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BS in Interdepartmental Engineering

Overview

A student working in a lab

Students who want to pursue degree programs in engineering may find that a typical BS program may be too specific for their individual needs. The interdepartmental engineering (IDE) major allows students to design an individualized course of study not readily available through an existing major, or a combination of existing majors and/or minors in the Hajim School.

The program is designed for highly motivated students whose interdisciplinary curiosity and career ambitions cannot be satisfied by a traditional, preexisting major. Recent technological, economic, and social developments have significantly extended the range of problems to which engineering skills and methodologies must be applied. Problems in environmental quality, transportation systems, housing, and urban planning, among others, challenge students to develop programs combining technical knowledge with social and political awareness. Additionally, the growing complexity of our technological society requires some engineers who have integrated studies in several technical fields.

Students can devise an IDE major from the offerings of two or more engineering departments if the goals of this major are not clearly approximated by those of one of the existing engineering majors. An IDE major requires that students also complete three sequences of technical courses of their own choosing. Additionally, students must complete an independent study project that culminates in a written senior thesis or design project. The Interdepartmental Programs in Engineering (IDE) Committee reviews each proposed program and may accept it, reject it, or require it to be modified. The program approved by the IDE Committee for a given student constitutes that student's degree requirements.

This is a rigorous process that requires a strong commitment. You must clearly define what you want, demonstrate that your interests lie outside any established program, then search out the courses, faculty, and fields that define a robust, coherent plan of study. It's not for everyone but the rewards can far outweigh the effort!