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In the engineering dual-degree program, students typically spend three years at Bethel taking foundational courses, and then transfer to another university to spend two years working in specialty engineering fields beyond what Bethel offers. Options include aeronautical, biomedical, bioproducts, chemical, civil, environmental, and materials. After about 5 years, sometimes less, students graduate with 2 degrees: a degree from the engineering school and a B.A. from Bethel. Since the average engineering major at any school takes 5 years to graduate, the "3-2" provides 2 degrees, plus all the advantages of small class sizes, in about the same amount of time. Some students also finish in less time depending on advanced placement credits.

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Why should I study engineering?

In our experience, dual-degree grads have great success obtaining job offers. Employers really do appreciate students who have received the broader education that a B.A. degree provides. A big part of any engineer’s success lies in his or her ability to communicate results to other engineers and the public. Liberal arts classes train you to communicate well both orally and in writing—skills that often receive minimal attention in a standard engineering program. In addition, Bethel’s broad course load provides more intensive work in mathematics and the sciences than the typical engineering major receives. Overall, the dual degree has a positive, long-term impact on your potential as an engineer, both in the ability to adapt to a changing technical environment, and as a leader or manager of other engineers.

Some students decide to work a little bit harder and earn their Bethel B.A. with a major in physics along with their engineering degree. This combination is particularly strong in the job market and for those who want to do graduate work in engineering research.

What can I do with this degree?

You can complete your dual degree at most engineering schools. In recent years, students have gone to schools such as the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Iowa State, North Dakota State University, and the Colorado School of Mines. To date, virtually all Bethel students have done very well academically after transferring to the school of their choice.

What skills will I develop?

No matter what field of engineering a student chooses, more than half of the courses taken will be the same. All students take:

  • Physics
  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • General education requirements

Because the curriculum for the first 3 years is essentially the same, many students spend this time learning about themselves and their interests before deciding on a particular area of engineering.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

As a physics major, you’ll have opportunities to collaborate with professors on real-world research projects in our state-of-the-art labs, publish papers in prestigious science journals, present your findings at local and national conferences, intern at a wide range of companies, government agencies, and universities, and work as a research assistant during the summer months.


square feet of physics and engineering labs (doubled since 2016)


National Science Foundation fellowships earned by alumni

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