Applying for a BS in Engineering and Applied Sciences

Before starting your proposal for a BS in Engineering and Applied Sciences—also known as an Interdepartmental Engineering (IDE) proposal, we recommend investigating existing majors and gathering information from other students and faculty. Each engineering and applied sciences major curriculum should be designed in consultation with at least one Hajim School faculty advisor and academic advisor. Serious applicants should schedule an appointment with associate dean Paul Funkenbusch to solicit feedback.

Once you have a good handle on the direction you want to go, you should draw up a list of tentative courses with the help of your advisors. Engineering and applied sciences major programs must fulfill all the degree requirements.

Proposal Form

The proposal form should include a list of proposed courses, as well as all of the elements outlined in this section.

Before submitting your proposal, you must show that you have (or will have at the current semester's end) completed at least the primary writing requirement, three math courses (including one in differential equations), four courses in physics or chemistry (with at least one in each), and two core courses by the time the proposal is submitted. These courses are indicated by an asterisk on the application.

A GPA of at least 2.7 in the above listed courses and an overall GPA of 2.0 are required for admission.

Statement of Focus

The statement of focus should respond to the following:

  • Briefly discuss your long term educational and career goals. (Although the committee will judge your program based on its academic merit, the committee also serves in an advisory role.)
  • Explain why these goals cannot be achieved within an existing departmental major, or within a combination of a departmental major and a minor and/or certificate.
  • Discuss how you propose to integrate the courses you have listed into a unified course of study. Explain how you propose to make your major more than just a series of courses in different departments. You should give details about the courses you have taken, as well as those you have not taken.

Expressing your program clearly and concisely is an important factor in the approval process. You are strongly recommended to consult with your faculty advisors, as well as with advisors in the Hajim School Dean’s Office in writing this essay. Proposals with poorly written essays will not be approved.

Description of your Senior Thesis/Design Project

This part of the application is a written summary of an independent study or an individual or group design project under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member during your senior year.

Letter of Support

Your letter of support should preferably be from the faculty member overseeing your senior thesis or design project.

Submitting your Proposal

Merge the above documents into a single pdf file with the filename “IDE Proposal – Your Name.pdf". Attach that file to an email and send to In the subject line, write “IDE Proposal: Your Name.”

Students are encouraged to apply as soon as they have identified their technical sequences and faculty advisor and have completed the courses identified in the proposal form. Applications must be submitted prior to the semester the student intends to complete the requirements for the major. Students intending to graduate at the end of the spring semester need to submit their application by November 1 of the previous fall semester. Students intending to graduate at the end of the fall semester need to submit their application by April 1 of the previous spring semester.

Proposal Review and Approval

When reviewing proposals, the committee takes all the elements into account the:

  • Title of proposed major
  • Proposed courses
  • Senior project proposal description
  • Faculty letter of support
  • Statement of focus

While IDE proposals are occasionally turned down, it is more likely that the committee may ask you to revise your course list before granting approval. If the Engineering and Applied Sciences Program Committee has questions or concerns about your proposed program, the chair of the committee will contact you.

Once an IDE program is approved, you will need to transfer the courses from your IDE proposal form to the online major declaration form. Please list the courses in the order they appear on the form, and do not include any that are not listed (i.e.: cluster courses, free electives, primary writing, etc.). Additional information about filling out this form can be found in the Major/Minor Declaration Student Instructions (PDF).