Undergraduate Studies Overview
College of Engineering Educational Objectives
The Carnegie Mellon Engineer in the 21st Century
The overarching objective of our engineering curriculum is to provide our students an education that enables them to be productive and fulfilled professionals throughout their careers. Our more specific, measurable objectives for graduates of our engineering curriculum are the following:
Graduates recognize that they acquired a high-quality, rigorous technical education
Graduates recognize that they have acquired a broader body of knowledge, in addition to their technical knowledge, that allows them to understand the larger context of the problems they must address during their career
Graduates use their technical foundation and their broader base of knowledge to be successful in a diverse collection of individual careers inside and outside of the engineering profession
College of Engineering Curriculum
Our undergraduate program focuses on educating engineers to be properly equipped for successful careers in today's global economy. Our curriculum includes intensive classroom, laboratory, and hands-on learning. The work is challenging and the curriculum customizable. Engineering courses are required in the first year, giving students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with a discipline before choosing a major. Technical skills and methods are the foundation for all engineers.
But technical expertise cannot be a stand-alone skill. Innovative thinking, leadership skills, global awareness, and interdisciplinary collaboration are key components of the undergraduate experience in the College of Engineering. The curriculum encourages students to confront problems of a professional scope, working in teams to recreate a true work environment. Many of our courses are project-based, including the “Introduction to Engineering” classes taken in the first year. Students are able to learn and practice their trade under the supervision of our world-class faculty.
These classes stress creativity and independent thinking, while requiring the student to define a problem, to design in the presence of technical and socioeconomic constraints, to make judgments among alternative solutions, and to explore innovative alternatives to more conventional solutions.
The college offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. All of these programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Students may also pursue a double major in Engineering and Public Policy or Biomedical Engineering. Some students follow a double-major or double-degree programs with non-engineering departments, such as the five-year MBA program established by the College of Engineering and the Tepper School of Business.
General Education Requirements
From its earliest days, the college has considered undergraduate education to be the key element in the development of future leaders. In this regard, the College of Engineering has adopted a plan for education that is designed to equip students with the capacity and desire to learn and to instill in them a passion for life-long discovery. The present curriculum incorporates this philosophy by providing the opportunity for breadth in a number of engineering, science, humanities, and fine arts areas as well as depth in a major area of concentration. Students have the flexibility to choose courses that complement their interests and their fields of study.
Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged in the college and the university as a whole. A high percentage of engineering undergrads participate in research projects, including those in our Honors Research program. Juniors with a 3.5 QPA are invited to choose from a list of faculty-managed research projects. Undergraduates who participate in the Honors Research program undertake tasks and responsibilities equivalent to graduate students.
At the university level, the Office of Undergraduate Research (URO) provides support for student research efforts, including grants, stipends, and awards. Each year, an undergraduate research symposium is held to showcase undergraduate research projects. The event, called Meeting of the Minds, attracts projects from across campus, with hundreds of participants annually.