Eleanor Townsley, Nexus director

Katherine Aidala, track chair

217G Dwight Hall

Overview and Contact Information

The Engineering Nexus provides a path from the traditional disciplines of the liberal arts to a career in engineering. Engineers are trained to solve a diverse set of problems, and a student may major in the field of science or mathematics most closely allied to the engineering subfield in which the student is interested. Combining a science or mathematics major with some additional course work and summer internships in engineering is excellent preparation for future graduate work in engineering or employment in engineering-related fields.

While the Engineering Nexus explicitly is not an engineering degree or accreditation, it is intended as a route into the field of engineering. The experiential portion of the Nexus involves completing a summer internship in the field of engineering. This may be participating in a formal Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in an academic laboratory, a summer internship with an engineering firm, working abroad for the summer in an engineering laboratory, or other options.

See Also


This area of study is administered by the Engineering committee:

Katherine Aidala, Professor of Physics

Maria Gomez, Elizabeth Page Greenawalt Professor of Chemistry, Teaching Spring Only

Martha Hoopes, Professor of Biological Sciences

Audrey Lee St. John, Associate Professor of Computer Science, On Leave 2018-2019

Dylan Shepardson, Associate Professor of Mathematics, On Leave 2018-2019

Requirements for the Nexus

A minimum of 18 credits:

Three courses above the 100 level chosen from the list of courses approved for this Nexus12
One approved 300-level course from the list of courses approved for this Nexus4
Completion of the UAF application stages 1 and 2 1
A substantive internship
COLL-211Reflecting Back: Connecting Internship and Research to Your Liberal Arts Education2
A presentation at LEAP Symposium
Total Credits18

Additional Specifications

  • Given the diversity of the engineering field, a wide range of courses can count toward the Nexus, but students must consult with a Nexus advisor to determine a program that will match their interests and goals.
  • The sequence of a Nexus is part of what makes it unique. UAF application stages 1 and 2 must be completed before the internship or research project. COLL-211 is taken after the internship or research project and culminates in a presentation at LEAP Symposium.

Courses Counting toward the Nexus

Courses other than those listed below may count toward the Nexus. Students should consult the Nexus track chair for consideration of courses not on the list.

CHEM-208Introduction to Materials4
CHEM-328From Lilliput to Brobdingnag: Bridging the Scales Between Science and Engineering4
College(Interdeptmnt) Courses
COLL-211Reflecting Back: Connecting Internship and Research to Your Liberal Arts Education2
Computer Science
COMSC-211Advanced Data Structures4
COMSC-226Engineering Robotic Systems4
ECON-212Microeconomic Theory4
ECON-307Seminar in Industrial Organization4
MATH-333Differential Equations4
PHYS-290Advanced Laboratory Practicum1-8
PHYS-325Electromagnetic Theory4
PHYS-390Advanced Laboratory Practicum1-8