Engineering Communications Minor


All College of Engineering undergraduates are eligible; students must be affiliated with the College of Engineering in a specific undergraduate major. Pre-approval is required. Students intending to earn this minor should seek early guidance (as soon as their sophomore year) by contacting the Director of the Engineering Communications Program.

Note: Students undertaking a minor are normally expected to complete the requirements during the time of their continuous undergraduate enrollment at Cornell. Courses at graduate-level (5xxx) cannot be considered for the minor, even via petition. As well, pursuant to an agreement with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), students will not be permitted to declare both the Engineering Communication Minor and the CALS Science Communication and Public Engagement minor (known as SCoPE or SciComm).

Students must complete the Engineering Communication Minor’s 18 minor credits with a minimum GPA of 2.00 (not overall GPA); all courses for the minor must be finished with a letter grade of C or better. For the EC Minor, an application by an interested student begins the process. Each application will be reviewed for its completion plan, a statement of intent, and the student’s College of Engineering advisor consent. Forms will be provided by the EC Minor Advisor. A reviewed e-portfolio will be required before the minor is granted. The completed e-portfolio must be submitted electronically by these dates, depending on graduation:

  • December 5: December/winter graduates
  • May 5 for May graduates
  • August 5 for summer graduates

Educational Objectives

The Engineering Communication Minor (ECM) promotes the core belief that engineering and technical work is more useful, understood, deployed, and engaging when the communication that supports and surrounds it is as carefully crafted as the technical work itself. Within the technical and engineering fields, students will explore the concepts of communicative practice, communication design, communicative context, and professional identity via not only written words but also by the plethora of multimodalities available to the technical expert. This minor supports undergraduates who are skilled in their engineering studies that understand that communication is a core complimentary skill that supports technical endeavors, leadership, and teamwork at all levels.

Upon finishing the minor, students should be able to perform well in these areas of competency for diverse, organizational, and global audiences:

  • Written Communication/Research: Identify, research, negotiate, and compose differing forms of communication to further a technical or engineering effort at a pre-professional level; skillfully use valid research methods for identifying and incorporating outside sources into projects
  • Oral Communication/Presentations: Plan, devise, formulate, design, and report information via professional presentations or short talks for a variety of diverse technical and stakeholder needs
  • Multimodal Communication: Identify, test, and skillfully integrate new software tools that allow for engineering work to be advanced; visualize, illustrate, and appropriately caption visuals; discriminate between methodologies for creating visuals other multimodal artifacts; create visuals and multimodal artifacts that are accessible
  • Ethics: Identify, research, negotiate, and produce communication that respects diverse expertise and perspectives
  • Teamwork: Collaborate effectively in teams (not simple ad hoc groups); appraise teammates’ contributions; collaborate in teams to identify, negotiate, assign roles, draft, and finalize projects with equality of effort in mind


Category A.

Engineering Communications courses (7 credits, with items 1, 2, and 3 all required. Offered every spring and fall semesters.)

  1. Choose either ENGRC 3350: Organizational Communication for Engineers or ENGRC 3500: Engineering Communications
  2. Choose COMM 2450: Communication and Technology or COMM 2850: Communication, Science, Environment, and Health
  3. ENGRC 4900 Engineering Communication Minor Capstone

Category B.

Engineering and Technical Professionalism (minimum of 5 credits required, student choice from approved listing, below.)

  • ENGRG 2500: Technology in Society ENGRC 2720: Data Science for Engineers
  • ENGRG 3010: Explorations in Leadership ENGRC 3023: Communication Intensive Opportunity: Practicum in Technical Writing
  • ENGRC 3024: Engineering Communication Internship
  • ENGRC 3025: Communicating Your Digital Professionalism
  • ENGRC 3030: Green Business Lab
  • ENGRC 3340: Independent Study (general)
  • ENGRC 3340.602: Social Justice and Engineering: Communication at the Intersection of Practice
  • ENGRG 3400: Engineering in Reality
  • ENGRC 3600/ECE 3600/STS 3601: Ethical Issues in Engineering Practice
  • ENGRG 3900: Essentials of Engineering Leadership (must be admitted to Leadership Certificate Program)
  • ENGRG 3910: Engineering Leadership Lab (must be admitted to Leadership Certificate Program)
  • ENGRG 4990: Teaching in Engineering Leadership

Category C.

