Oct 02, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Science and Engineering

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101 Pasteur Hall
College of Science and Engineering website
Charla S. Miertschin, Interim Dean
Laura McCauley, Advising Specialist


The College of Science and Engineering is committed to furthering 21st century advances in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by inspiring the next generation of innovators and teachers and by promoting research and scholarship across STEM disciplines. Through a broad range of major, minor, and pre-professional programs, as well as through basic skills, interdisciplinary, and research-rich learning environments, the College endeavors to ensure the success of all students.

College curricula are designed to provide meaningful, challenging educational experiences and to build deep connections between STEM experiences and disciplinary interests, career goals, and societal issues. To achieve these goals, the College strives to integrate curriculum with vital research in a range of settings, which include research conducted in Upper Mississippi River region environments as well as significant experience at nearby healthcare centers, regional manufacturing and composites industries, state-of-the-art laboratory and computing facilities, and area school districts. These learning experiences help students develop purpose and passion for lifelong learning.

In fulfilling its mission, the College provides high quality undergraduate curricula in STEM leading to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as pre-professional programs promoting student progression into a wide range of clinical, professional, and post-graduate studies at other institutions. Pre-professional sequences are not degree programs at WSU. These programs are preparatory for an advanced degree at another college or university. WSU offers pre-professional sequences in dentistry, engineering, law, medicine (allopathic and osteopathic), optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatry, and veterinary medicine. See Pre-Professional Sequences  section for descriptions.

Goals, Objectives, and Assessments

  1. Goal: Contribute to knowledge in STEM.
    Objective: Recruit and retain faculty/staff who design and deliver curricula and conduct research to advance new knowledge or new innovations in STEM.
    Assessment: Annually examine faculty plans and reports for evidence of appropriate curricula, facilities, faculty performances in classroom and scholarship, staff performance, student achievement (e.g., number and quality of presentations, publications, and grants in STEM).
  2. Goal: Inspire the next generation of innovators and teachers.
    Objective: Deliver courses and learning experiences in an environment that inspires students to be creative and innovative scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, or teachers.
    Assessment: Annually examine graduation survey data for evidence of numbers of students who are employed, continue in higher education, or become teachers.
  3. Goal: Promote research and scholarship among STEM.
    Objective: Faculty/staff/students conduct research, write grants, develop programs or centers, publish, and deliver presentations at professional meetings.
    Assessment: Annually examine faculty plans and reports for evidence of physical environment and number and quality of student/faculty/staff projects, presentations, publications, and grants.
  4. Goal: Ensure the success of all students.
    Objective: Faculty will give a full measure of time and energy delivering well-planned and pedagogically sound courses and encourage and facilitate study groups, online collaborations, and other support mechanisms to ensure student success.
    Assessment: Annually examine faculty plans and reports for evidence of faculty/staff actions that improve student performance/success. Examine graduation survey data for steady or increasing employment in field and acceptance into graduate or professional schools.
  5. Goal: Provide meaningful, challenging educational experiences.
    Objective: Faculty/staff will create, deliver, and manage a full measure of well-organized, academically challenging classroom and learning experiences.
    Assessment: Annually examine faculty plans and reports for evidence of course syllabi and evidence that all assignments, tests, study guides, and ancillary course materials enhance educational experiences. Also, examine student/peer evaluations and graduation survey data for evidence of student satisfaction as well as employment and/or acceptance into graduate or professional schools.
  6. Goal: Build deep connections among STEM, career, and societal issues.
    Objective: Faculty, staff, and students will work on community STEM-related problems and career opportunities; they will also serve on campus interdisciplinary committees.
    Assessment: Annually examine faculty and staff plans and reports for evidence of faculty, staff, and student service to campus, community, and society at large.
  7. Goal: Integrate curriculum with vital research.
    Objective: Courses will train students in the Scientific Method to work independently and with faculty/staff on projects that develop skills and knowledge pertinent to conducting, that is, doing science.
    Assessment: Annually track enrollment records in independent study and capstone courses and communicating results to public or peers.
  8. Goal: Develop students’ purpose and passion for lifelong learning.
    Objective: Deliver courses and learning experiences that stimulate students’ interest in STEM careers and/or continuing education
    Assessment: Annually examine graduating student survey and alumni surveys for evidence of students entering STEM careers, graduate schools, and continuing education courses.
  9. Goal: Provide high quality undergraduate curricula in STEM.
    Objectives: Courses well-organized, delivered, and managed. Student learning outcomes clearly identified and appropriately challenging. Courses continuously updated and improved based on best practices and course evaluations by students and/or peers. Courses meet contact hours/credit hours requirement; have numerous assessments of student learning; timely feedback; and high standards of student attendance, achievement, and citizenship. Multiple sections of the same course will have consistent and predictable content and requirements.
    Assessment: Annually examine faculty plans and reports for evidence of best practices in syllabi, course delivery, learning assessments, and course evaluations. Also, examine data from graduating student surveys for evidence of employment and/or continuing higher education as indicators of student successes.


