Career Guide to JMU Majors: Engineering
Admission and Progression Standards:
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Description of Major
The Engineering degree began at JMU in Fall 2008. The Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) is a degree that spans the traditional engineering disciplines and includes coursework in science, mathematics, business, technology management, engineering design, and interpersonal communication skills. The themes of the program are sustainability, engineering design, and systems analysis. Engineering for a sustainable world is, in short, a body of knowledge and set of analytical design skills that contribute to the development of products, processes, systems, and infrastructures that simultaneously protect the environment, conserve resources, and meet human needs at an acceptable financial cost. The program focus on sustainability provides a way of moving toward the development of sustainable societies, where human quality of life is advanced with a minimum impact on finite resources and the environment. Sub-disciplines of engineering, such as mechanical, electrical or chemical are not offered in this program. Rather a broad-based interdisciplinary engineering program that spans many areas of engineering will be emphasized to train engineering "versatilists" who are aware of the need for sustainability in the products, processes, and engineering systems they design.
Tell me more about this field of study
In addition to the basic science, mathematics, engineering, design, and business foundation required in any engineering degree program, engineering for a sustainable world is built on an understanding of the following elements:
- The technical, economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable engineering design.
- An interdependent systems approach to problem-finding and solving considering these four dimensions.
- The nature of natural resources, raw and synthetic materials, and fabrication processes.
- Energy use, efficiency, and conservation in technological systems and the built environment.
- Ecology, biodiversity, and environmental carrying capacity.
The JMU Engineering program spans the traditional engineering sub-disciplines. The School of Engineering offers a single Engineering Bachelor’s degree as opposed to building separate degree programs in each engineering sub-discipline. The curriculum provides an in-depth, hands-on, 4-year engineering design experience, and contains integrated business courses designed specifically for engineers. The program provides an integrated focus on sustainability and sustainable design processes and contains 21 credits of hands-on laboratory experiences. The program is rooted to a strong, traditional liberal arts core curriculum while simultaneously preparing students to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering pre-licensure exam. Students will be prepared for and required to take the national Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) pre-licensure examination in their senior year. The curriculum will allow appropriately prepared students to graduate with an engineering degree in 128 credits in four years, while still having an opportunity to pursue a related minor or concentration. Furthermore, appropriately prepared community college transfer students will be able to transfer into the program with an associate’s degree in engineering and complete their bachelor’s degree in two additional years.
Common majors or minors that complement this major
Minors, concentrations, and certificate programs for the engineering program include Math, Physics, Environmental Science, Materials Science, Integrated Science and Technology, Business, Geology, and Computing. Additional complementary minors and concentrations will be developed in the future as dictated by student demand and interest.
The successful engineering student is characterized by curiosity, adaptability, and persistence, and an interest in making a positive impact on the world. A strong interest in science, math, and technology is helpful. Engineering students enjoy learning, identifying issues with the status quo, and discovering how things work, and excel in design and problem solving activities using a wide variety of different tools and methods. They have good interpersonal skills, are articulate communicators, and enjoy working in groups to design new things. Their interests tend to be broad rather than narrowly defined. They are characterized by a passion and a practical ingenuity that makes them want to understand the natural and man-made world around them and use that understanding to solve real-world human problems.
Upon graduation from this program, alumni will be prepared for a wide range of opportunities in the engineering workforce or in engineering graduate programs. Typical fields of engineering that students will be prepared to enter include Applications Engineering, Process Design, Product Design, Service Design, Process Engineering, Project Engineering, and Systems Engineering. Other industry options include Product Service, Technical Sales, Management Training, and Technical Marketing. A wide range of graduate school options include masters and doctoral programs in Sustainable Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Systems Engineering. Other post-graduation options include Business School, Law School, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Military Service, Entrepreneurship (starting a small business), Applied Science Fields, International Experiences, Medical School, and careers in Politics/Public Policy.
Who employs graduates?
Some examples of the industries that hire engineers include Aeronautic Firms, Airports, Automobile Manufactures, Colleges and Universities, Computer Service & Software Firms, Consulting Firms, Energy Systems Firms, Engineering Firms, Federal Contractors, Federal, State and Local Governments (e.g., NASA, EPA, NIST, DOD, DOE), Non-Profit Agencies, Manufacturing Firms, Inspection Agencies, Mining & Petroleum Firms, Pharmaceutical & Medical Research Companies, Research & Development Laboratories, Telecommunication Companies, and Waste Management and Recycling Firms.
There are internship and summer job opportunities with the corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations that are working with the School of Engineering. There are opportunities for real-world engineering design projects in the curriculum (e.g., 6 engineering design courses) and in extra-curricular activities (e.g., Engineers Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, etc.). Solving real-world human problems in a team environment is a primary focus of the engineering program. Related internships and summer jobs will be supported and actively encouraged.
What are JMU graduates doing with this major?
Field Applications Engineer/Sales Engineer
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