Engineering Communications Requirement

The Engineering Communications Requirement provides engineering students with dedicated instruction that will result in strategies for "learning to learn" how to communicate. Communication is an ever-evolving skill; there is never one answer or final solution. Communication skills are gained, honed, and enacted over a lifetime.

The College of Engineering has several options/paths for fulfilling the Engineering Communications Requirement. The approaches are diverse, and each of the options attempts to focus on written and oral communication in context.

The College of Engineering requires the Engineering Communication Requirement be met by all undergraduates. The College asserts that engineering communication is much more than writing; it is also presenting, persuading, working in teams, and designing complex communication through multimodal channels. The word communication also pulls in the skills of creating visuals (graphs, charts, data visuals, sketches, schematics, photos, etc.) that support engineering work. No courses from other universities meet this requirement, via transfer or other means (see Category 6 in the Undergraduate Engineering Handbook).

There are several ways to fulfill the

Engineering Communications Requirement. 

Key Academic Dates

CATEGORY A: Via the Engineering Communications Program Courses and Opportunities

1. Take and pass an offered Engineering Communications course. Please see "note" at the bottom of Category A for more information.

2. Complete a Writing-Intensive Co-op. This is an opportunity to combine work and academics. Some co-op students do a significant amount of writing on the job; under certain circumstances, this writing will satisfy the Engineering Communications Requirement. Not offered in AY 2022-2023. Please see "note" at the bottom of Category A for more information. Does not fulfill a Liberal Studies requirement.

3. Enroll in and pass  ENGRC 3023, a 1cr attachment to an engineering course that is not one of the officially designated W-I or C-I courses. CE instructors may occasionally wish to extend communication competencies with added work inside their course for a given semester so that it will fulfill the Engineering Communications Requirement. With the approval of the CCGB’s Subcommittee on Engineering Communications, instructors may have students co-register in Requirements for ENGRC 3023, which may be taken more than once with different courses by permission of the engineering instructors.  This option does not also fulfill the Liberal Studies requirement, even via petition.  For questions or an appointment to discuss options, please send an email requesting an appointment at engrcomm_info@cornell.edu within the first two weeks of the semester or before. Please see "note" at the bottom of Category A for more information.

  • All paperwork should be done by Sept 9, 2022 for Fall 2022 semester credit.
  • All paperwork should be done by Feb 8, 2023 for Spring semester credit.

4. Complete and pass a 1cr partner course.  The current options are below, and they require enrollment in the departmental course (usually 3cr) AND the ENGRC course (1cr). These courses do not also fulfill the Liberal Studies requirement, even via petition. Please see "note" at the bottom of Category A for more information.

  • ENGRC 3111 (partnered with MSE 3110
  • ENGRC 3120 (partnered with ORIE 3120)
  • ENGRC 3152 (partnered with CIS/INFO 3152)
  • ENGRC 3610 (partnered with CEE 3610)
  • ENGRC 3640 (partnered with AEP/ENGRD 3640)
  • ENGRC 4152 (partnered with CIS/INFO 4152)
    • Please note that students may not take CIS/INFO 5152 and ENGRC 4152 at the same time.  If students are early admit to a Masters program, they need to fulfill their Engineering Communications Requirement as an undergraduate in both the CIS/INFO enrollment and the ENGRC enrollment. Petitions to change this will not be granted.
  • ENGRC 4590 (partnered with BEE 4590)

5. Petition.  Occasionally, a student will be doing a significant amount and variety of engineering or technical communication elsewhere in the College of Engineering, usually as part of a research team, as part of leadership in a project team, and the like.  It may be appropriate to petition the CCGB’s Subcommittee on Engineering Communications for permission to use this option for upcoming projects (not past ones) to meet the Engineering Communications Requirement. For questions or an appointment to discuss options, please send an email requesting an appointment at engrcomm_info@cornell.edu within the first two weeks of the semester or before. More information is here. This option does not also fulfill the Liberal Studies requirement, even via petition. Please see "note" at the bottom of Category A for more information.

