Northwestern’s pre-engineering program is designed for students who want to begin their college experience at a liberal arts college and then, after two or three years, transfer to a department of engineering at a university to complete the sequence of technical courses required for a degree in a specific field of engineering.

Northwestern College-University of Minnesota dual-degree program

A dual degree program, leading to a bachelors in an area of mathematics or physical science from Northwestern College and a bachelor’s degree in a branch of engineering from the University of Minnesota, is available to qualified Northwestern College students. This dual degree program will require at least three years of attendance at Northwestern College followed by two or more years of attendance at the University of Minnesota.

Northwestern students will be selected for entrance into the College of Science & Engineering based on the calculation of a cumulative grade point average using all grades including repeats. The minimum grade point average for admission will vary by major field and will be communicated to Northwestern College at the beginning of each academic year. No admission requirement will be greater than a 2.8 cumulative grade point average.

In the first three years of work taken at Northwestern College, students must complete appropriate courses in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics for the sought after degrees at both schools. The College of Science & Engineering will work with Northwestern College advisors to recommend appropriate courses for each of its engineering programs. Attendance during the summer at the University of Minnesota may be recommended in some cases. This would allow Northwestern students to pick up courses unavailable and to minimize the length of their program.

Dual degree students should also take Integrative General Education courses to meet the graduation requirements at Northwestern College. However, dual degree students will not need to meet the liberal education requirements for the University of Minnesota.

Courses, passed with a grade of C- or better, will be transferred to the University of Minnesota transcript as credit for equivalent courses, even though they may not be required by the engineering curriculum selected by the student.

During the period of time at the University of Minnesota, students will complete the requirements specified in the College of Science & Engineering Bulletin at the time of admission to their engineering degree programs. The coursework, passed with a "C" grade or better, at the University of Minnesota will also be transferred to Northwestern College to complete the requirements for the selected degree.

When transferring to the College of Science & Engineering from Northwestern College, the student is expected to submit applications for admission, reciprocity, housing (if necessary), and financial aid on standard forms. These forms must be submitted in accord with the deadlines published in the current Institute of Technology documents.

Changes in curricula, at both institutions, will be accommodated as they occur. Students will be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies at both Northwestern College and the College of Science & Engineering.

The College of Science & Engineering commits to report on a regular basis the performance of dual degree students currently enrolled. This will be sent to an appropriate person at Northwestern College.

A second program enables students to receive a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College and also to receive a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. This program involves four years at Northwestern College and, typically, two years at the College of Science & Engineering. It may be necessary for students to take several extra courses before proceeding through the graduate curriculum; the number of such courses will vary by major and emphasis. Admission is not guaranteed.

Recruitment of students for this program will be the responsibility Northwestern College with the cooperation of the College of Science & Engineering.

Transfer to Iowa State University or other universities

Students can transfer to other universities for completion of their engineering degree. Such transfer usually occurs after spending two years at Northwestern. Special consideration is given to students who plan to transfer to Iowa State University as the program at Northwestern College is carefully coordinated with the programs in engineering at Iowa State University through the advising process.

Students interested in transferring to a university other than Iowa State University should obtain a catalog from the university of interest. They should then confer with the program director as the second step in the planning process after the first semester registration is completed.

Recommended courses

Social science-humanities electives (18 credits)
CHE 111 - General Chemistry
(4 credits)An introductory course in chemistry that emphasizes physical and inorganic concepts, problems and calculations. Topics include chemical reactions, stoichiometry, properties of gases, thermochemistry, theories of atomic structure, and chemical bonding. The general chemistry sequence (Chemistry 111 and Chemistry 112) is recommended for students with good math / science preparations who intend to proceed to advanced courses in chemistry, the biological sciences or engineering.Prerequisites: high school chemistry and ACT math and natural science scores above the 74th percentile. A fee is associated with this course (
CHE 112 - General Chemistry
(4 credits)A continuation of Chemistry 111. Topics covered include kinetics, thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, acid-base chemistry and nuclear chemistry.Prerequisite: CHE111 or consent of the instructor. A fee is associted with this course (
CSC 171QR - Computer Science I
(4 credits) (IGE option under Quantitative Reasoning) This is the first in a two-semester sequence of courses that introduces students to fundamental aspects of the field of computing; focusing on problem-solving, software design concepts and their realization as computer programs. Topics include procedural abstraction, control structures, iteration, data types and their representation. An introduction to a high-level language, for the purpose of gaining mastery of these principles, will be provided in lectures and hands-on laboratory experiences.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT090, an ACT math score of 20 or above (SAT 480 or above), or a passing score on the MAT090 placement exam.
ENG 288 - Writing in the Professions
A study of professional writing. In a writing workshop setting, students will learn to adjust style, tone and content to accomplish a definite purpose with an identified audience. They will also learn strategies for creating texts that are clear, concise and accurate. The course is especially useful for those whose career goals require facility in written communication, such as those studying marketing, public relations, advertising, management or law. All students will choose a professional to be their mentor on a writing project related to the career they are interested in. Students will also build a small portfolio of professional writing that includes letters, a memo, a resume and a research report.Prerequisites: sophomore class standing and ENG184 or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher).(2 credits)
MAT 112QR - Calculus I
(4 credits) (IGE option under Quantitative Reasoning) This course is a study of functions, limits, derivatives and integrals with a strong emphasis on both theory and applications.Note: Meets four times per week.Prerequisites: C- or higher in MAT109, or an ACT math score of at least 24 (SAT 550 or above), or permission of mathematics department chair.
MAT 211 - Calculus II
A study of transcendental functions, techniques of integration, improper integration, sequences, series, polar coordinates and conic sections.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT112 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)
MAT 212 - Calculus III
A study of the cylindrical and spherical coordinate systems, vectors in two dimensions and three dimensions, vector valued functions, functions of several variables, multiple integration, and vector calculus.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT211 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)
MAT 312 - Differential Equations
A study of the elementary theory, methods of solution, and applications of differential equations, which may include topics such as first order ordinary differential equations, linear equations with constant coefficients, series solutions, variation of parameters, Laplace Transforms, linear systems, partial differential equations, and Fourier Series.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT211 or permission of department chair.(3 credits)
PHY 211 - Classical Physics I
For students in mathematics, the physical sciences, and those students seeking candidacy to a medical school or other graduate program. Topics will include kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, energy, momentum, and thermodynamics. Prerequisite: C- or higher in MAT112, or consent of department chair. (MAT112 may be taken concurrently with PHY211). (4 credits)
PHY 212 - Classical Physics II
A continuation of Classical Physics I. Topics will include simple harmonic oscillation, mechanical and electromagnetic waves, and electromagnetism.Prerequisite: successful completion of PHY211 with a grade of C- or better.(4 credits)
PHY 270 - Classical Dynamics

Total credits recommended: 59