For students who would like to enter the engineering field but also want a liberal-arts education, Dickinson offers such an opportunity through two options: (1) the 3+2 program and (2) regular admission to an engineering school after completion of the Dickinson degree. Although these programs require some planning, the 3+2 program requires careful planning for the three years at Dickinson, and students should contact Professor Hans Pfister to discuss it.
In the 3+2 program, a student completes three years at Dickinson and two years at either Case Western Reserve University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). At the end of five years, the student receives two B.S. degrees: one from Dickinson and one from the engineering school.
Requirements for the program
Requirements of the engineering schools: The 3+2 engineering schools require a 3.0 GPA during the student’s three years at Dickinson and the satisfactory completion of the following courses:
Mathematics: Two years, including differential and integral calculus, multivariable calculus and differential equations. These are satisfied by MATH 170 & 171 (Calculus I & II), MATH 270 (Calculus III) and MATH 262 (Introduction to Linear Algebra).
Physics: One and one half years of calculus-based physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, relativity and quantum physics. This may be satisfied by taking PHYS 131 & 132 (Introductory Physics, aka Workshop Physics) and PHYS 212 (Introduction to Relativistic and Quantum Physics).
Chemistry: One year, including states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, thermodynamics, equilibrium and kinetics, and chemistry laboratory. These are satisfied by CHEM 141 (Accelerated General Chemistry) and CHEM 244 (Thermodynamics and Kinetics).
Computer Science: One course in the use of computers for numerical analysis. This is satisfied by COMP 130 (Introduction to Computing).
Humanities and Social Sciences: Six to 12 courses in the humanities and social sciences, depending on the engineering school. These are normally satisfied by the regular Dickinson distribution requirements.
Other science courses: Additional courses in the area of the expected field of engineering.
Recommended Courses and Requirements for Minors and Programs
Application to 3+2 Program Engineering Schools
During the first semester of junior year the student applies to one of the participating engineering schools. With a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, the student can expect to be admitted to full standing and be able to complete the requirements for the engineering degree in two years. During the spring semester of the junior year, pre-course selection for off-campus study for the subsequent two academic years must take place.
Engineering programs available
The following engineering programs are available at the participating schools. The schools that offer each program are listed.
Aeronautical Engineering (RPI)
Biomedical Engineering (RPI, Case)
Chemical Engineering (RPI, Case)
Civil Engineering (RPI, Case)
Computer Engineering (Case)
Electric Power Engineering (RPI)
Electrical Engineering (RPI, Case)
Engineering Science (RPI)
Environmental Engineering (RPI)
Fluid and Thermal Sciences (Case)
Management Engineering (RPI)
Mechanical Engineering (RPI, Case)
Metallurgy and Materials Science (RPI, Case)
Nuclear Engineering (RPI)
Polymer Science (Case)
System and Control Engineering (Case)
Regular Admission to Engineering School
A student who does not decide on an engineering career until the senior year, or wishes to attend an engineering school other than those cooperating institutions in the 3+2 program, may apply to an engineering school for admission after graduating from Dickinson. Students with a 3.0 or higher GPA are generally admitted to quality engineering schools. Most students can complete the requirements for an M.S. degree in two years after graduation from Dickinson.
Students planning on engineering must satisfactorily complete a science major, preferably in the area of the intended field of engineering. If the major is a science other than physics, coursework should include PHYS 131, 132, 212 and probably 213, plus two years of mathematics. Physics majors should include CHEM 141 and 244.
Application to the engineering school should be made during the senior year, after consultation with the major advisor about appropriate selection of schools.
Please note that Dickinson financial aid does not extend to the student's time at the engineering school. Check with the engineering school for its current financial aid policy.