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While in General Engineering, students will complete a wide range of courses. The courses typically known as the "first-year courses" are the change of major course requirements for engineering and include one semester of chemistry and lab, two semesters of English, two semesters of calculus, two semesters of foundations of engineering, and one semester of physics and lab.

In addition to the foundations of engineering courses, the Department of Engineering Education (ENGE) offers several courses to supplement the student learning experience. These courses include topics on spatial visualization, global engineering, engineering with LabView, and ideation and innovation.

Students will also have an opportunity to complete courses towards our university's general education requirement.  These requirements provide students the opportunity to learn about the important human challenges and contemporary problems of the 21st century through wide-ranging exposure to multiple disciplines and ways of knowing. Student will complete these requirements through the Pathways to General Education (Pathways).

Fall Semester

Course Title Credits
ENGE 1215 Foundations of Engineering 2
ENGL 1105 First-Year Writing 3
MATH 1225 Calculus of a Single Variable 4
CHEM 1035 General Chemistry 3
CHEM 1045 General Chemistry Lab 1
Pathways Elective (Pathway 2, 3, 6a, or 7) 3
Total Credit Hours 16

Spring Semester

Course Title Credits
ENGE 1216 Foundations of Engineering 2
ENGL 1106 First-Year Writing 3
MATH 1226 Calculus of a Single Variable 4
PHYS 2305 Foundations of Physics 4
*CHEM 1045 General Chemistry Lab 1
Additional Course or Pathway Elective 2-3
Total Credit Hours 15-18

*CHEM 1045: General Chemistry Lab is often moved to the spring semester due to capacity constraints. 

The College of Engineering change of major required courses are CHEM 1035; CHEM 1045; ENGE 1215 (C- min); ENGE 1216 (C- min); ENGL 1105; ENGL 1106; MATH 1225; MATH 1226; and PHYS 2305. Pathway Electives and/or additional courses are not required to declare an engineering major, but may be necessary to remain on-track for specific disciplines.

ENGE 1215 and 1216: Foundations of Engineering
A first-year sequence to introduce general engineering students to the engineering profession, including data collection and analysis, engineering, problem-solving, mathematical modeling, design, contemporary software tools, professional practices and expectations (e.g. communication, teamwork, ethics), and the diversity of fields and majors within engineering.


ENGE 1354: Introduction to Spatial Visualization
Restricted to first-semester GE freshmen; enrollment determined by Spatial Visualization Assessment
Spatial thinking skills contribute to performance in many STEM fields. For example, drawing sectional views of three-dimensional objects is an essential skill for engineering students. There is considerable variation in spatial thinking skill in normal populations, putting some students at risk for compromised performance in engineering classes. Counterbalancing these individual differences is evidence that spatial thinking skills can be improved through training and experience. The  Spatial Visualization Course at VT integrates three pedagogical strategies - innovative classroom instruction, cognitive-based spatial visualization training, and manipulation of physical objects to improve performance gains and transfer. Through the curricula students learn and practice outdoor free-hand sketching, design graphics, CAD and prototyping techniques. The instructor applies student-centered approached empowering students to take ownership of their learning and their end of semester design creations.


ENGE 1644: Global Engineering Practice
Pre-Requisite: ENGE 1215
Develop global competencies, especially communication and leadership, in engineering contexts. Learn about the impact of different political, technological, social, cultural, educational and environmental systems on engineering. Integrates semester-long on-campus module with international module following semester exams ("Rising Sophomore Abroad Program").


ENGE 2094: Create!: Ideation and Innovation
CLE Area 6
Apply problem solving framing strategies as part of problem solving design processes. Consider cultural, economic, social, and other perspectives in customer discovery and design processes in order to ensure problem/solution fit. Ideate possible solutions or approaches to address open- ended problems using a variety of methods. Engage in iterative critiques of strategies, solutions and prototypes using methods drawn from industrial design, engineering and the arts. Collaborate in interdisciplinary and diverse project teams. Communicate deliverables in multiple formats and for different audiences. Identify and address impacts of designed services and products through global perspectives, such as patterns of inclusion and exclusion and effects on localized ecosystems.


ENGE 2514: Introduction to Engineering with Labview
Introduces engineering computation and control using the Labview graphical programming language and the text/ matrix-based (and MATLAB compatible) MathScript programming language. Topics include algorithm development, flowcharts, pseudocode, programming control structures, structured programming, object oriented programming (OOP), data-flow programming, data acquisition, analysis and device control.

All Virginia Tech students will complete a general education curriculum, known as the Pathways to General Education. Within the Pathways requirements students will complete courses in seven concept areas, outlined below. Some courses required as part of the engineering curriculum will satisfy Pathways requirements and are outlined in the table below. The remaining Pathway courses are each student's choice are are referred to as Pathway Electives. Many students will take at least one Pathways Elective course in their first year, however, this is not required. These requirements must be met by the time a student graduates.

Pathway to General Education
Pathway 1 Discourse
Foundational: Fulfilled with ENGL 1105-1106
Advanced: Major Choice
9 credits
Pathway 2 Critical Thinking in the Humanities
All Majors: Student's Choice
6 credits
Pathway 3 Reasoning in the Social Sciences
AE, CE, MSE, OE: require ECON 2005
CEM: requires ECON 2005-2006
All other majors: Student's Choice
6 credits
Pathway 4 Reasoning in the Natural Sciences
Fulfilled with CHEM 1035/1045 and PHYS 2305
8 credits
Pathway 5 Quantitative and Computational Thinking
Foundational: Fulfilled with MATH 1225-1226
Advanced (CS): Fulfilled with CS 3114
Advanced (All other majors): Fulfilled with MATH 2214
9 credits
Pathway 6 Critique and Practice in Design and the Arts
Arts: Student's Choice
Design: Fulfilled with ENGE 1215-1216
6 credits
Pathway 7 Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States
All Majors: Student's Choice
3 credits