  • All paperwork should be done by Sept 9, 2022 for Fall 2022 semester credit.
  • All paperwork should be done by Feb 8, 2023 for Spring semester credit. In spring semester, students who have a petition approved will enroll in a 1cr S/U course in order to prompt clarity and transparency on transcripts. 

NOTE 1: The minimum course grade needed for the Engineering Communications Requirement will depend on your major and where you plan to use your engineering communications course towards your degree.  Please seek guidance from the Engineering Advising Office and/or from your major department; refer, too, to the CE Undergraduate Handbook.

NOTE 2 / Petitioning the ECR: Petitioning cannot be used to substitute a regular engineering course in order to fulfill the Engineering Communications Requirement, even if that course has writing and presenting embedded within it.  Within each major, there might be courses that are designated as "Communication-Intensive," and the majors departments decide that on their own (See Category B, below); those reasons reside inside that program or with that professor's pedagogical approach to the specific engineering class.  Many, many engineering professors use writing and presenting as ways to learn content and concepts within their courses; they do not intend to teach a communication-intensive course and do not want the responsibility that comes with that weightier course designation. If a course/major has decided within the major's department to offer it as a C-I course, that makes the course fall into Category B, below.

 

CATEGORY B: Via Other Paths

1. Take an officially designated Writing-Intensive (W-I) or Communication-Intensive (C-I) engineering course. Note: This list is not comprehensive, as different engineering departments may offer W-I  or C-I courses on an ad-hoc basis. Indeed, these offerings can change each semester. Students need to check with their advisors each semester to confirm if a course will fulfill the Engineering Communications Requirement; curriculum approvals are made by each major via CCGB approval.  W-I or C-I courses are based in a major, as part of that major's regular core offerings to its declared/affiliated undergraduate majors. This option does not also fulfill the Liberal Arts requirement, even via petition.  See also the CE Undergraduate Handbook

It's important to note that these options usually only fulfill the Engineering Communications Requirement for their own majors. Students, advisors, and departments need to cross check against each student's major requirements for graduation. The Engineering Communications Program does not control, monitor, or assess for these courses.  This option does not also fulfill the Liberal Arts requirement, even via petition.  See also the CE Undergraduate Handbook.

  • BEE 4530 - Computer-Aided Engineering: Applications to Biological Processes
  • BEE 4730 - Watershed Engineering
  • BEE 4590 - Biosensors and Bioanalytical Techniques
  • BME 4190 - Laboratory Techniques for Molecular, Cellular, and Systems Engineering 
  • BME 4390 - Circuits, Signals, and Sensors: Instrumentation Laboratory 
  • BME 4490 - Biomechanics Laboratory
  • CHEME 4320 - Chemical Engineering Laboratory
  • ECE 4920 - ECE Technical Writing (pre-req of ECE ECE 4760 or ECE 5760)
  • INFO 1200 - Information Ethics, Law, and Policy
  • MSE 4030 - Senior Materials Laboratory I and MSE 4040 - Senior Materials Laboratory II (both)
  • MSE 4050 - Senior Experimental Thesis I and MSE 4060 - Senior Experimental Thesis II (both)
  • MAE 4272 - Fluids/Heat Transfer Laboratory
  • ORIE 4100 - Manufacturing Systems Design: A Consulting Boot Camp
    • Note 1: ORIE 5100 does not fulfill the Engineering Communications Requirement.
    • Note 2: This course fulfills the ECR for both ORIE students and CS students. 

2.  Enroll in and complete  COMM 3030 or COMM 3020, taught by the Department of Communication (in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences). The Engineering Communications Program does not control, monitor, or assess for these courses.  This option does not also fulfill the Liberal Studies requirement, even via petition.  See also the CE Undergraduate Handbook

NOTE: The minimum course grade needed for the Engineering Communications Requirement will depend on your major and where you plan to use your engineering communications course towards your degree.  Please seek guidance from the Engineering Advising Office and/or from your major department. See also the CE Undergraduate Handbook.

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For questions or an appointment to discuss options, please send an email requesting an appointment at engrcomm_info@cornell.edu within the first two weeks of the semester or before.