gain access to specialized engineering programs at the point where it matters most: in their upper-level courses specific to their chosen engineering specialty. 

Outcomes

Graduate School

Mandip Sibakoti (Physics and Computer Science, 2012)
University of Minnesota, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Joey Hambleton (Physics, 2012)
Wichita State University, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Undergraduate Engineering

Zach Zasada (Physics, 2010)
Colorado State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering