Mission Statement | Undergraduate Degree Programs | Combined Majors and/or Multiple Degrees | Dual Degree Program | Study Abroad and International Experiences | Cooperative Education and Internships | Pre-Medical Education | Engineering Summer School | Student Services | Course Descriptions | First-Year Program | Recommended Courses
The mission of the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis is to serve society as a center for learning in engineering, science and technology. It is our duty to disseminate and create knowledge through teaching, research, publications and the transfer of important ideas and research into the development of new products and technologies. We strive to provide an environment that nurtures critical thinking and the education of innovators and leaders for the future.
The McKelvey School of Engineering offers four-year, full-time programs of instruction leading to various bachelor of science degrees. Bachelor of science degrees are available in the fields of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, and systems science and engineering.
If a student is interested in an academic program broadly based on the engineering sciences, the McKelvey School of Engineering offers the Bachelor of Science (BS) Major in Applied Science degree with several options, including chemical engineering, computer science + math, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and systems science & engineering. These degree options provide more flexibility for students who do not intend to become licensed engineers and want to select their course work according to their personal educational objectives. For example, some students use this flexibility to gain technical background and training while pursuing or preparing for professional training in medicine, business or law. However, although the flexibility exists to do so, it is not necessary to combine an applied science degree program with another major or degree. Students can also use this added flexibility to achieve a well-rounded undergraduate education by selecting courses from across the university while pursuing a degree in the McKelvey School of Engineering.
BS in Engineering (Individually Designed Major)
The requirements to be admitted to an individually designed major (IDM) are more stringent than those for our other engineering degree programs. The IDM will not be available to students when they first enter Washington University, so it will not be listed on the admissions application as an option.
Students applying for an IDM should meeting the following requirements:
- Have already completed at least one semester at Washington University
- Apply before the beginning of the junior year
- Have at least a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average at Washington University and be maintaining good standing in the McKelvey School of Engineering
- Find an Engineering faculty member who will agree to serve as their IDM adviser (The student and adviser will design a plan of study, which lists the courses that must be successfully completed to earn the IDM. That plan must include at least 42 engineering units of credit.)
- Satisfy all other general engineering degree requirements
- Present (with the help of their adviser) the plan to a standing engineering committee (normally the Engineering Undergraduate Studies Committee), which will then assess the proposed plan and approve or deny the request
Multiple Majors in Engineering
All undergraduate divisions at Washington University allow students to pursue majors and degrees in more than one division. The following options are available:
Second Degrees. A student in any undergraduate division of the university may be allowed by another division to pursue a second bachelor's degree. For this, the student must satisfactorily complete all of the degree requirements for both degrees in order to earn two diplomas. These requirements may include a "residency" requirement. For engineering majors, this residency requirement is described elsewhere on this page. In addition, the College of Arts & Sciences requires any student earning an AB degree and a bachelor's degree from another division to earn a minimum of 150 total units. If the additional residency and units requirement for a second degree are incompatible with a student's plan, then the student should consider a second major as a more convenient and equally viable alternative.
Second Majors. A student pursuing a bachelor's degree in engineering may also pursue second majors offered by other undergraduate divisions. There are four second majors offered by the McKelvey School of Engineering: computer science, electrical engineering science, financial engineering and systems science. In addition, there are second majors offered by the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Business. Students may declare a second major online via WebSTAC up until the time they have filed an Intent to Graduate. Upon completion of the requirements, the student's transcript will show an engineering degree and all earned second majors. Only one diploma is granted; no reference to the second major is noted on the diploma.
Minors. Undergraduate students are allowed to pursue minors offered by any undergraduate division of the university. A minor usually requires five to six courses. The minor program's home division sets the requirements for admission to and completion of the minor program. Students may declare a minor online via WebSTAC up until the time they have filed an Intent to Graduate. An engineering student who completes all of the requirements will have the award of the minor noted on the official transcript; no reference to the minor is noted on the diploma.
Residency Rule for Engineering Minors: No more than 6 units of credit transferred from another institution (outside of Washington University) can be used to meet the requirements of any minor offered by the McKelvey School of Engineering. The remaining units (up to the amount required for the minor) must be applicable units from Washington University. The review committee that oversees a minor has the authority to establish a more stringent residency rule.
Bachelor's/Master's Program in Engineering
This program provides students who enter Washington University as undergraduates in day-school programs the opportunity to earn McKelvey School of Engineering master's degrees; this includes Henry Edwin Sever Institute master's degrees. Interested students are encouraged to discuss the program with faculty advisers by the end of their junior year in order to best develop a plan for their master's study.
