Catalogue 2017 - 2018

College of Engineering Special Academic Opportunities

Accelerated Five-Year and Six-Year Engineering Programs


Honors: A Mark of Distinction

The Honors distinction in the College of Engineering at Western New England University gives students added depth and breadth to their engineering education by taking introductory level courses with an Honors cohort of like-minded engineering students, then selecting interdisciplinary courses or research experiences in their engineering major. This distinction on your academic record is an ideal way to show graduate schools and potential employers that you are a person who takes the extra step to learn and excel.

Honors Program

The College of Engineering Honors Program at Western New England University is not a major in itself, but is open to students in any engineering field. It provides academically qualified and motivated students with a challenging pace of study, opportunities for broader consideration of core course themes, and advanced work in their areas of interest, which can be done individually and/or with the cohort, and under mentorship of the faculty.


Entering freshmen who have met the GPA and SAT and/or ACT recommendation will automatically be invited to apply to the College of Engineering Honors Program. Students who do not meet these criteria but still strongly wish to be considered for acceptance into the Program are also encouraged to apply. Qualified students will receive an invitation from the Honors Program Coordinator requesting confirmation of interest. Students accepting this invitation will subsequently be notified of admission to the College of Engineering Honors Program and then, be registered for the first engineering Honors course during Summer Orientation and Registration Program (SOAR).


Students who have been admitted to the College of Engineering Honors Program must complete a selection of HON or HONE courses to meet the 18 semester-hours minimum, plus an honors project/thesis in their senior year in order to graduate with the University Honors. All honors students will be part of the cohort taking the following core courses:

HONE 102 First Year Engineering Seminar

HONE 105 Computer Programming for Engineers

HONE 110 Data Acquisition and Processing

HONE 202 Statics

HONE 205 Circuits I- Electrical Engineering I

Students, sophomore status and above, also have the option of taking a faculty-directed research course (HONE 240, HONE 340) and/or Independent Study Course (HON 333/HONE 333) as two of their six honors courses, in additional to the honors-by-contract courses in their engineering major. Honors-by-contract courses are arrangements between the student and the sponsoring faculty, to allow the student to go above and beyond the regular topics covered in the standard course and increase their depth of knowledge in the subject area.

Senior Honors Project/Thesis

Each College of Engineering Honors program senior works closely with a faculty advisor to develop a final project. Students must submit an Honors project as approved and overseen by the Honors Committee in the College of Engineering.


Grand Challenges Scholars Program

The Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) was envisioned by the National Academy of Engineering as the foundation of a new educational paradigm that prepares engineers to be innovators for change in an increasingly globalized society. This emerging educational paradigm is expected to yield a generation of engineers whom are uniquely qualified and motivated to address the most challenging problems facing the nation and the world. It is also expected to serve as a method to pilot innovative educational approaches that will become mainstream educational programs for all engineering students at universities across the nation.

Program Components

The GCSP stipulates that to earn the GCS designation, a student must engage with their engineering education from multiple perspectives that guide the development of an entrepreneurial and global perspective to society’s greatest challenges. These perspectives are integrated as five components in which the candidate will immerse at differing levels of experience depending on each candidate’s history and research interests. How the candidate fulfills the specific requirements is negotiated with the Western New England University Program Director in two stages.

The first stage has the student apply as a tentative candidate to the program during their freshman year. At this time the student is offered guidance on how to integrate the GSCP requirements with their university curricular and extra-curricular actives. In the second stage, the student applies for full admittance into the program in the Fall of their junior year. This admittance is based on the portfolio of courses and activities the student has engaged in during their freshman and sophomore years, as well as maintaining a 3.3 GPA. The GCSP committee assesses the student’s portfolio for likelihood of meeting the program requirements by the end of their senior year, and at this time will offer further guidance for program completion to earn the Grand Challenges Scholar designation.

The five components are:

Hands-on Project OR Research Experience: Related to a Grand Challenge 14 Thematic Area:

• Advance Personalized Learning       • Make Solar Energy Economical
• Enhance Virtual Reality                   • Reverse-Engineer the Brain
• Engineer Better Medicines               • Advance Health Informatics
• Secure Cyberspace                         • Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure
• Provide Access to Clean Water         • Provide Energy from Fusion
• Prevent Nuclear Terror                    • Develop Carbon Sequestration Methods
• Manage the nitrogen cycle               • Engineering Tools for Scientific Discovery

Interdisciplinary Curriculum: A curriculum that complements engineering fundamentals with courses in other fields, preparing engineering candidate to work at the overlap with public policy, business, law, ethics, human behavior, risk, and the arts, as well as medicine and the sciences.

Entrepreneurship: Preparing students to translate invention to innovation; to develop market ventures that scale to global solutions in the public interest.

Global Dimension: Develops candidate’s global perspective necessary to address challenges that are inherently global as well as to lead innovation in a global economy.

Service Learning: Developing and deepening candidate’s social consciousness and their motivation to bring their technical expertise to bear on societal problems through mentored experiential learning with real clients

For more information, visit the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program website.