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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs


The COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING is committed to educate students so that they may acquire theoretical knowledge and technical competence in the design, development, and creation of components, systems, and processes to address the needs and problems of our society. The college offers an integrated and professionally oriented curriculum focused on developing engineering graduates who are solidly grounded and technically broad in perspective and capabilities, effective in group operations and communication, innovative, and aware of the world.

Resident education at the baccalaureate level is provided through thirteen majors available at University Park and three majors offered at other Penn State campuses. In addition, a number of associate degree programs are offered at campus college locations. All baccalaureate degree programs are of eight semesters' duration except Architectural Engineering, which requires ten semesters to complete. Each degree program provides basic elements of General Education consistent with the objectives of the program and institution as well as a professional component to prepare graduates for practice in the discipline. All College of Engineering baccalaureate majors at University Park, with the exception of Computer Science, are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc.,

In each of the engineering disciplines, as designated by the majors, students acquire knowledge of mathematics and the sciences basic to engineering and computer science, and the ability to solve problems through experimentation and analysis. Students develop and exercise initiative, judgment, and creativity through the professional component and design experiences that are integrated across their baccalaureate study, culminating in a capstone design experience in the senior year. Emphasis is placed on application of the engineering method, the capability for critical thinking, teamwork, and the ability to communicate clearly, both orally and through written composition. The social-humanistic component of the curriculum extends throughout the baccalaureate study in all majors and provides students with knowledge of social and human relationships as well as an appreciation of cultural interests and contemporary issues. It includes elective courses in the arts, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. Through these courses and their study in the majors, students learn to appreciate values and costs, the context of engineering in society, and the ethical characteristics of engineering practice.

With this knowledge and set of skills, graduates are positioned to enter technical and non-technical careers in the industrial, government and private sectors, and/or to pursue advanced study in a variety of disciplines. Their versatility and ability to learn independently enables graduates to acquire new skills and knowledge as required by their career choices. The college also administers several academic minors that permit students to broaden or supplement their technical training; obtain specialized training in leadership, entrepreneurship or product development; or expand their knowledge of the interrelationship of science and society. The Learning Factory, Center for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship, and Student Activities Center collectively serve the needs of students by providing facilities for project work, computing, and organizational meetings.

The college provides, in addition to undergraduate education, programs in cooperative education, international study and internships, continuing education, research, and advanced study at the graduate level.

For additional information, refer to:


ENGINEERING CAREER RESOURCES AND EMPLOYER RELATIONS -- Housed within the Engineering Career Resources office, the Engineering Co-op & Internship Program provides opportunities for students to obtain up to one full year of career-related experience while earning their degree.  Students apply theories learned in the classroom to business, government, or industry settings while gaining valuable professional experience, confirming their choice of major, developing technical skills, enhancing communication and job search skills, and receiving compensation that can be used to offset the cost of their education. The program is available to engineering students at all Penn State campus locations. Participants also have access to the Professional Development Program, which arranges professional skills workshops for students on a variety of topics generated from student and employer evaluation feedback. 

Students may choose to complete either a co-op or an internship. Co-op experiences are divided into three segments made up of various combinations of fall, spring, and summer sessions (excluding a three-summer option). These work assignments alternate with academic periods in school but are intentionally flexible in order to accommodate different academic course scheduling requirements. All co-op work experiences are paid and career-related, and students have increasing levels of responsibility over the course of multiple assignments with one or more employers. The internship option provides an opportunity for students to gain one semester—or more, if desired—of career-related experience. The work experience can be pursued during any semester, although the summer semester is the most common choice, and can begin an as early as the second semester of students’ first year at Penn State.

For additional information, refer to:


GLOBAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION -- Through study and work abroad programs and opportunities, the College of Engineering provides students with opportunities to develop a global perspective, learn how engineering is practiced in other countries, make international contacts, and improve their potential for career advancement in order to help them prepare to become world-class engineers. Students in the college can earn Penn State credits and/or transfer credits for courses completed abroad. The University and college currently have agreements with numerous institutions in all parts of the world for study exchange programs, summer programs, and courses. In a program offered by the College of the Liberal Arts, qualified students can pursue both an engineering degree and, concurrently, a degree in French, Spanish, German, or other languages. In addition to the credit requirements of the selected engineering major, students pursuing a concurrent language major are required to complete courses in the language and to intern and/or study abroad. The college continues to expand the opportunities available for students to gain international exposure and experience, including a Certificate in International Engineering. Additional programs are being developed for students to gain global experience and exposure on campus through technology-enabled international programs and interactions with other students.

