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College of Engineering

Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies and
Multidisciplinary Engineering

The primary responsibility of Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies (IDES) and Multidisciplinary Engineering (MDE), which are administratively part of the School of Engineering Education, are to provide a coordinated and controlled educational opportunity for select students whose interests and talents fall at an interface either between engineering disciplines, or between engineering and other disciplines. Both prescribed and open curricula are available, which allow IDES and MDE to accommodate highly flexible interdisciplinary programs. These programs are broad, innovative and challenging and enable graduates to seek better solutions to a variety of complex socio-economic-technical humanitarian problems.

MDE offers the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E), and IDES offers the Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Virtually the same concentrations of majors are offered for both degrees. The B.S.E degree will be awarded to students who complete the Multidisciplinary Engineering program designed to meet accreditation standards. The B.S. degree offered by IDES is an engineering-related degree with fewer engineering courses and thus more flexibility to take courses that prepare students for professional schools or nontraditional careers. The Multidisciplinary Engineering (B.S.E) program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. The Multidisciplinary Engineering program's mission, goals, objectives and outcomes are designed to prepare graduates to practice engineering.

Concentrations

Every engineering student at Purdue University follows a common first year. Those who decide to enter IDES/MDE usually do so toward the end of the second or third semester. Students choose concentrations of the most interest to them and plan their academic programs accordingly; in most instances, the range of available courses enables a student to proceed toward any technically based educational objective. IDES and MDE offer many opportunities for an education that is broad and liberal but also technical for students who want to participate in planning their own personalized programs. IDES offers an excellent pre-medicine or pre-law background. A few examples of typical areas are listed here, but many other possibilities and combinations are available.

  • Acoustical engineering
  • Engineering management
  • General engineering
  • International engineering studies
  • Pre-professional (law, medicine, etc.) engineering
  • Self-designed plan
  • Theater engineering studies
  • Visual design engineering

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Educational Purpose

The purposes of the IDES and MDE programs are to provide students:

  • The opportunity to plan their own programs.
  • Flexible alternatives to study engineering plus another field in-depth.
  • Opportunities to study engineering disciplines not formally available at Purdue University.
  • The opportunity to use engineering as a background to prepare for careers that satisfy their unique interests.

IDES and MDE graduates follow diverse career paths. Many obtain entry-level engineering positions; others enroll at professional schools to study law, medicine and other professions; some go to graduate school in a variety of areas; and a few become entrepreneurs.

IDES and MDE welcome Change of Degree Objective (CODO) students. Students in engineering who meet IDES/MDE CODO requirements can usually graduate without requiring additional time if they CODO before or during the first semester of their junior year. Students in other colleges may require extra time because they must complete the First-Year Engineering requirements before they CODO into IDES/MDE.

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Plans of Study

All students submit a plan of study to IDES/MDE for approval during the first semester of enrollment in the program.

CODO and transfer students must submit plans of study to IDES/MDE before they transfer into the program. All transfer students must receive formal approval of their plan of study by the School of Engineering Education at least one full semester before the semester or summer session in which they intend to graduate.

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Registration for Fundamentals of Engineering Examination

Multidisciplinary Engineering seniors who wish to become a registered professional engineer should take the Fundamentals of Engineering examination at the West Lafayette campus during the final semester before graduation.

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Counseling Information

Students, prospective students or high school counselors who want information about IDES/MDE should contact Interdisciplinary Engineering/Multidisciplinary Engineering, 765-494-7422.

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Graduation Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E)

  • Satisfaction of various University-wide graduation requirements: academic, scholastic, residence, fee payments, etc.
  • Completion of an appropriate plan of study prepared by the student and approved by the faculty of the Department of Engineering Education and the director of Undergraduate Degree Programs or designated representative(s).
  • The B.S.E requires meaningful integration of the required engineering core and area requirements. A minimum of 45 credit hours of engineering coursework beyond the First-Year Engineering Program is required. An approved plan of study must be developed during the student's first semester in MDE.

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Academic Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E)

Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 120

See the Interdisciplinary Engineering website or email ide@ecn.purdue.edu for details.

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Graduation Requirements for Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

  • Satisfaction of various University-wide graduation requirements: academic, scholastic, residence, fee payments, etc.
  • Completion of an appropriate Plan of Study prepared by the student and approved by the faculty of the School of Engineering Education and the director of Undergraduate Programs or designated representative(s).

The Plan of Study will provide for meaningful integration of both the core and area requirements.

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Academic Requirements for Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 120

See the Interdisciplinary Engineering website or email ide@ecn.purdue.edu for details.

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