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Within the context of a Wellesley liberal arts education, there are a number of options available to students who wish to pursue an interest in engineering. All students interested in engineering should explore We-Lab, Wellesley's own engineering laboratory, and consider taking one of Wellesley's engineering classes. However, as Wellesley is a liberal arts institution that offers Bachelors of Arts degrees, engineering is not a major that is offered at Wellesley.
Beyond the engineering courses taught at Wellesley, there are many options available to the student interested in studying engineering within the liberal arts context. Each program is distinct in its characteristics and may provide different advantages to different students, depending on a student's individual academic interests and needs. Interested students are encouraged to explore each of these options carefully.
Cross-Registration with MIT or Olin
The Olin Certificate Program
The Double-Degree Program with Olin
The Double-Degree Program with MIT
The Bernard M. Gordon MIT Engineering Leadership Program
The Wellesley-Babson-Olin Sustainability Certificate Program
Students interested in studying engineering at Wellesley within the liberal arts context should:
- schedule a meeting with Class Dean Jennifer Stephan and with Professor Amy Banzaert (We-Lab), Professor Ted Ducas (Physics Department), Professor Robbie Berg (Physics Department), or Professor Franklyn Turbak (CS Department) to explore and understand the available options (see below for contact information)
- consider taking one of Wellesley's engineering courses
- take appropriate math and science courses each semester (at Wellesley and also MIT and/or Olin)
For further information, contact:
Class Dean Jennifer Stephan at Wellesley, 781.283.2325, firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting Lecturer Amy Banzaert at Wellesley, 781.283.3756, email@example.com
Professor Ted Ducas at Wellesley, 781.283.3047, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Robbie Berg at Wellesley, 781.283.3110, email@example.com
Associate Professor Franklyn Turbak at Wellesley, 781.283.3049, firstname.lastname@example.org
Students may also find this FAQ to be helpful.
Cross-Registration with MIT or Olin
The existing exchange program permits cross registration throughout a student's time at Wellesley. With assistance from her advisor and Class Dean Jennifer Stephan, a student can craft a coherent package of courses at MIT or Olin to complement her Wellesley degree. The registrar's office provides information on the process of cross-registration at MIT and cross-registration at Olin. Any Wellesley College student may pursue these opportunities, which provide significant flexibility in terms of academic focus and scheduling.
The certificate in engineering studies at Olin College provides more structure than a program devised through cross-registration alone. A student who completes the program will earn a Wellesley College liberal arts degree and a Certificate in Engineering Studies from Olin College after her four years of study. The focus of the certificate program can be of a student's choosing, provided that the set of courses meets some criteria of coherence and depth. The program offers flexibility to students in terms of scheduling, course selection, and academic content. It is open to all students. Note - EXTD 160 Fundamentals of Engineering is approved as a gateway course for all of the engineering certificates offered by Olin College.
The Olin-Wellesley 4+1 Program enables a Wellesley student to obtain a second bachelor's degree from Olin College through a fifth year of study subsequent to the successful completion of an Olin Certificate. Students enrolled in the 4+1 program begin their engineering study at Olin while they are enrolled at Wellesley; by the time they complete their Wellesley liberal arts degrees, 4+1 students have typically completed all of the Olin math and science prerequisites as well as at least five engineering courses towards their Olin degree. In their fifth year, 4+1 students enroll at Olin College and spend both semesters in residence there, completing requirements as well as the senior capstone project.
The MIT-Wellesley double-degree program enables a Wellesley student who is accepted to the program to earn a B.A. degree from Wellesley and an S.B. degree from MIT over the course of five years. A double-degree candidate must fulfill the requirements for a major at both institutions. Students apply to the program during the spring of their sophomore year, and admission to the program is highly selective. Of the different options available to students interested in engineering, this requires the most commitment and affords the least flexibility in terms of scheduling and course selection.
The Bernard M. Gordon MIT Engineering Leadership (GEL) Program prepares students to be future leaders of engineering innovation, invention, and implementation efforts. A student who completes the program will receive a Wellesley College liberal arts degree and a certificate of completion of the GEL program from MIT. The program offers 1- and 2-year tracks and consists of coursework during the junior and/or senior years. Students must apply to the program during the spring of the sophomore or junior year.
The sustainability certificate program is offered by Wellesley, Babson and Olin Colleges. A student who completes the program will earn a Wellesley College degree and a Sustainability Certificate from the three colleges after her four years of study. Six courses are required to complete the program. Two courses, an introductory course and a synthesis course, are specific to the program and team-taught by three faculty members, one from each institution. The other four courses will be elective courses drawn from the existing course catalogs of the three institutions, and students must take at least one elective at each of the three campuses. As designed, this program involves engagement with the liberal arts, business and engineering disciplines, all to varying degrees depending on an individual student's interests. It is open to all students.