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Multidisciplinary Foundation

Engineering and the applied sciences are dynamic fields that use knowledge, judgment, and creativity to solve some of the most important and compelling challenges facing society. These challenges and the changing face of engineering will shape the world of the twenty-first century—a world of exotic materials, new sources of energy, staggering telecommunications and computing capabilities, cybernetic factories, and needed public works.

To operate effectively in today’s work force, engineers need to have a multidisciplinary perspective along with substantial disciplinary depth. The faculty of the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven have developed an innovative approach to achieve this perspective: the Multidisciplinary Engineering Foundation Spiral curriculum. This curricular model enables the needed mix of breadth and depth along with professional skills by providing carefully crafted, well-coordinated curricular experiences in the first two years.

The Multidisciplinary Engineering Foundation Spiral is a four-semester sequence of engineering courses (EAS prefix), matched closely with the development of students’ mathematical sophistication and analytical capabilities, and integrated with coursework in the sciences. Students develop a conceptual understanding of engineering basics in courses that stress practical applications of these principles. Topics include electrical circuits, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, material balances, properties of materials, structural mechanics, and thermodynamics. Unlike the more traditional approach, each foundation course includes a mix of these topics presented in a variety of disciplinary contexts. A solid background is developed as key concepts are introduced at several points along the Spiral, gradually adding depth and sophistication. Each foundation course also stresses the development of essential skills such as problem solving, oral and written communication, the design process, teamwork, project management, computer analysis methods, laboratory investigation, data analysis, and model development. Students will build depth in some of the foundation areas in subsequent courses, while other topics may not be further developed, depending on the chosen discipline. Thus, the foundation courses serve both as the basis for depth in disciplinary study and as part of a broad multidisciplinary background.

This innovative curriculum is the Tagliatela College of Engineering's response to the call from the National Academy of Engineering for a new approach to educating and training engineers. We believe that this approach, coupled with the integration of theory and practice, will enable us to graduate industry-ready engineers who will be successful in the twenty-first century.


First Semester

CH 115 General Chemistry I
CH 117 General Chemistry I Laboratory
E 105 Composition
EAS 107 Introduction to Engineering
EAS 109 Project Planning and Development
M 117 Calculus I

Second Semester

E 110 Composition and Literature
EAS 112 Methods of Engineering Analysis
EAS 120 Chemistry with Applications to Biosystems or Laboratory Science Course (a four-credit science course, with laboratory, specified by degree program)
EC 133 Principles of Economics I
M 118 Calculus II

During the sophomore year, engineering students begin taking courses in their chosen discipline, along with math, science, and additional multidisciplinary foundation courses.