Students must meet the admission requirements and application deadlines stipulated by McKelvey School of Engineering and the department of interest. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for admission, but some programs may have higher GPA requirements. Each McKelvey School of Engineering department has the option to participate as well as to decide which master's programs to offer students. Students must be admitted to a degree program in Engineering at least one semester prior to their anticipated graduation semester.
Scholarship support may be available to students during their master's year of study. Full-time student status is typically required to be eligible for scholarship support. For more information regarding scholarships and financial aid in the final master's year of study, please visit the Bachelor's/Master's Program website.
The Bachelor's/Master's Program for current McKelvey School of Engineering undergraduate students normally takes one additional year to complete and requires participants to complete at least 150 total units. Up to 6 units of the 150 total units can be used to satisfy requirements for both degrees; however, at least 150 units must still be completed, and all stipulated degree requirements for both programs must be satisfied.
To satisfy residency for both degrees, all participants must complete a minimum of 84 applicable Washington University units, which includes a combination of at least 60 in-residence units counted for the engineering undergraduate degree and at least 30 in-residence units counted for the engineering master's degree, with a total of 6 units from undergraduate course work double-counting toward the requirements for both degrees.
The cumulative GPA used to determine undergraduate final Latin honors will include all undergraduate and graduate course work completed up until the time Latin honors are officially determined in May of each year. This means that master's courses will also be included in the calculations if a student defers earning the BS degree until the master's degree is also earned.
Students from other undergraduate divisions at Washington University are also eligible to participate in the Bachelor's/Master's Program. These students must complete their undergraduate degrees before they are designated as being primary McKelvey School of Engineering master's students. Admitted students may take longer than one year to complete the requirements for a master's degree. Part-time graduate enrollment might be possible with prior permission, but students will be required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards connected to financial aid in order to maintain scholarship and financial aid support. Scholarship support can be applied to "E" courses taken at Washington University during the summer if those courses count toward fulfilling the requirements of the master's degree. Scholarship support used during a summer session will count as one of the total semesters of scholarship support available to the student.
A reasonable number of required prerequisite courses as defined by the department may be taken while the student is admitted to the master's program, but these courses will not be counted toward the McKelvey School of Engineering master's degree if they are courses not normally counted toward its requirement. Prerequisite courses will count in the student's GPA when determining probation/suspension eligibility and SAP standards. Poor performance (i.e., earning less than B- grades) in these courses can be grounds for removal from the program by the department.
A minimum of 24 units of residency counted for the Engineering master's degree is required for all students. When approved by the department, up to 6 units can be used to satisfy requirements for both the non-Engineering undergraduate degree and the Engineering master's degree.
Other Bachelor's/Master's Programs
These programs allow engineering undergraduates to earn master's degrees outside of the McKelvey School of Engineering. Students in these 3/2 programs will pay the standard full-time undergraduate tuition rate for the fourth year, except for those in the MBA program, which charges a premium above the undergraduate tuition rate. Students will receive financial aid for the fourth year based on their eligibility for undergraduate financial aid awards, including Pell grants.
There is no commitment for undergraduate financial aid beyond the fourth year of study; students in 3/2 programs may apply to the professional programs for graduate student financial aid for study in the professional program beyond the fourth year.
This policy applies to the current 3/2 programs involving bachelor's/master's programs in engineering, social work and business and to any future Washington University 3/2 programs.
The McKelvey School of Engineering and the Olin Business School offer a five-year program leading to the Bachelor of Science engineering degree and the Master of Business Administration degree. The purpose of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to develop an educational background particularly in demand by industry.
Students should apply to this joint program by April 1 of their junior year. They must complete the application for admission to the Olin Business School, which is available through the business school. There is no GPA requirement, but students must take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Registration materials for the test may be obtained through the business school. Applicants are judged on undergraduate performance, GMAT scores, summer and/or co-op work experience, recommendations and personal interviews.
The BS/MBA student's fourth-year curriculum is composed largely of business courses. The fifth-year curriculum is divided almost evenly between business and engineering courses. Because the merging of the two curricula results in very tight scheduling, it is possible that course overloads may be necessary to complete both programs in 10 semesters. Students are strongly urged to meet with their advisers to plan the remaining years of the program.
The McKelvey School of Engineering offers a dual degree program with numerous other affiliated liberal arts colleges and universities. Qualified students earn both a non-engineering baccalaureate from the first school and a Washington University bachelor's degree in engineering by attending the affiliated institution for three or four years, then completing the program with two years of concentrated engineering study at Washington University.
