DEGREES & PROGRAMS Engineering
Gain the technical skills and deep understanding needed to address crucial engineering challenges.
Deeply grounded in the liberal arts, our new engineering program blends a mix of courses in engineering, physics, mathematics, and chemistry. We seek to equip our graduates to find innovative solutions to enduring problems by cultivating collaboration, problem-solving and moral discernment. Increasingly, solutions to local and global challenges require insights from engineers, especially when addressing social mobility, caring for the environment, reducing poverty and promoting human welfare. Our graduates will benefit from thorough technical and scientific training and the interdisciplinary sensitivity and moral imagination of the Christian liberal arts. We've embraced the challenge from the National Science Foundation to prepare adaptive engineers committed to blending science, engineering and the arts.
Requirements for a Bachelor of Science in engineering with concentration in mechanical engineering: 89 units
Fall (total units 17)
- Engineering and the Liberal Arts (3)
- General Physics I (4)
- General Physics I Lab (1)
- Calculus I (4)
- G.E. Intro to New Testament (4)
- P.E. Fit for Life (1)
Spring (total unites 17)
- Statics & Engineering Software (3)
- General Physics II (4)
- General Physics II Lab (1)
- Calculus II (4)
- G.E. Intro to Old Testament (4)
- P.E. (1)
Fall (total units 19)
- General Chemistry + Lab (4)
- Multivariable Calculus (4)
- G.E. Christian Doctrine (4)
- G.E. Writing for the Liberal Arts (4)
- Mechanics of Materials (3)
Spring (total unites 16)
- Dynamics (4)
- Circuits + Electronics (4)
- Electronics Lab (0)
- Linear Algebra and Differential Equ. (4)
- G.E. World History (4)
Mayterm (Total Units 6)
- Materials Engineering (3)
- Manufacturing Processes (3)
Fall (total units 15)
- Thermodynamics (4)
- Control Systems (3)
- G.E. Foreign Language (4)
- G.E. Philosophical Reflections (4)
- Optional: Engineering Internship (0-3)
Spring (total units 15)
- Fluid Mechanics (3)
- Junior Design: Interdisciplinary (3)
- G.E. (4)
- G.E. (4)
- P.E. (1)
- Optional: Engineering Internship (0-3)
Fall (total units 16)
- Instruments & Measurements (3)
- Mechanical Design (3)
- Engineering Elective #1 (3)
- G.E. (4)
- Senior Design Capstone I (3)
Spring (Total units 12)
- Senior Design Capstone II (3)
- Engineering Elective #2 (3)
- G.E. (4)
- P.E. (1)
- Engineering Seminar: Faith, Technology, and Christian Responsibility- Writing Intensive (1)
- Preperation for FE Exam (0)
Benefits of an Engineering Degree
An engineering degree opens myriads of opportunities! Engineers are complex problem solvers and critical thinkers. These two skills are the #1 and #2 “top skills” listed in the Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum. Engineering skills are in high demand and will likely continue that trend for decades.
Mechanical engineers (MEs) have tremendous breadth in what they are qualified to do. MEs have opportunities in industries such as design, energy, sustainability, environmental resources, robotics, automation, vehicle design, aeronautics, space, manufacturing and internet of things (IoT). Many big and small companies are hiring MEs including Northrup, Lockheed, Dept of Defense and many small startup companies. One estimate projects over 25,000 US job openings in engineering in next decade. There are great overseas opportunities as well. Right now, there are 1,400 entry level job opening for engineers on one of the most prominent job websites (indeed.com). Opportunities for females and ethnic minorities are especially abundant. Starting salaries for MEs average over $70,000 and have great up-side potential.
While job opportunities and financial benefits may be important to our Westmont Engineering students and grads, the role that engineers can play in helping people live better lives is paramount. Engineers design products, processes and services that help people. As Christian engineers, this aligns with Christ’s command to “love others as ourselves” (Matt 22:39). What a tremendous privilege and responsibility we have as Christian engineers to love people well, and serve them diligently, by creating (designing) things that help them!
