James Madison University

Curriculum Overview

The Engineering Curriculum

  • provides an in-depth, hands-on, 4-year engineering design experience, and contains integrated business courses designed specifically for engineers 
  • provides an integrated focus on sustainability and sustainable design processes and contains hands-on laboratory experiences.
  • allows a student to graduate with an engineering degree in 129 credits.  This credit count, combined with relatively short “prerequisite chains” will allow appropriately prepared students to complete the curriculum in four years, while still having an opportunity to pursue a related minor or concentration
  • allows appropriately prepared community college transfer students the ability to transfer into the program with an associate’s degree in engineering and complete their bachelor’s degree in two additional years

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.

Sustainable Engineering Design Focus

There is a defined focus on sustainable engineering design in our curriculum.  We feel there are four key pillars in sustainable engineering design; these are the technical, economic, environmental and social requirements of the engineering design process.  Unless and until these four requirements are equally incorporated into the design process, engineers will not truly be answering the call to design products and processes that support sustainable communities.

  • Technical Requirements:  First and foremost, any engineering design must meet the technical requirements of the product or process under consideration.  In short, the design must work in the desired application for an appropriate amount of time.
  • Economic Requirements:  Any product or process must meet appropriate short-term (cash flow) and long-term (balance sheet) economic requirements.  This includes more than simple return-on-investment, but also includes imbedded environmental and social costs of a product or process.
  • Environmental Requirements:  Products and processes must be designed to minimize use of our precious energy and material resources.  This must be considered over the entire life cycle of the design, including manufacturing, assembly, distribution, use, and end-of-life recycle/reuse/recovery.
  • Social Requirements:  Understanding the influences that a design has on individuals, communities, regions, and cultures is central to the development of sustainable products and processes.  This includes the analysis of policies, practices, and other social factors on long-term community development.

What common major or minor combinations from other departments complement this major?  Minors, concentrations, and certificate programs currently under development for the engineering program include Math, Physics, Environmental Science, Materials Science, Integrated Science and Technology, Business, and Computing.  Additional complementary minors and concentrations will be developed in the future as dictated by student demand and interest.

Curriculum Guide