Frequently Asked Questions


1) What are the primary differences between ES and other engineering majors?

The ES program is an interdisciplinary degree consisting of two minors creating the Engineering Science major.  This gives greater latitude in the technical content of the student’s curriculum and allows the student to craft a program of study that suits the individual’s interest and career goals, which may not be precisely aligned with one of the existing engineering major degree offerings. ES does NOT give students greater latitude in the non-technical content than other majors in the Engineering School.

2) What are the approved School of Engineering Technical Minors (for the first minor or first and second minors)?

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

3) What are the approved Math and Science minors are offered by the CLAS (an option for the second minor)?

  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

4) What about other Minors, like Science & Technology Policy or Engineering Business?

Like all other students in the Engineering School, all ES major students CAN pursue non-technical minors, or other non-technical minors in CLAS, by allocating their HSS and/or Unrestricted Electives to fulfill the requirements of their additional chosen minor. However, the two minors which create the ES major must come from either SEAS technical minors or a SEAS technical minor and a math or science minor from the CLAS.

5) Are there any pre-planned curricula within the Engineering Science Major? Or, what are the "named concentrations"?

Yes, we offer the following three named concentrations. ES students are not required to follow one of these concentrations but they are options for interested students. Detailed descriptions can be found by clicking the links below.

Materials Science and Engineering Concentration - In the MSE Concentration, students will have their first minor in MSE and take additional MSE courses beyond the scope of the minor. The second minor must be chosen from School of Engineering technical minors, mathematics, or a natural science.  For official requirements of the MSE Concentrations, please see the current year's Undergraduate Record.

Engineering Science Nanomedicine Concentration - The program consists of minors in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering and can satisfy pre-med requirements. Nanomedicine is an offshoot of nanotechnology and refers to specific medical intervention for curing disease or repairing damaged tissues. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, too small to be seen with a conventional lab microscope. It is at this size scale–about 100 nanometers or less–that biological molecules and structures inside living cells operate. For official requirements of the Nanomedicine Concentration, please see the current year's Undergraduate Record.

Engineering Science Nanotechnology Concentration - Nanotechnology is technology on the length scale of 1-100 nanometers and work in this field has many applications in today's society. An understanding of material properties is key to nanotechnology and so the minor in MSE is a necessary component of this concentration. The second minor may be either another SEAS-approved technical minor or come from another approved science or mathematics field.  In addition, a group of five technical courses make up an "Area of Concentration," adding depth and focus to the intersection of the two minors and providing students with a foundation in nanoscale systems, material properties, and applications. For official requirements of the Nanomedicine Concentration, please see the current year's Undergraduate Record.

6) What is Interdisciplinary Engineering?

This is a general name for an ES plans of study that involves two School of Engineering technical Minors.

7) What is an Area of Concentration?

An Area of Concentration (AOC) is a required part of any ES degree. It consists of three technical electives chosen by the student and approved by the advisor that provide identity and definition to a student’s ES degree. The student will select the three courses that make up their AOC from courses in their minors or related areas of interest that show the connections between their two minors and their interests or career goals. One student created an AOC in “digital currency” combining his minors in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics while another displayed her interest in “Nanomedicine” through an AOC comprised of advanced chemistry courses and biology labs. Each student/advisor team should seek such depth and identity when developing their own individualized program. AOCs are useful tools as students begin to explore their post-graduation plans and wish to demonstrate their interest in given fields to employers or graduate schools.

8) Do all ES students select their program from one of three named concentrations? 

No. ES students are free to create their own program of two approved minors plus an area of concentration that they define. ES students may choose to follow one of the pre-planned curricula, or named concentrations, if they wish.

9) What is the connection between ES and the MSE Department? Do all ES students minor in MSE? 

The MSE Department administers the Engineering Science program. ES students are free to choose from any approved techinical minors and are not required to do a minor in MSE.

10) What are some examples of ES students’ programs?

  • Dan minored in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science to explore his interest in sustainable engineering.
  • Alexi combined a minor in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Astrophysics to study atmospheric dynamics.
  • Will joined Applied Mathematics and Physics minors to shape a program in atomistic modeling and simulation.
  • Carolyn minored in Civil Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and researched global water resources.
  • Bobby combined minors in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science and pursued oceanic system dynamics.

In ES, the possibilities are endless.

11) Can I combine an ES major with a pre-med or pre-health track?

Yes!  Many of our minors include courses that overlap with pre-health requirements. To learn more about pre-health options, contact the Pre-Health Advising Center.

12) Where can I find the list of SEAS approved HSS courses?  Where can I find the list of SEAS approved Math and Science Electives?  

The list of approved HSS courses and the list courses that fulfill the Math and Science Elective can be found here or in A-122 Thronton Hall.

13)  I want to transfer to UVA Engineering - where can I find more information?

Information about internal and external transfers to UVA SEAS can be found here.

14)  If I still have questions or want to learn more about ES, whom should I contact?  

Email our Undergraduate Coodinator - we look forward to hearing from you!