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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Prospective Students

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Are You Considering a Major in Engineering?

You may find yourself thinking of becoming an engineer, but do you know what engineers do? The National Academy of Engineering tells us that: 

  • Engineers make a world of difference. From new farming equipment and safer drinking water to electric cars and faster microchips, engineers use their knowledge to improve people's lives in meaningful ways.
  • Engineers are creative problem solvers. They have a vision for how something should work and are dedicated to making it better, faster, or more efficient.
  • Engineers help shape the future. They use the latest science, tools, and technology to bring ideas to life.
  • Engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety. From the grandest skyscrapers to microscopic medical devices, it is impossible to imagine life without engineering.

Okay, so you see yourself as a problem-solver. You like to improve situations, you like making a difference in people's lives, you search out details, and you like math – in fact you’re good at math. So becoming an engineer sounds like a pretty good choice. But what engineering discipline should you focus on?


Which Engineering Program is for You?

Engineering is a broad field that spans many areas such as healthcare, agriculture, entertainment, business and more. Here at Minnesota State Mankato we have civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering.


What is the Difference Between Engineering and Engineering Technology?

Engineers use the knowledge of mathematics and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice, applied with judgment, to develop ways to economically utilize the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. Engineering involves a wide spectrum of activities extending from the conception, design, development and formulation of new systems and products through the implementation, production and operation of engineering systems. Engineers often work closely with engineering scientists in developing new technology via research projects. A minimum of four years of study is required to become an engineer. Mathematics and science are emphasized. Most baccalaureate-level engineering programs are accredited by EAC/ABET.

Engineering technologists are graduates of bachelor-level programs in engineering technology. They apply engineering and scientific knowledge combined with technical skills to support engineering activities. Their areas of interest and education are typically application oriented, while being somewhat less theoretical and mathematically oriented than their engineering counterparts. They typically concentrate their activities on the applied design, using current engineering practice. Technologists play key roles on the engineering team; they are typically involved in product development, manufacturing, product assurance, sales, and program management. TAC/ABET specifies that faculty who teach in these programs have a minimum of a master's degree in engineering or engineering technology or equivalent, or a PE license and a master's degree.

--Lyle McCurdy (Adopted by the Engineering Liason Committee, March 1995, State of California)


How Do You Prepare?

Earning good grades in challenging and advanced courses will give you a leg up, and taking high levels of math and science will make your introductory engineering classes in college more manageable.

Most engineering schools require four years of math, including Pre-Calculus, although Calculus or AP Calculus is strongly encouraged. Engineering schools are also looking for at least three years of science, including Physics and Chemistry. The important thing is to be ready for college calculus!

Engineering is not just about math and science, though! Take your other subjects seriously, as well, especially English, because engineers need to be able to speak and write well. Effective communication is an important part of engineering. 


Community College Transfer Students

Contact the Student Advising Center at Minnesota State Mankato:

Trafton Center 125
Hours: M-F, 8 - 4
Appointments required
Phone 507-389-1521



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