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College of Engineering

Liberal Studies Guidelines

The College of Engineering requires one semester's worth (approximately 16 credits) of liberal elective courses in humanities and social studies for graduation. The college specifies that students should obtain both breadth (i.e., both social studies and literature or humanities), and depth (i.e., more than one course in at least one area).

The college has established general liberal elective guidelines that have been adopted by all departments, some of which have additional stipulations (see below).

For All Engineering Students

As a graduation requirement, and to fulfill campus general education guidelines, all engineering undergraduate students must take 16 credits of liberal electives(15 in curricula requiring 120 credits). These credits must fulfill the following subrequirements.

  1. A minimum of two courses from the same department or program. At least one of these two courses must be above the elementary level. (i.e., must have I, A, or D level designator), as indicated in Course Guide.
  2. A minimum of 6 credits designated as humanities (H or L or Z credit), and an additional minimum of 3 other credits designated as social studies (S or Z). Foreign language courses count as H credits.*
  3. At least three credits in courses designated as ethnic studies (lower case "e" in the Course Guide). These credits may help satisfy subrequirements I or II as well, but they count only once toward the total required.

*Exception: "Retrocredits," which are credits awarded by foreign language departments for successful completion of a higher level course, do not count toward this subrequirement, nor toward the total credits required (16 or 15). They are still helpful: If a student takes even one foreign language course at the intermediate level and is awarded retrocredits, then subrequirement I above is satisfied because the student is judged to have achieved "depth" in liberal studies.

Additional Restrictions/Subrequirements for Particular Departments

Civil and Environmental Engineering. Economics 101 and an Environmental Studies Course (from a prepared list) are required.

Electrical and Computer Engineering. No more than 3 liberal elective credits may be from the School of Business or from classes crosslisted with the School of Business.

Industrial Engineering. Economics 111 or 101 required (111 preferred).

Biological Systems Engineering. For information on this major, see the Agricultural and Life Sciences section in this catalog.