Engineering, Technical, or Scientific Communication Electives (minimum of 6 credits required, student choice).

Any ENGRC partner classes (no limit) for 1cr each.

This list may change due to partnerships in majors.

  • ENGRC/MSE 3111: Communications for Junior Lab 1*
  • ENGRC/ORIE 3120: Communications for Practical Tools for Operations Research, Machine Learning and Data Science*
  • ENGRC/CS/INFO 3152: Communications for Games Design* ENGRC/CE 3610: Communication for Transportation Engineering*
  • ENGRC/AEP 3640: Technical Communication for Applied Engineering Physics*
  • ENGRC/CS/INFO 4152: Communications for Advanced Games Design*
  • ENGRC 4590/BEE 4590: Communications for Physical Design in Biological Engineering

Other Courses at Cornell

  • AEM 2500: Environmental and Resource Economics
  • AEM 3245: Organizational Behavior
  • AEM 3249: Entrepreneurial Marketing and Strategy
  • BEE 4530 - Computer-Aided Engineering: Applications to Biological Processes (W-I or C-I semesters only)*
  • BEE 4730 - Watershed Engineering (W-I or C-I semesters only)*
  • BEE 4590 - Biosensors and Bioanalytical Techniques*
  • BME 4440: Science Policy Bootcamp: Concept to Conclusion
  • CHEME 4320: Chemical Engineering Laboratory (W-I or C-I offerings only)*
  • COMM 2450/INFO 2450: Communication and Technology (cannot be taken to fulfill both Category A and Category C)
  • COMM 2850: Communication, Science, Environment and Health (cannot be taken to fulfill both Category A and Category C)
  • COMM/IINFO 3200: New Media and Society
  • COMM/INFO 4450: Computer-Mediated Communication
  • ENGL 2880: Expository Writing (non-fiction)
  • ENVS 2000: Environmental and Sustainability Sciences Colloquium
  • ILRLR 2060 - Writing Seminar in Law
  • ILRLR 2080 - Writing Seminar in Labor Relations
  • ILROB 2230: Leadership in Organizations
  • ILROB 2290: Organizational Cultures
  • INFO 2950: Intro to Data Science
  • INFO 4200: Information Policy: Research, Analysis, and Design (additional info in Appendix B)
  • INFO 4240: Designing Technology for Social Impact
  • INFO 4270: Ethics and Policy in Data Science
  • INFO 4310: Interactive Information Visualization
  • INFO 4430: Teams and Technology
  • INFO 4561: Stars, Scores, and Rankings: Evaluation and Society
  • MAE 4272: Fluids/Heat Transfer Laboratory (W-I or C-I offerings only)
  • MSE 3010: Materials Chemistry
  • MSE 4030 - Senior Materials Laboratory I and MSE 4040 - Senior Materials Laboratory II (both; W-I or C-I semesters only)*
  • MSE 4050 - Senior Experimental Thesis I and MSE 4060 - Senior Experimental Thesis II (both; W-I or C-I semesters only)*
  • NBA 5070: Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers
  • NTRES/AIIS/AMST 3330: Ways of Knowing: Indigenous and Place-Based Ecological Knowledge
  • PHIL 3340: Modal Logic
  • PSYCH/VISST 3420: Human Perception: Application to Computer Graphics, Art, and Visual Display
  • STS/ANTRO/COGST 4330: How Do We Know Nature? Language, Knowledge, and the Environment
  • STS/GOVT 4451: Making Science Policy: The Real World (meets in Washington DC, spring term)


One of these courses may count towards the minor: AEM 2100, BTRY 3010, BTRY 6010, CEE 3040, ENGRD 2700, HADM 2010, ILRST 2100, ILRST 6100, MATH 1710, ORIE 3500, PAM 2100, PAM 2101, PSYCH 2500, SOC 3010, STSCI 2100, STSCI 2150, STSCI 2200


Any language course, besides English, at 3xxx level or above. Up to four credits can be taken in this category. Students who pass a Cornell CASE sitting may petition for credit in this category. Department of Romance Studies: Placement, Testing, and Transfer Credit

Study Abroad.

Students may petition to have Study Abroad communication courses, up to three credits, count towards the minor. Formal petition required, approved in advance of the Study Abroad experience, not after.

* Courses marked with an asterisk will also fulfill the Engineering Communication Requirement on their own; however, they are part of the elective count for the EC Minor only.