About Engineering Science

Engineering Science at Pitt offers flexible curricula in several interdisciplinary areas of concentration. The program is intended for motivated, ambitious students with broad interests in science and mathematics as well engineering. Interested students can also satisfy the University Honors College requirements in addition to the Engineering Science curriculum. All areas of concentration contain in-depth exposure to science combined with an in-depth exposure to engineering. Engineering Science prepares students for graduate school or industry careers, or even other professions such as management, law, education, or medicine.

The Engineering Science Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Engineering, General Engineering, Engineering Physics, and Engineering Science Programs Program Criteria.

More information on the Engineering Science program can be found in the  Engineering Science page in the Pitt Catalog.


Alumni perspectives on highlights of the Engineering Science program:

  1. Flexible schedules help students focus on their interests.
  2. Analytic science components in the program prepare students exceptionally for graduate school and industry.
  3. Students develop a much broader view on natural sciences and build up a more intact structure of the theories and equations due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program.


Mission and Program Objectives:

The goal of this program is to develop the student's ability to think analytically across disciplines and tackle future technical challenges thorough understanding of the physical sciences and/or mathematics combined with engineering.

The objectives of the Engineering Science Program at the University of Pittsburgh are for our graduates to build successful, diverse careers based on the following: 

  • An understanding of the application of physical and/or life sciences to engineering analysis and design, leading to problem solutions often of an interdisciplinary nature.
  • A commitment to ongoing professional development as exemplified by, for example, graduate study, training, conference participation, and certification.
  • Advancement and leadership in professional and/or community life.


ABET Student Outcomes:

At graduation, students must be able to demonstrate an ability to:

  1. Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.


Enrollment Numbers:

The Swanson School of Engineering enrollment numbers can be found here.


Program requirements:

Requirements for Engineering Science program curricula:

  • Minimum 48 hours Engineering
  • Minimum 44 hours Science + Math (minimum 18 hours of Math)
  • Minimum 15 hours concentrated in a single Engineering program
  • Minimum 101 hours total ‘STEM’ classes (Science + Engineering + Math)
  • Minimum 18 hours (six courses) of H/SS electives including one W course (per approved SSOE H/SS courses)



Courses by Term

Nanotechnology - Chemistry / Bioengineering

Fall 2024 and earlier:

Curriculum | Sample Schedule

Fall 2024 and later:

Curriculum | Sample Schedule

Nanotechnology - Physics / Materials Science

Curriculum | Sample Schedule

Engineering Physics

Curriculum | Sample Schedule

Engineering Mechanics

Curriculum | Sample Schedule

Related Programs and Degrees:

Engineering Accelerated Graduate (EAGr) Program

Qualified undergraduates in the Swanson School of Engineering can enroll in the new Engineering Accelerated Graduate (EAGr) Program. EAGr provides students with the opportunity to earn complementary bachelor’s and master’s degree in their discipline within five years.



Honors degree/ Honors Distinction

Honors degree/Honors Distinction requirements

  • Curricular requirements (18credits/9credits)
  • Co-Curricular requirements (6credits/3credits)
  • Outside of the classroom curriculum (1200pts Honors OCC)
  • 3.5 Overall GPA

Curricular requirements: Engineering Science Program overlaps well with the mission of Honors College to provide students with knowledge in several disciplines. Therefore, for students majoring in Engineering Science who want to pursue Honors degree/Honors Distinction, the Curricular requirements (total of 18 credits for Honors degree/9 credits for Honors distinction) are waived.

Co-Curricular requirements: 6 experiential credits can be fulfilled by research, independent study, approved study abroad via Pitt Panther programs, approved internship for credits and approved Co-op Program.

Outside of the classroom curriculum: Students need to earn 1200 total points to complete the Honors OCC. Students can earn points by not only participating activities hold by the university, but also reporting meaningful things they did for recognition and OCC points.



Photonics Certificate

Photonics is involved in many high-tech industries including optical communications, optical imaging, optical data storage, lasers, spectroscopy, quantum optics, and more. Photonics is an interdisciplinary field covering areas in physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering, and the photonics certificate offered at Pitt includes a combination of courses from these departments.  Totaling around 50 credits, this is an intensive certificate program.  However, because of its interdisciplinary nature, it pairs well with the Engineering Science major and has many overlapping course requirements.  With careful planning and use of electives, an Engineering Science student can complete this certificate by taking only a few extra courses.

Photonics Certificate pdf


Sustainability Distinction / Sustainability certificate

The sustainability distinction/sustainability certificate is for students who are willing to explore opportunities and challenges in sustainability and commit to sustainability in their career.

The course setup of the Engineering Science program covers the course requirements of the sustainability distinction and most of the course requirements of the sustainability certificate.

Sustainability Distinction

Sustainability Certificate


Minors and Certificates

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, Engineering Science students can pursue minors and certificates with just a few extra classes. A list of related minors and certificates to the program is shown below. For more detailed requirements, please contact your advisor.



Minimum number of additional classes:

Physics minor

0 (Engineering Physics/ Nanotechnology Curriculum – Physics/Materials Emphasis)

Mathematics minor

2 (Engineering Mechanics)

Materials Science minor

1 (Nanotechnology Curriculum – Chemistry/Bioengineering Emphasis)

Electrical Engineering minor

2 (Engineering Physics)

Mechanical Engineering minor

1 (Engineering Mechanics)

Chemistry minor

1 (Nanotechnology Curriculum – Chemistry/Bioengineering Emphasis and Nanotechnology Curriculum – Physics/Materials Emphasis)

Bioengineering minor

1 (Nanotechnology Curriculum – Chemistry/Bioengineering Emphasis)

Nanoscience and Engineering Certificate

0 (Nanotechnology Curriculum – Physics/Materials Emphasis)


Research Opportunities:

The Swanson School of Engineering provides several research opportunities for undergraduate students who are interested in research work. The Engineering Science Program arms students with specialized knowledge in various academic areas which will help students catch every open research opportunity in the engineering school.


The Frederick Honors College provides funding for students who are interested in research. The list of fellowships can be found in the link below:


The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation provides several undergraduate research programs during summer where students can engage in hands-on research and get paid. For more details, please visit the website below: