Engineering Communication Requirement

The Engineering Communication 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 Communication Requirement. The approaches are diverse, and each of the options attempts to focus on written and oral communication in context.

In the fall of 2017, the College of Engineering approved a change in wording, updating "Technical Writing Requirement" to "Engineering Communication Requirement." This change acknowledges 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.

These are several ways to fulfill the Engineering Communication Requirement. All require that the student pass with a minimum of a "C" grade.

1. Take and complete an offered Engineering Communications course.

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 Communication Requirement. 

3. 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 see if a course will fulfill the requirement. 

4.  Enroll in and complete  COMM 3030 or COMM 3020, taught by the Department of Communication (in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences).

5. Enroll in and complete  ENGRC 3023, a 1-credit attachment to an engineering course that is not one of the officially designated W-I courses (see #3 above). An instructor may wish to extend the writing in their course for a given semester so that it will fulfill the technical-writing requirement. With the approval of the CCGB’s Subcommittee on Engineering Communication, the instructor 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 instructor.

6. 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). 

  • ENGRC 2640 (partnered with AEP/ENGRD 2640)
  • ENGRC 3152 (partnered with CS/INFO 3152)
  • ENGRC 3610 (partnered with CEE 3610)
  • ENGRC 4152 (partnered with CS/INFO 4152)
  • ENGRC 4530 (partnered with BEE 4530)
  • ENGRC 4590 (partnered with BEE 4890)

7. Petition for credit. Occasionally, a student will be doing a significant amount and variety of technical writing elsewhere in the College of Engineering. It may be appropriate to petition the CCGB’s Subcommittee on Engineering Communication for permission to use this forthcoming writing (not past writing) to meet the technical communication requirement.

For questions or an appointment to discuss options, please contact Dr. Rick Evans, the ECP Director.  rae27@cornell.edu