Affiliation Requirements for the Civil Major

The requirements for affiliation with the Civil Major are as follows.

(1) Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0

(2) Have a GPA of at least 2.0 in all engineering and science courses

(3) Receive a grade of at least C in ENGRD 2020

College of Engineering Requirements

A number of curriculum requirements are set by the College of Engineering. These include Approved Electives, Technical Communications, and the Liberal Studies Distribution requirement. Not discussed are the additional common College requirements usually taken before affiliation such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and freshman writing seminars. See Courses of Study or The Engineering Undergraduate Handbook for details on these requirements.

Approved Electives

Approved Electives totaling at least six credits are required. An Approved Elective is a course selected by the student and accepted by the student’s advisor. Approved Electives should be an appropriate part of an educational plan or objective. This constraint allows flexibility for individual goals while maintaining a coordinated, challenging program.

Advisors generally accept as Approved Electives

Engineering Distribution courses; courses stressing oral or written communication; upper-division engineering courses; advanced courses in math and the biological and physical sciences; and courses in management, business, economics, languages, humanities, and social sciences.

Selection of Approved Electives is an important matter that needs to be discussed by students and their advisors. (Please note that six credits of Advisor Approved Electives will be allowed from ROTC courses at level 3000 or above.)

Technical Communications

Students must complete a course in Technical Communications. CEE students may choose from one of these options:

1. Take one of these offered courses

a. ENGRC 3500 Engineering Communications*

b. ENGRC 3350 Communications for Engineering Managers*

c. ENGRC 3340 Independent Study in Engineering Communications

d. ENGRC 3020 Project Team Communications: Practicum in Technical Writing

*Also a Liberal Studies Course in the Communications Engineering (CE) Category.

2. The Writing Intensive Coop

An opportunity to combine work and academics. Some co-op students do a significant amount of writing on the job; under certain circumstances, this writing will satisfy the technical-writing requirement. **

3. Take an officially designated Writing-Intensive

(W-I) engineering course (note: this list is not comprehensive; as different engineering departments may offer W-I courses on an ad-hoc basis):

a. AEP/ENGRD 2640 Interfacing the Digital Domain with an Analog World

b. BEE 4530 Computer-Aided Engineering: Applications for Biomedical Processes

c. BEE 4590 Biosensors and Bioanlytical Techniques

d. BEE 4730 Watershed Engineering

e. BEE 4890 Entrepreneurial Management for Engineers

f. CHEME 4320 Chemical Engineering Laboratory

g. CS/INFO 3152 Intro to Computer Game Architecture

h. INFO 1200 Information Ethics, Law, and Policy

i. MAE 4272 Fluids/Heat Transfer Laboratory

4. COMM 3020 Science Writing for the Media or 3030 Organizational Writing

5. ENGRC 3023 Writing Intensive Opportunity

Practicum in Technical Writing (a 1 credit attachment to an engineering course that is not one of the officially designated writing-intensive courses.

6. Petition

Occasionally, a student will be doing a significant amount and variety of technical writing elsewhere in the College of Engineering. It may be appropriate to petition the CCGB Subcommittee on Technical writing for permission to use this forthcoming (not past) writing to meet the technical writing requirement.

Additional Notes

Students who use their Technical Communications course to fulfill another requirement (liberal studies, major approved elective, etc.) must take an additional Advisor Approved Elective.

Special Cases

Students may also petition to meet the Technical Communications requirement through their Co op experience (see page 11). This must be arranged beforehand, on an individual basis through the Director of the Engineering Communications Program. In this case there is no additional credit given, just a notation on the transcript. Student’s using Co-op to meet the Technical Communications may have to take an additional Advisor Approved Elective to meet minimum credit requirements for graduation. For questions or an appointment to discuss options, please contact Rick Evans, the ECP Director.

Liberal Studies Distribution

Global and diverse societies require that engineers have an awareness of historical patterns, an appreciation for different cultures, professional ethics, the ability to work in multi-faceted groups, and superior communications skills. Cornell has a rich curriculum in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, enabling every engineering student to obtain a true liberal education. A minimum of six courses (totaling at least 18 credits) is required, and they should be chosen with as much care and foresight as courses from technical areas. Liberal Studies courses are distributed among seven groups: Cultural Analysis (CA), Historical Analysis (HA), Literature and the Arts (LA), Knowledge Cognition, and Moral Reasoning (KCM), Social and Behavioral Analysis (SBA), Foreign Language (FL), and Communications in Engineering (CE). The six courses must be chosen from at least three of the seven groups and at least two of the six courses must be at the 2000-level or higher. No more than 2 courses can be chosen from the CE category. The groups are described below.

Cultural Analysis (CA)

Courses in this area study human life in particular cultural contexts through interpretive analysis of individual behavior, discourse, and social practice. Topics include belief systems (science, medicine, religion), expressive arts and symbolic behavior (visual arts, performance, poetry, myth, narrative, ritual), identity (nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality), social groups and institutions (family, market, community), power and politics (states, colonialism, inequality).

Historical Analysis (HA)

Courses in this group interpret continuities and changes – political, social, economic, diplomatic, religious, intellectual, artistic, scientific – through time. The focus may be on groups of people, dominant or subaltern, a specific country or region, an event, a process, or a time period.

Literature and the Arts (LA)

Courses in this area explore literature and the arts in two different but related ways. Some courses focus on the critical study of artworks and on their history, aesthetics, and theory. These courses develop skills of reading, observing, and hearing, and encourage reflection on such experiences; many investigate the interplay among individual achievement, artistic tradition, and historical context. Other courses are devoted to the production and performance of artworks (in creative writing, performing arts, and media such as film and video). These courses emphasize the interaction among technical mastery, cognitive knowledge and creative imagination.

Knowledge, Cognition, and Moral Reasoning (KCM)

Courses in this area investigate the basis of human knowledge in its broadest sense, ranging from cognitive faculties shared by humans and animals such as perception, to abstract reasoning, to the ability to form and justify moral judgments. Courses investigating the sources, structure, and limits of cognition may use the methodologies of science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, or philosophy. Courses focusing on moral reasoning explore ways of reflecting on ethical questions that concern the nature of justice, the good life, or human values in general.

Social and Behavioral Analysis (SBA)

Courses in this area examine human life in its social context through the use of social-scientific methods, often including hypothesis testing, scientific sampling techniques, and statistical analysis. Topics studied range from the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes of individuals to interpersonal relations between individuals (e.g. in friendship, love, conflict) to larger social organizations (e.g. the family, society, religious or educational or civic institutions, the economy, government) to the relationships and conflicts among groups or individuals (e.g. discrimination, inequality, prejudice, stigmas, conflict resolution).

Foreign Languages (not literature courses) (FL)

Courses in this area teach language skills, inclusive of reading, writing, listening, and spoken non-English languages, at beginning to advanced levels.

Communication in Engineering (CE)

Courses in this area explore communication as a way of acting in the world. The primary aim is to provide students with the opportunity to practice performing a range of engineering-related communication skills within specific genres (e.g. proposals, reports, and journal articles, oral presentations, etc.). Each of these genres potentially engages a wide variety of audiences and, depending on the particulars of context, each may have multiple purposes. The secondary aim is to enable students to be aware of the choices they make as communicators and to be able to articulate a rationale for those choices. (No more than two courses from this category can be used to satisfy the liberal studies requirement.)

Courses approved as Liberal Studies by the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are marked in the Courses of Study with the appropriate acronym (CA, CE, HA, LA, KCM, or SBA). Additional courses that have been reviewed by the College of Engineering and been either approved or determined to be unacceptable can be viewed here.