Physics Department

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Engineering Dual Degree Program

Muhlenberg College has a cooperative dual degree program in engineering and applied science with the engineering school at Columbia University in New York City. The program offers students the ability to earn both a BS degree from Muhlenberg College and a BS in engineering from Columbia University.

Typically, a student spends three years at Muhlenberg and two years at the engineering school, hence the term 3-2 program. Many students opt to spend the full four years at Muhlenberg followed by two years at the engineering school, the 4-2 program.

Employers tend to look very favorably on students who graduate from these programs. Columbia's engineering school reports that, in recent years, the dual degree students have had better job opportunities, with higher starting salaries, than students who go directly through traditional engineering programs. Employers value the reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving, and communications skills which students acquire at the liberal arts college. These skills, combined with the outstanding technical preparation from the engineering courses, make for an attractive job candidate.


Columbia University offers engineering programs in the following areas:


Applied Mathematics Applied Physics
Biomedical Engineering Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering Computer Engineering
Computer Science Earth & Environmental Engineering
Electrical Engineering Engineering Mechanics

Engineering and Management Systems Industrial Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering Mechanical Engineering
Operations Research

The prerequisite courses taken at Muhlenberg for the all dual degree concentrations at Columbia University are as follows:


Mathematics Calculus I, II, and III (Math 121, 122, and 223) Differential Equations (Math 227)

Victor's Lement

Physics PHY 121: General Physics I , PHY 122: General Physics II and PHY 241 or PHY 242: Thermal and Statistical Physics

Chemistry General Chemistry I (Chemistry 103)

Computer Science Computer Science II (CSI 111)

English Composition First Year Seminar (FYS)


Economics Principles of Macroeconomics (ECN 101) or Principles of Microeconomics (ECN 102)

Additional courses may be required, specific to a particular program. Detailed information can be found in Muhlenberg's Pre-Combined Plan Curriculum Guide. Detailed descriptions of the courses contained in the guide can be found here.

Interested students should consult with the College's program liaison officer, Dr. Jane Flood, to determine the equivalent courses at Muhlenberg.

Students apply to the dual- degree engineering program after they arrive at Muhlenberg. A student interested in this program is strongly advised to contact the program liaison officer in the first or second semester. The application to the program is made in the winter of the third year (for the 3/2 program) or fourth year (the 4/2 program) at Muhlenberg. Students must complete all of Muhlenberg's general academic requirements and all of their major requirements before transferring to Columbia. Students in the 3-2 program transfer course credits from the engineering school back to Muhlenberg College to complete the 34 course graduation requirement. The engineering school does not specify any particular undergraduate major for admission to the program; however, some majors at Muhlenberg are more appropriate than others, depending on the specific engineering field the student wishes to pursue. For example, students interested in Mechanical, Civil, or Electrical Engineering, or Materials Science should consider majoring in either Physics or Physical Science, while students interested in Chemical Engineering could consider a Chemistry major.
Guaranteed admission to the program requires a 3.3 overall average. In addition, the minimum grade of each pre-engineering science and mathematics prerequisites must be a B the first time the course is taken. Pre-engineering prerequisite courses must be taken at Muhlenberg to ensure guaranteed admission. Positive letters of recommendation from the College liaison officer, a science professor and a mathematics professor are required. Students must also have completed a minimum of two years full-time at Muhlenberg College. Students who do not achieve the requirements may still be admitted, but admission is not automatic.

Columbia's Combined Plan Curriculum Guide can be found here.