Skip to main content

First-Year and Degree Requirements

in this section

In This Section:

By the end of the first year engineering students are expected to have either completed or received credit in:

  • MATH 1910 and MATH 1920
  • Two of the following: CHEM 2090, 2080; PHYS 1112, 2213, 2214*
  • CS 1100, 1112, 1113, or 1114; and CS 1130 or 1132
  • Two First-Year Writing Seminars (because what’s the point of having great ideas if they’re not communicated clearly?)
  • One introduction to engineering course
  • Phys Ed: two courses (no hackysack, but ballroom dance does qualify—there’s something for all abilities) and the swim test (this requirement is unusual, but so is Cornell)

* Students interested in health-related careers or Chemical Engineering should enroll in the CHEM 2090-2080 sequence during their first year.

You can ask your Cornellian more specifics about his or her courses, but here’s a basic overview of the requirements for the bachelor of science degree in engineering:

  • A total of 123 to 133 credits
  • Math: 15–16 credits
  • Physics: 8–12 credits
  • Chemistry: 4–8 credits
  • First-Year Writing Seminars: 6 credits
  • Computer programming: 5 credits
  • Engineering Distribution: one introduction to engineering course and two courses designated as part of the Engineering Distribution, one of which may be required by the student’s major
  • Liberal studies: 18 credits
  • Approved electives: 6 credits (students are encouraged to be creative with electives, combining their likes, interests, and ambitions)
  • Major requirements: approximately 30 credits of required courses and 9 credits each of courses in the major and other courses outside the chosen major