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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 engineering program?
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 enhances our 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. 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.
4. When are students required to declare their engineering concentration?
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.
5. How many students are enrolled in the engineering program?
In the fall of 2013 we have had our largest enrollment today to of 416. The first-year class ranges from 135 to 155 while the graduating class is typically 65 to 70. 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.
6. What percentage of engineering graduates complete their degree in four years?
Approximately 85% 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.
7. 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 regular professors, several part-time instructors and four staff members. There are no TAs; however, students have the opportunity to work with professors as graders and lab assistants.
8. 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 summer 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.
9. 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. Students are required to take ENGR 295 before they will be placed on an internship.
10. Why is it advantageous to have international engineering opportunities?
In today's global economy, many employers seek out graduates with international experience. Calvin has several international engineering opportunities specifically created for engineering students: sunner in Germany, international internships and interim courses in China, the Netherlands, Europe and Combodia are just some of the options.
11. 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, some may address a problem the Calvin Community/Campus would like to have researched and prototyped and others are based on their own innovative ideas.
12. 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 and entrepreneurship programs. In addition, students have pursued additional majors and minors as diverse as business, foreign languages, physics, and international development studies. If you name it; someone has probably done it.

Getting Started at Calvin