The Bridges to the Future Credential Program is an opportunity for in-depth study and research in an emerging area of mechanical engineering. Upon completion of a prescribed series of technical electives and an independent research study under the direction of a faculty member and a doctoral student mentor, students receive a certificate and a letter from the department chair that describes the program and the work completed. Although the credential program does not appear on the transcript, the documentation that accompanies the credential program, plus supporting letters from supervising faculty and mentors, are particularly valuable assets for students applying to graduate school or pursuing competitive job opportunities.
Students must apply for admission to a credential program during their junior year. By then, they must have completed all basic sequence courses and must have been admitted to the major sequence in mechanical engineering.
Each area of study requires students to choose three courses from a set of three-hour lecture courses. The lecture courses must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, students must complete a three-credit-hour research course under the supervision of a faculty member. In some cases, the coursework may include a graduate course.
Research Project Detail
- One semester project based on problems in industry, government or health care
- Advised by a faculty member
- Students define the scope of the problem, perform research and present results to their faculty advisor
Students interested in participating in the credential program should meet with the faculty area advisor by the end of their sophomore year so that they can plan their courses and obtain approval from the area advisor and the undergraduate advisor.