Student in lab working on equipment
2.28.2020
By Roanoke College News

Roanoke College plans to introduce engineering science major

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Roanoke College plans to launch an engineering science major. Courses will begin in the fall of 2020.

The new engineering science major fits well into trending interest in STEM disciplines; the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics shows STEM career occupations are expected to grow at a higher rate than other occupations in the next decade. Students who major in engineering science will be prepared for immediate work in engineering fields in positions such as ballistics, electrical and computer engineering, materials analysis and testing, information science, data analytics and audio design and production.

The major builds on the career interests of many physics majors, where approximately one-third go into engineering fields, according to the American Institute of Physics.

Roanoke College already offers a dual-degree program in engineering. If approved by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, future students interested in engineering will be able to secure the degree from Roanoke College versus the dual-degree option with Virginia Tech. The new major considers engineering science to be closely aligned with the liberal arts, combining mathematical sciences, and social and natural sciences, along with the humanities.

“With Roanoke College‚Äôs strong liberal arts tradition supplementing the engineering science coursework, potential majors will have a clear understanding of how historical, sociological and psychological facets impact the engineering field.”

Dr. Matt Fleenor, professor of physics

Today’s engineers must know the science related to their work but also benefit from the foundation of a strong liberal arts program. The Roanoke College planned engineering science program combines the core science and engineering courses with the College’s Intellectual Inquiry core curriculum, rooted in critical thinking, oral presentation and written communication.  

“With Roanoke College’s strong liberal arts tradition supplementing the engineering science coursework, potential majors will have a clear understanding of how historical, sociological and psychological facets impact the engineering field,” Dr. Matt Fleenor, professor of physics, said. “The future engineering science major will draw on the strong coursework already present in the Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics department, with focus areas in materials, robotics and mechanics.”

The planned engineering science major will be offered as bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees. The bachelor of science program will emphasize the balance between applied design and underlying scientific principles. The program was created to comply with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology standards. The accompanying bachelor of arts program is best suited to partner with other programs on campus that supplement and support engineering disciplines such as chemistry and environmental studies.

To learn more about Roanoke College’s planned engineering science major, faculty and alumni in engineering careers, click here.