A Profile of the Pre Engineering Program
Strong technical background combined with the benefits of a liberal arts education
Wittenberg can help you prepare for a career in engineering in a variety of ways. A dual-degree program (also known as a binary, or combined plan program) entails studying at Wittenberg for several years and then at a participating engineering school for another two years. This program leads to two degrees—a B.A. from Wittenberg and a B.S. in engineering from the engineering school.
Dual-degree graduates combine a strong technical education with the benefits of a liberal arts education, including oral and written communication skills, critical thinking abilities and a broad background in the humanities and social sciences. They are well-prepared to contribute to the solutions of complex problems and to advance in management.
A dual-degree program is an attractive alternative to traditional engineering curricula that are highly structured and often require more than four years to complete, giving little opportunity for exploration or participation in extracurricular activities such as athletics or music. Students can take advantage of the emphasis on close working relationships between faculty and students and the small class sizes at Wittenberg for their first three years of study.
Another option that leads to a career in engineering is to complete a bachelor’s degree at Wittenberg and then enter a graduate (master’s or Ph.D.) program in engineering. Graduate engineering degrees generally qualify you for jobs with higher starting salaries and more independent work responsibilities.
Dual degree (3-2) engineering programs
The most common dual-degree track, often referred to as a “3-2” program, entails studying at Wittenberg for three years, followed by two years at a participating school of engineering. Students who complete this program earn a B.A. from Wittenberg and a bachelor’s degree in the specific field of engineering from the engineering school.
Two engineering schools currently participate in the program: the Case School of Engineering at the Case Western Reserve University and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. Admission to these schools is guaranteed for students recommended by Wittenberg. A 3.0 grade point average, both overall and in science and mathematics coursework, is typically required.
During your first three years, spent in residence at Wittenberg, you will complete the courses required for a major concentration, Wittenberg’s general education requirements, and any additional science and math courses needed to form the core of the engineering curriculum. Wittenberg students usually select either a physics or chemistry major, although other majors such as mathematics or economics are possible. After three years at Wittenberg, you will take the courses required to complete the program in engineering at the engineering school.
Specific courses required by the schools of engineering include Integral and Differential Calculus, Differential Equations, the calculus-based Introductory Physics courses, and introductory courses in chemistry and computer science. Certain schools and areas of engineering have additional requirements that may be satisfied by courses offered at Wittenberg.
Other dual degree options
Several of our partner engineering schools also offer “4-2” programs, in which students study for four years at Wittenberg and then spend two years studying at the engineering school. Depending on the program, this either leads to two bachelor’s degrees, as in the 3-2 program, or a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg and a master’s degree from the engineering school.
Besides the official dual-degree programs, some Wittenberg students make informal arrangements with other schools that very closely resemble the binary programs.
We encourage you to gain research or internship experience, either through working with Wittenberg faculty on campus or participating in off-campus internships. Our students have been placed in internships in a variety of academic institutions and in materials science at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Summer funding for research at Wittenberg is available.
Our science facilities are exceptionally well-equipped in several areas. Small class sizes give students access to a variety of modern instrumentation. Major items include:
- a laboratory for research into electromagnetic wave propagation and scattering, including high-speed data acquisition for applications such as radio-frequency virtual instrument development and radar studies.
- a nuclear and atomic physics laboratory equipped with frequency-stabilized diode lasers, high vacuum equipment, and various detectors.
- a 400,000 Volt Cockcroft-Walton particle accelerator, a basic tool for nuclear physics and for testing and studying materials and electronics.
- a scanning electron microscope with Kevex EDS analyzer, which provides high resolution imaging and characterization of the elemental composition of samples.
- a variety of instrumentation for chemistry, including an FT-NMR pectrometer; infrared, UV and visible spectrometers; and liquid and gas chromatographs.
- a 29-processor Unix cluster for high-performance parallel computing.
- a high-speed video camera capable of 10,000 frames per second.
- an optics laboratory equipped with a Michelson interferometer, a grating monochromator, lasers, optical tweezers and a 3-m spectrometer.
- an electronics laboratory equipped with digital oscilloscopes and function generators.
- a well-equipped machine shop.
Students who go on to graduate school in engineering after graduating from Wittenberg typically find employment in industry, government laboratories or universities. Recently, our students have been accepted into the following graduate engineering programs, among others:
- Cornell University (electrical engineering)
- University of Virginia (biomedical engineering)
- University of Virginia (materials science and engineering)
- Duke University (mechanical engineering)
Employment opportunities for technically-strong and liberally-educated engineers are excellent. Recent Wittenberg graduates are working in such positions as packaging engineer, municipal civil engineer, and drug delivery systems technician.
Society of Physics Students (SPS): Open to anyone interested in physics, SPS has visited Paramount King’s Island to research the physics of amusement park rides; worked on projects such as building a radio telescope; hosted speakers and movie nights; and traveled to regional physics meetings. Wittenberg’s chapter has been named an Outstanding Chapter by the national SPS three times.
Sigma Pi Sigma: Wittenberg has an active chapter of this national physics honor society.