Integrated Projects Curriculum

The Integrated Projects Curriculum

The Integrated Projects Curriculum (IPC) in the Department of Engineering provides students with credit-bearing opportunities to engage their academic curriculum in the context of solving real problems.

IPCIn the IPC, students and faculty work side-by-side within Collaboratory groups to accomplish projects which meet the needs of a real-world client. Project teams make long-term commitments to clients. Often, a project will last much longer than a student's time enrolled at Messiah, enabling engineering students to be part of something much bigger than a classroom exercise.

At a practical level, the IPC helps students learn how to use special knowledge to tackle real problems. Traditional course work continues as the essential backbone of the curriculum, providing specialization that narrows students’ attention to foster depth of inquiry, and focuses their time and work to develop professional competencies. The IPC, on the other hand, allows students to think outside the box and engage problems in the broader context of environment, culture, economics, etc. Seminar discussions run parallel to project engagement, both informing the work of project teams and drawing on them for reflection. This curriculum builds on service-learning pedagogy, and it embodies the three modes of learning required for service-learning: content, engagement, and reflection. Organized under these headings the IPC seminar and project courses include the following elements:

Academic content

  •     Philosophical, cultural, and faith perspectives on engineering and technology
  •     Recognizing and understanding the role of culture in engineering design
  •     Approaches to work and vocation
  •     Engineering design process, teamwork, leadership, planning, and project management
  •     Historical, methodological, and content orientation to an IPC Group


  •     Express disciplinary knowledge and value commitments in an authentic setting
  •     Develop deep understanding by relating to people in the client organization or community
  •     Make decisions that reflect a service ethic, concern for justice, and desire for reconciliation
  •     Contribute to a long-term effort that achieves tangible results


  •     Assess values and ethical traditions in light of the biblical witness
  •     Consider the role of faith in valuing and transforming culture
  •     Practice engineering as service and stewardship of the earth
  •     Explore faith and vocation in tension with popular American culture
  •     Foster vocational vision, direction, and commitment
  •     Nurture courage to act on conviction

The following courses are specifically designated as the core of the integrated projects curriculum:

  •     ENGR 201 – Group Orientation
  •     ENGR 288 – Project I
  •     ENGR 301 – Seminar I
  •     ENGR 302 – Seminar II
  •     ENGR 388 – Project II
  •     ENGR 488 – Project III
  •     ENGR 489– Project IV

To find out specifically where these courses fall in our curriculum, please see our academic program.