The Difficulty and Enjoyment of an Engineering Program
Engineering coursework is difficult. One estimate indicated that approximately 50% of those that begin an engineering degree do not complete it. While Westmont’s small class sizes and committed faculty will create an environment that provides great opportunities for student success, hard work will still be essential for this success. Engineering students must be competent in math and science as a foundation for accomplishing in an engineering degree. Often, incoming 1st year engineering students have taken a calculus or pre-calculus class in high school. Most have scored well on the math part of the SAT or ACT. Some have also taken physics, chemistry or other science classes. Many have AP credits.
While engineering is difficult, it is also lots of fun! Engineers get to work on very interesting projects that help people. This “designing to help people” is a distinctive focus for Westmont Engineering and aligns with our Christian passion to love people. Engineering is almost always done in the context of teamwork. In Westmont Engineering, you will make life-long friends as you design and create together! Westmont Engineering weaves design and innovation into the curriculum across all 4 years. Our students have many opportunities for hands-on learning as they prototype their ideas. This idea of “learning while creating” makes the technical engineering content come to life.
Highlights of Westmont Engineering
- Excellence in technical engineering training learned in small classes, focused on hands-on active learning, with professors that are very engaged with their students
- Integration of Engineering Design and Innovation throughout the curriculum
- A solid Christian liberal arts foundation
Westmont Engineering grants a General Engineering degree with an emphasis on Mechanical Engineering. The program will apply for ABET accreditation in 2022 when our first group of engineering students graduate. When accreditation is granted, it becomes retroactive for all our previous students. The emphasis on Mechanical Engineering provides the largest set of possibilities for specialization, job opportunities and graduate school options. The program, through the faculty, has ties with many top-notch graduate programs both in the US and internationally. Our curriculum (web link here) starts with our Christian liberal arts core and then combines a solid math and science foundation with in-depth content in all the critical technical areas of engineering. Our small class sizes (average engineering class size is about 10 students) are taught by Christian faculty who are experts in their fields (web links to faculty bios). The small class sizes provide great opportunities for “learning by doing”, where we emphasize hands-on, design-oriented experiences that make the technical content come to life. In addition, the small classes allow you to really get to know your professors. Internship opportunities are provided as part of the program and may, in some cases, be counted toward technical elective credits, helping to streamline the degree requirements.
Our emphasis on Design and innovation not only prepares our graduates well for either engineering industry or graduate school, but also makes the Westmont Engineering program fun. Design involves making things to help people. To quote a famous Google employee Tom Chi, “making is the best kind of learning”. Our program includes world class curriculum in design that incorporates a process and methods to enhance innovation and creativity in our work. Our junior and senior design courses work in small teams to design products for our sponsors. These products can lead to patents and publications for our students. Westmont has a great “maker space” with both traditional manufacturing facilities and also 3d printing machines combined with state of the art Computer Aided Design (CAD) capability. Our curriculum includes training in use of these facilities early in the curriculum so our students can begin designing and prototyping early in their academic program.
Westmont Engineering works to integrate our professional endeavors with our faith experience. This is especially true as we creatively design things that help improve people’s lives. As Christian engineers, this aligns with Christ’s command to “love others as ourselves” (Matt 22:39). In particular, our junior design course has an emphasis on “designing for service”.
Engineering graduates have tremendous opportunities across a broad range of possibilities. Mechanical Engineers (MEs) have opportunities in industries such as design, energy, sustainability, environmental resources, robotics, automation, vehicle design, aeronautics, space, manufacturing and internet of things (IoT).
International opportunities are available both during the time at Westmont and after graduation. Opportunities for females and ethnic minorities are especially abundant. In addition to all the engineering-specific highlights of the Westmont Engineering program detailed above, our students have the privilege of living in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. Living just minutes from both the beach and the mountains is quite a thrill! Being just far enough from Los Angeles to avoid the traffic, but close enough to go enjoy the big city when you want to, is also wonderful.
Engineers trained in mechanical engineering work in wide range of industries on a variety of projects, including new technologies such as automation and robotics. Engineering continues to be one of the most rapidly growing majors in the country, and demand in the job market for engineers is soaring. With many industries employing mechanical engineers in Santa Barbara County, Westmont engineering students will find a rich source of internships during college and jobs when they graduate.
Like all Westmont students, engineering majors will have the opportunity to conduct research with professors or pursue their own projects and ideas. This hands-on experience prepares them for engineering jobs and for graduate school.