Science and engineering faculty members are active in their academic fields. More than 90 percent have terminal degrees from prominent universities. Many are widely known for their research and scholarly contributions, as well as for their excellence as teachers.


In addition to general university scholarships, all science and engineering departments have scholarships specific to their majors. Contact the appropriate department for more details.

Career Opportunities

Programs within the College of Science and Engineering prepare graduates for employment or advanced degree work. BS (teaching) degrees are available in high school or middle level teaching chemistry, earth science, life science, mathematics, and physics. The College also offers specific professional preparation in clinical laboratory science.

Research and Community Service

The College supports student and faculty research, industrial interaction, and community service. To further these goals, the College has established centers, under faculty supervision, which provide unique student employment opportunities in “real-world” research and problem-solving:

  • Composite Materials Technology Center (COMTEC): COMTEC is housed in the Composite Materials Engineering Department and serves as a working laboratory for instruction, engineering research, and an engineering resource center for the region. The Center also provides engineering services to industrial clients who need design and analysis, material characterization, prototype manufacturing, and testing.
  • Large River Studies Center (LRSC): LRSC, administered through the Biology Department, provides students with the opportunity to conduct research on large river ecosystems and associated bodies of water. LRSC also is responsible for disseminating information about the upper Mississippi River and other large river ecosystems to local, regional, and scientific communities.
  • Software Testing and Development Lab: The WSU Software Testing and Development Lab provides testing, software development, and other computer and networking related technical services to local and regional businesses and industry. The services are provided by WSU Computer Science students under the direction of Computer Science faculty and staff.
  • Southeastern Minnesota Water Resources Center (WRC): WRC, housed in the Geoscience Department, is dedicated to scientific inquiry into the natural and hydrological resources of the Southeast Minnesota. The WRC strives to educate and inform students, citizens, and public agencies of the region about our natural resources through the development of partnerships and research.
  • Statistical Consulting Center (SCC): SCC, operated by faculty and students within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, provides statistical support to promote research, collaboration, and education. The services provided by SCC are available to faculty, staff, and students of WSU, and to members of other regional organizations.


Students are encouraged to include internships as part of their course of study. Internships provide valuable work experience with potential employers such as corporations or governmental agencies. Internship opportunities are typically undertaken during summers or during the senior year under the supervision of a WSU faculty member.

Program Prerequisites

Degree programs in the College assume that students have taken college preparatory courses in high school including at least three years of mathematics. It is recommended that students have at least one year each of high school biology, chemistry, and physics. Academic advisors will work with each student for appropriate course placement. Courses taken at other institutions are evaluated individually for transferability into College programs.

Graduate Degrees Offered by the College of Science and Engineering

The College offers a Professional Science Master’s degree in Applied Research and Management. See the Graduate Catalog for program descriptions and other pertinent information.

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