Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2009-2011 Courses and Programs

Iowa State University Catalog

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College of Engineering

James E. Bernard, Interim Dean
Diane T. Rover, Associate Dean
Balaji Narasimham, Associate Dean
Loren W. Zachary, Assistant Dean

Departments of the College

For information on undergraduate options refer to the following curriculum sections, and for graduate specializations or certificate programs, refer to the Courses and Programs section of the catalog.

Aerospace Engineering

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Engineering Mechanics (graduate program)

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Aligning Education in Engineering with the University Mission

The mission of Iowa State University is to create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place. Students will become broadly educated, global citizens who are culturally informed, technologically adept, and ready to lead. The College of Engineering echoes this philosophy and emphasizes preparing its graduates to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Engineering education seeks to develop a capacity for objective analysis, synthesis, and design to obtain a practical solution. The engineering programs at Iowa State University are designed to develop the professional competence of a diverse student body and, by breadth of study, to prepare students to solve the technical problems of society while considering the ethical, social, and economic implications of their work at state, national and global levels.

The focus of each curriculum is to strengthen students’ critical thinking, creative abilities, and communication skills. Students in engineering will have the opportunity for interdisciplinary and experiential learning through learning communities, service learning, internships and cooperative education, as well as research, capstone, and study abroad experiences.

The problem-solving skills learned from an engineering education at Iowa State University also provide an excellent launching pad for careers not only in engineering, but also medicine, law, business, and many other fields.

Each program is guided by the criteria developed by ABET, a non-governmental organization of peer reviewers which assures the quality of post secondary engineering education. The outcomes and objectives of the accredited
engineering programs can be found in the Courses and Programs section of the catalog.

Registration as a professional engineer, which is granted by each individual state, is required for many types of positions. The professional curricula in engineering at Iowa State University are designed to prepare a graduate for subsequent registration in all states.

Seniors in accredited curricula of the College of Engineering are encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination toward professional registration during their final academic year. Seniors in engineering curricula who have obtained at least 6 semester credits in surveying may take the Fundamentals Examination for professional registration as land surveyors.

Concurrent Graduate/ Undergraduate Programs

Several engineering programs offer the opportunity for well-qualified undergraduate juniors and seniors to pursue a graduate degree in their program while finishing the undergraduate requirements. The programs offering concurrent undergraduate/graduate degrees are: agricultural engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials engineering.
Programs offering concurrent bachelor of science/master of business administration degrees are: civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering. For more information, refer to the graduate study sections for each engineering program. Advanced work in engineering is offered in the post-graduate programs. See the Graduate College section of this catalog.

Joint Undergraduate Programs

A bachelor of science degree in software engineering is offered in the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This program is jointly administered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science.


Ten curricula in the College of Engineering are accredited by ABET. Two newer curricula will pursue accreditation. Accreditation status is indicated in the Courses and Programs section for each engineering curricula. For more information on accreditation practices contact:
Engineering Accreditation Commission

111 Market Place, Suite 1050
Baltimore, MD 21202-4012
Phone: 410-347-7700

Organization of Curricula

All curricula in engineering are designed as four-year programs. They are structured in two phases: a basic program and a professional program. The basic program consists primarily of subjects fundamental and common to all branches of engineering and includes chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering computations, and English. The professional phase of a curriculum includes intensive study in a particular branch of engineering, as well as a continuation of supporting work in mathematics, basic sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Students should complete the requirements of the basic program before proceeding to a professional program.

Preparation for the Engineering Curricula

In addition to the standard university admission requirements, the college also requires 2 years of a foreign language. Other high school credits particularly important to students wishing to study engineering include: 2 years of algebra, 1 year of geometry, and 1/2 year of trigonometry and 1/2 year of pre-calculus; 1 year each of chemistry, biology, and physics; 3 years of social science, and 4 years of English. See Index for specific admission requirements.
Placement in mathematics, English, and chemistry will generally be based on high school preparation and test scores. Advanced placement is possible for exceptionally well-prepared students. Students who are not adequately prepared may be encouraged or required to take additional preparatory coursework and should expect to spend more than the customary time to complete the engineering program. Any coursework which is preparatory or remedial in nature cannot be used to satisfy credit requirements for graduation in any of the engineering curricula.

