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Grand Valley State University    
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Aug 21, 2019
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Interdisciplinary Engineering Major

The interdisciplinary engineering program allows the student to focus his/her studies in a disciplinary area that may transcend traditional disciplines. The interdisciplinary engineering areas often encompass emerging technologies. Plans of study for such students often include coursework outside of engineering.

The interdisciplinary program maintains the educational philosophy of all B.S.E. degree programs at Grand Valley to provide the student with a broad engineering background first and then an area of specialization later in the program. This provides students with the diversity of preparation to work in the interdisciplinary environment that is prevalent today.

Integral to all four years of the program is a “design and build” educational philosophy incorporated through extensive laboratory and project activities as preparation for professional practice. Students engage in design at all levels of the curriculum. At each level, they must realize their designs and proceed with testing, validation, and redesign. This approach allows students to experience many real-world constraints such as project economics, project planning and scheduling, environmental considerations, manufacturability/producibility of the designs, laboratory and product safety, and product reliability.

The interdisciplinary program provides the student with the broad foundation common to all of the engineering programs at Grand Valley, followed in the junior and senior years by required courses that provide preparation in each of the following areas:

  • Energy 
  • Engineering design
  • Systems and Control

This core is then complemented by an interdisciplinary engineering emphasis consisting of 29 minimum credits of elective courses described below. The proposed electives must ensure that the entire program includes:

  • 32 credits of engineering science content
  • 16 credits of engineering design content

Ensure that the elective courses include not less than 14 credits in STEM subjects of which 11 must be upper division engineering credits

Together, the student and the interdisciplinary engineering chair develop a cohesive plan of study meeting the requirements of the interdisciplinary engineering program. If the plan includes coursework to be taken from outside the School of Engineering, then the chair of the appropriate unit is consulted. The plan must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Engineering Curriculum Committee.

The interdisciplinary engineering major is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET at

Program Educational Objectives

Graduates of the interdisciplinary engineering program are expected within a few years of graduation to

  • demonstrate technical competency in their careers;
  • function effectively in an industrial or academic environment;
  • engage in professional development; and
  • shape their professions and societies.

Student Outcomes and Assessment

Graduates will demonstrate

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs;
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  7. an ability to communicate effectively;
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context;
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning;
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues; and
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Degree Requirements

Interdisciplinary engineering students must complete all requirements for the B.S.E. degree including the general education and basic skills requirements, the foundations of engineering courses, an interdisciplinary emphasis, cooperative education, the engineering design Capstone and the following engineering courses:

Emphasis Area (29 minimum credits required)

Engineering Management Emphasis

Students choosing the engineering management emphasis will take EGR 250 and EGR 309 in their foundations and EGR 345 and EGR 362 as their interdisciplinary required courses.

Biomedical Engineering Emphasis

Bioelectrical Track

Students choosing this track will take EGR 223 and EGR 257 in their foundations and EGR 314 and EGR 326 as their interdisciplinary engineering required courses.

Biomechanical Track

Students choosing this track will take EGR 250 and EGR 309 in their foundations and EGR 360 and either EGR 345 or EGR 346 as their interdisciplinary engineering required courses.

Interdisciplinary Emphasis

The student and the interdisciplinary engineering chair will jointly develop a cohesive plan of electives that addresses the intent of the field of interest. This plan must

  • be cohesive and have demonstrable employment opportunities;
  • contain a minimum of 29 credit hours of courses;
  • be approved by the Interdisciplinary Engineering Curriculum Committee;
  • ensure that the program includes not less than 16 credits of engineering design;
  • ensure that the program includes not less than 32 credits of engineering science; and
  • ensure that the elective courses include not less than 14 credits in STEM subjects of which 11 must be upper division engineering credits.

Sample Curriculum for the Junior and Senior Years of the Interdisciplinary Engineering Major

First Co-op Semester: Spring/Summer

Second Co-op Semester: Winter

Sixth Academic Semester: Spring/Summer

Third Co-op Semester: Fall

Seventh Academic Semester: Winter

The prerequisites for EGR 485 are acceptance into the B.S.E. degree program and completion of the prerequisite courses listed under the student’s engineering major. For the interdisciplinary engineering major, these prerequisites are the interdisciplinary engineering required courses plus a minimum of nine credits of the student’s interdisciplinary engineering electives. Students must also have a plan to graduate no later than the fall semester following their enrollment in EGR 485 with a maximum of one interdisciplinary elective being taken in the terminal semester. Interdisciplinary engineering students may register in EGR 485 by permit only to allow consultation with the interdisciplinary engineering chairperson to ensure they meet these prerequisites.

Eighth Academic Semester: Spring/Summer

Engineering Program Description

Click here for the program description.