For Babson, Brandeis and Wellesley Students: Engineering Certificate Program

Olin offers a Certificate in Engineering Studies for students at Wellesley College, Babson College, and Brandeis University who wish to gain a foundation in engineering content, skills, and perspectives, as well as some depth in one engineering field. The structure of this certificate gives students the flexibility to create course plans that meet their interests and needs.

To earn a certificate, the student must complete five Olin courses (four credits each) that must be taken for a letter or “EG” grade. Each student proposes their own set of five courses, which must satisfy the requirements below, and must be approved by Olin faculty.

Engineering Certificate Program Goals and Requirements

Olin’s engineering certificate program has four overarching goals:

  1. Provide a foundation to engineering concepts and practices. This goal is normally achieved by completing one foundation course from the list below.
  2. Explore the depth of an engineering subject, field, or topic. This goal is achieved by proposing and completing a set of three depth courses as described below.
  3. Experience Olin’s broader approach to engineering, which includes projects, teamwork, user-centered design work and interdisciplinary integration.
  4. Choose a set of classes that achieve a reasonable degree of coherence. This goal is achieved if the student can articulate how the courses build upon each other and collectively achieve an outcome that is important to the student.

Foundation course

Choose one of, totaling a minimum of 4 credits
ENGR1125Introduction to Sensors, Instrumentation and Measurement


ENGR1200Design Nature


ENGR2250User-Oriented Collaborative Design



MTH1111Modeling and Simulation of the Physical World



SCI1111Modeling and Simulation of the Physical World


standard fall offerings: ENGR1125, ENGR1200, MTH1111 and SCI1111

standard spring offering: ENGR2250

Depth courses (three courses, for 12 credits)

Each Engineering Certificate student proposes a set of three depth courses (12 credits total) that relate to a common theme (for example, design, mechanical engineering, human computer interaction). These courses must receive engineering (ENGR) credit.

Students can include one or more foundation courses, listed above, as depth courses.  However, if a course is used to satisfy the foundation requirement, it cannot also be used as a depth course. 

Elective (one course, for four credits)

Each student chooses a fifth course that is meaningful to them, and develops the depth or coherence of their plan. 

Prerequisites and Expectations

Most Olin College engineering courses have general math and science prerequisites that are typically taken at the student’s home institution, and students should check with instructors prior to registration to verify their readiness for each course. 

In addition, Olin courses often have significant project components and require considerable team based work. Non-Olin students should be prepared to work closely with their Olin counterparts, both inside and outside class.

Credit for Courses Taken at Home Institution

A maximum of one course from a student’s home institution may substitute for an Olin course, provided it covers equivalent material. This substitution has no bearing on whether or not it is used to satisfy other requirements at the home institution. A student should petition for this course substitution early in their program by contacting the Olin College Registrar.

Enrollment and Completion of the Engineering Certificate Program

Students who wish to enroll in the Engineering Certificate Program must submit a Certificate Program Enrollment Form to the Olin Registrar’s Office after they have completed their first course at Olin and before taking additional courses.

The form must be signed by the student’s adviser at their home institution, as well as the Olin certificate adviser. After the proposed plan is approved, any subsequent changes must be approved by the Olin certificate adviser.  A certificate can only be awarded if the student has completed an approved plan.

Note Regarding the 4+1 Program with Wellesley College

The Engineering Certificate is not intended to serve as a pathway to the 4+1 Program. While there are some overlapping requirements between these two programs, the 4+1 Program requires an extensive set of course and credit requirements not only in engineering, but also in math and science. Wellesley students in the Engineering Certificate Program intending to apply for the 4+1 Program should review the requirements and suggested course plans for both programs carefully to ensure they have completed all the necessary requirements for the year in residence at Olin.