Engineering Majors - Purdue Engineering

You can choose from among the following engineering disciplines offered at Purdue, which include opportunities for designing your own academic program. Professional academic advisors, faculty, and student advisors will assit you with academic and personal support services as needed. After successfully completing the First-Year Engineering requirements, you will be admitted into one of the professional schools of engineering.

Continue Purdue’s proud aerospace tradition by pursuing the design and operation of aircraft for civilian or military markets (aeronautics) or rockets, spacecraft, and global space/international systems (astronautics). You can work in aviation, defense, space exploration – even the automotive industry.


As an agricultural engineer, you can develop systems, processes, and machines to generate energy, food, and water. Careers include work in equipment design and manufacture, and materials handling, in areas such as agriculture, construction, mining, forestry, and food and fiber production and processing. 

Biological engineers work in the large-scale manufacture of food, biological, and pharmaceutical products, applying basic scientific and engineering principles. Such products – biofuels, human therapeutics, new foods – are environmentally friendly and renewable, representing a future wave of consumer demand for better health and environment. 


Biomedical engineers innovate medical devices, create advanced therapeutics, and make better systems for healthcare diagnostics and delivery. Purdue biomedical engineers apply their technical skills in engineering design and biomedical sciences to develop solutions to challenges in human medicine. Experiential learning is central to the BS BME program of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering which includes a wide range of specializations. 

With a degree in chemical engineering, you can work in a range of industries – including the chemical, energy, oil, biotechnology, consumer products, or pharmaceutical industries – that transform raw materials into beneficial products. Chemical engineers are vital in developing industrial processes that meet the world’s demand for high-value-added products (petrochemicals, nutritional products, alternative energy, personal electronics, drug delivery systems, and more).

Civil Engineers design, build, and sustain the world. They process geospatial data and create innovative materials to develop skylines, protect natural resources, integrate multiple modes of transport systems, provide clean water and energy, mitigate natural and man-made hazards, and provide environmental protection. Civil Engineers continuously improve the way we live!

As a computer engineer, you will have the ability to develop both hardware and software by applying knowledge from subfields within both electrical engineering and computer science. Your possible careers paths include developing and maintaining software, VLSI chip design, computer systems design, and applications of digital systems in nearly every industry – computer, communications, information technology, automotive, and aerospace, to name a few.

Construction engineers design and build the infrastructure of our society to shape where we work, live, and play. Purdue’s unique program prepares you for engineering and project management responsibilities within the construction industry. Featuring three 12-week paid internships, the program has consistently placed 100 percent of its graduates in jobs upon graduation.

Electrical engineering offers opportunities in a very broad range of subfields that touch almost every aspect of the human experience. These include power systems, communications, nanotechnology, biomedical instrumentation and electronic gadgets – nearly anything that involves electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. Today’s world depends upon the technology developed and supported by electrical engineers, and the industries in which you can pursue a career range from high-technology to many types of manufacturing. 

Environmental and ecological engineers respond to environmental challenges and opportunities to improve drinking water quality, minimize and treat waste streams, remediate brownfields, restore ecosystems, optimize resource conservation, and manage air and water quality. Careers include work in water treatment, industrial sustainability, life cycle assessment, sustainable design, environmental policy, risk management and public health engineering.

Industrial engineers design human-integrated systems that produce products and services that people can use effectively and efficiently. Combining expertise in math, engineering, and the management and behavioral sciences, industrial engineers design and streamline industrial or logistical processes, incorporate human factors, ensure quality control on the plant floor, and design manufacturing plants. Careers include work in healthcare, postal/package delivery services, airlines, space programs, hospitals, banking, amusement parks, manufacturing, and more.

If you want exposure to engineering topics and problem solving, but don’t plan to work in the practice of engineering, you may be interested in either Engineering Science Studies, or a Pre-Professional plan of study (i.e. Pre-Medical Studies).  These Bachelor of Science degrees offer an engineering background, but not full immersion into the content that affords a bachelor of science in engineering.

Materials engineers are at the forefront of nanotechnology, biomaterials, and microelectronics, as well as traditional technical fields. A degree in this discipline equips you to analyze the structure and composition of metals, plastics, ceramics, composites, and other materials – at the atomic level through the macroscopic – to control their strength, thermal conductivity, and other properties for custom-tailored results. Materials engineers work in industries including healthcare, the automotive industry, aero/astro companies, consumer products, energy production, and sports.

Mechanical engineers work across virtually all industries in design, manufacturing, and production, developing products, machinery, and systems including engines and turbines, vehicles, building services, and industrial plants. As a mechanical engineer, you can pursue a career from sectors including aerospace/defense, automotive, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, chemical and petroleum, computers and electronics, construction, consumer and food products, energy and nuclear, engineering consulting, and heavy off-road equipment.


If you plan to practice engineering but your specific career goals fall outside the traditional engineering fields, this flexible, ABET accredited program allows you to select from established plans of study that fall at the interface between engineering and other disciplines. Choose from Acoustical Engineering, Engineering Management, Theatre Engineering, General Engineering or others.  Nothing a good fit for your interest?  A self-design plan option also exists (within limitations and capacity constraints).

As a nuclear engineer, you can help create economical, safe nuclear power plants that protect the environment (reducing greenhouse gas emissions); design the fusion reactors of the future; create systems for deep-space missions; combat cancer; develop semiconductors and other cutting-edge materials; or safeguard national security through stewardship of nuclear weapons. The School of Nuclear Engineering offers three main areas of study: Energy Materials and Radioactive Waste Management, Nuclear Fusion, and Nuclear Power Engineering.


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