For additional information, refer to:


CONCURRENT MAJORS PROGRAM IN ENGINEERING AND LIBERAL ARTS -- This program requires ten semesters of study, both in the College of Engineering and in the College of the Liberal Arts. Upon completion of the program, a B.S. in the selected College of Engineering major will be awarded by the College of Engineering and the B.A. in Letters, Arts, and Sciences (LAS) will be awarded by the College of the Liberal Arts.

To be eligible for the program, a student must be initially enrolled in either the College of Engineering or the College of the Liberal Arts. The student must file an application for entrance with the assistant dean for student services, College of Engineering, by the published deadline during the student's spring semester of the second year and with the associate dean for undergraduate studies, the College of the Liberal Arts. Concurrent major candidates are subject to the same criteria for admission to a participating major in the College of Engineering as all other students.

During the first six semesters, the student completes 70 credits of basic General Education and bachelor of arts degree requirements and 30 to 34 credits of basic engineering requirements. In the final four semesters, the student completes 12 LAS credits plus the remaining requirements for the selected College of Engineering major. The additional 24 major credits required for the LAS degree are double counted with credits required for the College of Engineering degree. The average concurrent major graduate completes 166 to 174 credits in order to qualify for both degrees. This program is available with all the majors in the College of Engineering with the exception of the ten-semester Architectural Engineering major.


INTEGRATED UNDERGRADUATE-GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS--Qualified students who wish to develop deeper and/or more specialized knowledge and skills through graduate study in their major may have the option of participating in the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Program. 

Integrated undergraduate-graduate study provides several advantages for qualifying students by permitting coherent planning of studies through the graduate degree, reducing the total time required to reach completion of the higher degree, providing earlier contact with the rigors of graduate study and with graduate faculty, and providing access to the resources of the Graduate School. Students who are admitted to the IUG Program may apply up to 12 credits to both undergraduate and graduate degrees. A minimum of 50 percent of the courses to be used for both degrees must be at the 500 or 800 level. Thesis and culminating capstone experience credits may not be double-counted.

The following College of Engineering majors have approved IUG Programs: Architectural Engineering, Engineering Science, and Mechanical Engineering. Qualified students may apply for admission to the IUG Program after they are admitted to these majors. All Schreyer Scholars are eligible to participate in the IUG Program, regardless of their major, if they qualify. For an up-to-date list of approved IUG programs, visit


DUAL-DEGREE PROGRAM WITH OTHER INSTITUTIONS AND ENGINEERING -- In the Dual-Degree program (formerly known as the 3-2 program), the student completes three academic years of study at cooperating institutions (with which Penn State has signed agreements) and then transfers to Penn State for at least two additional academic years. Upon completion of the program, the student is awarded a degree by the first institution and the B.S. degree by Penn State. The program makes it possible for students to spend the first three years at an institution near their home, thus reducing expenses. For information about the Dual-Degree program cooperating institutions, and available majors, see:


CONTINUING AND DISTANCE EDUCATION -- The Engineering Continuing and Distance Education (C&DE) office offers a broad range of programs for practicing engineers, other technical professionals, Penn State students, and the public. Credit and noncredit programs for individuals or groups are available at the University Park campus, at other Penn State campuses, and through distance education. For distance education, the C&DE office makes programs and courses available to audiences anywhere in the world through a variety of technologies, including the Internet and interactive video. In providing these distance courses, C&DE interfaces with the college's academic units and Penn State World Campus and provides courses design, production, and delivery services. Undergraduate students often enroll in distance courses while they are on cooperative education or internship assignments, or on summer break, thereby continuing progress toward their degree requirements during those absences.

For additional information, refer to:


CENTER FOR ENGINEERING OUTREACH AND INCLUSION -- The Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion is committed to creating and enhancing a welcoming learning environment for all students in the College of Engineering. Through pre-college and bridge programs and coordination of recruitment, retention, networking and other programming, the Office strives to enhance the representation of women and underrepresented students in the undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as in the faculty and administration. The Multicultural Engineering Program and the Women in Engineering Program have evolved over the past twenty years and currently offer fifteen to twenty programs annually that are designed to enhance diversity in the college.

