The First Year Engineering Experience

First Year Objectives

You worked hard and achieved quite a bit to get to a top engineering school, and we’re proud you chose Drexel! But despite your excellent track record, being a new college student may still be a bit overwhelming. Here are some goals we’ve set for your first year to support your success.

  1. Learn about various engineering departments and majors in the College of Engineering. If you are coming in without a declared major, this will help you to select one. If you do already have a major, this can either reinforce that it’s the right one for you or enlighten you about another that may be an even better fit.
    Because the curriculum across all majors is nearly the same (exceptions are Construction Management and Engineering Technology), it is easy to move into or between majors in the first year without losing any ground. This guide to choosing your engineering major can give you a head start on exploration.
  2. Begin learning key engineering concepts and how to use the tools of the trade, such as:
    • Data collection, interpretation, and analysis
    • Approximation
    • Mathematical modeling
    • Closed-loop systems
    • Computer Programming
  3. Take seriously the math, science, and English courses to lay a strong foundation. We know you are excited to get to major-specific courses, but you first need to learn the underpinnings of calculus, physics, and chemistry, and build strong communication skills. Each year builds on the previous, and each is vital.
  4. Learn the skills to be a successful college student, including time management, test-taking strategies, and where to go for support. All students need a little extra help sometimes, even those who think they won’t. Drexel offers a variety of resources, including tutoring, faculty and teaching assistant office hours, career services, disability resources, and counseling.
  5. Get to know your assigned academic advisor! Primarily they will work with you to develop your specific academic goals and a plan of study that supports them. They are also a connection to the many resources the university has to offer, a source of support and advocacy, and someone who will challenge you to make the most of your Drexel experience.

First Year Curriculum

If you are a traditional engineering major, or undeclared, you’ll likely take the following in your 3-term first year. Depending on your placement exam results, AP or Dual Enrollment credits, and major, there may be some variances. Regardless of where you start in the math and physics sequence, you will remain on track to graduate on time as long as you successfully complete your coursework at Drexel.

You can see the specifics of the first year curriculum for each major in the undergraduate catalog as well as in A4E, the Advising for Engineers portal on BBLearn. Which terms you take COOP 101 and CIVC 101 depend on whether you are on the fall/winter or spring/summer co-op cycle and if you are doing a 5-year or 4-year program.

Typical First Year Courses

Quarter 1 - Fall Quarter 2 - Winter Quarter 3 - Spring
MATH 121 Calculus I MATH 122 Calculus II MATH 200 Multi-Variate Calculus
PHYS 101 Fundamental of Physics I PHYS 102 Fundamentals of Physics II
CHEM 101 General Chemistry I CHEM 102 General Chemistry II BIO 141 Essential Biology or another course, depending on the major
ENGR 111 Engineering Design and Data ENGR 131 Introductory Programming for Engineers ENGR 113 First-Year Engineering Design
ENGL 101 Inquiry and Exploratory Research ENGL 102 Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing ENGL 103 Themes and Genres
UNIV 101 The Drexel Experience COOP 101 Career Management and Professional Development CIVC 101 Introduction to Civic Engagement