The College of Engineering offers the following majors. Majors marked with a dagger (“†”) are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://abet.org. Minors appear at the bottom of this page. ABET works with technical and engineering professional societies to set standards and guidelines for academic programs, assuring students, their parents and future employers that their studies will give them the best preparation for their professions.
ABET accreditation is a voluntary process that is designed to maintain high standards in academic programs and also give graduates a competitive edge in the job market. Preparation in ABET-accredited majors may be required for licensure in some professions.
If you have questions about ABET accreditation, the Office of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Engineering can answer your questions: 530-752-1979.
Aerospace science is the study of newer and better ways to fulfill one of humanity’s oldest dreams: the dream of flight. As an aerospace science and engineering major, you will help create faster, more efficient and more economical forms of aircraft. You will work with some of the foremost scientists in the field today, and you will benefit from access to unparalleled research opportunities. Your studies will prepare you not only for work in the aerospace industry, but in any branch of engineering dealing with bodies and vehicles whose applied loads are influenced by aerodynamic forces.
Biochemical engineers apply the principles of biology, chemistry, and engineering to produce useful commodities through biotechnology. Biochemical engineering includes such areas of interest as cell culture processes and separation processes for pharmaceutical production, food processing and biological waste treatment. As a biochemical engineering major at UC Davis, you’ll learn to grow plant, animal, and microbial cells in bioreactors and to separate their products from solutions using the most up-to-date processes and equipment available. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in independent research projects under the supervision of some of the most highly regarded researchers in the nation.
As biological sciences and biotechnology become ever more important sectors of our economy, engineers will be needed to work side by side with life scientists to bring laboratory developments into commercial production. Such industries as plant and animal production, tissue culture, biotechnology, food processing, aquaculture and forest production will all need engineers with strong backgrounds in biology.
Biomedical engineers work in research areas ranging from medical imaging to the design of artificial organs. Some major research advances in biomedical engineering include, for example, the left ventricular assist device, artificial joints, kidney dialysis, bioengineered skin, coronary stents, medical imaging systems, and flexible endoscopes. Students who choose biomedical engineering are interested in serving human health through interdisciplinary study in both engineering and the biomedical sciences.
Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry and engineering to produce useful commodities ranging from antibiotics to zirconium. Contemporary areas of interest to chemical engineers include environmental processes and preservation, food and pharmaceutical production and medicine. As a chemical engineering major at UC Davis, you’ll have access to resources like scanning electron microscopes and X-ray diffractometers to enhance your study, and you may participate in research projects along with some of the most highly regarded researchers in the nation.
Civil engineers are responsible for the structures that form the transportation, resource distribution and environmental systems of contemporary society. From bay-spanning bridges to earthquake-safe buildings, civil engineers design and build solutions to an enormous variety of problems. Increasingly, civil engineers are called upon to safeguard the health of our environment by managing and improving air, land and water quality with air, water and waste treatment systems. As a civil engineering student at UC Davis, you will gain skills that will enable you to serve society while indulging your love of design and construction.
Computer engineers analyze, design, develop and program all types of information processing systems, commonly called “computers.” Yet the application of these systems goes far beyond simple computation. Computer applications are central to modern communications, health care, education, entertainment and industry. As a computer engineering major at UC Davis, you’ll get the fundamental skills you need to ensure your long-term employability in a rapidly changing field. You’ll also work with cutting-edge technologies in electronics, digital systems, circuits fabrication and other areas.
From home video game systems to hospital monitoring equipment, computer systems are part of every aspect of contemporary culture. Computer scientists and engineers design, build and improve these systems, finding new applications for sophisticated technology. As a computer science and engineering major at UC Davis, you’ll receive a solid background in engineering fundamentals that will allow you to adapt to newly introduced systems and methods; you’ll also have the chance to work with well-respected researchers on projects that represent the cutting edge of computer science today.
Electrical systems and computers form the backbone of many of the structures central to contemporary life. Communication, medicine, education, space exploration, defense and other critical sectors of our society and economy depend on electrical engineers for their design, analysis and effective use. As an electrical engineering major, you will work closely with top-ranked faculty to gain an understanding of the fundamental knowledge and theories that underpin modern engineering. You will also put your learning into practice with innovative hands-on projects that will challenge and inspire you.
From plastics used in surgical implants to high-performance ceramics used in the international space station, newly engineered materials play vital roles in modern technology and economy. Materials science and engineering majors study the structure, properties and behavior of materials in order to improve their qualities and adapt them for new uses. Our program provides the background you’ll need to work in research, processing and material design.
Mechanical engineers want to know what makes things work. Whether you’re talking about automobiles, artificial hearts, industrial turbines or machinery manufacturing, mechanical engineers are involved with the design and continual refinement of them all. UC Davis offers mechanical engineering majors a nearly unparalleled variety of opportunities for hands-on projects that will satisfy your curiosity and drive to create as they help reinforce the fundamental engineering principles you’ve studied in lecture classes.
Many students choose to compliment their education with a minor program of study. The campus offers more than 120 different minor programs. A minor consists of 18—24 units of upper division coursework specified by the department offering the minor. Completion and certification of a minor program of study leads to a transcript and diploma notation.
The declaration of minor petition must be turned into the Undergraduate Advising Office, 1050 Kemper Hall, no later than the deadline to file for candidacy for the quarter in which you plan to graduate.
The following minors are offered by departments in the College of Engineering:
Construction Engineering Management
Energy Science & Technology
Sustainability in the Built Environment
Also of interest to engineering students, the Technology Management Minor offers the opportunity to complement your studies with courses in business and management.
Study abroad is an integral part of a UC Davis education. Through academic coursework, internships and experiential learning, UC Davis Study Abroad provides every UC Davis student the opportunity to graduate with an international experience. We promote an internationalized campus that cultivates an understanding of our diverse global community. We challenge our students to study, explore and engage with other cultures—to broaden their perspective and involvement in the world. Visit the UC Davis Study Abroad Engineering page for more information on opportunities for engineering majors: