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The Wheels Project - Engineering at Wheaton College
Engineering
Engineering student works on project with lab glasses
Engineering
Engineering student metalwork
Engineering
Engineering students discussing prototype with whiteboard and equations
Engineering

Engineering

Why Study Engineering?

Welcome to a world of creativity, rigor and can-do! Engineers turn scientific ideas and discoveries into practical solutions that serve humanity. Engineering at Wheaton College combines the best of two worlds – a vibrant Christian liberal arts training at Wheaton and a strong engineering education from one of many ABET accredited engineering universities. As an engineering student, you will develop rigorous and highly transferable problem-solving skills that draw on analytical thinking, computer modeling, and hands-on experimental skills. You will learn to serve others by applying engineering knowledge to meet the practical needs of individuals, businesses and communities. And you emerge as one of the most highly sought-after employees around the world.

5
years to complete the full program
2
full Bachelor's degrees upon completion
8
hands-on engineering courses offered at Wheaton

Young-Ho Moon '15 tells his story of studying in Wheaton's 3-2 dual degree engineering program with the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Why Study Engineering at Wheaton?

Our 5-year program leads to two Bachelor degrees - a Liberal Arts Engineering degree from Wheaton College and a specialty engineering degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program at one of more than 360 colleges and universities (You choose!).

You’ll spend the first three years at Wheaton, which includes studying Christ at the Core liberal arts coursework. Your last two years will be at a nationally recognized ABET accredited engineering school, giving you all of the benefits of a large engineering school including a wide array of elective courses, terrific facilities, and well-established ties to industry.

For those who would like an easy transition into their final two undergraduate engineering years, Wheaton has made a special arrangement with nearby Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) so that students may run all finances and financial aid through Wheaton and live in Wheaton housing for the entire five years.

Both a liberal arts degree and a technical engineering degree with premium-quality instruction.  The final result?  The best of both worlds!

A new dedicated design lab with state-of-the-art prototyping equipment is available exclusively for engineering student use. All of our engineering courses include hands-on project work and elements of engineering design.

Most engineering students complete at least one summer internship in their chosen field. These give valuable experience in industry and often lead to permanent job offers after graduation

A dedicated engineering program coordinator is here to guide you through the program. This person helps manage transfer issues, follows up with transferred students, advises on the various sub-disciplines of engineering, and meets with prospective students and parents interested in our program.

  • Ingenium Engineering Club - Ingenium seeks to strengthen the community of engineering students by fostering a comfortable environment for students to interact with each other. Ingenium engages students in extracurricular engineering design projects as well as competitions, seminars, and other events.
  • Collaborative Research - Many Wheaton students get involved in research with Wheaton faculty or in partnership with scientists at nearby Fermilab or Argonne National Lab.
  • Teaching Assistant Positions - A highlight for many of our majors is working as a paid teaching assistant in the department. Students may work alongside faculty in class, grade homework, run help sessions, or set up and manage lab equipment.
  • Observatory Assistant Positions - Students staff our observatory and help other students and the general public view the night skies. Our observatory houses a 24" Planewave telescope with scientific grade accessories and several smaller 8-16" telescopes.
  • Robotics Club - The Robotics Club provides a place for students in physics, engineering, and computer science to work together in teams on a variety of practical and fun projects.
  • Global and Experiential Learning (GEL): Semester study-abroad programs, summer study-abroad programs, and spring break co-curricular trips

What Will I Learn?

Liberal Arts Engineering, Dual Degree:A five-year program leading to two bachelor degrees, one from Wheaton College and one from an ABET-accredited engineering program at another institution. This arrangement allows students to complete degrees in a wide array of engineering disciplines and take advantage of the best aspects of a smaller Christian liberal arts college and a larger engineering school in a single program.

A special arrangement with Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) allows students to take other engineering courses not offered at Wheaton through IIT in the first three years of the program. The arrangement allows a streamlined transfer process, enables all finances to run through Wheaton, and includes approved five-year course plans in 10 different engineering tracks.

Students completing their engineering coursework near Wheaton (IIT, Northern Illinois University, or University of Illinois at Chicago) may remain in Wheaton College housing and may continue to participate fully in extra-curricular activities at the College, including athletics.

Wheaton engineering students begin with a core set of engineering, math, physics and chemistry classes.  They then branch into a set of classes that prepare them for one of many fields of engineering.  Over the past 41 years Wheaton students have received degrees in: 

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Architectural Engineering
  • Bio-Medical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Environmental and Civil Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

Consult the course catalog for full listing of current courses available in this field.

Possible Careers for Engineers

Skilled engineers are some of the most highly sought-after employees around the world. Engineering occupations are expected to grow as much as 10 percent in the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Center for Vocation and Career will be happy to partner with you to explore the many career options available to you with this degree.

An engineering degree can take you many places.  The obvious direction is to become an engineer!  As a civil engineer you may design roads, bridges and other structures, or the land that they sit on.  A mechanical engineer is usually someone who works with machines that generate, distribute or use energy.  This could be anything from a simple crank to a rocket, or the HVAC system in your house.  An electrical engineer designs, develops and maintains electrical systems for a wide range of applications.  And a chemical engineer turns raw materials into useful products, from food to fuel and much more in-between.   Of course these are only some of many engineering fields you may work in.

But your engineering degree may take you in another direction.  The type of critical, analytical and creative thinking that you learn as an engineer helps you to identify a problem, figure out a solution, and follow-through on its implementation.  This sets you up well to work in management, law, medicine and many other fields.  So what do people with engineering degrees do?  Almost anything they put their minds to.

Engineers often study specialty fields within their discipline.  For instance, a mechanical engineer may study Ground Vehicle Systems or System Dynamics and Control.  A civil engineer may specialize in Geotechnical Engineering or Structural engineering.  The list of options is very long.  Usually these engineers will get a Master of Science degree, but if they are interested in research or teaching, they may pursue a PhD.

Engineering schools where our students have finished the dual degree:
  • Auburn University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University - Purdue University
  • Lafayette College
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • St. Louis University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of California–Davis
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Lowell
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Texas Austin
  • University of Virginia–Charlottesville
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Valpraiso University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington University St. Louis
Engineering is problem-solving, and while any good engineering education provides the knowledge to solve the problems, studying at Wheaton took me much deeper. My fellow students and professors took joy in understanding the principles that govern God's creation - the fundamentals of engineering. — Jaclyn Baker '13
The dual degree program at Wheaton has a greater number of general education requirements than most traditional engineering schools. . . . Wheaton's breadth of courses helped strengthen key skills many employers are looking for in their workforce, especially communication and working well in a team. — Colleen Chapman '04