Fundamentals of Engineering

Course Sequence Options

Eligibility and Course Structure


Eligibility and Prerequisites

First-year students enrolled in the College of Engineering take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) sequence as a prerequisite for future engineering courses. Those who place in MATH 1140 or MATH 1150 or higher may take ENGR 1181.01 in the fall semester; students who place in MATH 1148 can enroll in ENGR 1181.01 beginning in the spring semester.

Special Considerations

Fundamentals of Engineering Course Structure

The FE Program is comprised of topics and laboratories that are designed to present a broad overview of engineering’s numerous disciplines. Many “undecided” first-year students have used these courses to help them narrow down and declare a major of interest in the College of Engineering. 

Each course in the FE sequence is divided into three components: in-class instruction, hands-on labs, and team projects.

In-Class Instruction

The FE Program's in-class instruction revolves around developing fundamental technical skills that lay the foundation for advanced coursework in any engineering major. Lectures introduce work-world scenarios that challenge students to apply their analytical and problem-solving skills. College of Engineering faculty and professional engineers teach all core topics. 

Some program content includes:

  • Technical graphics (i.e. 3D visualization and sketching)
  • Computer-aided design
  • Computer programming

Information is presented in various audiovisual formats to accommodate the different learning styles of individual students. Significant time is allocated for in-class assignments so that students can immediately apply concepts presented during lectures, while also receiving personalized attention from the course’s instructional team.

Hands-On Labs

The hands-on laboratory component introduces students to engineering fundamentals such as data collection and analysis. Hands-on exercises using data-acquisition and test equipment are geared towards reinforcing core concepts from various disciplines. Technical communication, written and verbal, is emphasized through lab memos, reports, and oral presentations. These professional skills are valuable when preparing for a future career in engineering.

Team Projects

Often described as the most fun and challenging aspect of the FE Program, team projects are designed to bolster teamwork and project management skills. Design-build projects highlight the design process and give students the hands-on opportunity to build and test a working model of an engineered structure. 

Collaboration and interpersonal communication become critical as students leverage their individual skills and talents to come up with the best solution for the team. Thorough analysis, accurate and detailed technical documentation, and oral presentation skills are all promoted as part of these projects. Finally, teams are given an opportunity to test their ideas against those of their peers in competitions at the end of fall and spring semester.


FE Faculty





Individualized Instruction

Instructional sessions are restricted to smaller class sizes, which vary depending upon the specific course and version of the FE Program. Students receive instruction from:

  • Accomplished engineers and faculty
  • Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs) and Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs) provide extra assistance on a more informal basis.