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Bridgewater College announces undergraduate engineering major

Crystal Graham

bridgewater college With the development of its newest major in engineering, Bridgewater College seeks to give students a clearer path to their desired career outcomes.

Over the last five years, the field of engineering has consistently been named among the top four career objectives by admitted students to Bridgewater College. In response to student interest, the College reworked its applied physics major curriculum to offer an undergraduate degree in engineering, which will allow students to graduate with career-ready skills necessary for the fields of mechanical engineering, automation engineering and mechatronics, nuclear engineering, aerospace engineering and automotive design.

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in summer 2023, the college will officially launch the engineering major in the fall of 2023, with its first cohort graduating in 2027.

“Establishing the engineering program is adapting something we already had in place to provide something our students are asking for. It allows them to complete their engineering degree in four years and be ready to enter the workforce with a strong foundation of critical thinking and problem-solving abilities as well as technical skills,” said Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Professor of Physics Dr. Philip Spickler.

As one of a handful of small liberal arts colleges in Virginia that offers a degree in engineering, Bridgewater College allows students interested in this popular field of study to pursue their academic goals in a creative, globally minded environment focused on developing the whole person.

“Developing engineers who are creative problem solvers and can employ unique ways of thinking is crucial in today’s world. A liberal arts setting such as Bridgewater’s is a fantastic environment in which to learn, because our students place value on expanding their interests in different disciplines as well as beyond the academic setting. Bridgewater provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue their chosen career while offering them a myriad of opportunities to pursue their other interests and form connections between all of their experiences, which helps them form a strong identify moving forward,” Spickler said.

In addition, the college’s engineering major is designed to meet accreditation standards set by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology. Once the college graduates its first cohort, the college will be eligible for accreditation. ABET accreditation allows graduates from cooperating institutions the opportunity to gain licensure as Professional Engineers, a certification that is necessary within certain career fields and organizations.

Learn more about Bridgewater College’s engineering major at bridgewater.edu/engineering.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.

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