Career Guide


The Engineering major is in the Department of Engineering under the College of Integrated Science and Engineering

Admission and Progression Standards

Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Description of Major

The Engineering degree began at JMU in Fall 2008. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Engineering 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's 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 although students will have the opportunity to customize their education by completing a concentration or choosing from a range of elective courses and project work. The program offers a broad-based interdisciplinary engineering program to train engineering "versatilists" who are aware of the need for sustainability in the products, processes, and engineering systems they design.

More About the Field 

In addition to the basic science, mathematics, engineering science, engineering design, and management foundation required in most engineering degree programs, 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.
  • Energy use, efficiency, and conservation in technological systems and the built environment.

The JMU Engineering program spans the traditional engineering sub-disciplines. The Department of Engineering offers a single Engineering Bachelor’s degree as opposed to building separate degree programs in each engineering sub-discipline. The curriculum provides hands-on and engineering design experiences each year that ensure the graduates are project-ready. The program provides an integrated focus on sustainable design, as well as hands-on laboratory and studio experiences. The program is rooted in a strong, traditional liberal arts core curriculum while simultaneously preparing students to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) pre-licensure exam. The curriculum will allow appropriately prepared students to graduate with an engineering degree in four years, while still having an opportunity to pursue a related minor. 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.

Complementary Majors and Minors 

Minors and certificate programs for the engineering program include Math, Physics, Environmental Science, Materials Science, Integrated Science and Technology, Business, Geology, Robotics, and Computing. Students may choose to complete the requirements for a concentration in Electro-Mechanical Systems, Civil and Environmental, and Geo-Environmental. Students may also choose to a self-directed option, selecting from a range of electives. 

Characteristics of Successful Students

The successful engineering student is characterized by curiosity, adaptability, 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 manufactured 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 includes Master's 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 Manufacturers, 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.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

There are internship and summer job opportunities with corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations that are working with the Department of Engineering. There are opportunities for real-world engineering design projects in the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities (e.g., American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional, Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Engineering Ambassadors, 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.

View our list of internship coordinators for each major.

Career Profiles 

Architecture Engineering
Biomedical Engineers

Environmental Engineers

Field Applications Engineer/Sales Engineer
Industrial Engineers

Additional Resources to Research Careers
  • Handshake: view new internships and jobs that employers are looking to hire JMU students from your major 
  • Career Outcomes: see where alumni worked or studied right after graduating.
  • GoinGlobal: learn more about employment opportunities overseas as well as H1B visa information for international Dukes pursuing jobs in the U.S.
  • O*NET: browse occupational profiles to learn about thousands of different careers, pulling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • CareerOneStop: explore thousands of different careers by looking at career profiles 
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to see what others have done with their majors and what their career paths look like. Reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and conduct an informational interview.

© University Career Center, James Madison University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the JMU University Career Center. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to

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