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What Is The Easiest Engineering Degree

By David Krug 3 minute read

There’s no such thing as an easy engineering major. According to CBS News, the discipline of engineering is so challenging that only around half of the students who choose to study it complete their bachelor’s degree within five years. 

In order to pursue an engineering degree, students must complete a substantial amount of coursework in science and math.

It is possible to find easier degrees in this science and math-heavy field of study that have less rigorous criteria and more flexibility in their curriculum, so long as you’re prepared for the challenges.

Required Coursework for All Engineering Degrees

All engineering degree programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), a non-profit organization.

It is ABET’s policy to have broad curricular standards for all accredited engineering degree programs that must be met, as well as program-specific criteria for every recognized branch of engineering degree programs.

Even the simplest of engineering degrees must achieve these standards if the institution desires to preserve accreditation status.

As a result, one-quarter of a student’s education must be spent in college-level mathematics and fundamental laboratory science courses in engineering programs. 

A year and a half of engineering science and design courses are also required by the American Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). Students must complete a capstone or senior design project as part of their curriculum.

Students will notice the largest difference in ABET requirements between different engineering degrees in the program-specific ABET regulations.

Engineers in certain fields must take a specific set of courses, while those in others have fewer prerequisites and more discretion over which courses they take.

Even the simplest ABET-accredited engineering program requires students to complete a significant design project in order to learn how to apply engineering knowledge to real-world issues and restrictions.

Reduced-Requirement Engineering Degrees

One of the few ABET-recognized programs is general engineering, which does not require any additional qualifications beyond the basic curriculum standards.

ABET does not specify any program-specific criteria for a general engineering, engineering physics, or engineering science degree due to the lack of specialization.

 Degree programs in general engineering are more difficult to come by than programs in the more common broad disciplines or specific subdisciplines of engineering.

Introduction to engineering, thermodynamics, scientific computing, materials science, systems, control theory, distributed systems and fields, and discrete and probabilistic systems could all be included in a general engineering degree program’s core curriculum.

Using scientific and mathematical concepts, industrial engineers seek to improve the efficiency of businesses by reducing waste and increasing output.

As part of ABET’s requirements for in-depth education, students must learn to employ experimental, analytical, and computational approaches to increase productivity and minimize waste in industrial operations. 

Students should be prepared to build and construct systems that integrate people, materials, information, equipment, and energy, but the accrediting agency does not mention any advanced math or specialized scientific coursework that must be studied.

However, students may have the option to focus their studies in a specific field such as operations research, supply chain engineering, or economics and finance systems in industrial engineering degree programs.

Because mechanical engineering is so wide-ranging, you would think it is one of the simplest engineering degrees to get.

Mechanical engineering is a broad topic that encompasses the design and development of everything that has mechanical or moving components, including the human body. 

It uses science and mathematics theory. For mechanical engineering programs, mathematics and differential equations are required.

Besides that, the accrediting agency focuses on the skills that graduates should possess, which are rather wide and include the capacity to analyze, create, model, and develop physical systems, processes, or machine components.

Graduate programs in systems engineering, which is an interdisciplinary field of study, do not have any program-specific requirements and must instead comply with ABET’s basic curriculum standards.

There are no degree programs in engineering that are particularly simple. Learning advanced math and scientific theory as well as hands-on design abilities is required for everybody.

Consider your own skills and limitations while deciding on an engineering major, and don’t be afraid to go against the grain of popular opinion.

David Krug