solutions to real-world problems as they prepare for opportunities after graduation.
About the Department
Washington and Lee offers two engineering majors:
Engineering: A major in engineering allows students to develop breadth and depth in engineering analysis. The requirements offer flexibility, primarily in the junior year, as students focus their coursework in preparation for their capstone design project and future career. The junior year also offers the freedom to study abroad in the fall or winter term, during which time students can leverage the unique strengths of the host university to broaden their engineering background.
Integrated Engineering: The integrated engineering major provides students the opportunity to combine engineering with their interests in one of four tracks: biology, chemistry, computer science, or geology. The addition of a concentrated study of science into the engineering curriculum prepares students for multidisciplinary design challenges. Students can pursue study abroad opportunities to broaden the range of track-specific coursework and take advantage of their unique background when designing collaboratively in the capstone sequence.
Why Study Engineering at W&L?
The Engineering Program at Washington and Lee University allows students to:
- Acquire a working knowledge of foundational engineering principles.
- Apply the foundational principles to engineering problems.
- Integrate foundational principles to develop innovative solutions to novel, open-ended engineering design projects.
- Apply an engineering design process to satisfy requirements and specifications of design projects.
- Understand how engineers operate within the broader context of society.
- Incorporate cultural, environmental, economical and ethical factors into design decisions.
- Communicate technical knowledge through written documents, oral presentations, and digital and graphical media.
- Learn to communicate effectively within a team environment.
- Gain proficiency with contemporary equipment and software encountered in research environments and professional practice.
- Prepare to enter a diverse work environment including advanced engineering studies or professional practice.
Throughout the long history of our engineering program, we have not sought accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This decision is rooted in our desire to provide our students with a broad range of courses in engineering while allowing students the flexibility to focus on their interests. Though our objectives are in harmony with accredited engineering programs, we believe it is our student-centered approach that affords majors the unique foundation upon which they build success after graduation.
What can you do with a degree in engineering? Within the last few years, graduates of the Engineering Program at W&L have gone on to a variety of opportunities. A few examples:
Employment: UTC Aerospace Systems, Clark Construction, Raytheon, Turner Construction Company, National Grid, Whiting-Turner Construction Company, Apptech Solutions and Space-X.
Graduate School: Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, University of Virginia, Northwestern University, Columbia University, Georgia Tech, University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt University.
Graduate Fellowships: Fulbright Scholarships to Germany and Estonia, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, and a Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Fellowship.
Opportunities for Students
Faculty-Directed Research: Students gain firsthand experience in engineering research and development during the academic year for credit or over the summer through a paid stipend.
Engineering Community Development (ECD): Originally organized as Engineers Without Borders, ECD allows members to develop solutions for community needs both locally and abroad. Students have recently traveled to Belize and to Fries, Virginia, to support those communities through their work.
Robotics Club: A student club that designs and develops robots to compete at national and international competitions. This group builds on the recent success of an electronics class that focused on robot programming and design.
Capstone Design: Students invest their senior year working in teams to develop a solution to a project of their own choosing. Engineering students collaborate with those in the Entrepreneurship Program to develop business plans and marketing strategies, and consult with law students specializing in intellectual property law to understand how existing copyrights, patents and trademarks impact their work.
Conferences and Publications: Students routinely travel to national and international conferences to present their research or compete in engineering competitions, and they regularly appear as co-authors on faculty publications.