If students are enrolled at an affiliated institution, they may apply for admission to dual degree study under this program, provided they are recommended by an official representative of their college or university and will receive or have received the non-engineering baccalaureate. For more information, please visit the Dual Degree Program website.
Engineering Undergraduate Degree (Undergraduate 2-Year Option)
Students enter as undergraduate students and complete a liberal arts degree from their current school and an engineering undergraduate degree from Washington University. Participants are undergraduate students who commonly follow a 3/2 or a 4/2 schedule, entering Washington University after their junior or senior year. Please note that all students earning an undergraduate engineering degree are required to complete a minimum of 60 course units taken at Washington University.
Engineering Undergraduate & Graduate Degrees (Graduate 3-Year Option)
Students enter as graduate students and complete both a liberal arts degree from their current school and then an engineering undergraduate degree and engineering master's degree in three years at Washington University. The engineering master's degree and the undergraduate degree can be in different areas. Participants commonly follow a 3/3 or 4/3 schedule, entering Washington University after their junior or senior year. Please note that all students earning both an undergraduate and graduate degree are required to complete a minimum of 84 course units at Washington University. The GRE is not required for admission.
Students in the McKelvey School of Engineering can study abroad in a number of countries and participate in several global experiences to help broaden their educational experience. These opportunities enable students to become global citizens who are better able to address current issues.
For information about these programs, please visit the McKelvey School of Engineering website.
The Engineering Cooperative (Co-op) Program is coordinated through the Career Center. It offers students a unique opportunity to gain in-depth engineering experience prior to graduation. Co-op students learn about a field of engineering by working alongside practicing engineers on extensive projects of the sort that are typically undertaken by entry-level engineers. This type of experience gives students a chance to preview a career path and employment options, to gain career clarification, to improve communication and team project skills, and to enhance their marketability with future employers. The cooperative education experience is typically completed over the course of a semester and a summer term, but it may be extended for a maximum of one year with faculty adviser approval.
In addition, the Career Center provides resources for students searching for summer internships and/or part-time fall or spring internships with local companies while enrolled in courses.
For more information about co-ops and internships, please visit the Career Center website or call 314-935-5930.
The McKelvey School of Engineering makes available, as options within its undergraduate degree programs, curricula that prepare students for entry into medical, dental or veterinary school while they pursue the undergraduate degree.
These curricula were formulated in recognition of the increasing importance in medicine of the methods and subject matter of the basic engineering sciences. The student who successfully completes one of the curricula will be well prepared for the study of medicine and will have, in addition, a solid background in engineering. Moreover, the student who decides not to go on to medical school will have an exceptionally wide selection of options, including not only those commonly open to the graduate in engineering but also to those who have completed graduate study in biomedical engineering. In accordance with the recommendations of the school's Pre-Medicine Committee, all curricula include — in addition to the normal degree requirements — the following courses:
- Biology: Biol 2960, Biol 2970
- Biochemistry: Biol 451
- General Chemistry: two semesters with lab
- Organic Chemistry: two semesters with lab
- General Physics: two semesters with lab
- Psychology: Psych 100B
- Sociology: SOC 2510
Many medical schools have other assorted prerequisites, which can be found in the AMCAS Instruction Manual. Students may download the manual from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website.
If students are interested in attending medical or dental school, they must consult and register with the Pre-Medicine Committee before the end of their sophomore year. Engineering students should contact the pre-medical adviser in Engineering Undergraduate Student Services, Lopata Hall, Room 303.
There is extensive detailed information concerning the Medical College Admission Test, the choice of advanced biology or chemistry courses, and the choice of medical school that should be discussed prior to the beginning of the junior year. Students requesting a cover letter from the Pre-Medicine Committee must complete the Pre-Health Application Institutional Review (PIR) by April of the year in which they apply.
The McKelvey School of Engineering offers a variety of engineering courses each summer. Class times are varied to accommodate both traditional daytime students and those with full- or part-time employment. The engineering summer school calendar comprises one full eight-week evening session as well as several accelerated sessions of shorter duration.
If students are interested in enrolling in an engineering summer course, they can obtain further information in Lopata Hall, Room 303, or by phone at 314-935-6100.
Engineering Undergraduate Student Services, which located in Lopata Hall, Room 303, has three main areas: Admissions, Advising Support, and Registrar. Our admissions officers work closely with the university Admissions Office to provide current and useful information to students and parents who are learning about our university, our community, and the opportunities available in the McKelvey School of Engineering. The advising staff has a comprehensive knowledge of all campus resources and can help with such items as tutoring, international studies, assistance with the registration process, and general advising. The registrar handles class scheduling, transfer and AP credit, course registration, graduation eligibility, and other student-records–related processes. Engineering Undergraduate Student Services serves all students, faculty and staff. For an appointment, call 314-935-6100.
