Engineering Education Innovation Center

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First-Year Engineering Program

Fundamentals of Engineering

The First-Year Engineering course sequence is a prerequisite for declaring most engineering majors at OSU. Incoming freshmen take a two-semester series which broadly introduces the topics of technical graphics, computer-aided design, programming in MATLAB, engineering design and analysis, project management, ethics in engineering, teamwork and oral and written technical communication. Topics and laboratories provide a broad overview of engineering disciplines. Many "undecided" freshmen use these courses to help them narrow down and declare a major of their interest in the College of Engineering.

The First-Year Engineering Program consists of three different course sequences, designed to give students a broad understanding of the principles and practices of engineering:

  • The standard two-semester sequence - Engineering 1181 and 1182
  • The Honors sequence- Engineering 1281 and 1282
  • The Scholars sequence- Engineering 1181.02, and 1182.03

The two-semester standard sequence teaches basic engineering skills to prepare students for advanced courses, internships and careers in engineering.  The Honors sequence accomplishes the same objectives but in a more accelerated fashion with a programming course built in to the series. 

All three program options entail a major design-build project. The continuously updated curriculum, taught by faculty and professional engineers, exposes students to different engineering disciplines and helps develop the most up-to-date and practically relevant skills.

The transfer sequence assists students who may already have elements of the program to progress more quickly. The transfer series entails the courses Engineering 1185, 1186.01, and 1187.

For information about current course schedules and class assignments, please visit the EEIC Courses website.

Summer Academy

This summer program is designed for seniors with high academic performance, interested in completing a portion of their freshman studies during the summer. The summer academy covers the material that students complete in the first FEH course 1281. Students interested in participating in this and other summer programs offered through the College of Engineering should visit the Pre-College page.


Each of the Fundamentals of Engineering programs is associated with a competition held during the last course of the sequence:

  • Standard Fundamentals of Engineering - Advanced Energy Vehicle or Nanotechnology Competition
  • Honors Fundamentals of Engineering - Robot or Nanotechnology or Civil Engineering Project/Competition
  • Scholars Fundamentals of Engineering - Advanced Energy Vehicle or Nanotechnology Competition
  • Transfer Fundamentals of Engineering - Advanced Energy Vehicle or Nanotechnology Competition

Student Instructional Leadership Team

The Student Instructional Leadership Team (SILT) is a student-run group which puts on programs for current FE students and aids in the development of education for first-year engineering students.

Advantages of Program

These courses offer an unparalleled engineering experience due to their:

  • Broad Introduction to Engineering - Students can take engineering courses beginning their first semester. Labs and projects given throughout the sequence are designed to provide as broad an introduction to engineering as possible.
  • Team Work Experience - Prospective employers greatly favor candidates who demonstrate the ability to work in teams.  By the end of these fundamentals courses experience, students will have had many valuable group work experiences.
  • Presentation Practice - Presentation and communication skills will be enhanced, and students will learn the importance of documentation in engineering.  These are valuable assets when looking for a job or internship.

Contact Information

For more information contact:
John Merrill, Ph.D., Program Director
College of Engineering
The Ohio State University
244C Hitchcock Hall
2070 Neil Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1275