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Engineering

Engineering 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.

The 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).

To 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.

Advanced Placement. AP credit for the courses listed under Major Requirements, below, may be granted by the individual departments.

Entry-Level 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.

Major. 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.

The 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:

Chemistry
101 Structure and Reactivity
102 Chemical Principles
For qualified students, the above two courses may be replaced by
103 Topics in General Chemistry

Computer Science
150 Principles of Computer Science, unless proficiency in computer programming is obtained by some other means

Mathematics
133 Calculus I
134 Calculus II
231 Multivariable Calculus
234 Differential Equations

Physics
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, as well.

Minor. There is no minor in engineering.

Graduation Requirements.

Because students in this program spend only three years at Oberlin, they must satisfy modified general requirements for the Oberlin degree:
1. 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.
2. Two Winter Term credits.
3. 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.
4. 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 College;
d. Nine credit hours in courses dealing mainly with cultural diversity.

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 Term credit.

 

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