Engineering at Wellesley FAQs

Answers to some common questions about studying engineering at Wellesley are listed below.  If you have a question that you would like to be included on this list, please email Class Dean Jennifer Stephan at jstephan@wellesley.edu.

- What opportunities does Wellesley offer in engineering?
- Does Wellesley offer a major or minor in engineering?
- How do I learn more and/or express an interest in engineering?
- How many Wellesley students are interested in engineering?
- Why do so few Wellesley students pursue the Olin engineering certificate and the dual degree options with Olin and MIT?
- Can I pursue a major at MIT besides engineering via the dual degree program with MIT?
- What are my chances of getting into the dual degree program with MIT or Olin?
- What kind of support does Wellesley provide to students in the dual degree program with MIT?
- What kind of support does Wellesley provide to students in the dual degree program with Olin?
- How will attending the dual degree program with MIT impact my financial aid?
- How will attending the dual degree program with Olin impact my financial aid?
- How will attending the dual degree program with MIT or Olin impact my housing?
- What are MIT's and Olin's degree requirements?
- What Wellesley courses may I be able to use to fulfill MIT's degree requirements?
- What Wellesley courses may I be able to use towards the Olin Certificate or dual degree?


What opportunities does Wellesley offer in engineering?

The Wellesley Engineering Laboratory (We-Lab) offers introductory engineering courses and an engineering seminar series for those interested in learning a bit (or a lot) more about engineering.  Students interested in studying engineering further can take classes with nearby Olin College and MIT; Olin offers an engineering certificate; dual degrees are also options at both Olin and MIT.
 

Does Wellesley offer a major or minor in engineering?

Engineering at Wellesley is focused on offering introductory engineering opportunities to all interested students in order to further their liberal arts education.  An engineering major or minor is not offered at Wellesley.  Students interested in receiving an engineering degree should consider pursuing a degree in math or a science for undergraduate, including taking some engineering classes at Wellesley, Olin, and/or MIT, and then study engineering in graduate school.  Interested students can also explore the dual degree options with Olin and MIT and reach out to the engineering advising team at Wellesley for support, recognizing the difficulty in pursuing two degrees on two campuses in five years.


How do I learn more and/or express an interest in engineering?

You can request to join the Wellesley engineering Google group, by emailing Class Dean Jennifer Stephan.  The Wellesley engineering Google group provides infrequent emails (usually monthly) about engineering activities at the College. 

Class Dean Jennifer Stephan advises all students at Wellesley who are interested in pursuing engineering academically.  Professor Amy Banzaert welcomes conversations about engineering at and beyond Wellesley.  Professors Robbie Berg, Ted Ducas, and Lyn Turbak also are a valuable resource about engineering.  Please see the faculty page for their contact information.


How many Wellesley students are interested in engineering?

In round numbers, # of students each academic year:

  • 80 are members of the Wellesley Engineering Community Google group.
  • 40 take an engineering-related class at Wellesley each academic year.
  • 10 take engineering-related classes at Olin or MIT (many of these students initially took EXTD160).
  • 1-3 pursue a graduate degree in engineering following receipt of a Wellesley degree in a science discipline such as physics.
  • 0-1 receive the engineering certificate from Olin (one student has received the certificate; 3-5 are on track).
  • 0-1 receive a dual degree with Olin College (no student has yet done so; one is currently on track).
  • 0-2 students per year enroll in the dual degree with MIT (about 6 dual degrees have been granted in the past decade).
     

Why do so few Wellesley students pursue the Olin engineering certificate and the dual degree options with Olin and MIT?

The dual degree programs are a very good match for very few students.  Receiving a dual degree is truly challenging--the student must have the intellectual and inner strength to study two disciplines on two campuses in just five years, and have sufficient academic rigor to be admitted to two leading institutions.  The time and expense associated with an extra year of undergraduate study is significant.  For many students interested in engineering, attending a school that grants engineering degrees directly is more efficient.  For others, pursuing a hard science degree for undergrad and then engineering graduate school is the best option.  For a certain few, a Wellesley liberal arts education, augmented with a rigorous engineering experience at MIT or Olin, is invaluable and worth the trade-offs.

For the Olin Engineering Certificate, this is a newer opportunity that also requires a real time commitment, though less extreme than a dual degree.


Can I pursue a major at MIT besides engineering via the dual degree program with MIT?

No, with the exception of urban studies and architecture. A student should only consider the following MIT Courses (i.e. departments):

Architecture (Course 4)
Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Nuclear Engineering (Course 22)


What are my chances of getting into the dual degree program with MIT or Olin?

Admission to these programs is highly competitive and is NOT guaranteed.


What kind of support does Wellesley provide to students in the dual degree program with MIT?