Engineering Communication Center
The Engineering Communication Center offers all engineering students, faculty and postdocs free help with their engineering communication needs. The faculty who staff the center work with individuals to define audiences and purposes, develop and organize ideas, create effective graphics and page design, and sharpen self-editing skills. Help is offered for résumés and employment correspondence, proposals, formal reports, lab reports, graduate program application statements, and presentations. For an appointment, call 314-935-4902 or email the Engineering Communication Center.
The Career Center
The Career Center helps engineering students prepare for a lifetime of career management by offering innovative approaches to help prepare them for a successful co-op, internship and job search. The Career Center offers a variety of services and resources for engineering undergraduate and graduate students.
Whether students are looking for a summer internship, a co-op experience, or a full-time job, the center is here to help. The Career Center offers a breadth of resources, including CareerLink: an online job, co-op and internship database; the Engineering Mentoring Program; ENGroups: Engineering Careers Interest Groups; special events; skill-building workshops; career fairs and on-campus interviews; and résumé referrals for job opportunities.
The Career Center offers one-on-one career guidance to students at any stage of their career-planning process. Students are encouraged to meet with a career adviser early in their academic career and at least once each year to build a relationship. To schedule an advising appointment, please call 314-935-5930, email the Career Center, or visit the Career Center website.
For administrative purposes, the McKelvey School of Engineering is subdivided into five academic departments: Biomedical Engineering (E62); Computer Science & Engineering (E81); Electrical & Systems Engineering (E35); Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering (E44); and Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science (E37). Each department may offer courses leading to one or more bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees.
The courses of instruction are numbered according to the following system:
- 100 to 199 are primarily for first-year students.
- 200 to 299 are primarily for sophomores.
- 300 to 399 are primarily for juniors.
- 400 to 499 are primarily for juniors and seniors, although certain courses may carry graduate credit.
- 500 and above are offered to graduate students and to juniors and seniors who have met all stated requirements. If there are no stated requirements, juniors and seniors should obtain permission of the instructor.
One unit of credit is given for each hour of lecture, and one unit is given for each two and one-half hours of laboratory. Each course description shows the course's credit. A table of all engineering courses (PDF) and, for each course, the division of its topics units is available and frequently updated on the school's website.
First-Year Program is offered as a starting point for beginning students and their advisers when planning each student's individual course schedule.
A typical first-year course load totals 14 to 16 units for each semester. It may be that a load of less than 14 units is desirable, but students are advised not to enroll in more than 16 units during the first semester. Students should enroll in the following courses:
- Calculus: Beginning engineering students with previous calculus course work usually start with Math 132 Calculus II. Students with a strong mathematics background may be ready for Math 233 Calculus III or even Math 217 Differential Equations.
- Physics and/or Chemistry: If biomedical engineering or chemical engineering is a likely major, chemistry and physics should be completed during the first year; for other majors, physics is the recommended choice.
- Other Courses: Most first-year engineering students also enroll in one or more humanities/social sciences courses, engineering courses at the 100 level, and perhaps a computer science course. If students have a major or are strongly leaning toward a major, they should follow the recommendations for that major.
- English Proficiency: The English proficiency requirement must be completed as soon as possible. Refer to the Engineering Degree Requirements for further details on this requirement.
Suggested Courses for First Semester
|Mathematics (Math 132)||3|
|Physics (Physics 191F, 191L)||4|
|Chemistry (Chem 111A or Chem 105 and Chem 151)*||5|
|Humanities/social sciences elective||3|
*Required for Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Pre-Medicine students during the first semester.
Suggested Courses for Second Semester
|Mathematics (next course)||3|
|Physics (Physics 192F, 192L)||4|
|Chemistry (Chem 112A and Chem 152)**||5|
|Humanities/social sciences elective||3|
**Required for Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Pre-Medicine students during the second semester.
The following list recommends course sequences for each engineering major.
- Biomedical Engineering: BME 140 first semester; Biol 2960 second semester
- Chemical Engineering: EECE 101
- Computer Engineering: CSE 131 first semester; CSE 132 second semester
- Computer Science: CSE 131–CSE 132 first and second semester; CSE 240 second semester
- Electrical Engineering: CSE 131 and ESE 105 first semester; ESE 260 second semester
- Environmental Engineering: EECE 101 first semester; EECE 210 second semester
- Mechanical Engineering: MEMS 202 first semester
- Systems Science and Engineering: CSE 131 and ESE 105 first semester; ESE 205 second semester.
|Contact:||Engineering Undergraduate Student Services|