n g i n e e r i n g S c h o o l
The study of engineering in
the United States remains a popular choice among students from all over the
globe. This desire for a quality engineering education arises from real
needs to solve important problems at the local, regional, national, and the
global levels. Such critical problems as: developing new energy sources,
improving productivity of manufacturing processes, and development of
affordable environmental controls are—for the most part—engineering
problems. In addition to the excellent engineering education, many
international students choose education in the United States because of the
academic freedom and progress toward inclusiveness. All ideas and beliefs
can be given free expression and advocacy.
Engineers occupy an
intermediary position between the scientists and the public because, in
addition to applying scientific principles to solve problems, they are
concerned with the timing, economics, and values that define the use and
application of those principles. With this broad responsibility in mind, the
employment demand for engineering graduates is predicted to remain strong.
The first two years of an
engineering education are designed to lay a strong foundation in
mathematics, physical sciences, and the engineering sciences. Course
requirements for the first year do not differ by very much, regardless of
the specific engineering program. Second year course requirements are about
75% common among all of the programs. This affords students considerable
flexibility in choosing a particular engineering program.
During the last two years the
students must complete a required set of upper level engineering core
courses in the selected major and a fixed number of technical elective
courses. The curricula provide a blend of required courses and electives for
each major, which allow students to pursue their interests without the risk
Students graduate with the
skills and knowledge base necessary for success as professional engineers.
Moreover, there is growing recognition that an engineering education is an
excellent preparation for a wide spectrum of careers in other areas such as
business, law, and medicine. This range is possible because an engineering
education in the U.S. provides breadth in subjects outside engineering and
technical electives. This includes humanities, the arts, social sciences,
There are more than thirty
accredited engineering programs and more than three hundred engineering
schools in the United States. The largest program is in electrical
engineering (includes electronic). This is followed by mechanical, civil,
chemical and computer engineering. The next largest programs are industrial,
aerospace (includes aeronautics and astronautics), environmental and general
engineering. This is based upon data taken from the 66th ABET Annual
Report of 1997-1998 Engineering Accreditation Commission.
programs at two hundred and seventy-three institutions, is the largest of
all engineering disciplines. Focus areas include communication and computer
systems, control systems, electro-magnetic, microelectronics, and power
systems. Within these areas are sub-areas of study including solid state
electronics, integrated circuits, lasers, computer design, power,
communications, digital signal processing and antenna design.
the second largest engineering discipline. It prepares students in the
traditional fundamentals such as solid mechanics, fluid mechanics,
thermodynamics heat transfer, materials, electronic instrumentation and
measurements, controls and designs. These fundamentals are used in the
design and production of internal combustion engines, diesel engines,
turbine engines, pressure valves and piping, air conditioners, heating
systems, refrigeration systems, machine tools, automobiles, aircraft,
trains, copying machines, and staplers.
Engineering offers programs of study in planning, design
construction and operation of large, complex systems. These include
buildings and bridges, water purification and distribution systems,
highways, rapid transit and rail systems, ports and harbors, airports,
tunnels and underground construction, dams, power generating stations, and
structural components of aircraft and ships. Civil engineering also includes
urban and city planning, water and land pollution, and treatment problems.
Engineering deals with the efficient operation of the
complete chemical plant or its components: with the engineering services
required for improving and understanding products produced, with the sales
and economic distribution of the plant products; and with the management of
process industry plants and industrial complexes.
Engineering encompasses the study of hardware systems
(electrical networks, electronics and very large integrated circuits);
software systems (algorithms, data structures, and operating systems); and
interaction of hardware and software systems (digital logic, signal and
system theory, computer architectural and performance analysis).
Schools in the United States
value the international students' contribution to the student body.
Therefore, applications from prospective international students are
welcomed. However, it is important to meet application deadlines. The
admission requirements and application procedures vary from institution to
Application forms may be
obtained by writing or sending an e-mail to the institution's undergraduate
admissions office. In many cases the application may also be requested and
submitted on-line via the World Wide Web.
Students interested in
studying engineering may apply for direct admission to their school of
choice. However, these students should have started their preparation for
pursuing an engineering degree while still in high school. This preparation
would include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. In
addition, students should complete one year each of physics and chemistry.
If students are deficient in
their high school preparation, direct admission into the engineering program
could be denied. However, indirect admission options are available. Some
engineering schools have formed partnerships with non-engineering colleges
and universities. Students participating in a partnership program spend the
first three years at one of the non-engineering institutions and then
transfer to the engineering school for the last two years.
In addition to these four
year institutions, engineering colleges in some cases have articulation
agreements with community colleges. Students generally transfer after two
years at a community college. While attending a non-engineering university
or community college, the students can prepare for the pursuit of an
engineering degree by successfully completing a partnership or articulated
It is important to understand
that an undergraduate engineering education is only one step in a lifetime
of learning. The engineering field evolves at a rapid rate. Thus, engineers
must be prepared for a lifetime of learning. Many students will find that
graduate engineering education is an important step to realizing their
professional and personal goals.
Whatever school you may
select, have a successful experience as an engineering student. Upon
graduation you will be prepared to serve the emerging needs of society.