At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
The Bachelor of Science in Rail Transportation Engineering (RTEAL) will provide students with the necessary skills for careers in the rail freight and passenger transportation industries. The RTEAL degree provides a solid background in engineering design, but also focuses on the maintenance and management skills required by the rail industry. The program provides a breadth of knowledge in the major areas associated with the design, operation, and maintenance of rail systems, including the engineering of rail and track structures, basic rail operating practices and safety, wheel/track dynamics, construction and maintenance of railroad infrastructure, and basic railroad communications and signals. Laboratories are used throughout the RTEAL curriculum to provide students with experiences in the field with actual rail equipment, and extensive team-based laboratory activities are used to develop the leadership qualities that are essential of rail professionals. In order to prepare students for the occupational challenges associated with careers in the rail industry, careful and candid discussions of career possibilities and working environments typical of railway professionals are provided throughout the RTEAL program.
What is Rail Transportation Engineering?
Rail Transportation Engineering (RTE) prepares students for careers in freight and transit rail. The curriculum is based on civil engineering with emphasis on rail transportation.
You Might Like This Program If...
You are seeking a technological career in a robust industry.
Entrance to Major
All students applying for entrance to the RTEAL major must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the semester prior to applying for entrance to the major and have completed, with a minimum grade of C: CHEM 110, MATH 140, MATH 141, and PHYS 211. These courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the admission to major process is carried out.
For the Bachelor of Science degree in Rail Transportation Engineering, a minimum of 130 credits is required:
|Requirements for the Major||112|
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
27 of these credits are included in the Requirements for the Major.
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
Requirements for the Major
This includes 27 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GWS, 6 credits of GQ, 9 credits of GN, 3 credits of GS.
To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|ECON 102||Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy||3|
|EDSGN 100||Introduction to Engineering Design||3|
|ENGL 202C||Effective Writing: Technical Writing||3|
|GEOSC 1||Physical Geology||3|
|MATH 251||Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations||4|
|PHYS 212||General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism||4|
|STAT 401||Experimental Methods||3|
|CE 360||Fluid Mechanics||3|
|RTE 301||Railroad Industry Overview and Economic Regulation||3|
|RTE 402||Railroad Operations Practicum||3|
|ACCTG 211||Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making||4|
|RTE 403||Railroad Track Practicum||3|
|RTE 404||Railroad Mechanical Practicum||3|
|RTE 406||Railroad Capstone Project||4|
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|CHEM 110||Chemical Principles I||3|
|MATH 140||Calculus With Analytic Geometry I||4|
|MATH 141||Calculus with Analytic Geometry II||4|
|PHYS 211||General Physics: Mechanics||4|
|EMCH 213||Strength of Materials||3|
|CE 335||Engineering Mechanics of Soils||3|
|CE 336||Materials Science for Civil Engineers||4|
|RTE 302||Railroad Track Location, Construction and Maintenance||3|
|RTE 303||Railroad Operation and Safety||3|
|RTE 305||Railroad Communications and Signals||3|
|CE 332||Professionalism, Economics & Construction Project Delivery||3|
|CE 333||Construction Management I||3|
|CE 340||Structural Analysis||3|
|ENGL 15||Rhetoric and Composition||3|
|or ENGL 30||Honors Freshman Composition|
|CAS 100A||Effective Speech||3|
|or CAS 100B||Effective Speech|
|CMPSC 201||Programming for Engineers with C++||3|
|or CMPSC 202|
|Select 3 credits of technical electives from departmental list in consultation with adviser||3|
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information need to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Assistant Teaching Professor, RTE Program Coordinator
Penn Building 216A, 3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
Suggested Academic Plan
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|MATH 140*‡#†||4||MATH 141*#||4|
|ECON 102 or 104*†||3||CAS 100‡||3|
|CHEM 110‡#†||3||PHYS 211*‡#†||4|
|CHEM 111*||1||ENGL 15, 30, or ESL 15‡||3|
|EDSGN 100||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3|
|MATH 251||4||MATH 220||2|
|PHYS 212†||4||CMPSC 201||3|
|EMCH 211*||3||EMCH 212*||3|
|GEOSC 1||3||EMCH 213*||3|
|General Education Course||3||ENGL 202C‡||3|
|General Education Course||3|
|CE 310||3||CE 335*||3|
|RTE 301||3||CE 336*||3|
|RTE 303*||3||CE 337||1|
|RTE 305*||3||CE 360||3|
|STAT 401||3||RTE 302*||3|
|CE 333*||3||ACCTG 211||4|
|CE 340*||3||RTE 406||4|
|CE 332*||3||Technical Elective||3|
|RTE 403||3||General Education Course||3|
|RTE 404||3||General Education Course||3|
|Total Credits 132|
* Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
‡ Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
# Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
† Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
Career Services supports and serves students and alumni, faculty and staff, families, and employers in all areas related to career development and preparation. We can assist in any of the following: Major and Career Exploration Career Decision-Making Preparation of Employment Documents Internship and Job Search Strategies Interview Preparation Preparing for Graduate School Developing your Professional Online Brand Presentations and Workshops.
The Rail Transportation Engineering program at Penn State Altoona is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, telephone: 410-347-7700.
DIVISION OF BUSINESS, ENGINEERING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
Elm Building 103, 3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601