The most direct path to a career in engineering is to attend a four-year institution offering majors in various fields of engineering. Although Washburn University does not offer a degree program in engineering, it offers both a pre-engineering transfer program and a 3-2 dual degree program.
Washburn University is cooperating with four-year engineering institutions to offer a pre-engineering program. In this program, students initially enroll at Washburn and then transfer to the four-year engineering institution where they complete the requirements for their Bachelor of Science degree. Typically two to three years of study are completed at Washburn.
The basic science and mathematics courses for most engineering curricula are two semesters of general physics, two semesters of general chemistry, three semesters of calculus, one semester of differential equations, and one semester of computer science where a high level programming language is learned. These are all courses that can be taken at Washburn and a student interested in engineering should take as many of them as possible.
The choice of additional science courses will depend on the particular area of engineering in which the student is interested. Curricula for the various engineering fields have much in common during the first two years of study, although there are some differences during these years. During the final two years, the curricula vary greatly and include many specialized courses. Since the degree students earn comes from the engineering school, students must consider the requirements of the engineering program they plan to enter when selecting courses at Washburn.
It is possible for students who enter Washburn with the intention of transferring to an engineering school to decide to stay at Washburn for all four years. Therefore, students in pre-engineering are strongly advised to plan their courses in such a way that, should they retain their interest in science but decide not to transfer, they can complete a physics, mathematics, biology, or chemistry major at Washburn, including the general education requirements, within the normal four years.
Throughout the entire process at Washburn University, faculty advisors assist the students and cooperate with faculty in the various schools of engineering to determine those courses at Washburn that will fulfill the student's specific course and program requirements.
An engineering degree coupled with a physics, mathematics, or chemistry degree from Washburn University provides students with exceptionally strong technical and theoretical backgrounds which better prepare them for careers in engineering, especially if research or graduate work is involved.
To assist in this effort, Washburn has developed a 3-2 Program with the engineering schools at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri - Kansas City. In the 3-2 Program, students initially enroll at Washburn, then transfer to KU, KSU, or UMKC to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. An additional Bachelor of Science degree in physics, mathematics, or chemistry may be earned from Washburn. To earn degrees from both institutions, regular requirements for each degree must be fulfilled. Courses will be selected, as much as possible, to simultaneously fulfill degree requirements from both universities.
Some students who want to enter the engineering profession also wish to obtain a foundation in liberal arts studies and gain other advantages of attending a smaller college with a strong sense of community.
One major advantage of attending a smaller college is the possibility of close association with faculty and fellow students. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, students who choose to study pre-engineering at Washburn University have the opportunity for personal attention in their basic science and math courses. In addition, the diversified, well-balanced curriculum available at a liberal arts college is important in giving them a start toward a satisfying career in engineering.
Washburn University’s faculty possess exceptional academic credentials with over ninety percent holding a doctorate or the highest degree in their discipline. Professors with Ph.D.'s in all areas including engineering, chemistry, mathematics, and physics instruct the courses. The personalized instruction provided by regular faculty that Washburn students receive is one of the University’s greatest assets.
With its excellent academic reputation, Washburn University is dedicated to the preparation of high quality students to meet the challenges of the engineering profession.
Being a part of a metropolitan community provides opportunities for Washburn students to take advantage of internships and co-ops available from the numerous employers in the area. With the co-op program, students alternate between on-campus study and work in industry.