Info for students interested in engineering

Although Amherst does not have an engineering major, many Amherst graduates have pursued successful and rewarding careers in engineering, applied science, management, and related disciplines. Success in these disciplines requires strong foundations in science and mathematics, the ability to reason logically about technical and non-technical aspects of problems, and the ability to communicate clearly in speech and in writing. Engineers benefit from a broad perspective that allows them to consider technical, aesthetic, economic, social, and humanistic facets of the real-world problems they encounter. The well-rounded liberal arts education you can obtain at Amherst can included both a strong and deep training in the sciences as well as breadth in the language and culture, social sciences, arts, and the humanities. This is excellent preparation for engineering graduate school and an engineering career.

Below is some information about engineering careers, provided in the form of answers to frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Amherst College offer an engineering major?

No, there is no engineering major at Amherst College.

Neither of these options is easy, nor are they the quickest way to become a practicing engineer. If your goal is to prepare for an entry-level job in engineering and to begin working as an engineer as quickly as possible, you'll be better served attending a school with a four-year engineering degree program. Those programs will allow (indeed, require) you to focus your coursework on engineering-specific preprofessional topics, and the time available to study non-technical subjects will be limited. If your career goal is engineering, you should attend Amherst only if you are willing to both acquire a firm scientific foundation and to explore the arts, humanities, and social sciences before pursuing more technical, profession-specific coursework. Note that while you can do some kinds of engineering work with a bachelors degree, a masters degree is the terminal working degree for most engineers. Getting to a masters degree in engineering by going through Amherst adds about a year onto your total time in school relative to going through a four-year engineering degree program. You should attend Amherst only if you value the type of education that additional year will afford you.

Other useful links:

American Society for Engineering Education
This site has useful links both general and specific.

Smith College's Picker Engineering Program website has some useful links and some information about how engineering can mesh with a liberal arts education.

National Engineering Week

IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
The Q&A part of the student resources section is a particularly nice resource.

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) has many resources aimed at the undergraduate physics student. It's not directly related to engineering, but there are many useful general resources. In addition, the Careers Using Physics section has profiles and advice from people with all levels of physics education who went on to do all manner of things, including obtaining a physics bachelors degree and moving into engineering.