Why study engineering at Washburn?

Some students who want to enter the engineering profession also wish to obtain a foundation in liberal arts studies and gain other advantages of attending a smaller college with a strong sense of community. One major advantage of attending a smaller college is the possibility of close association with faculty and fellow students. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, students who choose to study pre-engineering at Washburn University have the opportunity for personal attention in their basic science and math courses. In addition, the diversified, well-balanced curriculum available at a liberal arts college is important in giving them a start toward a satisfying career in engineering.

Washburn University’s faculty possess exceptional academic credentials with over ninety percent holding a doctorate or the highest degree in their discipline. Professors with Ph.D.'s in all areas including engineering, chemistry, mathematics, and physics instruct the courses. The personalized instruction provided by regular faculty that Washburn students receive is one of the University’s greatest assets. With its excellent academic reputation, Washburn University is dedicated to the preparation of high quality students to meet the challenges of the engineering profession.

Being a part of a metropolitan community provides opportunities for Washburn students to take advantage of internships and co-ops available from the numerous employers in the area. With the co-op program, students alternate between on-campus study and work in industry.

Engineers are problem solvers, people who search for quicker, better, less expensive ways to use the forces and materials of nature to meet tough challenges. Creativity, ingenuity, and inventiveness together with sound preparation are prerequisites for engineers. As an engineer you will be on the cutting edge and will help produce major improvements for people throughout the world. Engineering is a rewarding career option that will make you feel good about contributing to a healthier, safer, and more enjoyable life for your fellow citizens. As you plan your future, consider becoming an engineer, a shaper of the 21st century.

There will be many jobs for engineers during the next decade. However, your engineering specialization may determine such things as the geographic area where work may be found, salaries, job conditions, and tasks that will challenge you. Engineers earn considerably more than other people who enter a career path with just a bachelor's degree. Sometimes this can be as much as 75-100% more per month depending on geographic location and engineering specialty.

Engineering education is divided into such fields as aeronautical, agricultural, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, industrial, mechanical, nuclear, and petroleum. Additional information on various engineering specialties can be obtained from the American Society for Engineering Education.

An engineering degree can also open doors to other professions such as medicine, business administration, law, computer development or others. Or you may also wish to pursue further education and obtain a master's or doctoral degree in engineering.

Washburn University is cooperating with four-year engineering institutions to offer a pre-engineering program. In this program, students initially enroll at Washburn and then transfer to the four-year engineering institution where they complete the requirements for their Bachelor of Science degree. Typically two to three years of study are completed at Washburn.

The basic science and mathematics courses for most engineering curricula are two semesters of general physics, two semesters of general chemistry, three semesters of calculus, one semester of differential equations, and one semester of computer science where a high level programming language is learned. These are all courses that can be taken at Washburn and a student interested in engineering should take as many of them as possible.

The choice of additional science courses will depend on the particular area of engineering in which the student is interested. Curricula for the various engineering fields have much in common during the first two years of study, although there are some differences during these years. During the final two years, the curricula vary greatly and include many specialized courses. Since the degree students earn comes from the engineering school, students must consider the requirements of the engineering program they plan to enter when selecting courses at Washburn.

It is possible for students who enter Washburn with the intention of transferring to an engineering school to decide to stay at Washburn for all four years. Therefore, students in pre-engineering are strongly advised to plan their courses in such a way that, should they retain their interest in science but decide not to transfer, they can complete a physics, mathematics, biology, or chemistry major at Washburn, including the general education requirements, within the normal four years.

Throughout the entire process at Washburn University, faculty advisors assist the students and cooperate with faculty in the various schools of engineering to determine those courses at Washburn that will fulfill the student's specific course and program requirements.

An engineering degree coupled with a physics, mathematics, or chemistry degree from Washburn University provides students with exceptionally strong technical and theoretical backgrounds which better prepare them for careers in engineering, especially if research or graduate work is involved.

To assist in this effort, Washburn has developed a 3-2 Program with the engineering schools at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri - Kansas City. In the 3-2 Program, students initially enroll at Washburn, then transfer to KU, KSU, or UMKC to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. An additional Bachelor of Science degree in physics, mathematics, or chemistry may be earned from Washburn. To earn degrees from both institutions, regular requirements for each degree must be fulfilled. Courses will be selected, as much as possible, to simultaneously fulfill degree requirements from both universities.

EG 105 Introduction to Engineering (3)

Introduction to the professional role of an engineer with an orientation to the academic requirements of engineering studies, responsibilities of engineering students and professionals, discussion of various engineering careers, jobsite duties, professional development and registration and engineering ethics. Included are problem definition and solution, engineering design and terminology and the role of technology and its influence on society.

EG 116 Engineering Graphics (3)

Elements of geometry of engineering drawing with emphasis on spatial visualization and applications. Freehand sketching, dimensioning, and graphs. Computer aided design and engineering analysis. Prerequisites: EG 105 or consent of instructor.

EG 250 Engineering Mechanics: Statics (3)

Vector notation; resultants of force systems; analysis of force systems in equilibrium including beams, frames and trusses; analysis of systems involving friction forces; determination of centroids, centers of gravity, second moments of areas, moments of inertia. Prerequisites: MA 151 and PS 281.

EG 351 Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics (3)

Displacement, velocity, and acceleration of a particle; relation between forces acting on rigid bodies and the changes in motion produced; translation; rotation; motion in a plane; solutions using the principles of force, mass and acceleration, work and energy, and impulse and momentum. Prerequisites: EG 250 and MA 152.

EG 360 Mechanics of Materials (3)

Elementary theories of stress and strain, behavior of materials, and applications of these theories and their generalizations to the study of stress distribution, deformation, and instability in the simple structural forms that occur most frequently in engineering practice. Prerequisites: EG 250 and MA 253.

For a complete description of the individual classes, go to the course catalog at:

Academic Catalog

(Note, this link opens a pdf file of the entire undergraduate catalog in a new window.  When it opens, if you click on the ribbon icon in the upper right corner, it will open a page index.  If you click on any of the arrows, it will open a sub-menu for that section.  If you click on College of Arts and Sciences, you can then scroll down to the Mass Media Department and click on that link to open the course listing for Mass Media.)

GET IN TOUCH WITH Physics & Astronomy Department

Physics & Astronomy Department
Stoffer Science Hall, Room 210
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785.670.2141

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