3-2 Engineering Program for Students Interested in Engineering

Although Carleton does not offer an official pre-engineering track, there are a number of options to prepare students to pursue engineering after Carleton.  This site focuses on one of these options:  the 3-2 Engineering Program, also called the Combined Plan Program or Dual-Degree Program. 

The 3-2 Engineering Program is shorthand for various programs that allow students to spend three (or four) years at Carleton and two (or three) years at an engineering school, receiving multiple degrees:  a B.A. from Carleton and a B.S. and/or M.S. in engineering from a partner engineering institution.  

For discussion of the multiple options for pursuing engineering after Carleton in addition to the 3-2 Engineering Program, see the pdf  "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Liberal Arts Students Interested in Engineering" to the right. 

The 3-2 program allows students to spend three years at Carleton and two years at an engineering school receiving dual degrees, a B.A. from Carleton and a B.S. in engineering from a partner engineering institution. There are also 4-2 (B.A./B.S), 3-3 (B.A./B.S./M.S.), and 4-3 (B.A./B.S./M.S.) versions of the program available to interested students. We currently have a formal partnership with Columbia University and Washington University, although the Columbia program is being phased out and is only available to students who started at Carleton on or before Fall 2016.

Although many students enter Carleton with an interest in the 3-2 engineering program, the more popular route for Carleton students into engineering is to apply directly to a graduate (or occasionally an undergraduate) engineering program of their choice after four years at Carleton. Students who choose this route into engineering are encouraged to supplement their major coursework with classes relevant to the particular area of engineering they wish to pursue.

Several curriculum guides have been provided to help students know which Carleton courses are appropriate to help them transition into engineering careers after Carleton. Students not interested in the formal dual degree programs should download the General Engineering Curriculum Guide, which suggests courses that you might want to add to your Carleton Transcript. None of the courses are required and the courses you select will depend on your Carleton major and engineering area(s) of interest. The pre-engineering advisor can help you decide which courses are most appropriate for your future goals. For students interested in the 3-2, 3-3,4-2, or 4-3 programs, the Columbia University and  Washington University curriculum guides tell you which Carleton courses meet the specific course requirements for their respective programs.  The table below indicates which programs are available at each partner school. 

 

Program Structure Degrees Obtained Partner Institution(s) Admission Type
3-2 or 4-2 B.A./B.S. Columbia University Guaranteed
3-2 or 4-2 B.A./B.S. Washington University Preferred
4-2 B.A./M.S. Columbia University, Washington University Preferred
3-3 B.A./B.S./M.S. Washington University Preferred
4-3 B.A./B.S./M.S. Washington University Preferred

 

Students wishing to pursue these programs are strongly advised to meet with the Pre-Engineering Advisor, who serves as the liaison for these programs, as early as possible in their Carleton careers. This is especially true for students interested in the 3-2 and 3-3 programs who must satisfy Carleton’s distribution requirements, an integrative exercise in an appropriate field (e.g., chemistry, mathematics, computer science, or physics), and the partner school course pre-requisites during their 3 years at Carleton.

As part of the 3-2 and 3-3 programs, Carleton's total credit requirement and senior residency requirement are waived; however, the student is expected to meet all of the other graduation requirements. Unlike the 4-2 program where students graduate with their class, in the case of the 3-2 and 3-3 programs, a Carleton degree is awarded at the completion of the 5 year program.

Students who are specifically interested in the Industrial Engineering or Operations Research (IEOR), (i.e. financial engineering, engineering management systems, industrial engineering, and operations research) combined plan programs at Columbia should consult with the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Advisor in addition to the Pre-engineering Advisor.