uses the knowledge provided by science to solve practical,
real-world problems. Because of constraints, which may range
from laws and ethics to costs and environmental impact, the
optimal engineering approach may vastly differ from the best
scientific solution. Engineers need to evaluate strategies
offered by science in the societal context in which the engineering
problem arises; moreover, engineers must communicate effectively
as part of a team.
3-2 Engineering Program is designed to give students both
technical knowledge and a broad grounding in the humanities
and social sciences. In the program, students spend the first
three years at Oberlin and then attend one of the affiliated
engineering schools for two years. At the end of five years,
students receive two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin
and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the engineering
school. Oberlin's partners for the 3-2 program are Case Western
Reserve University (Cleveland), the California Institute of
Technology (Caltech, Pasadena, California), Washington University
(St. Louis), and the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
ensure fulfillment of entry requirements at partner engineering
schools, students are encouraged to discuss their interest
in the program as early as possible with Oberlin's engineering
advisor, Taylor Allen, who is trained as a biomedical engineer
(specialization in chemical engineering) and who is an Assistant
Professor of Biology.
Placement. AP credit for the courses listed under Major
Requirements, below, may be granted by the individual departments.
Course Sequence Suggestions. It is suggested that first-year
students interested in engineering take a mathematics course
(Math 133, 134, 231, or 234), as well as either chemistry
or physics during their first year at Oberlin.
A student may declare 3-2 Engineering as her or his major
at Oberlin and take a schedule which includes the courses
listed below. To be accepted by the engineering school, a
student normally must maintain a grade point average of 3.0
or greater. If a student does not proceed to an engineering
school, she or he must satisfy the requirements for some other
major at Oberlin.
recommendations of the three engineering schools differ slightly;
however, it is generally required that a 3-2 engineering student
take the following courses at Oberlin:
101 Structure and Reactivity
102 Chemical Principles
For qualified students, the above two courses may be replaced
103 Topics in General Chemistry
150 Principles of Computer Science, unless proficiency in
computer programming is obtained by some other means
133 Calculus I
134 Calculus II
231 Multivariable Calculus
234 Differential Equations
110 Mechanics and Relativity
111 Electricity, Magnetism, Optics, Waves
112 Modern Physics
For some engineering specialties, such as chemical engineering
or biomedical engineering, additional courses are recommended,
There is no minor in engineering.
students in this program spend only three years at Oberlin,
they must satisfy modified general requirements for the Oberlin
At least 84 credit hours, no more than 63 hours of which may
be in a single division and no more than 42 hours of which
may be in a single department or program.
Two Winter Term credits.
At least four semesters in residence at Oberlin or on Oberlin
College programs, completing not less than 56 hours of College
work. Ordinarily, the last 12 Oberlin credit hours must be
taken while in residence.
The following general requirements more completely specified
in the section "Requirements for Graduation" of the College
of Arts and Sciences:
a. Writing proficiency;
b. Quantitative proficiency;
c. Nine credit hours in each of the three divisions of the
d. Nine credit hours in courses dealing mainly with cultural
Honors. There is no honors program in engineering.
Other Programs. Students interested in engineering may
spend four years at Oberlin, major in an appropriate natural
science or in mathematics, and then work toward a Bachelor
of Science in Engineering degree or an advanced degree at
an engineering school. Please note that generally it is the
B.S.E. degree, not an advanced degree, that is needed for
one to become a licensed professional engineer.
Winter Term. Students may arrange engineering internships
with companies during January. In addition, Washington University
offers intensive courses in several engineering fields during
January, and one of these may be taken for Oberlin Winter