For additional information, refer to:


WOMEN IN ENGINEERING PROGRAM -- The Women in Engineering Program (WEP) is an award-winning academic support unit of the College of Engineering. WEP provides extensive programming to facilitate the college mission, vision, and goals in support of undergraduate and graduate women and alumnae. The Penn State Women in Engineering Program was selected in 2004 as a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. WEP provides services to facilitate its mission to recruit women into engineering, to engage women engineers through advocacy and action, and to promote an equitable learning environment within the College of Engineering. WEP programming is highlighted by an immersive first-year orientation complemented by year-long mentoring. Academic achievement, career development, leadership training, and active networking are emphasized in an effort to retain and advance women engineering students. Services feature academic assistance, career development, industry networking, community building, mentoring, leadership engagement, scholarship, engineering education gender research, and an external Advisory Board. WEP also offers an extensive program of K-12 STEM outreach, providing leadership opportunities for undergraduates as it engages future generations of engineers.

For additional information, refer to:


MULTICULTURAL ENGINEERING PROGRAMS -- The nationally recognized Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) focuses on fostering a sense of community in the college. In 2010, Penn State MEP received the highest honor awarded by the National Society of Black Engineers, The Golden Torch. MEP is responsible for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented graduate and undergraduate students throughout Penn State's campuses. To enhance recruitment and retention, the program provides services designed to nurture supportive and collaborative relationships among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and industrial partners. These services include tutoring programs, summer bridge programs, orientation programs, recruitment programs, employment workshops and scholarships, with emphasis on proactively seeking out, guiding and preparing students for future success from high school through graduate school or entrance to careers in engineering industry. The program promotes academic excellence, industrial and research experience, and personal and professional development.

For additional information, refer to:


ENTRANCE TO MAJOR -- In addition to the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements described by University Policies, the College of Engineering has course requirements for admission to all its majors. To be eligible for consideration for entrance to a major, a student must have completed the following requirements with a minimum grade of C: CHEM 110 GN (or CMPSC 122 for the Computer Science major), MATH 140 GQ, MATH 141 GQ, MATH 250 or 251 GQ (or MATH 230 for the Computer Science major), PHYS 211 GN, and PHYS 212 GN. These must be completed by the end of the semester during which the admission to major process is carried out. Because the Engineering Science major is an honors program, admission is limited to students who attain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

For additional information, refer to:



Recommended Academic Plans provide, in table form, the suggested courses that students schedule semester by semester for each beginning campus, as they pursue a specific College of Engineering undergraduate degree. Each college or campus maintains Recommended Academic Plans for its own majors/degree programs. Links to the College of Engineering plans are available through: Questions concerning the Recommended Academic Plans should be directed to the college or campus involved or the Division of Undergraduate Studies.  



The Executive Vice President and Provost of the University approves administrative enrollment controls that limit the number of students who may be admitted to some majors in the College of Engineering. In each case, however, academic requirements are established that guarantee a student’s admission to those majors. For information on the majors for which enrollment is currently limited and their academic guarantees of admission, contact the Engineering Advising Center, 208 Hammond Building, University Park, PA 16802 (814-863-1033).




ANTHONY A. ATCHLEY, Senior Associate Dean

GEORGE LESIEUTRE, Associate Dean for Research

CHRISTOPHER D. RAHN, Associate Dean for Innovation

PETER J. BUTLER, Associate Dean for Education

CHRISTINE B. MASTERS, Assistant Dean for Academic Support and Global Programs

THOMAS A. LITZINGER, Assistant Dean for Educational Innovation and Accreditation

VACANT, Assistant Dean for the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion



Acoustics -- VICTOR SPARROW, Director of Graduate Program

Aerospace Engineering -- AMY R. PRITCHITT, Head

Architectural Engineering -- M. KEVIN PARFITT, Interim Head

Biomedical Engineering -- CHENG DONG, Head

Biological Engineering (College of Agricultural Sciences) -- PAUL H. HEINEMANN, Head

Chemical Engineering -- PHILLIP E. SAVAGE, Head

Civil and Environmental Engineering -- PATRICK J. FOX, Head

Computer Science and Engineering -- CHITARANJAN DAS, Head

Electrical Engineering -- KULTEGIN AYDIN, Head

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, School of -- THOMAS F. LA PORTA, Director

Engineering Science and Mechanics -- JUDITH A. TODD, Head

Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs, School of -- SVEN BILÉN, Head

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering -- JANIS TERPENNY, Head

Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering --KAREN A. THOLE, Head



Academic Support and Global Programs -- CHRISTINE B. MASTERS, Assistant Dean

Office for Digital Learning -- CATHY HOLSING, Director

Engineering Assessment and Instructional Support -- SARAH E. ZAPPE, Director

Engineering Career Resources and Employer Relations -- RICK D. McCLINTIC, Director

Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education -- THOMAS A. LITZINGER, Director

Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion -- VACANT, Assistant Dean






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