Engineering can be a largely self-selecting profession. To succeed as an engineer quantitative proficiency and an ability to solve complex problems are required. Although engineering professionals can find themselves working alone on quantitative problems, entire projects are very team-oriented, so it is important to be able to cooperate with other members of your team and maintain a strong professional network. There are many different specialty fields in engineering, so it is worth the time to explore the discipline fully.
Our Science and Mathematics curriculum will prepare you for opportunities in the engineering sector. Specifically, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Math, or Computer Science will provide you with foundational skills required for more advanced study. An option provided at H-SC is our unique dual-degree program in engineering with the University of Virginia, in which the student obtains a BS degree from H-SC and an MS in Engineering from UVa. For more information contact Dr. Hugh "Trey" Thurman.
Depending on which specific field of engineering is chosen, the student should major in a science most closely related to that field. For example, mechanical engineering is best associated with physics while biomedical engineering is best suited to either biology or chemistry. Regardless of your major, interested students can engage with engineering by joining the Society for Physics Students, attending frequent talks by recent graduates, and registering for Advanced Labs.
In addition to technical knowledge, engineers benefit from the intangible skills that are taught at H-SC. Engineers must write and speak effectively, so that they can descriptively yet simply communicate their ideas to associates and clients. The H-SC rhetoric program provides a rigorous learning laboratory to develop your written and oral rhetorical skills. These skills are enhanced in the introductory and advanced lab sequences offered in the Physics and Astronomy department. The Career Education and Vocational Reflection Office can assist you with interview preparation, career research, and internship searching. H-SC men have frequently been selected for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs across the country. H-SC men can also pursue summer research projects through the Honors Program.
If you intend to go to graduate school, it is vital to prepare for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The Career Education and Vocational Reflection Office offers a number of preparation resources, as does the Bortz Library. GRE test dates are scheduled online and can be taken at a number of test centers nationwide. The types of graduate programs vary widely in emphasis, and even include some programs like Engineering Management, which might interest students with a passion for engineering and business. It is also vital to determine how pursuing a master's degree or Ph.D will impact your career goals. Beyond graduate school, many engineers also pursue certification through the rigorous Professional Engineer exam.