Interdisciplinary Degree Programs—Engineering & Applied Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Applied Science
The interdepartmental degree, BS in Engineering and Applied Science (BS/IDE), is intended for students who have specific technical objectives not adequately addressed by the other BS degree programs offered by the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. For example, students with interests in patent law or in architectural engineering have crafted programs of study well suited to their specific educational objectives through the Interdepartmental Program.
Within the total of 32 courses (128 credit hours) required to earn the BS degree, a minimum of 18 are devoted to mathematics, other natural sciences, and engineering. Of these, at least eight must be courses offered by the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. A minimum of nine additional courses are devoted to satisfying the primary writing requirement, upper-level writing requirement, and two clusters, one in humanities and one in the social sciences. The remaining courses may be free electives. Students frequently use these courses to pursue one of the many certificates offered by the University or a minor in one of the disciplines in the humanities or social sciences.
Each degree program under BS/IDE must include three sequences of technical or scientific courses. Each sequence must include at least three courses, only one of which may be at the 100 level. A sequence of courses is defined as “a logical progression of study, confined to an acceptably identifiable area, which later material builds upon and extends earlier material.’’ (In rare cases, the Committee has approved the use of a nontechnical or nonscientific sequence to strengthen the focus of a program when a student wishes to study such a discipline in depth.)
A final degree requirement under BS/IDE is a senior thesis. The thesis is a coherent, written summary of independent study, in the focus area of the program, undertaken under the supervision of an appropriate member of the engineering faculty during the students' junior and senior years. Up to 8 credit hours of independent study may be included in the students' program. During the second semester of the sophomore year, the prospective BS/IDE students are expected to seek out and work with an appropriate faculty member to define an area of independent study. A brief description of the topic, along with the supervising faculty member’s signature, is submitted by the end of the sophomore year as part of the application for admission to BS/IDE.
Students are expected to enter with and to maintain strong academic records. All students in the program must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for all courses taken in their fields of specialization. This includes all courses in their sequences as well as the eight required engineering courses. In addition, students entering the program must have completed the following subjects with a grade point average of at least 2.7: primary writing, one course; mathematics, three courses, including one in differential equations (usually MTH 163); chemistry and physics, four courses, at least one in each. Full details of both admissions and degree requirements under BS/IDE are provided in documents available from the Dean’s Office in 301 Lattimore Hall.
Students who are attracted to engineering and who are either unsure of specialization within the field or who have specific interests not obviously addressed by the standard programs are strongly encouraged to contact the Dean’s Office in 301 Lattimore Hall for information on guidelines and degree requirements.
Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Science
The BA in engineering science (BA/ES) is intended for students who, while not necessarily planning careers in the practice of engineering, may benefit from an enhanced technical content in their education. Technology and corresponding modes of thought are becoming ever more important in issues affecting everyone. Examples include environmental issues, such as acid rain and the greenhouse effect; issues broadly related to medicine, such as gene splicing and the proper use of life support systems; legal issues, such as privacy of records in the computer age; and new regulative and ethical issues raised by developing technology.
The BA in engineering science emphasizes breadth across engineering disciplines and as such offers an exposure to technology not available via other degree programs. Thus, students considering careers in business, law, or medicine may find the BA program excellent preparation. The technological focus of the program may offer advantages in dealing with issues such as those listed above, when they are encountered in the role of corporate manager, lawyer, or physician. Alternatively, the program could be followed by more intense specialization in a specific engineering discipline at the master’s degree level.
Within the total of 32 courses (128 credit hours) required to earn the BA in engineering science, a minimum of eight courses must be in the natural sciences disciplines, including at least one course in chemistry, two in physics, and three in mathematics. The latter must include a course in differential equations (typically MTH 163). Two additional courses in these or other natural science disciplines are also required. Additional course requirements include one course in computing (CSC 170 or equivalent), and at least eight courses in engineering, including at least one laboratory-intensive course. The opportunity to take courses in depth from several engineering disciplines is a unique aspect of this program.
To earn the BA in engineering science, students must satisfy the primary and upper-level writing requirements and also must complete two clusters, one in the humanities and one in the social sciences.
Totaling the above course requirements leaves from five to eight courses available as free electives. This permits students considerable flexibility in shaping programs that reflect personal interests.
The BA/ES program is administered by the Committee on Interdepartmental Programs. Approval of the Committee is required for each proposed program of study. Admission to the program at the end of the sophomore year requires an overall grade point average of at least 2.0, together with completion of the following nine courses with a GPA in these nine courses of at least 2.3: one primary writing course; three math courses, including a course in differential equations; three physics and chemistry courses, including at least one course in each; and at least two engineering courses.
Programs meeting degree requirements are to be worked out in consultation with an appropriate member of the Program Committee. Interested students—including potential transfer students—may obtain information and application forms from the Dean’s Office in 301 Lattimore Hall.
Upper-Level Writing Requirement
Significant writing experience in one’s discipline is an important adjunct to the technical material one learns, and that experience is gained through upper-level writing courses in which a significant weight is given to the effectiveness of written communication. For students in the BA in engineering sciences or the BS in engineering and applied sciences, the upper-level writing requirement is satisfied by taking two or more of the courses that satisfy the upper-level writing requirement in the “traditional” engineering programs. Otherwise the students and the IDE Committee stipulate in the students' plan where writing experience is to be gained. BME 101, 260, 396; CHE 246, 255, 273/4; ECE 111, 112, 113, 399; ME 204, 205, 211, 213, 223, 241, 242, 251; OPT 256, 300, 397 are engineering courses that can be used to fulfill the requirement for BA/ES and BS/IDE majors.