2020-2021 Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Professors R. Brouwer, L. De Rooy, G. Ermer (chair), F. Haan, M. Heun, J. Jewett Van Antwerp, J. Van Antwerp, D. Wunder
Associate Professors C. Hartemink, M. Michmerhuizen, R. Tubergen
Assistant Professor J. Wildschut

Calvin University offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree (BSE) with concentrations in chemical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, and mechanical engineering. The engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Engineering (BSE)

Engineering is a design-oriented profession applying the principles of mathematics, science, economics, ethics, social sciences, and humanities with judgment regarding the problem of sustainable utilization of energy and materials for the benefit of humanity. The recommended first semester curriculum is CHEM 101 , MATH 171 , ENGR 101 , ENGR 181 , and ENGL 101 . Students interested in engineering should consult with the department chair.

Mission of the Calvin University Engineering Department


The engineering program equips students to glorify God by meeting the needs of the world with responsible and caring engineering.


Our program is marked by these features:

  • Christian.  Integrating Christian faith into the curriculum as a foundation for understanding the role of science and technology in society and shaping engineers with a calling of service to the world.
  • Interdisciplinary.  Emphasizing that today’s complex problems require integration and analysis across engineering disciplines, the sciences, and the liberal arts to inform engineering design decision-making, extend critical thinking, and advance communication skills
  • Student-Focused.  Creating a hands-on learning community that features small class sizes, in which a diverse array of students interact with each other and with experienced faculty committed to undergraduate teaching and mentoring
  • Practical.  Infusing the classroom with real-world engineering experience, challenging students to address open-ended design problems with multiple constraints in a team environment, and facilitating internships for students
  • Sustainability.  Advocating a thoughtful framework for technological development that stewards the resources of the world to enable the long-term flourishing of human and non-human aspects of God’s creation
  • Global.  Providing opportunities to prepare graduates with the cultural competencies for participation in the international marketplace and for addressing the challenges faced by people in the developing world
  • Innovative.  Encouraging the cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset, business acumen, and the leadership and life-long learning skills that contribute to the growth of enterprises that build communities

Educational Objectives

The BSE degree from Calvin University is designed to provide a foundation for productive engineering work in God’s world. The objectives of the program are that recent graduates will

  • apply and develop the basic principles and skills necessary for engineering (including mathematics, the sciences, business and the humanities) for appropriate assessment and analysis of current and complex problems.
  • creatively generate effective solutions to problems and move them toward successful implementation.
  • contribute and communicate ideas successfully in multidisciplinary environments, exhibiting awareness of cultural context and team dynamics.
  • demonstrate commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and the continued learning necessary to address the pressing problems of our contemporary world.

Throughout their lives, our graduates will act as Christ’s servants whose faith leads them to live with integrity, called to leadership in advocating for appropriate engineering solutions that incorporate relevant technology.

The engineering program has a strong emphasis on design. In engineering design work the student meets the challenging value and technical issues that arise when societal problems are dealt with through technology. The design experience starts with several projects in the first two years, which focus on societal problems and issues such as sustainability, and which emphasize conceptual design, creativity, and teamwork. Design experiences are then integrated into each concentration by way of specific courses or projects. Finally, the design experience is completed by means of a capstone design project course sequence during the senior year. Within this design perspective, students are aided in the development of a thorough Christian understanding of technology and its applications.

Each of the four concentrations in the engineering program has two or three major themes or emphases. The chemical engineering concentration has emphases of chemistry and chemical processing. The civil and environmental engineering concentration has emphases of hydraulics, structures, and environmental. The electrical and computer engineering concentration has emphases of digital systems and analog circuits. Finally, the mechanical engineering concentration has emphases of thermal systems and machine design.

The curriculum described above is designed so that students will achieve the following outcomes. Calvin’s engineering program will demonstrate that its graduates have:

1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics

2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors

3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts

5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives

6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions

7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

8. an ability to articulate the meaning of a Christian perspective for responsible engineering and technology development

Model High School Program

  • 4 years of mathematics, including at least pre-calculus (AP Calculus and then AP Statistics if possible)
  • 4 years of science, including 1 year each of biology, chemistry, and physics
  • 2 years of a foreign language
  • 4 years of English
  • CAD, drafting, or other industrial design courses are recommended


Regular Admission: Students follow a common program for the first two years. Late in the second year, they apply for admission to a concentration in the engineering program. The minimum requirements for admission to the program are:

Students must apply for admission to a concentration in the engineering program during the semester in which they are completing the required courses listed above. Admission to a BSE concentration is required for a student to enter 300-level engineering courses.

