Dartmouth's Engineering Entrepreneurship Program (DEEP)
Dartmouth’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Program (DEEP) is a discipline-spanning educational paradigm that integrates entrepreneurship and leadership training into all levels of the engineering curriculum at Thayer School.
At the undergraduate level, students are immersed in the liberal arts as well as interdisciplinary team project work throughout the major. The Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program is a partnership with Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business that augments engineering with graduate courses in business management and entrepreneurship. The PhD Innovation Program, a special track within the doctoral program, provides entrepreneurial and leadership training that prepares students for building an enterprise based on technical innovation.
DEEP in the Undergraduate Curriculum
Dartmouth's undergraduate engineering curriculum is full of project opportunities. The first course students take, "Introduction to Engineering" (ENGS 21), immerses them in hands-on innovation and technical entrepreneurship. Student teams develop their own project idea out of a general problem area, brainstorm a solution, build and test a prototype, develop a business plan, and present their idea to a review board of “potential funders.”
Three-quarters of the introductory courses and almost a third of electives beyond sophomore level involve team projects.
The capstone experience for BE candidates, Engineering Design Methodology and Project Initiation/Completion (ENGS 89/90), is a two-term interdisciplinary design course where students undertake real-world projects for industry sponsors.
DEEP in the Master of Engineering Management Program
The MEM degree is a cooperative program with Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. It prepares graduate engineering students for technology leadership by enhancing their education with courses in business management and entrepreneurship.
The Conrades Distinguished Fellowship is a competitive grant providing select MEM students with funding for an entrepreneurial project.
Andrea Marron, the first recipient of the Conrades Fellowship, has gone on to build a successful career in e-commerce.
DEEP at the PhD Level
PhD Innovation Program students receive training for building an enterprise based on technical innovation and are eligible for direct funding to pursue their own ideas. Traditional doctoral engineering studies are expanded to include specialized instruction in innovation, projects, and an internship in a start-up.
DEEP Outside the Classroom
Students also develop leadership skills by independently running their own project teams outside of classes. Examples include:
- Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering: students identify needs in the developing world and design and implement solutions.
- The Big Green Bus: each summer, students travel the country in a bus converted to run on waste vegetable oil and host interactive events about sustainability.
- Dartmouth Formula Racing: students design and build formula-style electric or plug-in hybrid racecars to compete in the annual Formula Hybrid Competition.