Programs of Special Interest

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Active Learning

The College of Engineering and Applied Science defines active learning as “enhancing knowledge, skills, and understanding through practical experience.” The college’s goal is to provide all students with the opportunity to participate in enrichment experiences and partnerships with individual faculty and professionals in discovery, service, and professional learning. Several programs are in place to financially support students engaged in undergraduate research or “discovery learning” with faculty, graduate students, and research sponsors. Students seeking professional learning experiences such as internships and co-op assignments with a participating employer also typically earn hourly wages, while those pursuing service learning opportunities in the college, community, or beyond could earn wages or course credit. 

International active learning opportunities include assisting developing communities through Engineers Without Borders, a national nonprofit organization started at CU-Boulder; and arranging an international internship through the International Engineering Certificate Program. For more information about active learning programs and opportunities, visit

In addition, the college offers a First Year Engineering Projects course as a general engineering elective, which provides students with collaborative, hands-on experience in designing and building engineering devices early in the engineering curriculum, and most undergraduate majors in the college require completion of a senior capstone design course.

Integrated Teaching and Learning Program

The Integrated Teaching and Learning (ITL) Program emphasizes hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences throughout the K–16 engineering curriculum. The ITL Program encompasses college-wide curricular initiatives and has created a unique learning environment to enable and support them—the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL).

The interdisciplinary ITL Laboratory is a 34,000 sq. ft. hands-on learning environment that features interactive laboratory plazas and supports hands-on experimentation, pervasive data acquisition and analysis capability, design studies, team work areas, active learning spaces, and state-of-the-art manufacturing and electronics fabrication capability. It is heavily used by engineering students of all disciplines and is supported by a dedicated team with an unwavering focus on outstanding service.

The ITL Program features an innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum that includes a First-Year Engineering Projects course that engages student teams to experience the design process in a hands-on way, culminating in a public design expo each semester. The nationally recognized K–12 ITL engineering program focuses on attracting and preparing more diverse and well-prepared youth to careers in engineering and technology. Visit

BOLD Center

The college-wide BOLD (Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity) Center focuses the college’s inclusion–centered access, retention, and performance initiatives. The BOLD Center creates a vibrant and inclusive community of students from a wide range of backgrounds, preparing engineers with diverse perspectives to be innovative leaders in a global society. Through BOLD-inspired and -led initiatives, the college is dedicated to becoming a leader in attracting, preparing, and expanding opportunities for students historically underrepresented in engineering—including students from low-income families and those who are the first in their family to attend college. The BOLD Center team focuses deeply on measurable outcomes to significantly improve upon historical student access, retention, and performance results.

BOLDly Moving Forward. The BOLD Center achieves breakthroughs in attracting, preparing, and expanding opportunities for historically underrepresented students in engineering through academic offerings that inspire and motivate student success. Building strong community among students who might otherwise feel isolated is also a BOLD key to student success. BOLD promotes student engagement, achievement, and retention in engineering through a focus on community building, leadership, and professional development activities, coupled with strong academics and an expectation for achieving excellence.

Why be BOLD? Through the inclusive BOLD community, students connect with engineering student societies, tap into internships and mentoring opportunities, explore career services, acquire effective study habits, and pursue volunteer opportunities. The BOLD Center offers free tutoring for all engineering students in the Student Success Center. BOLD participation scholarships are available through an application process. Visit

Engineering Honors Program

The Engineering Honors Program provides an educational experience that transcends the classroom and is designed to match the unique abilities, needs, and ambitions of the college’s best students. The program is for students who want to belong to and contribute to an honors culture that cares more about learning than grades; more about maximizing their opportunities than meeting minimum requirements; more about being thoughtful, critical, engaged, and intentional than passively defined by the vague expectations of others. Central to fulfilling this mission is the Engineering Honors Program Residential College in Andrews Hall, which includes a residential faculty member, classrooms, special study spaces, and the highest percentage of upper-division students living on campus. 

