FAQs about Engineering at Dartmouth

What do engineers do?

They apply mathematics and science to design devices, processes, and systems that meet human needs and solve human problems. Our increasingly technological world requires engineers who are broadly educated in technical areas and also possess the ability to write clearly, speak persuasively, understand the broad social context of technology, and work in teams.

How are engineers educated at Dartmouth?

The first step is the Engineering Sciences major, which is part of the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree. Graduates are uncommonly well rounded, having fulfilled all Dartmouth undergraduate requirements in the humanities, social sciences, and a foreign language. The major itself emphasizes the application of engineering fundamentals to real-world problems; most core courses and many electives include labs or projects. A Biomedical Engineering Sciences major is also offered to students interested in either medical school or graduate studies in biomedical engineering.

We also offer modified engineering majors with other departments (computer science, chemistry, biology, environmental science, earth sciences, economics, neuroscience, studio art, and public policy), an Engineering Physics major jointly with the physics department, a minor in Engineering Sciences, a minor in Human-Centered Design, and a minor in Materials Science (jointly with the physics and chemistry departments).

How do I become an undergraduate engineering sciences major?

A.B. Degree with Engineering Sciences Major

Dartmouth Liberal Arts Requirements:
English 5 and First Year Seminar, Foreign Language, Distributive and World Culture Requirements
(For more details see the Dartmouth College Bulletin)
10-14 credits
Math and Science prerequisites to the major:
MATH 3, 8, 13; PHYS 13, 14; CHEM 5; ENGS 20 or COSC 1 AND COSC 10
(For course descriptions, see the Dartmouth College Bulletin)
7 credits
Engineering Sciences Major:
Core courses

and two of:

Gateway courses
Choose two, from different groups:

  • ENGS 31: Digital Electronics
  • ENGS 32: Electronics: Introduction to Linear and Digital Circuits
  • ENGS 33: Solid Mechanics
  • ENGS 34: Fluid Mechanics
  • ENGS 35: Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering
  • ENGS 36: Chemical Engineering
  • ENGS 37: Introduction to Environmental Engineering

Technical electives
One course in engineering, another course in engineering or advanced math or science

Culminating experience (may replace one technical elective)
Project option: ENGS 86: Independent Project; ENGS 88: Honors Thesis; ENGS 89: Engineering Design Methodology (must be taken as part of the two-term sequence ENGS 89/90)
Course option: ENGS 76, 91, 92, or any course numbered above 100 which is available for A.B. credit

9-10 credits
Free Electives
Additional liberal arts or engineering courses, second major or minor
4-8 credits
Total to Graduate From Dartmouth 35 credits

Will I have time for anything else if I study engineering?

Though rigorous, the program is flexible. The major and its prerequisites require sixteen courses, less than half of your Dartmouth coursework (modified majors require a few more courses). Over 25% of engineering majors carry a dual major or a minor in another subject, and all are encouraged to participate in foreign study programs. Engineers participate in sports, musical groups, and other extracurricular activities.

What can I do after I graduate?

The Engineering Sciences major is an excellent preparation for careers requiring abilities in quantitative analysis and problem solving. Most students, however, continue their education in various ways:

Complete the Bachelor of Engineering degree
Thayer School's Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) program prepares you to enter the engineering profession, or graduate programs in engineering, through advanced coursework in engineering sciences and a significant experience in design. It requires up to a year beyond the A.B., but many students can plan their schedules to complete the A.B. and B.E. together in twelve or thirteen terms.

Get a Master's or Ph.D. at Thayer School
We offer both the research-oriented Master of Science (M.S.) and the management-focused Master of Engineering Management (M.E.M.) along with the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Go to grad school somewhere else
Strong performance in the Engineering Sciences major at Dartmouth also assures an excellent chance for entry into other top graduate school of engineering, and many engineering sciences students attend graduate schools of business, law, or medicine.

Will you help me find a job?

Thayer School's Career Services office provides support and guidance in exploring technical job opportunities, both full-time employment and leave-term industrial internships. Please visit the Career Services website for statistics and more information.

Why do you only have one department?

Our philosophy in the Engineering Sciences major has always been to avoid premature specialization, maximize flexibility, and cultivate an interdisciplinary perspective. (See also Beyond Departments.) A wide variety of elective courses permits specialization at the Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) level equivalent to that achieved by traditional four-year engineering programs. Some of these elective courses are shown below:

Suggested electives for particular interests:


Computer Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Engineering Management

Environmental Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Can I get Advanced Placement?

Beginning with the entering Class of 2018, Dartmouth will no longer grant course credit for AP or IB examinations. Dartmouth will continue to offer exemptions and placement in some subject areas. For more information, see Dartmouth's statement clarifying the Advanced Placement decision.

How can I find out more?

Contact Academic and Student Affairs Office (MacLean 103): 603-646-2606
E-mail: Undergraduate.Engineering@Dartmouth.edu

Visit Thayer School any weekday for an information session with a faculty member and a guided tour of the facilities with a current student. Please call for times and availability.