Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Consider these questions as you compare engineering programs.
- 1. Is the engineering program accredited?
- Yes, Calvin’s engineering program is ABET accredited.
- 2. How does Christian faith make a difference in the
- Our teaching is marked by a strong emphasis on responsible design that builds upon a foundation
of faith in Jesus Christ. Calvin faculty serve God by engaging both the
profession and the general public through research and consulting that
primary mission of teaching. Together, faculty and
students use our technological gifts and skills to
care for and serve our neighbors locally and globally.
- 3. Which engineering disciplines are offered?
- Calvin offers concentrations in chemical, civil/environmental, electrical/computer, and mechanical engineering. All of these are within the context of
a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) program, which stresses interdisciplinary
engineering problem solving.
- 4. When do students start taking engineering courses?
- Calvin’s engineering program begins in a student’s first
semester with a full schedule of coursework, including
a real design project working with real customers.
- 5. When are students required to declare their
- Since the first two years of Calvin’s program are the same for
all of the disciplines, students do not have
to select their field of engineering until after they have completed
their sophomore year. This gives each student several semesters to explore
the various disciplines.
- 6. How many students are enrolled in the engineering program?
- Approximately 350. The first-year class ranges from 120-140 while the graduating class is typically 65. Why the drop? Some students discover that engineering isn’t
really for them and switch to another major. However, the vast majority of students
choosing a different major stay and graduate from Calvin.
- 7. What is the average class size of a typical
- Students during their first two years in the program will experience an average of 25 students in their engineering classes and labs. Once students choose a concentration (junior and senior years) the class sizes are often even smaller.
- 8. What percentage of engineering graduates complete
their degree in four years?
- Approximately 80% of Calvin engineers complete their degree in four years.
This is a very important point
to consider when choosing an engineering program.
In many programs, students take five or even six years to graduate. Staying
a fifth year means giving up a year
of engineering wages as well as paying an additional year of tuition.
- 9. What percentage of the students taking the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam pass on their first attempt?
- At least 95% (compared with national averages
much lower). Passing the FE exam is the first step
to obtaining a Professional Engineer’s (PE) license.
- 10. What percentage of the faculty has significant (more than ten years) industrial experience?
- 45% of the Calvin engineering professors have 10 to 30 years of industrial experience in a wide range of industries. Bringing such experience to the classroom greatly benefits Calvin students.
- 11. Do professors teach all classes and labs or do teaching assistants (TAs) teach some classes and labs?
- Since teaching and mentoring are the primary focus at Calvin, professors teach all classes and labs. Calvin's engineering program includes 15 full-time professors, six part-time professors and four staff members. There are no TAs.
- 12. What percentage of engineering graduates pursue graduate education?
- On average, 15-20% of Calvin graduates go directly to graduate school as full-time students. In addition, many other graduates who go on
to full-time employment continue their education on a part-time basis
(either immediately or at a later time).
- 13. Does the institution have a formal internship program?
- Calvin has both domestic and international internship programs. Approximately
90% of our students have had at least one internship before graduation.
Employers prefer graduates who have had an internship as part of their
undergraduate studies. We have found some employers
will not grant employment interviews to graduates unless they have
had an internship.
- 14. How much does the internship program cost?
- The internship program is coordinated by a faculty member at no additional cost to the student. Many schools charge tuition for internship credit.
- 15. What percentage of the graduating students have had an
- Approximately 70%. In today’s global economy it is advantageous
for graduates to have some type of international experience. Many employers
seek out graduates with international experience. Calvin has seven international engineering opportunities specifically created for engineering
students: semester in the Netherlands, summer
in Germany, international internships and interim courses
in China, the Netherlands, Europe, and Cambodia.
- 16. What are common themes for senior design projects?
- Our students are free to choose their project topics; some are related to missions/third-world development, some are projects for local companies, and some are based on their own innovative ideas.
- 17. Can students graduate with an international designation?
- Students can graduate from Calvin with an international designation
in any of the concentrations. The degree awarded would appear as
BSE-International Mechanical Engineering Concentration, for example.
Students who graduate with the international designation often find that
their resumes are on the top of the pile when seeking employment.
- 18. What other activities do engineering students get involved in?
- Calvin students are involved in student chapters of professional engineering
societies, undergraduate research projects, varsity and intramural
athletics, music and theater performance groups, renewable energy
special interest groups, and entrepreneurship programs. In addition, students have pursued additional majors and minors as diverse as business, foreign languages, physics, and international development studies.
Getting Started at Calvin