Basic Program for Professional Engineering Curricula

The first year program is much the same for all professional curricula in the College of Engineering. Students normally enroll in the majority of the basic program courses during their first year. The basic program is a set of courses common to all engineering curricula. Since students may also begin curriculum designated requirements during their first year, they will want to select a curriculum as soon as possible. This will enable them to receive the bachelor’s degree in a minimum time.

Entering undergraduates must demonstrate proficiency in trigonometry based on test scores, or by having transfer credits from a college trigonometry course, or by passing either Math 141 or 142 before enrolling in Math 166 or C E 160.

The Department of English may recommend placement in one or more sections of Engl 101 if the placement test administered to students whose first language is not English indicates a deficiency in reading or writing. Satisfactory completion of the recommended course(s) will be required of students in the College of Engineering.

Basic Program

8 Mathematics 165, 166
6 English 150, 250
4 Chemistry 167 or 177*
3 Engineering 160, Aer E 160,CE 160, Cpr E 185, E E 185, S E 185, or I E 148**
5 Physics 221
R Engineering 101***
0.5 Library 160
26.5 Total credits

Students without a strong high school chemistry background may opt to take a two course sequence of Chem 155 (3 cr.) and Chem 165 (4 cr.) to meet the Chem 167 (4 cr.) requirement.

English 250 is normally taken in the second year. However, students who advance place into this course may be able to enroll during their first year. Credit for English 150 is earned upon successful completion of English 250. In addition to the basic program courses listed above, curriculum designated courses normally taken the first year of each engineering curricula are listed below.

Curriculum Designated Requirements

Aerospace Engineering—Aer E 160**, Aer E 161 (4 cr.), Aer E 192 (R), GenEd Electives
(3 cr)

Agricultural Engineering—Chem 167L (1 cr.),
A E 110 (1 cr.), Engr 170 (3 cr.), SSH Elective (3 cr.)

Biological Systems Engineering—Chem 167L (1 cr.), BSE 110 (1 cr.), Engr 170 (3 cr.),
SSH Elective (3 cr.)

Chemical Engineering—Chem 177*, 177L
(1 cr.), 178 (3 cr.), 178L (1 cr.), SSH Elective (3 cr.)

Civil Engineering—Chem 167L (1 cr.) or
Chem 177L (1 cr.)*, C E 105 (1 cr.),
C E 160**, C E 170 (2 cr.), C E 111 (3 cr.), SSH Elective (3 cr.)

Computer Engineering—Cpr E 185** (3 cr.),
Com S 227 (4 cr.), Cpr E 166 (R cr.), Gen Ed
Elective (3 cr.)

Construction Engineering—Con E 121 (1 cr.), 122 (1 cr.), Psychology Elective – Psych 101, 230, or 280 (3 cr.), Engr 170 (3 cr.), SSH Elec- tive (3 cr.)

Electrical Engineering—E E 185** (3 cr.),
Com S 207 (3 cr.) or 227 (4 cr.), E E 166
(R cr.), Gen Ed Elective (3 cr.)

Industrial Engineering—I E 101 (R cr.),
I E 148** (3 cr.), SSH Elective (6 cr.)

Materials Engineering—Chem 177*, 177L (1 cr.), 178 (3 cr.), 178L (1 cr.), Engr 170 (3 cr.),
Gen Ed Elective (3 cr.), (Physics 221
scheduled in sophomore year.)

Mechanical Engineering—Chem 167L (1 cr.), Engr 170 (3 cr.), M E 102 (R cr.), Gen Ed
Elective (3 cr.)

