The Freshman Progam

All first-year engineering students enroll in GE 100, Fundamentals of Engineering. Although you may know that you want to be an engineer, we don’t assume you know what kind of engineer you want to be. So, you are admitted into the College of Engineering first, and to a particular department when you start your 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 hands-on lab to learn how these concepts are applied. Teamwork, important in a job setting, is emphasized in the labs. These classes are small (usually fewer than 24 students) allowing the freshmen and faculty to become better acquainted.

The course has the additional advantage of explaining enough about the various disciplines to allow students to make an informed choice of major for their second semester.

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 such as the Career Center and Study Abroad.

Students work in teams on hands-on projects in a recitation (i.e., laboratory) setting.  These are small sections with a faculty mentor and two student mentors guiding the projects. The projects can include:GE-100



  • Lectures on tensive and compressive forces, energy transfer (i.e., thermodynamics), circuit design and logic, and problem-solving techniques.



  • Recitation on material strength and bridge design, developing and racing a steam-powered vehicle, designing an entrance security system, and building and programming a LEGOÒ Robotics vehicle.



At the end of this course, students will see a positive and substantial improvement in their ability toGE-100




  • Describe engineering, including aspects such as problem solving and ethics



  • Identify and describe the engineering disciplines (i.e., civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical)



  • Choose a major or devise a plan to choose a major



  • Discuss various options within engineering, both as an undergraduate (e.g., co-op, study abroad, etc.) and as a graduate (e.g., careers)



  • Understand basic principles in civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering



  • Work in a team environment



  • Identify with their new engineering “family,” including both faculty and students



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