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UNC Engineering Major
Carolina engineering. Open to your ingenuity.

On the edge of ‘new’ and ‘next’

The Carolina engineering major will prepare you to push the edge of industrial and environmental progress—with state-of-the-art materials, emerging technologies, and ahead-of-their-time solutions. As a first-year student starting at Carolina in fall 2024, you can choose to pursue a bachelor’s of science degree in applied sciences that will offer two tracks of study:
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Materials Engineering Track

Build expertise in materials—the cornerstone of engineering innovation. Think about it. Everything is made of something. In order to build, you must have something to build with—which means that materials are the innovative cornerstone of engineering. Industry relies on materials engineers to develop the building blocks of tomorrow: materials with extraordinary properties—heat resistant, ultra-thin, ultra-durable, and sustainable—that perform better and cost less. The Carolina engineering major will get your mind and hands working on future-focused materials and technologies, like those used for next-generation energy storage, polymer membranes for clean water, green plastics, and biomedical devices.
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Environmental Engineering Track

Innovate for the environment—the defining issue of our global future. Environmental change is the single greatest global challenge of our lifetime. Current and future generations depend on our ability to design innovative answers. As a Carolina engineering major, you can start making a difference by working on technologies and designing solutions for air pollution, water quality, renewable energy, resource conservation, and environmental exposures and contaminations.

Technical expertise + liberal arts education

As a Carolina engineering student, the function of your engineering training finds form in a rich liberal arts education. This combination equips you to step back to see broader perspectives, make unexpected connections, and work as a problem-solver across the sciences and society. Our interdisciplinary curriculum offers you a number of advantages you won’t find elsewhere.

  • Freedom and flexibility. Unlike many traditional engineering schools, at Carolina, your four-year academic path isn’t fully pre-determined. You’ll have greater freedom to explore a complementary courses and academic paths—whether in the arts, humanities or STEM—that most engineering programs simply can’t offer.
  • Preparing the whole professional. Too often, engineering programs treat professional skills like afterthoughts. At Carolina, we recognize that when you enter the workforce, you’ll be called upon to operate as a whole professional, not a one-dimensional thinker. That’s why we infuse a professional skills focus—writing, presentations, teamwork, leadership—into every course. At every turn, you’re developing into a well-rounded professional who can relate, communicate and work effectively with colleagues, clients and partners.
  • Proximity to top-ranked programs. As the No. 5 public university in the U.S., Carolina gives you the chance to take courses and engage with faculty and students in a variety of nationally ranked departments and professional schools: public health (No. 1), pharmacy (No. 1), nursing (No. 5), sociology (No. 7), business (No. 8), entrepreneurship (No. 10), nursing (No. 10), psychology (No. 12), and medicine (No. 26), among others. And because the engineering curriculum is built with flexibility in mind, pursuing a double major or minor is more feasible than in traditional engineering programs.
  • Mindsets and skillsets. In addition to core technical knowledge and skills, each course within the engineering major dives deeper into critical mindsets and skillsets that will set you apart as a professional problem solver in the engineering field. In every class, you’ll have opportunities to build two skills-based capacities: making skills and computational skills. Each course will also present you with opportunities to develop two key mindset-based capacities: an entrepreneurial mindset and ethics and character.
  • Professional versatility. No matter which track you choose within the major—materials engineering or environmental engineering—the bachelor’s degree in applied sciences will help you build a diverse set of skills and knowledge that will be attractive to a wide array of industries. North Carolina is hub of innovation for many of these industries—including sustainable energy, biotech and life sciences, and aerospace and defense—which can provide you with a variety of career opportunities right here in the state.