Anchored by a human-centered, inclusive approach and design-thinking methodologies, engineering study at Boston College will be bolstered by a global viewpoint, ethical underpinnings, and distinctive capstone projects that address real-world challenges.
With its departmental home in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences placing it in the heart of the life of the University, the undergraduate Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) program integrates BC's core liberal arts curriculum with courses in foundational and advanced engineering that emphasize societal responsibility. Engineering majors can expect a mixture of classroom learning, reflection opportunities, and experiential learning that extends far beyond the BC campus.
The following are the learning outcomes of the program:
Students will have a deep appreciation for the ways their actions impact human society and the environment at large.
Students will be able to apply a breadth and depth of appropriate engineering sciences knowledge, skills, and techniques from different fields to solve complex engineering problems.
Students will apply their skills and knowledge through creative problem solving.
Students will have an appreciation for engineering as an inherently human endeavor, and will take a human-centered approach as engineers.
Students will be lifelong learners who have the ability and confidence to acquire new skills and knowledge, using technologies yet to be developed, in order to address problems yet to be identified.
Students will work fluently as active contributors in multidisciplinary teams to identify and implement engineering solutions nested within complex problems.
Students will be able to effectively translate their ideas through written, oral, visual, and other forms of communication.
Students will be entrepreneurially-minded and will have the confidence and competence to realize ideas.
At a Glance
What degrees are offered?
Students will graduate from the program with a bachelor of science in engineering (BSE).
How many credits?
The program requires 120 credits with two thirds in engineering, mathematics, and science topics and one third in liberal arts and humanities.
How will I learn?
Through a combination of campus-based classes, reflection opportunities, and project-based experiences that extend beyond BC.
Are there opportunities to work in teams?
Yes! Students will have ample opportunities to collaborate with peers and faculty both within and outside of the program.
Where will I be on campus?
Based within the Integrated Science and Engineering Center, the HCE program will be in close proximity to Higgins Hall (Biology and Physics), the Merkert Chemistry Center, and the prestigious Carroll School of Management.
Students will be exposed to foundational and advanced engineering topics such as the following (list is subject to change):
- Introduction to Human-Centered Engineering and Design
- Human Factors in Engineering Design
- Engineering for Sustainable Development
- Engineering Fundamentals Studio (includes modules on Linear Systems Theory, Dynamics, Circuits, Transport phenomena, Thermodynamics, Mechatronics)
- Data Science
- Introduction to Machine Learning
- Applications of Control Theory and Robotics
- Junior Collaborative Project Lab
- Senior Impact Project
As sophomores, students will embark on a year-long exploration of central engineering topics—from Linear Systems Theory to thermodynamics—before selecting an area of concentration. The 20-credit Fundamentals of Engineering Studio course takes a unique project-based approach to learning, challenging students to collaborate and solve problems in theme areas such as ecological systems, energy systems, and mechatronics in healthcare.
Solving complex problems requires interdisciplinary training and hands-on learning.
What is mechatronics?
A multidisciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the engineering of both electrical and mechanical systems in a single device. Mechatronics also includes a combination of robotics, electronics, computer, telecommunications, systems, control, and product engineering.
With its emphasis on inclusive problem-solving, the HCE program pushes students to consider the needs of others and how engineering concepts can be used to improve lives. Fundamental to this approach is stepping outside the classroom and observing or interacting with user groups in the real world. As juniors and seniors, students will have the opportunity to broaden their experiences internationally, either through their capstone projects or by collaborating with faculty on global research.
Junior Collaborative Project Lab and Senior Impact Project
Math and Science
Liberal Arts Core
A degree in human-centered engineering can lead to numerous career paths, such as the ones below.
Product Design Engineer in Healthcare Sector
Environmental Policy Consultant
Engineer at Alternative Energy Startup
Technical Analyst at Social Impact NGOs
Graduate studies in Engineering
Program Manager in High-Tech Sector