College of Engineering & Christ College

Here are a few frequently asked questions about concurrent enrollment in Valparaiso University's College of Engineering and Christ College - the honors college.


  1. What can you expect when you combine Engineering and Christ College as your focus of education at Valparaiso University?
    "The interdisciplinary nature of the Christ College Curriculum allowed me to integrate a technical interest in engineering with a personal fascination for the arts and society. Through class discussion and ensuing conversations, the program offered me a venue for development of close relationships with students and faculty whose primary interests do not resemble mine. This interaction has allowed me to incorporate more and diverse ideas while I develop as a human being and an engineer."

    Julie Steinbrenner '02
    Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University

  2. How does a Christ College honors education benefit College of Engineering students? How does it apply to a science-related career?
    Excellent communication skills and a solid foundation in the liberal arts are valuable in all professions. An honors education in the humanities and social sciences as offered by Christ College can set you apart from other engineers.

    "The huge long-term benefit of Christ College is the development of your writing skills. Christ College's first semester gives students a unique opportunity to really learn how to write. The student doesn't have to worry about the grade (because all CC students are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) during the first semester in order to help them adjust to college study without the pressure of a grade in the honors college) and it gives the professors the freedom to critique in depth-producing not just good, but exceptional results. Increasing dependence on electronic correspondence in technical fields such as engineering intensifies an engineer's need to accurately convey ideas in writing. It is a skill most engineers would rather do without, but a skill all engineers need."

    Faith Dunn '07 Civil Engineering

  3. How many College of Engineering freshmen will also be members of Christ College?
    Each year 15-20% of the students entering the College of Engineering also decide to be members of Christ College. That is typically more than any other major-CC is a popular choice for high achieving engineering students. We encourage all strong engineering students who are invited to join Christ College to do so. If CC turns out not to be for you after the first semester, or at any time, switching to the non-honors track is easy to do. And having taken Christ College courses, a student is always ahead in credits and fulfilling degree requirements.

  4. Do you have time for other activities, like musical ensembles, clubs, and intramural sports?
    "I personally am in Kantorei choral group right now and am also participating in intramural volleyball through ASME. It is very possible to participate in other things while in CC and engineering. A lot of it depends on how much you can personally handle though, which is why it is a good idea to try a variety of activities in the first semester while CC is S/U. AP credit is also extremely helpful in making everything fit in so get all that you can."

    Peter Krenzke '08
    Mechanical Engineer and VIEP German Program Participant

  5. Do the Christ College classes fit in with engineering course requirements?
    Yes, almost all of the courses required for a Christ College Associate or Scholar designation fulfill general education requirements for engineering. The four-year Christ College Curriculum is designed to complement all Valparaiso University programs of study, including the College of Engineering programs in Civil, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. Most College of Engineering students enrolled in Christ College elect to earn the honors designation of Christ College Associate, which requires the fewest credits; others choose to take additional CC courses to earn the designation of Scholar. Christ College honors designations of Associate and Scholar can be earned without unusual credit overloads or extra semesters.

    All first-year students in the College of Engineering and Christ College take the same courses:

    Fall Semester 1 Cr.
    Spring Semester 2
    Cr.
    CC 110: Texts and Contexts 8 CC 115: Texts and Contexts II 8
    MATH 131 or 132 4 MATH 132 or 253 4
    PHYS 141 3 PHYS 142 3
    PHYS 141L 1 CE, ECE, or ME major course 3
    GE 100 3 PE 1
    19 19

    Recommended Christ College courses for College of Engineering students leading to Christ College Associate honors designation at commencement and on the student transcript:

    Courses Required for CC
    Associate Designation
    Engineering Major Requirement Fulfilled

    Civil
    Engineering

    Computer
    Engineering

    Electrical
    Engineering

    Mechanical
    Engineering

    CC 110: Texts and Contexts Valpo Core 110
    and Humanities
    Elective
    Valpo Core 110
    and Humanities
    Elective
    Valpo Core 110
    and Humanities
    Elective
    Valpo Core 110
    and Humanities
    Elective
    CC 115: Texts and Contexts II Valpo Core 115
    and Social
    Science Elective
    Valpo Core 115
    and Social
    Science Elective
    Valpo Core 115
    and Social
    Science Elective
    Valpo Core 115
    and Social
    Science Elective
    CC 215: The Christian Tradition THEO 200
    THEO 200 THEO 200 THEO 200
    One Course selected from:
    CC 205 Word and Image
    CC 255 Society, Self, and
    Culture
    CC 270 Interpretation in the
    Natural Sciences
    None None Free Elective
    Free Elective

    Two courses from the following:

    CC 300 or 325: Seminar
    (selected topics)

    CC 375: The Scholar in Society
    CC 455 Inquiry in the Liberal Arts

    Cultural Diversity
    Course
    Cultural Diversity
    Course

    Cultural Diversity
    Course

    Free Elective

    Cultural Diversity
    Course

    Free Elective

    CC 499: Senior Colloquium
    (1 credit taken senior year)
    None None None None

  6. Do engineering graduate schools and employers value Christ College honors as a credential?
    Yes! Recent Engineering/Christ College graduates have been accepted into top graduate programs such as those at Stanford University, Marquette University, Purdue University, and the University of Minnesota. Other recent graduates are employed by Motorola, General Motors Powertrain, Engineering Enterprises, the U.S. Air Force, and the Department of Defense.

  7. After the freshman year what sorts of courses do students take in Christ College?
    After the CC Freshman Program students choose from several sophomore-level courses. During their junior and senior years they choose from dozens of seminars on a variety of topics, including The Scientific Endeavor; Ecology, Justice, and Faith; Environment, Faith, and Ethics; and Environmental History of the American West. Non-science topics from recent semesters have included Caribbean Music; World War II: Culture, Ideology, and Politics; Freedom; Drama and the Church; Justice; Poe and Baudelaire; and Popular Culture and the Power of Images. Engineering students have a wide range of choices.

Student Achievements

Christ College / Engineering Alumnus Wins 2011 National Science Foundation Award
The National Science Foundation recently honored Peter Krenzke, a 2008 Mechanical Engineering graduate, with a highly competitive fellowship for graduate research. The National Science Foundation program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The funding will assist Peter as he pursues graduate work at University of Minnesota and continues working in solar energy research.