About - Department of Engineering

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About us

All Engineering degrees are offered through the Department of Engineering. The department is represented to University leadership by a faculty chairperson through the School of Science Engineering and Health.

Enrollment and graduation data for recent years is shown in the table below.

Enrollment and Graduation Data

School Year Total Enrollment Graduates
2020-21 236 56
2019-20 251 61
2018-19 254 50
2017-18 275 72
2016-17 289 67
2015-16 266 47
2014-15 255 43

Frequently Asked Questions

There are two separate issues when asking about being admitted to the Engineering major.

First, when you apply for admission, you will specify that you plan to major in Engineering. The admissions standards for Engineering are higher than required for admission to Messiah. An Engineering degree requires demonstrated aptitude in mathematics, science and general study skills. The department wants to be sure that you have received proper preparation before accepting you into this rigorous course of study. Your admissions counselor will help you understand if you have the grades and SAT/ACT scores necessary to be admitted as an engineering student.  We do not have a quota or cap on the number of students who will be accepted. If a student earns the necessary grades he/she is assured the opportunity to continue in the engineering major and be allowed to take the upper level classes in his/her discipline of choice.

Second, once accepted as a first-year student into the engineering major, you need a satisfactory performance record in order to progress through the engineering program. We want to ensure that students have demonstrated success during the early semesters in the program and are on a trajectory for successful graduation.  We ask students to demonstrate this trajectory by earning at least a C- in each of seven Math/Science/Engineering classes taken in the first three semesters and earning a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in this set of classes.

Messiah University deeply values strong undergraduate teaching and prioritizes this strength in the strategy taken to hire and promote faculty.  Many colleges and universities that offer Engineering are research-focused and have a significant expectation for faculty to be strong researchers first, and undergraduate educators second.  At Messiah University undergraduate teaching is the first priority, with faculty held accountable to research or scholarly pursuits secondarily.

The courses in the Engineering curriculum follow a sequence where required classes are dependent upon other courses in the curriculum. This makes it difficult to change your major into Engineering from another Messiah major and still graduate in four years. However, the coursework taken at the start of your Engineering program is applicable to most other majors at Messiah. This means that it is easy to move out of Engineering if God leads you into a different field of study. If you feel that Engineering might be the correct choice for you, it is good to begin as an Engineering major.

You will be asked at the time of initial application your intended Engineering discipline, but this does not change the admission criteria nor does it commit you to that particular field of study.  The information is used to help us match you with an academic advisor most qualified in your likely area of focus, and to help us with forecasting demand on our various courses in future years.  The first year of Engineering coursework is common to all disciplines, so it is very easy to switch leading up to the sophomore year.  Even within the sophomore year differences between disciplines are subtle and easily overcome if the student desires a change.  In the junior year coursework becomes specific to a particular discipline, and it is harder to make a change at that point.

Individual courses in Engineering are typically capped at an enrollment of 24, while labs are capped at 16.  Some foundational level courses (Calculus I, General Chemistry) and General Education courses (History, Philosophy) will be sized larger than this.

The Collaboratory is an academic ministry partnership that creates opportunities for students to work with missions-focused organizations to provide technical assistance to people around the world while at the same time growing the students’ engineering and cross cultural capabilities. Engineering students join Collaboratory project teams on a credit-bearing basis. We call this the Integrated Projects Curriculum. This experience replaces the senior design project and co-op experiences found in other programs in a format that we believe to be of greater value than those more traditional approaches.

All engineering students participate with a project team for a minimum of four semesters. In this way we have students from multiple class years working together so that when the senior class graduates the team is not left starting over, but has juniors who are ready to step up and lead the team the following year.

Students are often intrinsically motivated to serve on these projects because of the ministry needs they are meeting – prosthetics for an underserved population, pedestrian bridges for remote communities, solar power for those off the grid, or clean water for communities plagued by disease, as examples. Students are coached along the way to approach these projects with an engineering mindset and to document and communicate their results as would be done in the engineering profession. Through this process two needs are met – the physical need of the people served by the partner organization, and the educational need of the engineering student!  The work of the Collaboratory and the Integrated Projects Curriculum empowers the ministry partner in their gospel-advancing work while developing a heart for service in the student, whether in international missions or an American workplace.

The short answer to this question is yes, many students do exactly that. Some do it for their entire college career and others choose to play sports some years and not others. We often have Engineering students on every sports team on campus.

The flexibility provided by professors and coaches when there is a lab and practice time conflict allows students to participate in both. In addition, students at other Universities wanting to participate in the types of projects Messiah Engineering students undertake with the Collaboratory find that this requires them to invest time in an Engineering Club. Student athletes do not typically have time for Engineering, Sports and a Club. Since these projects at Messiah are a part of the Engineering curriculum, Messiah athletes don’t have to choose between project work and sports.

The computing power of standard PCs has increased to the point that it is usually unnecessary to purchase a high-end computer to run the software typically needed for your engineering classes. Since the department has many computers available for your use when doing your engineering work, you can make the decision between a Windows or Mac computer based upon your preferences for your other classes.  Some of the software provided by the Engineering department that you may prefer to have on a personally-owned computer, such as Solidworks, is only available on a Windows platform.  Solidworks is among the more demanding programs you’ll come across in the curriculum, so you may want to familiarize yourself with those specifications before buying.

The FE exam is the initial step in obtaining a Professional Engineer’s (PE) license, and is usually taken during the senior year. We are recommending that each student take this exam even if they are not sure about getting a PE license. At this time the Engineering Department offers a $50 rebate to students who register to take the exam. The pass rate of Messiah Engineering students on this exam consistently exceeds the national average.

Students interested in graduate school have been able to secure research assistantship and fellowship opportunities at the most prestigious graduate institutions in our country. Each of these students has received a graduate fellowship or assistantship that covers all tuition and includes a stipend for living expenses.  Once a student has identified the type of graduate study he/she would like to pursue, faculty advisors work to help make those connections.

Our program takes very seriously the desire most students have for a career in the engineering industry and is intentional about helping students in career preparation and the career search.  Some examples include:

  • Every Tuesday we host a professional development hour in which a professional from an engineering industry talks about his or her daily work, company, and career preparation.This encourages students to become career-minded early in their education, and provides a networking opportunity if they choose to connect with the presenter.
  • Each October the University hosts a career expo that often includes many employers seeking to hire engineers.In February we host a focused career expo specifically targeting engineering companies or those looking to hire engineers.
  • We actively coach students on how to share their Collaboratory Project experience with prospective employers so that they are equipped to represent well the Project work they have done in a way that connects with industry professionals.

We strongly encourage students to pursue internship opportunities, typically over the summer, during their engineering program.  Students typically choose not to do the internship for academic credit, because those credits are not required for graduation, but that opportunity is available if desired.  Faculty advisors assist with internship placement as able, including referring students to alumni and other professional contacts.