All first-year engineering student enroll in GE 100, Fundamentals of Engineering. Although first-year students may know that they want to be an engineer, Valpo does not assume that students know what kind of engineer they want to be. So, new engineering students are admitted into the College of Engineering first, and then select a particular department when they start their second semester.
GE 100 is a one-semester course that introduces the concepts that every engineer should know, from structures to circuits to heat transfer. It teaches students enough that they will be able to ask good questions in areas outside of their expertise. The interdisciplinary nature of engineering is emphasized. The basics of the topics are taught using lectures and demonstrations, and then the students complete a hands-on laboratory experience to learn how these concepts are applied. Teamwork, important in any job setting, is emphasized. These classes are small (usually fewer than 24 students), allowing the first-year students and faculty to become better aquainted.
Complementing GE 100 is GE 199, Engineering Seminar. Here, outstanding engineering graduates are invited to speak about their careers, providing important insight to our current engineering students. In other sessions, students learn about engineering opportunities and resources, such as the Career Center and Study Abroad.
Both GE 100 and GE 199 allow students to investigate each engineering discipline, allowing the students to make an informed major choice.