UMass SealUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst - 2007/08 Guide to Undergraduate Programs
[ Home ][ Undergraduate Admissions, Expenses, & Financial Aid ][ Academic Information ][ Schools & Colleges ]
[ Departments & Programs ][ Other Academic Opportunities & Services ][ General Information ][ Site Index ]
Department & Program Listings
[ Departments & Programs A-D ]
[ Departments & Programs E-L ]
[ Departments & Programs M-R ]
[ Departments & Programs S-Z ]
[ Departments & Programs - Show All ]

College of Engineering

126 Marston Hall

Degrees: Bachelor of Science in six majors

Contact: Kathleen Rubin
Office: 126 Marston Hall
Office of Student Affairs
Phone: (413) 545-2035

Dean: Theodore Djaferis. Associate Dean: David McLaughlin. Assistant Dean: Kathleen Rubin.

The Field

Modern society is faced with highly complex technological problems to which engineers are asked to provide solutions. These challenges make engineering a fascinating field of study and give prospective engineering students a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in society. To be successful, engineering students must become skilled in basic engineering principles and practices, be trained to think analytically, learn how to communicate effectively, and work in multidisciplinary teams.

Career Opportunities

Earning an engineering degree will open the door to many opportunities. Massachusetts is known for its high-technology industries, creating job options in traditional engineering fields as well as exciting new fields such as biotechnology and computer software.
In today’s high-tech world, the engineering degree is a great foundation for careers in traditional engineering fields as well as careers in management, sales, government, medicine, research, law, teaching, and more. Some choose to earn an advanced degree after they leave the university, and some start their own companies.

The Majors

The mission of the College of Engineering is to support the teaching, research, and academic outreach needs of the Commonwealth and the nation. The objective of undergraduate education in the college is to prepare its students to become leaders in the practice of engineering. Curricula provide students with the academic foundation to enter the profession of engineering upon graduation, or to pursue advanced degrees in graduate school.

The engineering majors are open to students with strong interests and preparation in mathematics and science. The College of Engineering offers six Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. These B.S. degree programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD, 212002-4012, tel. (410) 347-7700 .

College of Engineering majors are organized in four academic departments: Chemical Engineering (; Civil and Environmental Engineering (www.ecs.; Electrical and Computer Engineering (; and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (

Engineering students have the opportunity to pursue minors in a number of other fields (e.g., mathematics, chemistry, physics). They can also choose the Engineering Management minor offered by the Isenberg School of Management. Information about these minors can be found in the Academic Departments and Programs section of this Guide. Students are also encouraged to consult academic advisers in the corresponding programs of interest.

The Curriculum

The curriculum is designed in both structure and content to build a strong foundation in engineering and students may choose to follow one of six undergraduate programs. The first year of study includes introductory engineering courses, mathematics, science, writing, and social world courses. This is then followed by core courses in each of the disciplines. Students enter college with different perspectives about their education. Some are quite sure of the specific discipline they want to follow and would like to take full advantage of the programs offered. Others come to campus knowing they want to study engineering but have not made up their minds about which specific program to follow. The first year curriculum serves both groups of students and also offers possibilities for students who are not engineering majors but have interest in the field.

First-Semester Curriculum

Introductory Engineering Courses
A number of courses are designed to serve as introductions to engineering: ENGIN 110 to Chemical Engineering, ENGIN 111 to Civil and Environmental Engineering, ENGIN 112 to Electrical and Computer Engineering, and ENGIN 113 to Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. These courses offer opportunities for students as they make decisions about their course of study and have common goals: 1) to expose students to basic engineering principles and practices; and 2) train students to think analytically. Listed below are typical Fall Semester curriculums:

Chemical Engineering:
ENGIN 110, MATH 131, CHEM 111, ENGLWRIT 112, Social World Elective

Civil and Environmental Engineering:
ENGIN 111, MATH 131, CHEM 111, ENGLWRIT 112, Social World Elective

Electrical and Computer Engineering:
ENGIN 112, MATH 131, PHYSICS 151/153, Social World Elective and either ENGLWRIT 112 or a second Social World Elective

Mechanical Engineering:
ENGIN 113, MATH 131, PHYSICS 151/153, Social World Elective and either ENGLWRIT 112 or a second Social World Elective

Industrial Engineering:
ENGIN 113, MATH 131, CHEM 111, Social World Elective and either ENGLWRIT 112 or a second Social World Elective


Typical second-semester curriculums include discipline-specific introductory courses, as well as follow-up required courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry as appropriate to each discipline.

