Pre-engineering

While Bluffton University does not offer an engineering degree, students have become engineers after attending Bluffton. There are several ways to accomplish this.

One option is to complete a bachelor's degree at Bluffton then pursue a master's or Ph.D. at an engineering school. We endorse this because we believe a liberal-arts degree is a good foundation for all fields, including engineering. Additionally, this allows students to experience the small-college atmosphere for their bachelor's degree, then a larger university for their engineering degree.

Although the total program is typically six years (four years at Bluffton followed by two years at the engineering school for a master's degree) it is common to obtain an assistantship at the graduate school. This means tuition and room and board during graduate school is covered by the assistantship. In other words, students "pay" for the master's degree by working for the engineering school as a grader, tutor, lab assistant, etc. 

Several universities have graduate programs that welcome Bluffton graduates as long as the students maintained a 3.0 GPA and took the appropriate math, physics and chemistry courses.

At Bluffton students would major in chemistry if they plan to become chemical engineers; physics or math (or both) to become mechanical or electrical engineers; and physics and biology to become a bioengineer. In all cases it is necessary to take at least two years of mathematics, some computer programming, a year of chemistry and a year of physics.

Some students have attended Bluffton for two years then have transferred to an engineering school. These students do not receive a degree from Bluffton, but they do experience a small-college atmosphere for the first two years of their college experience.

We have also had students pursue a 3-2 program in which they spend three years at Bluffton followed by two years at an engineering school. They complete two degrees: a bachelor's from Bluffton and a bachelor's in engineering from the other school. This is not an automatic program. Any student interested in this format has to work out the details with both schools.