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What Are the Different Engineering Course Requirements?

B. Leslie Baird
B. Leslie Baird

Engineering course requirements can vary depending on the degree program and the college or university selected. While most institutions require numerous courses in mathematics and physics for any engineering degree, the balance of the scientific courses normally depends on the program. In addition, the majority of schools have candidates complete a series of general education classes that involve language, history, and electives in humanities, social sciences, government, and art or music. The majority of programs worldwide also require that students maintain a minimum passing grade established by the school.

Calculus is a typical engineering course requirement for almost all degrees in any technical engineering program including mechanical, electrical or electronics engineering. Entry-level course requirements for calculus can include algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Technically-based programs can require three or more calculus courses, including differential equations. Degrees in other sciences may only require an entry-level course in calculus.

Engineering courses require one or more calculus classes.
Engineering courses require one or more calculus classes.

Physics is the second most frequently required area of most engineering coursework. Mechanical, structural, electrical and aeronautic engineering are among some of the programs that feature several different classes in physics. For those interested in civil or structural engineering programs, degree requirements often include drafting, surveying, and building codes, as well as core classes in mathematics and physics.

Chemical or biological engineering degrees usually have stringent engineering course requirements that include organic chemistry and molecular biology. Degrees in these fields demand a solid understanding of life sciences. Mathematics and general physics courses provide a foundation for further study in chemistry and biology. Some life science study can be part of any engineering course requirements to enhance the student’s overall science understanding.

Statistics and economics courses can be included in the foundation for degrees in engineering degrees focused on management and finance. These programs may not always require as high a level of technical mathematics study. Engineering management and financial engineering are two of the degrees that may be obtained by those interested in the business side of industry. While these degrees are not as technically oriented, many schools include them in the engineering category.

Other general education classes are commonly among engineering course requirements. These may include computer science or programming and technical writing. In the U.S. and United Kingdom, students are typically required to take one or more English courses as well as a foreign language. In other countries, the study of the native language may be included with English as a foreign language recommendation.

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    • Engineering courses require one or more calculus classes.
      By: bradcalkins
      Engineering courses require one or more calculus classes.