You are here

First-Year Engineering Program

Fundamentals of Engineering

The First-Year Engineering course sequence is a prerequisite for declaring most engineering majors at OSU. Incoming freshmen take a two-semester series which broadly introduces the topics of technical graphics, computer-aided design, programming in MATLAB, engineering design and analysis, project management, ethics in engineering, teamwork and oral and written technical communication. Topics and laboratories provide a broad overview of engineering disciplines. Many "undecided" freshmen use these courses to help them narrow down and declare a major of their interest in the College of Engineering.

The First-Year Engineering Program consists of three different course sequences, designed to give students a broad understanding of the principles and practices of engineering:

  • The Standard two-semester sequence: Engineering 1181 and 1182
  • The Honors sequence: Engineering 1281 and 1282
  • The Scholars sequence: Engineering 1181.02 and 1182.02

The two-semester standard sequence teaches basic engineering skills to prepare students for advanced courses, internships and careers in engineering. The Honors sequence accomplishes the same objectives but in a more accelerated fashion with a programming course built in to the series. 

All three program options entail a major design-build project. The continuously updated curriculum, taught by faculty and professional engineers, exposes students to different engineering disciplines and helps develop the most up-to-date and practically relevant skills.

The Transfer sequence assists students who may already have elements of the program to progress more quickly. The transfer series entails the courses Engineering 1186, 1187, and 1188.

For information about current Standard course schedules and class assignments, please visit the EED Courses website.

Summer Academy

The summer program is designed for seniors with high academic performance, who are interested in completing a portion of their freshman studies during the summer. The summer academy covers the material that students complete during the first FEH course, Engineering 1281. Students interested in participating in this and other summer programs offered through the College of Engineering should visit the Pre-College page.


Each version of the Fundamentals of Engineering program is associated with a competition held during the last course of the sequence:

  • FE Standard - Advanced Energy Vehicle or Nanotechnology competition
  • FEH Honors - Robot, Nanotechnology, or Civil Engineering project/competition
  • FE Scholars - Advanced Energy Vehicle or Nanotechnology competition
  • FE Transfers - Advanced Energy Vehicle or Nanotechnology competition

Student Instructional Leadership Team

The Student Instructional Leadership Team (SILT) is a student-run group that organizes curricular programs and aids in the development of education for first-year engineering students.

Program Advantages

These courses offer an unparalleled engineering experience due to their:

  • Broad Introduction to Engineering - Students can take engineering courses beginning their first semester. Labs and projects given throughout the sequence are designed to provide as broad an introduction to engineering as possible.
  • Team Work Experience - Prospective employers greatly favor candidates who demonstrate the ability to work in teams. By the end of these fundamentals courses experience, students will have had many valuable group work experiences.
  • Presentation Practice - Presentation and communication skills will be enhanced, and students will learn the importance of documentation in engineering. These are valuable assets when looking for a job or internship.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Dr. John Merrill
Associate Director, EED
Phone: (614) 2920650
College of Engineering
244C Hitchcock Hall
2070 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1275