Engineering 3-2


Westminster offers a 3-2 Engineering Program in conjunction with the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, California (USC), and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Students who successfully complete the requirements for this program will earn two degrees:

  • A Bachelor of Science or Arts with a major either in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics. (Students may pursue other majors, but it may take them longer than 5 years to complete the two degrees.)
  • A Bachelor of Science in an engineering discipline from either Washington University or USC.

The 3–2 program is perfect for the student who wants to enhance and broaden their undergraduate education as a prelude to the focused work of engineering school. In all their pre-engineering classes, students receive the benefits of Westminster’s small class sizes and tradition of teaching excellence. Westminster’s math and science programs offer “learning communities” that couple courses like math and biology and utilize group-based, hands-on learning. Moreover, students often develop close nurturing relationships with faculty and their peers at Westminster that might not happen at a larger school.

Under the 3–2 program, a student attends Westminster College for approximately three years and then transfers to either the University of Southern California (USC) or Washington University for an additional two years of study in the selected engineering discipline. (1) As Westminster freshman, students must meet entrance requirements for USC or Washington University. (2) The 3–2 program advisor at Westminster College must recommend them. (To be considered for this recommendation a students must satisfy all the program requirements listed below, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, and maintain a 3.00 average in the major courses.) (3) Students must complete at least four semesters of full-time study at Westminster before transferring to the engineering school. (4) Students must have completed 12 upper division credits in their major prior to transfer. Students who complete the 3–2 program by transferring to either USC or Washington University automatically have the Westminster residency requirement waived. (Westminster requires that the last 36 hours of course work be completed at Westminster.) (5) Students must file a Leave of Absence Request with the Registrar’s Office.

Fields of Engineering Offered by the University of Southern California and Washington University:

University of Southern California Washington University
Aerospace/Mechanical Biomedical
Astronautics/Space Technology Chemical
Biomedical Civil
Chemical/Materials Science Computer Science
Civil/Environmental Computer Engineering
Computer Science Electrical
Electrical Mechanical
Industrial and Systems Engineering System Science & Engineering

After successful completion of both portions of the program the student is awarded degrees from both institutions.

Sample Student Timetable

In order for the student to complete the dual degree program in five years, it is important to follow closely the timetable set up by the advisor. The following is a sample timetable for a student majoring in Physics at Westminster and desiring a dual degree in Electrical Engineering. A particular student’s course schedule will depend upon their prior coursework, their major at Westminster, the desired engineering discipline, and the specific requirements of the engineering school.*

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1, Freshman
See the 3-2 advisor**
MATH 201 Calculus I
CHEM 111 Principles of
Chemistry I and Lab
Other required LE courses***

MATH 202 Calculus II
CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II and Lab
Other required LE courses

Year 2, Sophomore
Review program with advisor
MATH 203 Multivar. Calculus
PHYS 211 Phys for Scientists & Engineers I and Lab
Other required LE courses

MATH 211 Linear Algebra
PHYS 309 Mathematical Methods of Physics
PHYS 212 Phys for Scientists & Engineers II and Lab
Other required LE courses

Year 3, Junior
Review program with advisorAt the end of Fall semester, apply to desired
engineering school.Meet with 3-2 advisor and request letter of recommendation.File for Leave of Absence from Westminster.
PHYS 305 Principles of Optics
PHYS 311^ Analytic Mechanics
PHYS 370^^ Scientific Computing
Other required LE courses

PHYS 431 Principles of Electrodynamics
Remaining LE courses

Year 4
First year at engineering school
Summer after completing Year 4: Send copy of transcripts from engineering school to Registrar’s Office at Westminster.

Year 5
Second year at engineering school
Student applies for graduation from both Westminster and the engineering school in the spring. After spring semester, student receives degrees from the engineering school and from Westminster College.

*Some engineering disciplines require specific pre-engineering classes. These can be taken at the engineering school.
**The current 3/2 advisor is Dr. Peter Conwell, Assistant Professor of Physics.
***Westminster College requires all freshmen to enroll in one learning community. These are classes linked with a common theme. Typically at least one of these courses will satisfy a liberal education requirement.
^Typically taught every other year
^^Taught every other year

Financial Aid

Merit-based and need-based financial aid is available from Westminster College and the engineering schools. However, these programs are not linked. Students receiving financial aid from Westminster must reapply for financial aid at the engineering school.

Program Requirements at Westminster College

Students in this program are encouraged to meet with the program director at Westminster College during their freshman year to ensure satisfaction of all the requirements for their chosen field of engineering during their time at Westminster College and to learn about the coursework that will be required during their two years at the university.

Students must complete all their Liberal Education Requirements and the following set of engineering core courses:

CHEM 111-112 Principles of Chemistry I and II and Lab
CMPT 201 Introduction to Computer Science
CMPT 401 Directed Studies (FORTRAN, C++, or Java)
ENGL 110 Composition and Research, LE
MATH 201-202 Calculus I and II
MATH 203 Multivariate Calculus
MATH 211 Introduction to Linear Algebra
MATH 363 Differential Equations II
PHYS 211-212 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I and II and Lab
PHYS 301 Introduction to Modern Physics

Additional classes that may be required, depending on the field of engineering chosen, include:

BIOL 221 Invertebrate Zoology and Lab
BIOL 310 General Botany and Lab, LE
CHEM 303-304 Organic Chemistry I and II and Lab
CHEM 306 Quantitative Analysis and Lab
CHEM 350 Biochemistry and Lab
CHEM 421-422 Physical Chemistry I and II and Lab
CMPT 351 Operating Systems
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE
MATH 310 Probability and Statistics
MATH 311 Linear Algebra II
MATH 362 Numerical Analysis
PHYS 300 Mathematical Methods for Physicists
PHYS 311 Analytical Mechanics
PHYS 410 Quantum Mechanics (Same as CHEM 421)
PHYS 411 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics and Lab (Same as CHEM 422)
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