What Are the Different Types of Engineering Required Courses?

Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

The specific courses required for a student of engineering can vary drastically based on the school and on the student's engineering focus. Electrical engineering required courses, for instance, will differ substantially from mechanical engineering required courses. Almost all engineering programs require students to take courses in math and science, often as prerequisites to higher-level engineering courses. The majority of engineering programs have courses with laboratory or practical design components aimed at teaching students practical, hands-on engineering techniques. Computer classes, particularly those based in computer engineering tools such as computer-aided design, or CAD, are also common engineering required courses.

A variety of math and science classes form the foundations of the engineering programs of many engineering schools. Almost all engineering students are expected to take calculus and, in many cases, some higher-level mathematics courses. Engineering required courses in science tend to include physics for mechanical and electrical engineers, high-level chemistry for chemical engineers, and computer science for computer engineers.

Introductory engineering classes that apply to all engineering fields are also common required courses. These types of engineering required courses often involve the "business" of engineering without concern for actually designing or producing anything. They may, for instance, address the preparation of memos and engineering reports, various methods and approaches to engineering, and basic business ethics. Such engineering required courses are often prerequisites to higher level courses and are expected to be taken early in the aspiring engineer's education.

After the basic science and general engineering required courses, aspiring engineers take courses specific to their chosen focuses. Such courses cover the specific knowledge and methods used in the particular subfield addressed. Chemical engineering courses, for instance, tend to involve the application of chemistry knowledge to engineering problems and often have both laboratory and classroom components. Similarly, mechanical engineering courses involve the application of mathematics and physics to mechanical issues. Required engineering courses also often examine major historical engineering problems in order to contextualize other important knowledge and information.

Most engineering programs have engineering required courses that focus on presenting designs and test information. Engineers are often called upon to make presentations, and they should be able to do so clearly and in a way that highlights that positive aspects of their work. The ability of an engineer to secure funding and support for projects often depends on his ability to market his work. As such, constantly refining the ability to present one's work is an important aspect of many required engineering courses.

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