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Engineering Design

Our engineering design program offers an intensive hands-on education taught by experienced professors from both engineering and the humanities and social sciences. The program is designed to teach students the depth and breadth of the design process along with the necessary technical tools and professional skills to improve the world we live in. Engineering Design is an undergraduate program.

Engineering Design

A Bachelor of Science in Engineering Design

An engineering design degree opens the door to various positions in industry and graduate school. Your experience with client-focused design, prototyping, and professional skills will allow you to contribute to companies in any phase of the design process: identification of stakeholder needs, concept generation, feasibility studies, risk analysis, detail design, manufacturing, testing, validation, maintenance, and product lifecycle analysis.

Facilities and Resources

Hands-on learning and prototyping is a key component of engineering design.  Engineering design students use prototyping technology in design studios developed to encourage creativity and communication with all stakeholders. Students routinely use tools from a variety of on-campus shops after appropriate instruction.


Design studios include laboratory equipment for design, prototyping, and testing.  Students use current technologies to bring their ideas to life. Students also work with external clients starting in their first quarter on campus.

Engineering Design

Engineering design is a human-centered endeavor that grew out of investigations of creativity.  While design is an integral part of all engineering fields, design methodology gained more attention during the 1980s as global competition demanded higher quality design and system complexity increased. The role of the designer is to create a system, process, product, or service based on stakeholder needs while considering social, environmental, economic, and safety requirements. The designer must have both a mindset and skillset for improving the impact of design on society. The mindset requires the vision and drive necessary to create value. The skillset includes the tools and techniques critical to realize the design.

The Engineering Design major prepares students by giving them repeated, intensive design experiences with real clients. From the first quarter to the senior year, students participate in authentic design experiences and practice professional skills. The first year gives students a broad understanding of modeling systems across disciplines and repeated practice in prototyping solutions for clients. Students select a concentration and prepare for their practicum as they continue deeper in the design process. Second year students also learn the process of on-boarding into existing projects as they work with seniors one quarter and freshmen another. Transitioning to the third year, students participate in two 20-week practicums. Students are required to delve into the design process. In the junior year, the curriculum is structured to allow study-work abroad and/ or cooperative work experiences. In their senior year, students complete their concentrations and participate in a year-long, multidisciplinary capstone design experience.

After completion of this curriculum, students will be prepared to enter the engineering profession or advanced study. A student may also use this academic background as a stepping stone to a position in management, administration, or some other non-engineering field.

Engineering Design Mission Statement

Engineering Design employs repeated, immersive design experiences to cultivate students who

Embrace the ambiguity of design

Select design processes from multiple disciplines as appropriate to the project

Tackle projects with gusto

Commit to professional and ethical responsibilities while remembering global, social, economic, and environmental considerations

Communicate respectfully and effectively

Create collaborative and inclusive teams


Engineering Design Program Educational Objectives

In support of our mission and based on the needs of our constituents, alumni from our program are expected to attain:

Ethically-minded solutions to open-ended problems using engineering and/or design principles

Recognition as skilled engineers and/or designers

Meaningful, collaborative work

Active involvement in professional & personal development

Contributions to society locally, nationally, or globally

Recognition as facilitators of multidisciplinary teams


Student Outcomes

Attainment of these outcomes prepares graduates to enter the professional practice of engineering.

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objects
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgement to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies


All Engineering Design students must select a specialization.  A specialization allows a student to gain in-depth knowledge of a specific technical area. Plans of study for a student’s specialization must be reviewed by a committee of program faculty as part of ENGD 150.  A final deliverable for the specialization is due as part of IA 229.  Alterations to the specialization plan of study must be approved by the faculty committee. 

The specialization plan of study must:

  1. Consist of 24 credits in engineering topics
  2. Have a clearly identified theme
  3. Not include any named required courses

Practicum Courses: All engineering design students must take 16 hours of practicum courses.  Enrollment in a practicum course requires professional employment such as an internship or co-op. The professional employment must average a minimum of 25 hours per week of work and have a duration of at least eight weeks. The professional employment must include some aspect of the design process such as commercialization, conceptual design, manufacturing, modeling, process improvement, product design, product improvement, quality methods, testing, or design validation.

Plan of Study

Freshman Open Close
Sophomore Open Close
Junior Open Close
Senior Open Close


*Students who want to take a foreign language may postpone these courses and graduate on time with careful scheduling.

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