1. 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. We also advise students interested in engineering and aim to connect with many disciplines across the campus. Students interested in studying engineering further can take classes and with nearby Olin College and MIT; Olin offers an engineering certificate; both of these schools also have dual degree options.
2. 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 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.
3. How do I learn more and/or express an interest in engineering?
Please feel free to contact Amy Banzaert to learn more about engineering at Wellesley. You can request to join the Wellesley engineering google group, which 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. Professors Robbie Berg, Ted Ducas, and Lyn Turbak also welcome conversations about engineering. Please see the faculty page for their contact information.
4. How many Wellesley students are interested in engineering?
In round numbers, # students each academic year:
60 are members of the Wellesley Engineering Community Google group.
40 take an engineering-related class at Wellesley each academic year.
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)
5. Why do so few Wellesley students pursue the Olin engineering certificate and the dual degree options with Olin and MIT?
We like to say that the dual degree programs are amazing opportunities for an amazingly small number of 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.
6. How can I support We-Lab?
As a new and growing part of Wellesley College, We-Lab welcomes support in many forms.
- Students: Come to our seminar series. Take classes. Volunteer or apply for a paid position to help shape the program.
- Faculty: We-Lab seeks to connect to a variety of faculty from all disciplines at Wellesley interested in the intersections of their work and technology.
- Members of the greater community
- there are many volunteer opportunities to help shape the program.
- We-Lab is interested in partnering long term with organizations focused on benefiting under-served populations that may have technical needs.
- Interested donors may consider giving a gift to the Wellesley Fund designated for engineering.
For any of these possibilities, and others, please contact Amy Banzaert.
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