Being part of the Engineering Honors Program will mean all of the following: 

  • being part of a community of talented and dedicated students
  • participating in special honors courses, including the basic Calculus through Differential Equations sequence in Andrews Hall
  • having the opportunity to do advanced research
  • having a faculty mentor 
  • having exposure to industry leaders 
  • being part of a network of students doing research, industry internships, and international development work 
  • completing an Honors Portfolio

There will be a combination of college-wide and department-specific honors experiences beginning in the student’s very first semester. Incoming first-year students are selected to participate in the Engineering Honors Program via an online application process ( For those who want to join the program after their first year, each department will have its own application process either at the end of the second or beginning of the third year.

Engineering Leadership Program

The Engineering Leadership Program (ELP) provides students with course work and active learning experiences to prepare them to be leaders in their chosen careers, whether it is in an engineering field or another field such as government service, law, medicine, etc. Students in the program have the opportunity to take specialized leadership courses through ELP and other CU programs, attend leadership seminars sponsored by the college, and learn from a mentor who has leadership experience relevant to their interests. ELP Students also design and undertake a leadership experience and must produce a portfolio for review prior to graduation. Students apply to the program in their first or second year. See for more information.

Engineering Management & Entrepreneurship

Engineering Management & Entrepreneurship offers two undergraduate certificates designed to equip young leaders in engineering and sciences with essential business skills.  Advantages in a competitive job market include:

  • understanding the business context of engineering and technology;
  • increasing job opportunities and accelerating career development;
  • acquiring and developing leadership skills; and
  • refining interpersonal skills and gaining expertise and confidence in working with others.

The Engineering Management Certificate is a four-course program, while the Entrepreneurship Certificate includes five courses, an internship, events and a capstone exam.  Both are available to undergraduate engineering students to open up potential career opportunities and accelerate career development via a selection of core business management courses.  For more information, visit

Colorado Space Grant Consortium

NASA’s Colorado Space Grant Consortium (also known as Space Grant) is part of a national program. CU Space Grant provides students with access to space through innovative courses and real-world, hands-on space hardware programs that include short and long-duration, high altitude balloon payloads, autonomous rovers, sounding rocket payloads, and low-Earth orbiting satellite missions.  

Space Grant students interact with engineers and scientists from NASA and industry to develop, test, and fly new space technologies. All missions are entirely student run—including students in the roles of team members, team leads, systems engineers, project managers, and mission operators. Students participate in programs that aid them in their future academic courses and careers. For more information, visit

Herbst Program of Humanities

The Herbst Program of Humanities enriches and broadens the technical education offered in the College of Engineering and Applied Science through discussion-based classes and seminars on the great works in literature, art, history, and political and social thought. As a program of applied humanities, Herbst encourages students to engage in immediately relevant and significant conversations about our world. 

The Herbst Program offers courses at all undergraduate levels, but its centerpiece is a 3-credit course open to juniors and seniors. Each section of HUEN 3100 is limited to 12 students and is devoted almost entirely to roundtable discussions of original texts, primarily in literature and philosophy, but with secondary attention given to art, music, and architecture. The seminar helps students improve their writing skills, gain confidence and skill in civil discourse on controversial issues, see more clearly the inadequacy of dogmatic responses to complex questions, and develop intellectual rigor on non-technical issues. HUEN 3100 may satisfy the college's writing requirement.

The Herbst Program offers several different courses for students in their first or second year. HUEN 1010 Introduction to the Humanities satisfies the college writing requirement (for fall 2011 students) and explores such diverse forms of humanistic expression as short novels, poems, visual art, music, drama, and philosophy. In HUEN 2020 The Meaning of Information Technology, students consider the impacts and ethics of emerging communication technologies. HUEN 2100, 2120, and 2130 span invention and discovery from the Stone Age through the 20th century. HUEN 2210 Engineering Science and Society explores the ethics and social implications of engineering work. A variety of HUEN 2843 and 3843 Special Topics classes are offered each semester, on such issues as Leonardo da Vinci, The Journey in Literature and Film, and Leadership in Literature. The Herbst Program also offers summer term, study abroad, and Maymester courses.

