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The Academic Program

Our Vision

Innovative and adaptable, our graduates are changing the face of engineering. They integrate a deep understanding of technical principles with knowledge from across the liberal arts to address society’s challenges.


Engineering student in class

The Picker Engineering Program’s bachelor of science in engineering science (S.B.) is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, The bachelor of science is offered for those who intend to practice professionally as engineers. The minor in engineering is for the student who desires meaningful engagement with engineering to complement academic studies in other areas of the liberal arts. 


About the Program

Upon entering Smith, every student who has indicated a potential interest in engineering is encouraged to stop by the engineering office (Ford Hall 155) and get connected to the program.  In addition to a student's liberal arts advisor, the Director and Assistant Director of the Picker Engineering Program can provide guidance.  Additional resources for first-year students can be found here.

Advisers for all declared engineering majors are members of the engineering faculty.

Declaring the major

Students who decide to major in engineering need to submit two forms:

  1. The declaration of the major is submitted to the Class Deans Office.

  2. The departmental advising form, located on the Forms page, is submitted to the engineering administrative office in order to assign the student an adviser.

Advising Expectations

Students are expected to meet with their adviser at least once a semester to discuss academic interests and to seek help in planning courses and registering for classes.

Students who wish to apply prematriculation credit toward their degree are required to follow the college guidelines found on the registrar’s website. These guidelines include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • only 16 prematriculation credits may be applied toward a Smith degree; and
  • no more than 32 credits of combined summer, interterm, Advanced Placement or other prematriculation credits may be used.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure through the registrar’s office that all approved credits appear on their transcript.

Prematriculation Credit

Advanced Placement Exam (Score of 4 or 5) EGR Requirement Satisfied
Biology Additional Lab Science
Calculus AB MTH 111
Calculus BC MTH 111 & 112
Chemistry CHM 111
Physics 1 or 2 None
Physics C: Mechanics PHY 117
Physics C: E&M PHY 118
Statistics None
International Baccalaureate Higher Level Exam (Score of 5, 6 or 7) EGR Requirement Satisfied
Chemistry CHM 111
Mathematics MTH 111 & 112
International Cambridge A Level Exam (Score of A or B) EGR Requirement Satisfied
Chemistry CHM 111
Mathematics MTH 111 & 112

Transfer Credits

Students who take courses at other institutions for summer school, junior year away or Five College study must obtain written approval from the engineering program prior to taking them. Engineering students should consult their academic adviser and the Study Away Guide for additional guidance. Students should seek approval using one of the departmental forms found below.

Core Courses

To obtain approval for a core course complete the Departmental Supplement for Petition to Transfer Credit (PDF).

Technical Electives

To obtain approval for a technical elective complete the Departmental Supplement for Non-Standard Technical Elective (PDF).

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grading Option

Within the 128 credits required by Smith College, a maximum of 16 credits (Smith College or other Five College) may be taken S/U. A student is permitted to take engineering major requirements S/U but should only do so after careful consultation with her academic adviser.

Students who decide to major in engineering need to submit two forms:

  1. The departmental advising form (see Forms) is submitted to the engineering administrative office in order to assign the student an engineering academic adviser.
  2. Once you have received an email with the name of your advisor, please complete the Program of Study Declaration Form.

When to Declare

Students considering an engineering major are asked to declare their major by spring recess of their first year. It is essential that students considering engineering have completed PHY 117 and MTH 112 before the start of the fall semester of their sophomore year.

Registration to engineering classes will automatically be blocked if all prerequisites or core requirements have not been satisfied at the time of registration.

To lift that block, you must petition both the engineering program (see the Forms page) and the registrar (see Waiver of Restrictions).

Study abroad is an exciting opportunity, and many engineering majors find programs abroad offering engineering core courses and technical electives.

Because of the required course load for the engineering major, and the time required to become proficient in a second language, most engineering students select to study either in an English-speaking country, or a country for which they already speak the local language.

For more information about the study abroad application process, see the Forms page.

Credit Approval

Core Courses

To receive credit for core courses, seek approval using the Departmental Supplement for Petition to Transfer Credit form, located on the Forms page.

Technical Electives

To receive credit for core courses and for electives, seek additional approval using the Departmental Supplement for Technical Elective form, located on the Forms page.

More Information

Study Abroad Lunch Meeting for Sophomores

Early each fall semester, a lunch meeting is held for all sophomores interested in applying for a semester or year abroad. Representatives from the Office of International Study and the engineering department will be there to answer your questions.


The engineering department has partnered with other distinguished institutions to provide both undergraduate and graduate opportunities for Smith College students.