Additional Curricular

The engineering curriculums for the remaining years of study provide foundational material in each of the disciplines. Many students complete their B.S. in engineering in four years, but some take five years to finish. Some students elect to take a double major, have extended internships or co-op experiences in industry, or study abroad. Each engineering discipline offers upper-level electives for students and almost all majors require the completion of a senior design project, an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom. The most talented students take advantage of a challenging Honors Program (Commonwealth College). If students are interested, there are also many opportunities in undergraduate research and independent study. The research efforts of the faculty and their students are a very important part of the College of Engineering.

College of Engineering Requirements

Physics and Freshman Mathematics
MATH 131, 132 Calculus I and II
PHYSICS 151/153 General Physics I with lab
PHYSICS 152/154 General Physics II with lab (154 not required for Chemical Engineering)

Freshman Engineering Courses
Each department offers two engineering courses as an introduction to the field.

Writing Courses (University requirements)
ENGLWRIT 112 College Writing (first year)
ENGIN 351 Writing in Engineering (junior year)

Admission to the Majors
Students must be accepted into an engineering major to be eligible for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree. Requirements for admission to the majors are stated in the description of the majors.

Pass/Fail Option
No course taken on a Pass/Fail basis may be applied to General Education, major or PR-ENGIN requirements.

Education Abroad

Engineering students are encouraged to consider study abroad experiences. These can be semester- or year-long experiences taking General Education courses, engineering courses, and other technical electives to fulfill engineering degree requirements. Prior departmental approval is required for engineering and technical elective courses. For more information contact the International Programs Office, tel. (413) 545-2710 or the Office of Student Affairs, tel. (413) 545-2035.


University Honors (Commonwealth Honors College) and Departmental Honors programs provide engineering students with the opportunity to participate in an “honors experience” on campus. This includes Honors courses, seminars, and undergraduate research projects. Students interested in participating in Departmental Honors and Commonwealth Honors College should contact the Honors coordinator in their respective College of Engineering department, or the College Honors coordinator, Kathleen Rubin, tel. (413) 545-2035.

Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs, 126 Marston Hall, assists students with questions, concerns, and information needed for students’ successful academic careers. This includes advice on course selection, assistance with information on study abroad and internship opportunities, scholarships, tutoring needs, and related matters.

Admissions Information

The College of Engineering enrolls about 350 first-year students. It is recommended that applicants have the high school equivalency of four years in both mathematics and science. Chemistry, Physics with labs and Mathematics through the precalculus level are required. Transfer applicants are encouraged to complete courses in general chemistry, physics, and calculus before applying for admission. Some engineering applicants are admitted to the university with the possibility of transfer into the engineering program after the completion of the first-year engineering requirements. Interested applicants should contact the Office of Student Affairs, tel. (413) 545-2035.

The Diversity Programs Office offers minorities and women students support services and assists in the development of networks within the college and industry. For additional information on this program, visit the Diversity Programs Office, 128 Marston Hall.

For additional information about a specific engineering major, contact the department Undergraduate Program Director:

Chemical Engineering
David Ford, Goessmann 209
Civil Engineering
Thomas Lardner, 234A Marston
Electrical and Computer Engineering
T. Baird Soules, M5 Marcus
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
James Rinderle, 207C Engineering Lab

Internship and Career Services

The Engineering Career and Student Development Center helps students with career and professional opportunities and provides a place where engineering students, faculty, and employers can meet and develop a mutual and beneficial relationship. For information on Engineering internship, co-op and full-time employment opportunities, visit the Engineering Career and Student Development Center, 116 Marston Hall, tel. (413) 545-4558.