The Herbst Program was initially funded by an endowment established by Clarence Herbst in 1989, and is sustained by the generous support of a variety of donors, including Linda Vitti Herbst, and by the College of Engineering and Applied Science. See

Study Abroad

In today’s international environment, engineers frequently work and travel in foreign nations or with foreign engineers. Therefore, it is desirable that engineering students familiarize themselves with foreign cultures by selecting appropriate courses or by studying abroad. The University of Colorado has over 50 programs that enable students to undertake course work in engineering. These include programs at the Universities of New South Wales, Wollongong, and Murdoch in Australia; the Universidad de Costa Rica in the Americas; the Universities of East Anglia, Lancaster, and Sussex in England; Uppsala University in Sweden; the American University of Cairo in Egypt; the University of Ghana; the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid; the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico, and others. All participants in the university study abroad programs remain enrolled at the university; the pass/fail grade option is used by this college for course work taken during study abroad (but is exempt from college and major department pass/fail limitations). Financial aid from the university can be applied to the program costs in some cases, and special study abroad scholarships may be available for program participants. More information about studying abroad is available at the Office of International Education, University of Colorado Boulder, 123 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0123, 303-492-7741, or

Engineering departments may also assist students wishing to study engineering at the Ecole National des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris; the Ecole Polytechnique Feminine in Paris; and the University of Oviedo in Spain; plus new engineering exchanges in TU Darmstadt, Germany; University of Newcastle, England; ESTP in Paris; and Catholic University in Santiago, Chile. The college participates in the Global Engineering Exchange Program (Global E3), which allows engineering students to take engineering courses at over 40 international universities. For more information, visit

With the proper preparation, students may complete one or two semesters of engineering education during study abroad. All students preparing for study abroad must petition their major department about specific courses planned away from CU and ensure that the college residency requirement is satisfied.

Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities

The Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities (MCEDC) educates engineers by incorporating development, humanist, and global concepts into their traditional engineering education. MCEDC strives to transform the understanding, application, and evaluation of engineering and support the spread of these philosophies throughout the entire engineering curriculum.

Graduate ProgramSince 2004, the Mortenson Center (formerly known as the Engineering for Developing Communities Program) has drawn outstanding students to EDC tracks within the MS and PhD degree programs in civil engineering. In addition, a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Engineering for Developing Communities is now open to engineering graduate students in any major within the College of Engineering and Applied Science.  EDC is also a recognized Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) that offers residents of eligible WICHE-participating states a tuition benefit. For more information about the WICHE WRGP, please see

Undergraduate Program. In 2012-13, the Mortenson Center expanded to the undergraduate level by sponsoring a prize for the design competition hosted by the Sustainable by Design Residential Academic Program. In addition, the center is working to develop an undergraduate certificate focused on global aspects of projects, advanced language skills, political science, economics, and culture.

What’s the Added Value? With the world moving toward a global focus, these programs will prepare students to enter the engineering profession with the breadth of knowledge required to work on international teams. Visit for more information.

Student Organizations

Information about student organizations in the college may be found at

Residential Communities

The Engineering Honors Program, the Sustainable by Design Residential Academic Program, and the Quadrangle Engineering & Science Living and Learning Community, are popuar community-building options for engineering students. See for information.

Professional Registration

The need for professional registration depends on the field of engineering and the nature of practice in that field. Engineers in private professional practice generally need to be registered. Currently, registration is required in all states for the legal right to practice professional engineering. Although there are variations in state laws, graduation from an accredited curriculum in engineering, subscription to a code of ethics, and four years of qualifying experience are minimum requirements for registration. Two days of examinations covering the engineering sciences and the applicant’s practical experience are also required in most states and territories. A student begins this professional registration process by taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) eight-hour examination during senior year in this college.