Your first year

As a new engineering student, you might already have a major in mind, or maybe you’re still figuring that out. During your first year, you will explore a variety of activities to help you determine the best major for you. As a General Engineering student, you will work with your advisor to choose courses that will prepare you for success in any engineering program. At the end of your first year, you can declare any of the 16 engineering majors.

If, on the other hand, you discover that engineering is just not for you, you can transfer to another major at just about any time. Before you make a decision, you can meet with an academic advisor who will help you understand the process and where your credits can be applied.

Don’t miss out on what grads miss most.

The College of Engineering has over 30,000 alumni. Learn about the most important elements of their undergraduate experience, and be sure to load up on the good stuff while you’re here.


All engineering programs start by building strong foundations that promote success and help you find your home in engineering. Real-world engineering experiences, combined with classroom and lab work, provide firsthand knowledge you’ll need to become an engineer.

The new First-Year Engineering Experience launches in fall 2020 with a yearlong engineering orientation course to introduce you to careers in engineering and prepare you for the challenges of advanced engineering coursework.

You’ll take the common engineering prerequisites (mostly math and science) during your first two years. Once you start taking upper-level courses, you’ll be in classes that range in size from about 20 to 150 students, depending on your major. Upper-division courses focus on major-specific engineering problems and research challenges, often leading to a capstone project.

Get involved

College Ambassadors

Inspire others to consider engineering as a career and help them along the way. Through the College Ambassadors program, you can give presentations about engineering at high schools and middle schools, assist first-year students in orientation classes, and mentor new students.

Student Clubs

Expand your circle, learn new skills, make an impact through humanitarian projects, and put your ideas to the test in national and international competitions. Choose from a variety of clubs, societies, and other organizations in the College of Engineering, many of which are student chapters of national and international professional associations. If you want to explore university opportunities, start with Student Leadership and Involvement.

There's something for everyone!


You can make real contributions to faculty-led research projects and collaborate with graduate students and fellow undergrads across campus and at other universities. You can also pursue a project of your own and earn the distinction of OSU Undergraduate Research Fellow, with a notation on your transcript.

Some students receive grant funding for research and publish their findings before they graduate. As of fall 2018, about 7.1% of engineering students were in the Honors College receiving personal advising with research opportunities.

You can even become involved in research as early as your first year. There are many programs on campus that help you get involved in research, such as the URSA Program and the STEM Leaders Program. Alternatively, you could also reach out to any faculty member to see if they’re hiring undergraduate researchers.

Show off at the Engineering Expo

The Engineering Expo is an all-out blast of Oregon engineering excellence, showcasing some 200 undergraduate senior design projects alongside cutting-edge research by engineering graduate students. Students share their discoveries, inventions, and experiences with industry partners, alumni, the media, and the general public.


More than 80% of Oregon State engineering students complete at least one internship while they’re here. By taking advantage of engineering internships, you'll get a head start on your career with valuable real-world experience working for one of our industry partners or right here on campus.

The Multiple Engineering Co-op Program (MECOP) and Civil Engineering Co-op Program (CECOP) provide two full-time, paid, six-month internships during the third and fourth years of a five-year program that adds a combined full year of work experience to the regular four years of study. On average, you can earn a total of $40,000 during these two internships. In addition to income and experience, you’ll make professional contacts. Many internships lead to full-time job offers upon graduation.

Career preparation

Both the college and university offer a variety of services to support your career preparation and job search as you near the end of your journey at Oregon State.

The College of Engineering Leadership Academy offers programs to help you become more competitive in the job market and teach you the skills of professional engineers. You can also join the Grand Challenge Scholars Program and prepare for transdisciplinary and global engineering environments.

The Career Development Center offers a variety of engineering-specific resources. Many students benefit from a career self-assessment during their first year to help them choose a specific engineering emphasis. There is also a job shadow program, where you can explore an industry or organization during a full or half-day experience. They will also help you polish your resume, prepare for interviews, and introduce you to the Handshake system with thousands of national engineering jobs.

Rub elbows, shake hands, bump fists

All kinds of industry representatives visit the campus every year for targeted recruiting events and larger career fairs. Undergraduates are encouraged to attend these events, network, and find out about internships and other opportunities.