Software Engineering— S E 185** (3 cr.), 166 (R cr.), Com S 227 (4 cr.), 228 (3 cr.)
The student’s adviser may require or recommend courses in addition to those specified above if the preparation and progress of the student are such that additional courses are necessary or desirable.

*Students planning to enroll in C E1 , Ch E,
or Mat E will find Chem 177 to be a better preparation for Chem 178. However, Chem 167 is accepted as a substitute for 177 for those students declaring one of these curricula after having completed 167. The Chem 155-165 sequence is an acceptable substitute for Chem 167.
**Recommended choices by program:
Aer E: Aer E 160 (3 cr.)
C E: C E 160 (3 cr.)
Cpr E: Cpr E 185 (3 cr.)
E E: E E 185 (3 cr.)
I E: I E 148 (3 cr.)
S E: S E 185 (3 cr.)

Credit hours for graduation will be given for any one of Aer E 160, C E 160, Engr 160, I E 148, Cpr E 185, E E 185, or S E 185 without increasing a curriculum’s minimum number of credits required for graduation.

***Students enrolled in the joint software engineering degree program will take S E 101.
1Students in the general emphasis in C E have two chemistry/physics sequence options. The environmental emphasis requires Option 1.

Option 1—Chem 177, 177L, 178, 178L, and Phys 221.
Option 2—Chem 167, 167L; or Chem 177, 177L; and Phys 221 and 222. Students who opt for Phys 222 rather than Chem 178, 178L will increase the total number of credits required by 1.

Requirement for Entry into Professional Program

Students enrolled in the College of Engineering must satisfy both of the following requirements before enrolling in the professional courses (200-level and above) offered by departments in the Engineering College:
1. Completion of the basic program with a grade point average of 2.00 or better in the basic program courses.
2. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better for all courses taken at Iowa State University.
The following are the only exceptions to this rule:
a. Students who have completed all of their coursework while enrolled in the College of Engineering, but have not met the two basic program requirements, may enroll for not more than two semesters in 200-level or above courses offered by departments in the College of Engineering.
b. Students transferring to the College of Engineering from another college or university, or from a program outside this college, who have not met the two basic program requirements may also enroll for not more than two semesters in 200-level or above courses offered by departments in the College of Engineering. However, they may be granted an additional semester upon review by the college.
c. Iowa State students not pursuing an engineering degree may generally take engineering courses without restrictions provided they meet the prerequisites and space is available.
d. Only the first two semesters of 200-level and above engineering courses, taken at ISU while a student is not enrolled in the College of Engineering, can be applied toward an engineering degree.

Requirement for Graduation

In order to graduate in a professional engineering curriculum, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in a department-designated group of 200-level and above courses known as the Core. These courses will total no fewer than 24 nor more than 48 semester credits.

Engineering Minors

The College of Engineering offers three undergraduate minors which are open only to students in the College of Engineering. These are minors in bioengineering, nondestructive evaluation, and nuclear engineering. These minors must include at least nine credits which are beyond the total used to meet curriculum requirements.

The bioengineering minor is a 15 credit interdisciplinary program that complements a student’s major discipline by providing additional insight into the interactions between various engineering disciplines and biological systems. The minor is administered by a supervisory faculty committee. For minor course requirements, refer to Bioengineering in Courses and Programs.

The nondestructive evaluation minor is a 16 credit minor open only to engineering students who have met the basic program requirements and are not on academic warning or probation. The minor is supervised by an interdisciplinary faculty committee. For minor course requirements, refer to Aerospace Engineering in Courses and Programs for minor course requirements.

The nuclear engineering minor is a 15 credit minor which enables engineering students to acquire a basic and fundamental knowledge of nuclear sciences and engineering. Courses are provided at Iowa State University and also through an inter-institutional distance education program offered through the Web by four of the Big 12 Engineering Consortium Schools. For minor course requirements, refer to Nuclear Engineering in Courses and Programs.

Minor for Non-Engineers

The College of Engineering also offers an undergraduate minor in engineering studies which is open only to students outside of the College of Engineering.

