Are you interested in beginning your journey toward a career as an engineer? Our pre-engineering major will set your course toward a full engineering education. Ultimately, students in our program are well-prepared for exciting, and well-compensated roles in various engineering fields.

Our pre-engineering prep option is a five-year program of challenging courses. You will attend Ball State for three years and then transfer to an engineering school to complete requirements for your engineering degree.

Once you finish the program, you will be eligible to receive a bachelor's degree in physics from us in addition to the bachelor’s degree in engineering.

What You Will Learn

Depending on your concentration, you may earn the qualifications to begin an engineering career in an area like:

  • metallurgy
  • aerospace
  • electrical
  • industrial
  • chemical

What It’s Like to Major in Engineering at Ball State

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in independent study and research, working one-on-one with faculty mentors. You’ll get to conduct research in areas such as the simulation of galaxy collisions, astrobiology, and observation of variable stars.

Through research projects, you gain valuable professional skills and experience working with modern technical facilities and equipment. These include the College of Science and Humanities supercomputing cluster, a 20-inch diameter telescope in the observatory, and more.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is also a member of the SARA consortium that operates three research-grade telescopes located in some of the best sites in the world: southwest Arizona, Chile, and the Canary Islands. Our students (and occasionally high-school students) often make observations with these telescopes and become authors on published scientific papers.

Careers in education and outreach are fostered through the Charles W. Brown Planetarium on campus.

Our department offers several scholarships to students seeking bachelor's degrees, as well as employment opportunities.

Our students have worked as lab assistants and in the Charles W. Brown Planetarium, which features a 52-foot diameter dome – the largest in Indiana.

Our Society of Physics Students (SPS) is an active, student-run club that engages in a number of social and outreach programs.

The SPS organizes cooperative events with organizations on campus, including our annual “Clash of the Sciences” demo competition between physics and chemistry student groups.

As part of your senior capstone experience, you will pursue scientific knowledge on a topic of your choice and hone technical skills that will be attractive to employers in many fields.

We offer research opportunities in:

  • astronomy and astrophysics
  • computational nanoscience
  • condensed matter physics
  • medical physics
  • nanomaterials and devices
  • nuclear and radiation physics
  • particle physics
  • physics education

Major Requirements

This program consists of 67-77 credits of pre-engineering coursework in one of three concentrations: metallurgical, chemical, or general engineering.

Credits Required

Total: 120

  • Major: 67-77
  • University Core Curriculum: 36

General engineering encompasses the study of aeronautical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, and nuclear engineering specializations.


A few of the classes you will take include:

  • PHYC 120-122 General Physics 1-2
  • PHYC 260 Intro to Modern Physics
  • PHYC 262 Modern Physics Lab
  • CS 120 Computer Science
  • TMFG 105 Technical Design Graphics
  • PHYC 354 Electronics 1
  • PHYC 312 Nano Materials and Devices Fabrication

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Degree in Pre-Engineering?

This three-year program will prepare you to enter and complete a full engineering program at the engineering school of your choice. Depending on your concentration, you’ll then be qualified to begin a career as a/an:

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Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Apply to Ball State

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

Apply Now


One of the best ways to understand why Ball State stands out is to come see it for yourself. You can schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Make sure to tell them you’re interested in our program. Or if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.

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