Mechanical Engineering

General Education Requirements

Why do I have to take Gen Ed courses?

There are three good reasons why you need to take Gen.Ed. courses:

1. The University thinks it is important

The general education requirement, as its name implies, is based on the simple idea that there should be a common core-curriculum that all undergraduate students at the University follow, irrespective of major. The goal is to educate students with a breadth of knowledge, in addition to the depth of knowledge they obtain from their major disciplines.

2. ABET thinks it is important

Our accrediting body ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, lists (among others) the following learning outcomes for all engineering students

“At graduation students should have: ….an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility…an ability to communicate effectively…..the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context….a knowledge of contemporary issues”.

3. The mechanical engineering department faculty think it is important

The department’s statement of learning outcomes includes the following

“At graduation students should ….be able to communicate technical information. This must include oral presentations, written reports, and an ability to work on and communicate with multi-disciplinary team members….understand the need to assess the impact of engineering designs on society. This should include factors such as economics, ergonomics, the environment, and sustainability…understand the concept of the engineering profession through an exposure to professional societies, professional registration, the need for lifelong learning, and professional ethics.

Required Courses

The Gen Ed curriculum includes courses in the following areas:

Gen Ed Implementation for ME students

Since students are allowed to satisfy some of the Gen.Ed. requirements with courses taken from their major program of study, the actual implementation of the Gen.Ed. requirement varies from major to major.

Science and Technology Requirement (9 credits)

All undergraduate students at the University must take three courses in science and technology. This requirement is automatically satisfied by the mechanical engineering curriculum, and you need not worry about it any further.

Math Requirement (3 credits)

All undergraduate students at the University must take one course in math. This requirement is automatically satisfied by the mechanical engineering curriculum, and you need not worry about it any further.

College Writing Requirement (6 credits)

All undergraduate students at the University must take two courses in college writing. Most students take 42.101 College Writing I and 42.102 College Writing II. Based on Freshman writing tests some students are required to take the three-course sequence 42.100 College Writing A, 42.101, and 42.102. International students can take the sequence College Writing I and II for International Students.

Arts & Humanities (AH) Requirement (9 credits)

All undergraduate students at the University must take three courses from the Arts and Humanities. One of these courses is hardwired into the ME curriculum as an engineering ethics course (e.g. 45.334 or 45.335 or 45.341). This means that ME students must choose two courses from Arts and Humanities.

Social Sciences (SS) Requirement (9 credits)

All undergraduate students at the University must take three courses from the Social Sciences. One of these courses is hardwired into the mechanical engineering curriculum as an economics course (49.201 or 49.202). This means that ME students must choose two courses from the Social Sciences.

To summarize, for ME majors the Gen. Ed. requirement is as follows:

Notes:

Suggested Gen Ed Courses for MEs

The following are some Gen.Ed. courses that might be of particular relevance or interest to engineers. These are only suggestions. There are many other interesting courses that you can take. Your choice is not limited to the following list.

42.222 Oral Communication      AH
40/42/59.249  Values in American Culture     AHDE
42/59.249 Literature on Technology and Human Values  AHE
43.206  American Economic History    AHD
43.312  Science in the Modern World    AHE
43.316  American Environmental History    AH
45.202  Intro to Logic and Critical Reasoning   AHE
45.203  Intro to Ethics      AHDE
45.327  Environmental Philosophy     AHDE
45.334  Engineering and Ethics     AHE
45.335  Ethical Issues in Technology    AHE
45.341  Science, Ethics, and Society    AHE
45.401  Bioethics and Genetic Research    AHE
59.303  Understanding Technological Risk    AHE
59.395  Computers in Society     AHE
41.262  Introduction to Business Law    SS
46.101  Intro to American Politics     SS
46.110  Introduction to Politics     SSD
46.112  Comparative Political Systems    SSD
46.121  Intro to International Relations    SSD
47.101  General Psychology     SS
47.209  Social Psychology     SSD
47.232  Psychology of Personality     SS
48.101  Introduction to Sociology     SSDE
48.110  Intro to Social Values     SSDE
48.270  Self in Society      SS
49.201  Economics I      SS
49.202  Macroeconomics      SS
49.302  Labor Economics      SSD
57.201  Intro to Regions      SS
57.211  Sustainable Development     SSE
57.218  Regional Health and the Environment   SSD
88.101  World Regional Geography    SSD
88.104  Foundations of Conservation and Environmental Concerns       SSE

Complete list of General Education courses