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. Carleton provides options for a 3-2 Engineering Program, also called the Combined Plan Program or Dual-Degree Program.

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) and 3-3 (B.A./B.S./M.S.) versions of the program available to interested students. We currently have formal partnerships with Columbia University and Washington University, although this year is the LAST year that students will be able to work with the Columbia program.  It is being discontinued. 

Although many students enter Carleton with an interest in the 3-2, 3-3, and 4-2 engineering programs, 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. Thus students interested in 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 major and engineering area(s) of interest. The pre-engineering advisor can help you decide which courses are more appropriate for your future goals. For students interested in the 3-2 or 4-2 programs, the Columbia University and Washington University curriculum guides tell you which Carleton courses meet the specific course requirements for Columbia and Washington programs respectively.

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 program who must satisfy Carleton’s distribution requirements, an integrative exercise in an appropriate field (e.g., chemistry, mathematics, computer science, or physics), and the 3-2 program course pre-requisites during their 3 years at Carleton.

As part of the 3-2 program, 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 program 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), (which includes 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.