Engineering courses: courses to design your future


Knowing which engineering courses to take helps you get the most return on investment from your engineering degree. An engineering curriculum integrates theoretical principles and practical training to prepare you for a career in the field. The curriculum often includes courses in engineering science, systems, and design.

Engineering degrees start with foundation courses to introduce you to fundamental concepts, such as applied math and basic science courses. Next, engineering majors often focus on a particular branch of engineering, which will determine their required and elective courses. The major branches of engineering – mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical, biological, and computer science – can be broken down into even more specific subfields.

How to Choose Engineering Courses

The first step in choosing engineering courses is when you choose a major. For part of your engineering degree, you will need to take a few core courses required for your major. Many basic engineering courses – such as thermodynamics, materials science, and structural analysis – are required for most different branches.

However, engineering departments offer many specialized courses to help you focus on aspects of your major that match your strengths and career goals. Mechanical engineering majors, for example, take courses in computational fluid dynamics and solar thermal system design. Civil engineering majors, on the other hand, study environmental engineering systems and transportation systems engineering.

Engineering courses that will prepare you for career advancement

Engineering degrees include required and elective courses. Required courses correspond directly to your major and incorporate both core and specialized courses.

Specialist classes fall into one of six major engineering fields: mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical, biological, and computer science. Elective courses in an engineering program are also usually specialized courses. They allow you to take the engineering courses that best meet your career goals. You can often take electives from other departments, which challenge you to explore new ideas and learn new skills.

Basic Engineering Course

Calculation I and II

Typical difficulty level: Average

What you will learn: Calculus courses focus on immediate and constant rates of change. Calculus courses cover the different branches of calculus: sub-differential, integral, multivariable, fractional and differential geometry.

What to expect: Calculus courses integrate lectures on theories, principles, and concepts with assignments that require you to apply them to problems and scenarios. You will work independently and in groups to solve problems and explain solutions to the class.

Who will this course benefit the most? Calculation is compulsory for all engineering students. The mathematical skills acquired in calculus courses form the basis of future engineering courses.

Computer Assisted drawing

Typical difficulty level: Average

What you will learn: Computer-aided drafting (CAD) courses introduce you to the technology used to create, modify, analyze, and optimize engineering designs. You learn to draw manually and to use 2D and 3D software for drawing and design.

What to expect: A CAD drawing class mixes lectures, discussions, demonstrations and hands-on learning. You will practice 2D and 3D designs using CAD software, both individually and as part of group projects.

Who will this course benefit the most? Mechanical, civil and architectural engineers use CAD to create 2D and 3D visualizations of projects.


Typical difficulty level: Average

What you will learn: Statistics cover probability, distribution patterns, and sample collection. Statistics courses train you to analyze data, identify patterns, conduct studies, and create simulations. Topics include regression, probability, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing.

What to expect: Statistics students solve theoretical and real statistical problems. You will also use statistical software to analyze data sets.

Who will this course benefit the most? Engineers of any discipline should know statistics, especially civil, mechanical, and industrial engineering majors.

Introduction to circuits and electronics

Typical difficulty level: Average

What you will learn: This course covers the design principles of electronic systems. You learn to formulate and solve equations related to time and frequency and the behavior of circuits that store energy. Topics include lumped circuit models, nodal analysis, numerical abstraction, and small circuit models.

What to expect: Design and lab components make up a large part of the class. Students must also complete additional assignments and assessments.

Who will this course benefit the most? Courses in circuits and electronics benefit majors in electrical engineering, computer engineering, biomedical engineering, and electronic engineering.


Typical difficulty level: Hard

What you will learn: Thermodynamics is about the transfer of energy from one place or form to another. In this course, you will learn to identify and categorize energy systems, energy transfer functions, abstract concepts of thermodynamics, and apply the laws of thermodynamics to system analysis.

What to expect: Thermodynamics courses include laboratory work. Groups conduct experiments during lab activities, create reports based on their findings, and can present their work to the class. Students also complete reading assignments, assignments, and exams.

Who will this course benefit the most? Knowing thermodynamics is essential for mechanical engineers. The laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic systems, and properties of thermodynamics guide mechanical engineers when designing motors, power plants, and comparable devices and installations.

Fluid mechanics

Typical difficulty level: Hard

What you will learn: Fluid dynamics is the study of how liquids and gases move. Topics include pressure, hydrostatics and buoyancy. You will also study open systems and control volume analysis, viscous fluid flows, keeping fluids in motion, and the lift and drag of objects.

What to expect: Fluid dynamics courses combine lectures with exercises that require you to apply the principles and methods of the discipline. Missions involve sample sets, while lab work gives you the opportunity to conduct experiments on fluids and gases.

Who will this course benefit the most? Fluid dynamics courses benefit civil, mechanical, and chemical engineers. It also has applications in biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechatronics engineering.

Top Examples of Engineering Electives by Specialty

Mechanical Engineering

  • Transport planning
  • Embedded system design
  • Lasers and their applications

Mechanical engineering elective courses hone critical thinking, analytical and computational skills. Mechanical engineers must design, develop, and test products and systems using CAD, advanced math, and engineering principles.

Electrical engineering

  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Advanced Optics
  • Artificial intelligence

Electrical engineering courses teach you how to design electrical systems. After introductory courses in electrical theory, circuits, mechanics, and computer programming, electrical engineering courses give you the opportunity to apply this knowledge to electrical equipment. Electrical engineers work with motors, navigation systems, communication systems, and power generation equipment.

Public works

  • Design and construction of sustainable pavements
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Plastic design of steel structures

Civil engineering can be divided into areas of specialization such as architecture, construction, environmental engineering, and hydraulic engineering. By learning about transport and infrastructure, for example, you can pursue a career in the development, analysis and management of transport systems.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers develop and design chemical manufacturing processes for development and use in foods, fuels, drugs, and other products. Since chemical engineering spans the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, construction, and agricultural sectors, elective courses can prepare you for careers in these fields. For example, you can learn about how chemicals interact with electricity, how metabolism influences and is influenced by different chemicals, or the relationship between the environment and chemical engineering.

Biological engineering

  • Nanomechanics of materials and biomaterials
  • Microbial genetics and evolution
  • Atmospheric Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry

Biological engineers use engineering principles to analyze biological systems. Electives give you the opportunity to explore topics that can prepare you for bioengineering careers in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and robotics.

Engineering computer Science

  • Software for embedded systems
  • Autonomous robots
  • Design of digital integrated circuits

Computer engineering combines electrical engineering with computer science. Computer engineering electives train you to work with specific types of computer hardware and software, teach you how to make technologies interact, and help you develop innovative processes and products.

In conclusion

Since engineering branches out into so many different subfields, it can be difficult to figure out where to start and which direction to go. By learning about the different fields of engineering, you can get an idea of ​​what engineering courses to take to prepare for your career.


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