Combined 3-2 Engineering Program

Students earn a Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University (Willamette) and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from one of the affiliated engineering schools (AES).

What are the Options?

Students spend 3 years at Willamette and 2 years at one of the three Affiliated Engineering Schools (AES). At the end of the 5 years, they receive both a BA from Willamette and a BS from the AES. Students are eligible for federal financial aid throughout the full five years. Guaranteed admission with Columbia if all of their requirements are fulfilled.  Note: Students entering Willamette in the fall of 2019 or later will no longer be guaranteed admission to Columbia.  

A BS is considered a professional degree and is required for jobs in engineering fields that require ABET certification, for example, Civil Engineering.   



Students spend 4 years at Willamette and two years at Columbia or Wash. U.  At the end of 6 years, students receive both a BA from Willamette and a BS from the AES.  

Having a bachelor degree makes you ineligible for Federal Financial Aid. Thus, while it is possible to receive your Willamette BA after the 4 years, it is recommended that you delay receiving your BA until after you finish your BS.  

A BS is considered a professional degree and is required for jobs in engineering fields that require ABET certification, for example, Civil Engineering.  

The 4-2 Master of Science Program provides the opportunity for students holding a BA from Willamette in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or certain other physical sciences to receive an M.S. degree after two years of study at Columbia in the following fields of engineering and applied science:

biomedical, chemical, civil, computer science, Earth and environmental, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering; applied physics; applied mathematics; engineering mechanics; operations research; and materials science.

Each applicant must produce evidence of an outstanding undergraduate record, including superior performance in physics and mathematics through differential equations. The program of study will be individually designed in consultation with a faculty adviser and will integrate undergraduate work with the field of engineering or applied science the student chooses to follow. During the first year, the program will consist primarily of basic undergraduate courses; during the second year, of graduate courses in the selected field. 

Graduates of the 4-2 Master of Science program may not be eligible to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam if their undergraduate degree is not in engineering or a related field. Students should also check with individual state boards to determine eligibility requirements for employment. A BS is considered a professional degree and is required for jobs in engineering fields that require ABET certification, for example, Civil Engineering; a Master's degree is not.  

After 3 years at Willamette, students enroll directly into both an engineering master's program and an undergraduate engineering program at Wash.U. Students earn a BA from Willamette and both BS and MS engineering degrees from Wash.U. and are classified as graduate students for all 3 years at Wash.U. While this makes students ineligible for Federal Financial Aid, all admitted students pay discounted tuition reduced 50% the first year, 55% the second year, and 60% the third year.

General Program Requirements: 

Each Affiliated Engineering School (AES) requires a similar set of required pre-engineering courses that must be taken during your three years at Willamette. Specific engineering majors can have additional required pre-engineering courses. Below are the typical requirements for all engineering majors.

  • Students must make significant progress toward their major (typically all courses except senior year courses) and make arrangements with their major advisers to transfer credit back from the AES. In physics, minimum requirement is six physics courses (Intro Physics I & II, Modern Physics, Mechanics, ATEP + either Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, or Thermal Physics).
  • List of majors that are compatible with the 3-2 engineering program: Physics (best match), Philosophy, Spanish, Politics, Math, Computer Science, English, American Ethnic Studies, Religious Studies. There are others that are possible options. Two majors that do not work are Chemistry and Anthropology. 
  • Students must complete Willamette's general education program (MOIs).
  • Math requirements: Calculus through Differential equations. 
  • Physics requirements: Physics I (Phys 221) and Physics II (Phys 222) 
  • Chemistry requirements: Chemistry I (Chem 115)
  • Computer Science requirements: one programming language course.  Many engineering majors strongly prefer that this course be in a specific language, such as C++, Matlab, Python, or Java.  See the curriculum guides below for more information. 
  • GPA requirements: Students must maintain both an overall and pre-engineering specific gpa of 3.0 for USC, 3.25 for Washington University, and 3.30 for Columbia.  For guaranteed admission to Columbia you must pass all pre-engineering courses with at least a B on the first try. Never take pre-engineering courses pass/fail. 
  • Must take (almost) all required courses at WU.
  • Columbia requires a Principles of Economics course (e.g. Econ 132)

Curriculum Guides:

For more information and for additional engineering-major specific requirements see the following:

Alternative Paths to an Engineering Career:

  • Physics Bachelors are very employable; see e.g. and click on Careers in Physics.
  • The University of Oregon offers a great program (Master's Industrial Internship Program, that prepares students for a career in industry (1-year program resulting in a master's degree and 9-months industrial internship experience).