Engineering plays a critical role in enhancing social progress and improving our quality of life. The Engineering Sciences program educates future leaders with the technical background necessary to develop and critically evaluate the next wave of engineering innovations, to apply these innovations to important local and global problems, and to make informed decisions about them in a societal context. Department Website
Because the Engineering Sciences concentration exists with- in Harvard’s liberal arts environment, it provides students with both the breadth and depth of study necessary to excel in integrative areas of engineering. The curriculum emphasizes a solid background in applied science and mathematical analysis, with ample opportunities to apply these fundamentals to real-world issues and learn about state-of-the-art technologies. Students gain experience in the engineering design process, which is a unique engineering activity that requires creative synthesis and analysis to fulfill specified needs. Harvard offers two degrees in Engineering Sciences: the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) and the ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science (S.B.). The A.B. program requires 14-16 four-credit courses and the S.B. program requires 20 four-credit courses. The Engineering Sciences A.B. program has tracks in five engineering areas: biomedical sciences and engineering; electrical and computer engineering; engineering physics; environmental science and engineering; or mechanical and materials science and engineering. Students in the Engineering Sciences S.B. concentration typically specialize in one of two tracks: bioengineering or environmental science and engineering.
Students in the bioengineering tracks of the A.B. or S.B. programs apply fundamental principles of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics to analyze and design novel biological systems. Bioengineering naturally has applications in health-care, but can also incorporate energy and sustainability. The A.B. track offers students more flexibility to explore interests in biology and chemistry, while the S.B. track provides more engineering fundamentals, including design. The goals of the A.B. in Engineering Sciences on the biomedical sciences and engineering track and the A.B. in Biomedical Engineering, are similar, but the former contains more engineering courses, while the latter contains more biology and chemistry courses. Students in the environmental science & engineering tracks of the A.B. or S.B. programs study the fundamental processes and technologies underlying environmental systems. Students apply these principles to develop solutions to complex environmental problems and to mitigate human impact on the environment. The A.B. track offers students the opportunity to study complementary disciplines from other natural and social sciences, while the S.B. track provides a broader basis in engineering fundamentals and design. Students interested in learning more about the other engineering areas should refer directly to the Biomedical Engineering (A.B.), Electrical Engineering (S.B.), or Mechanical Engineering (S.B.) concentrations.