Through the third year, students in the program have access to all the support services available for any Wellesley student. As they move through the fourth and fifth years, students officially become MIT students, but can still avail themselves of many of the support services on the Wellesley campus. The Class Deans' office will continue to coordinate academic advising, as related to Wellesley matters, through the student’s entire time in this program. Online accounts, including email and access to library databases, will continue to be available to students throughout their time in the program. Many offices will continue to provide assistance and advice to students during their fourth and fifth years in the program, including the Center for Work and Service, the PLTC (as related to Wellesley courses), the Disability Services office, the cultural advisors, the Religious and Spiritual Life office, and health and counseling services. The educational and cultural programming of the Slater International Center is available for students in this program, although the support of international students in the program with regard to immigration matters will shift to MIT in the fourth and fifth years. Financial aid and housing also shift to MIT in the fourth and fifth years (see below for further details). Because of the highly individualized nature of this program, students may have specific needs for support that they become aware of during their time in this program, and they are encouraged to remain in contact with the Class Deans’ office throughout their five years for assistance in achieving their goals as their needs develop through time.


What kind of support does Wellesley provide to students in the dual degree program with Olin?

While working on their Wellesley degree, students in the program have access to all the support services available for any Wellesley student.  After earning a Wellesley degree, students officially become Olin students, but can still avail themselves of many of the support services on the Wellesley campus.  The Class Deans' Office will continue to coordinate academic advising, as related to Wellesley matters, through the student's entire time in the program.  Online accounts, including email and access to library databases, will continue to be available to students throughout their time in the program.  Many offices will continue to provide assistance and advice to students during their year at Olin, including the Center for Work and Service, the PLTC (as related to Wellesley courses), the Disability Services office, the cultural advisors, the Religious and Spiritual Life office, and health and counseling services. The educational and cultural programming of the Slater International Center is available for students in the program, although the support of international students in the program with regard to immigration matters will shift to Olin in the fifth year.  Financial aid and housing also shift to Olin in the fifth year (see below for further details).  Because of the highly individualized nature of this program, students may have specific needs for support that they become aware of during their time in this program, and they are encouraged to remain in contact with the Class Deans' office throughout their five years for assistance in achieving their goals as their needs develop through time.


How will attending the dual degree program with MIT impact my financial aid?

During the fourth and fifth years of the MIT dual degree program, candidates are governed by MIT's financial aid policy, NOT Wellesley's. That is, dual degree candidates do not receive any financial aid from Wellesley for years 4 and 5 of the program. It is likely that students, if eligible for aid at Wellesley, will be eligible for aid at MIT, although there may be some differences, particularly during the fifth year. For financial aid purposes, double-degree students in year 5 may be considered graduate students. Although need-based grants are not available to graduate students, students during their fifth year may be eligible for higher loans. Students should work with MIT's financial aid office during the fourth and fifth years in the program to become aware of their specific options.
 

How will attending the dual degree program  with Olin impact my financial aid?

During the fifth year of the Olin dual degree program, candidates are governed by Olin's financial aid policy, NOT Wellesley's.  Students who are admitted to the program are also admitted to Olin as regular students, and as such, will receive Olin's 50% tuition scholarship, and are eligible for financial aid from Olin.  Note that federal financial aid is typically not available for a second bachelor's degree.  In addition, for the first three years of the program, Olin's board of trustees has approved the creation of an additional 50% tuition scholarship for up to two admitted dual degree Wellesley students to cover their final year at Olin.  These scholarships will be awarded by the Olin 4+1 admissions committee.


How will attending the dual degree program with MIT or Olin impact my housing?

During the fourth and fifth years of the MIT program and during the fifth year of the Olin program, double-degree candidates are not eligible for housing on Wellesley's campus.


What are MIT's and Olin's degree requirements?

Double degree candidates must fulfill the requirements for a degree at both institutions.  Students interested in a double degree program should familiarize themselves with MIT's general institute requirements and Olin's graduation requirements.


What Wellesley courses may I be able to use to fulfill MIT's degree requirements?

It is likely, although not guaranteed, that the courses counting towards a student's Wellesley major will fulfill MIT's HASS concentration requirements.  However, courses to fulfill MIT's HASS distribution (or HASS D) requirement, even though they are humanities, arts and social sciences courses, MUST BE TAKEN AT MIT.  For the science portion of MIT's core requirements, the following are equivalent:

CHEM 105 and CHEM 205 = 5.111
BISC 110 = 7.012
PHYS 107 and PHYS 108 = 8.01 and 8.02
MATH 115 and 116 and 205 = 18.01 and 18.02


What Wellesley courses may I be able to use towards the Olin Certificate or dual degree?

EXTD 160 = ENGR 1200 Design Nature
CS 230 = ENGR 2510 Software Design


 

Meet the Deans

Susan Cohen
Susan Cohen


John O'Keefe
John O'Keefe


Jennifer Stephan
Jennifer Stephan


Lori Tenser
Lori Tenser
 

 

Contact Us

Class Deans Office
Schneider Center, 2d Floor
781.283.2325

 

John O'Keefe
Director of Advising and Academic Support Services
781.283.2326
jokeefe@wellesley.edu