What are the main objectives and features of the USI Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program?
USI's Engineering program is designed to produce graduates who are fully qualified for entry-level positions in the professional practice sector of the engineering career field, i.e., in private industry, consulting, and governmental agencies. The program graduates will be capable of completing the requirements for professional registration as engineers in Indiana and other states.
The 130-hour degree program consists of coursework in four areas:
What are some of the unique advantages of the new Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program at USI?
The USI program enables students to prepare for an engineering career in a student-centered environment where faculty members, whose sole responsibility is teaching and advising engineering students, give each student the individual attention necessary for success in a demanding academic program.
The USI program is designed to be completed in four years by well-prepared, traditional, full-time students who opt not to have a cooperative work assignment. However, the program will admit students who are not fully prepared for the rigor of an engineering curriculum and provide them with an additional year of preparation specifically designed with the needs of such students in mind. This five-year program is the only one of its kind in the state. It is based on the success USI has achieved in its engineering technology curriculum over the last 21 years, preparing more than 400 students for successful careers in engineering.
The faculty of the USI program is a blend of engineers with over 100 years of experience in government, industry, and consulting engineering positions and engineers with academic credentials that demonstrate success at the highest level of research and advanced design. Well over half the faculty members have achieved professional registration in one or more states, and several are recipients of national awards for their engineering work. The USI faculty is uniquely qualified to carry out the mission of preparing students for the demands of engineering practice in modern American society.
All engineering courses and most mathematics and science courses at USI are taught by full-time faculty members. There are no graduate teaching assistants. Faculty know their students as individuals from their earliest days on campus.
A practice orientation continues to be the hallmark of the USI engineering program. Close relationships with engineering employers in the Evansville area provide opportunities for part-time employment during the academic year, full-time employment during the summer, cooperative work assignments after completion of the first two years of academic preparation, and real-world senior design projects.
What is the difference between USIs Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree and, say, a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (or any other specific engineering discipline such as Mechanical or Electrical or Chemical Engineering)?
The USI Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program is a flexible, applied program that allows students to choose 30 semester hours of technical electives after fulfilling the mathematics, chemistry, physics and engineering science requirements that all engineering students must meet. Under the guidance of an engineering faculty advisor, engineering students can choose elective courses that will customize the degree to fit a particular engineering career objective. However, typically the total number of engineering semester hours in any one specific discipline will be less than the total number of semester hours required for an engineering degree in a specific discipline.
USI's flexible engineering curriculum may be of particular advantage to students whose career objectives are outside the traditional specific engineering disciplines. For example, a student interested in a career in biomedical or biochemical engineering (which often require study at the graduate level to achieve the needed specialization) may actually be better prepared for the necessary graduate study with the USI degree than with a specific engineering discipline degree because the USI program could allow such students to take advanced biology and chemistry courses at the undergraduate level as part of the technical elective requirement.
What is the difference between the baccalaureate program in engineering technology that USI has offered in the past and the current Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program?
The baccalaureate program in engineering technology offered by USI in the past was a practice-oriented preparation for a career in engineering. The current Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, which retains the practice orientation of the old program, adds additional mathematics and physics courses, provides emphasis on design throughout the curriculum, meets the requirements for professional licensing in all states, and provides the academic background necessary for admission to graduate school for students who wish to seek advanced engineering degrees.
Is USI’s engineering degree program ABET-accredited?
Yes! The engineering program received accreditation in 2007 from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 –telephone: (410) 347-7700).
Why is accreditation important for engineering degree programs?
Most states rely on the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET to serve as a “gatekeeper” to ensure that applicants for a professional license to practice engineering are properly educated. Every state accepts graduates of engineering degree programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET as candidates for professional engineering licenses for that state. (There is no national license to practice engineering, so engineers who wish to practice in more than one state often have to be licensed in several states). Some states (Indiana, for example) accept graduates of programs other than engineering programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, but they almost always impose additional requirements on such applicants.
Furthermore, applicants who are successful in meeting the requirements for professional licensing in such states find that other states will accept the license earned in such a state as a valid license. (Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan are four states that do not accept the professional license of engineers who do not earn their degree in an engineering program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET). Consequently, engineers who are not graduates of engineering programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET but who obtain their license in states such as Indiana find themselves restricted on the kinds of work they can do in some states.
What about the student who feels that his or her career objectives are best served by an engineering program in a traditional specific engineering discipline such as industrial, chemical or computer engineering? How can such a student benefit from USI’s Bachelor of Science in Engineering program?
Students who believe that their career objectives can be best met by fulfilling the requirements for a traditional specific engineering discipline can benefit from the USI Bachelor of Science in Engineering program in one of two ways: first, such students can complete their first two years of the USI program and transfer, without loss of credit, to an institution which offers the specific engineering discipline degree the student seeks; and second, students can complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree at USI and then transfer to an institution offering a graduate degree in the desired specific engineering discipline.
8600 University Boulevard - Evansville, IN 47712-3596 - 812/464-8600
Copyright © 2013 University of Southern Indiana. All rights reserved.