Courses to Take

We suggest that you talk to faculty about what it means to be an engineer. Taking one of the physics department courses designed for engineers is a great way to get a taste of engineering as well.

Note: Prior to academic year 2023-24 and the introduction of the Engineering Science program, all students pursuing engineering majored or minored in physics. Below, we describe the core and elective courses which are part of the new program, which builds upon the track that most students who pursued engineering studies by declaring a major in physics.

Our program offers a flexible path to explore different fields of engineering that you might wish to consider. For those interested in all engineering disciplines,though, the following courses are the introductory courses recommended for students interested in pursuing careers in engineering - and so you should plan on taking these courses in your first two years:

First Courses for Those Interested in All Branches of Engineering

  • Physics 151/152 or 201/202 [REQUIRED]

Even if you don't major in physics, knowledge about the basics of physics is important for any career in engineering, and our graduates who go on to engineering futures stand out because they take extensive coursework in physics.  Nearly all of our students who go on in engineering complete a physics major. Taking more physics will strengthen your understanding of how physical things work and will be invaluable in helping you develop designs that leverage real world principles. One or the other of these pairs of courses is required for the Engineering Science major

  • Chemistry 151/152 or 201 [REQUIRED]

Understanding the basics of chemical reactions is essential for anyone going into a field that involves materials, which almost all engineering fields do. Take Chem 151/152 unless you have a strong experience in Chemistry during high school, in which case you should take the faster-paced Chem 201. This is a required course for Engineering Science majors.

  • Math 151, 152, 240, 351 [REQUIRED] 253[HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]

In-depth knowledge of mathematics is key for any engineer, and therefore after the first courses in calculus, we recommend taking as many applied math courses as you can.  Any physics major pursuing engineering takes all of these courses as they are required for the major. For non-physics major engineering students, we strongly recommend the same set.

  • Computer Science 150 [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]

Computational skills are key for any engineer, and therefore we recommend that you begin with CS 150, a first course in Python. 


For those interested in various engineering fields, see the links at right, which specify particular courses we recommend for students interested in those fields.