The engineering studies minor is a 21 credit interdepartmental minor. A student’s minor program in engineering studies must include at least nine credits which are beyond the total used to meet minimum degree requirements. The minor is supervised by an interdepartmental faculty committee. Refer to Engineering Studies in Courses and Programs for minor course requirements.

Undergraduate Majors and Minors Outside the College of Engineering

In addition to the engineering degree program, students may earn majors or minors in other colleges of the university. A major or minor program must meet all requirements of the offering department or program and its college and contain credits beyond the requirements for a B.S. degree in engineering. A minimum of 15 additional credits is required for each major area of study and an additional 9 credits for each minor.

Advising System

The purpose of the advising system in the College of Engineering is to work constructively with students in developing their individual academic programs and to maintain close contact with students during their college careers.

The college offers an orientation program during the spring and summer for students planning to enter in the fall, and during the fall for students planning to enter in the spring. All entering students are encouraged to attend an orientation session. Placement assessments given during the orientation program help determine the student’s level of achievement and enable the adviser to prepare an appropriate program for the student.

Special Programs

All engineering students are strongly encouraged to participate in either the cooperative education or internship programs. Students who are qualified to participate in the engineering honors program are also urged to do so. These programs are integrated into the professional engineering curricula and may require additional work. However, both these professional and academic programs offer opportunities that will enrich the standard academic experience. Engineering students are also encouraged to take advantage of study abroad opportunities available through the College of Engineering’s International

Programs Office.

a. Cooperative Education Program. The College of Engineering offers, through its curricula, a cooperative education program. Enrollment in the program allows students to gain practical experience in their career field while attending college. In general, students enrolled in the co-op program will require an additional year to complete curriculum requirements.

These programs are arranged so that the student alternates academic work with employment periods.

The student has the opportunity to assess career paths within her/his chosen curriculum and the employer evaluates the student’s potential as a future full-time employee. Both domestic and international co-op programs are available.

Cooperative education students pay no fees to the university during their work periods and do not receive credit hours for their work experience. Students register for a non-credit cooperative education course (298, 398, or 498) for each work period and are considered full time students while
enrolled in these courses. For additional information contact your academic adviser and the Office of Engineering Career Services.

b. Internship Program. Internships are a mechanism by which a student may work full-time for one semester per academic year while maintaining her/his status as a full-time student.
Internship students pay no fees to the university during their work periods and do not receive credit hours for their work experience. Students who register for the internship course (397) for a fall or spring semester work period or (396) for the summer term are considered to be full time students. For additional information contact your academic adviser and the Office of Engineering Career Services.

c. Honors Program. The College of Engineering participates in the University Honors Program (see Index). The honors program is designed for students with above average ability who wish to individualize their programs of study. For further details consult the chair of the Engineering College Honors Program Committee or your departmental honors program adviser.

d. Engineering International Programs. In a world where the sun never sets, engineers must be prepared to understand other cultures and other ways of doing business. Engineers must expand their exportable skills, language and cross-cultural skills.
Engineering International Programs (EIP) has formed worldwide partnerships to create opportunities for students to work and study with leading universities in other countries and multinational corporations. With careful planning, students may earn credit in courses that fulfill their degree requirements. To learn more about work and study with leading universities in other countries and multinational corporations, visit the EIP home page at

e. Engineering Leadership Program. Started in the Fall Semester of 2006, the Engineering Leadership Program (ELP) was developed to address the growing need for leaders trained in technology. Initial funding for the program was provided by 3M Company with additional funding from other corporate and private sources. Students selected into the ELP have opportunities to interface with engineers and company leadership of the donating companies. Mentored by a faculty and a peer mentor, each student receives individual direction and insight on academics, leadership opportunities, career paths and life skills. They are encouraged to develop their individual leadership styles and leadership competencies, while interacting with industry, government, faculty and student leaders. Incoming freshmen may apply the spring prior to their first fall semester at Iowa State University. Current Iowa State students may apply to be upper-level scholars each spring. Visit the ELP website at: .