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission is available to assist certain students. Students who wish to take 300-level courses, but who have not completed the required courses with the stipulated minimum grade and/or who have not achieved the minimum required cumulative grade point average may be given conditional admission to the program. Conditional admission is granted at the discretion of the department chair. Conditional admission is normally granted as long as students do not have more than 10 semester hours of course deficiencies and only if their cumulative grade point average is no less than 2.20. Furthermore, the student’s GPA must be raised to no less than 2.30 and all course deficiencies must be removed within the period designated by the chair (normally not exceeding one year). Students who receive conditional admission and then fail to meet these conditions within the designated time period are not eligible to reapply for admission to the program at a later date. As an alternative to conditional admission, students may delay taking 300-level courses until they have met all requirements for regular admission to the program.


Transfer Student Admission

Students wishing to transfer from another school should apply to the office of admissions. In general, transfer students must meet the same course requirements as students who begin their programs at Calvin. Courses completed with a grade below C (2.0) will not be accepted. Transfer students must arrange for an analysis of transcripts and transfer course descriptions by the department chair well in advance of course advising. In addition, those who wish to take 300-level courses in their first semester at Calvin must:

  • Have a 2.5 grade point average at their previous school.
  • If requested, provide a letter from that school indicating that the student was in good academic and personal standing.
  • Receive either conditional admission or regular admission or possibly special permission from the chair.

Calvin’s engineering program emphasizes the integration of Christian faith and a professional engineering education. This integration takes place in many ways. For this reason, a student seeking a BSE degree from Calvin should be part of the program for the equivalent of no less than four semesters as a full-time student at Calvin. 


An engineering program fee will be assessed to students in the final year of the program. The fee will be applied to students registered for the senior design capstone course sequence (ENGR 339 and 340). The fee amount for 2019-2020 will be $325 charged in the fall (with registration in ENGR 339) and $325 charged in the spring (with registration in ENGR 340).

International Designation

Students may receive an international designation by completing two of the following three international engineering items: 1) interim course 2) summer program 3) international internship while demonstrating some ability to speak the language of their internship country.

Other procedures and activities may qualify for the international designation. For additional details, please contact the department chair or the department international designation coordinator.

Sustainability Designation

Students may receive a sustainability designation by completing all of the following: 1) ENGR 184 - Sustainability Challenges  , 2) a 3- or 4-semester hour sustainability-themed course, 3) ENGR 384 - Analysis of Sustainability Engineering Systems , and 4) a sustainability-related practical experience such as a senior design project or internship. Contact the department chair or the engineering department sustainability coordinator for a list of qualifying 3-4 semester-hour courses and additional details.

Notes Regarding Admission and Graduation

All students must display a high degree of personal integrity to be recommended for admission. This is demanded by the nature of engineering as a profession. After admission to the engineering program the student must continue to make adequate progress toward fulfilling graduation requirements. A grade below C- in a 300-level engineering course is an example of inadequate progress, and may result in revocation of a student’s admission to the program (subject to appeal by the student). Any engineering course for which a student receives a grade below a C- will need to be repeated to satisfy graduation requirements. If the grade for a repeated course does not improve, this will result in revocation of admission to the program.

Engineering Department Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy

Because of the nature of the profession, honesty and integrity is expected of every engineer. With this, and especially in light of our common Christian commitment, instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in the engineering program. As documented in the Calvin Engineering Department Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy (ED-AHIP), “engineering students at Calvin University are expected to learn and study with absolute integrity.” The ED-AHIP provides the framework for engineering department faculty to sanction dishonesty within the guidelines of Calvin’s Code of Student Conduct. Copies of the ED-AHIP are available on the engineering website as well as the engineering department office. Any questions, comments, and concerns regarding ED-AHIP and its application may be directed to the department chair.

Notes Regarding an Interdisciplinary/Group Major

Students may initiate an interdisciplinary major within the engineering department. This interdisciplinary or group major must be approved by the engineering department chair and include a minimum of two 300-level engineering classes. Students must also provide a written rationale for the group major that specifies how the writing program requirement will be met. Students should also be aware that a group major will require completing the full liberal arts core and that their degree will be a Bachelor of Arts degree (not a BSE degree). An interdisciplinary or group major involving engineering is not accredited by ABET.

Advisory Council and Professional Societies and Student Clubs

The engineering department is served by an advisory board, the Calvin Engineering Advisory Council (CEAC), consisting of engineers from local industries, which meet semi-annually to review the program and give advice from an industrial perspective. Calvin engineering faculty are members of a wide range of professional societies. Calvin University has student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Calvin also sponsors the following student organizations: Engineering Unlimited and the Renewable Energy Organization (REO).





      Prerequisite to all courses numbered 300 or higher is formal admission to a BSE concentration.

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