Explore engineering through experiences designed for discovery

Student writing on a whiteboard.

In your first year, you will choose three of several courses that dive into themes including electronics for health, new materials for a green world, environmental justice, software solutions, sensors for automation, clean water, and more.

Do more with Engineering+

Our introductory classes go beyond the typical, immersing you in engineering through activities that will prepare you for success. That's why we call it Engineering+. In addition to lectures, there are small-group studios and professional development opportunities to help you discover your path in engineering. The courses are organized by topic instead of major, so you can extend your community by meeting students from your entire first-year cohort. The curriculum is designed so you can explore the world of engineering while keeping your academic progress on track. Advisors and faculty will help you choose the major that’s best for you by the end of your first year. 

Learn by doing

In small-group studios, you will find out how engineers solve real-world problems through hands-on team projects.
Here are examples of class projects and activities:

  • Run experiments in the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Laboratory comparing solutions for coastal erosion (picture above).
  • Design an alternative water supply system including rainfall collection for the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon.
  • Cast concrete with a reinforcement material that you choose, then measure the strength. 
  • Evaluate campus dining facilities to see if they support healthy eating habits.
  • Test different wood-burning stoves to see how much energy they use. 
  • Design, build, and test solar-powered lithium-ion battery chargers.
  • Use open-source code to design small power grids for rural communities.
  • Design and print a pattern on a silicon solar cell and test how well it generates electricity.

Discover research

Outside of class, you can take advantage of the highly collaborative research environment and join faculty and students who are finding creative solutions for some of the world’s most challenging problems. Student research is supported through research grants, private gifts, the office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts, and the Honors College.

As a first-year student, Jackie Nguyen started working with Tala Navab-Daneshmand, assistant professor of environmental engineering, on a project to learn more about antibiotic-resistant bacteria in wastewater treatment facilities across Oregon. Jackie continued to work in the lab for four years. She presented her research at national, regional, and local conferences and has co-authored articles in peer-reviewed publications. 

Find new interests

Over 400 student clubs and organizations offer a variety of opportunities to explore new interests, put your skills to good use on humanitarian and community projects, compete in national and international competitions, connect with engineering professionals, develop leadership skills, and form lasting friendships. 

Connect with careers

What engineering career is right for you? How do you land your first internship? Starting in your first year, you will meet with alumni, industry representatives, and engineering staff during career events who will help you make a plan for your job search and be successful in your career.

Portrait of Jill Lewis in front of a SpaceX vehicle.

Jill Lewis, ’11, used her experience on Oregon State’s Global Formula Racing team to become a composite production engineer at SpaceX, where she is currently a certification lead. “Oregon State was an amazing education that definitely set me up for success. One thing Oregon State has that other universities do not is a critical focus on hands-on activities,” she said. 

Explore the world

Make Oregon State your launching point for study abroad opportunities through the Global Opportunities office. Students also travel internationally with competitions teams, humanitarian engineering projects, research programs, and more.