Prospective Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Engineering (BSIDE) Students

Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) is a much broader view of engineering than traditional engineering disciplines. IDE requires the same basic skills and knowledge as other engineering fields but with emphasis placed on a more system perspective and working with other non-engineering groups. While traditional engineering will always be required for existing and new technologies, IDE is a growing discipline applied in a variety of engineering opportunities, such as: consulting, research, law, medicine, engineering, project management, business, space and more. BSIDE program offers students the opportunity of obtaining a minor degree or following a 'track', for example, the pre-law track for students who are interested in a career in the intellectual property law area. 

An important aspect of the curriculum for a BS in IDE is that it can be customized based on a student’s career goal. It is designed to ensure that not only the basic math and science skills are acquired but also courses necessary for communication and working in teams which are necessary skills for successfully accomplishing engineering projects.  The greater challenges of new and emerging technologies will require working with non-engineering groups as well.  For more information on BSIDE visit Program Overview page. 

The following web pages provide information on admission application, cost, and scholarship opportunity.

Admission Application and Requirement

Cost of Attendance

Scholarship Opportunity


FAQ for prospective BSIDE students

Why pursue the IDE pre-law track? 

Innovation drives our lives, and an IDE degree teaches you how to innovate. The IDE pre-law track supplements this training by introducing you to another important aspect of innovation: protecting innovation through intellectual property law. This track features two cutting-edge courses taught by experts in the field of intellectual property that will be introduced for the first time in Spring 2022: ENGR 130 Introduction to Intellectual Property for Engineers and in Fall 2022 ENGR 131 Introduction to Patents for Engineers. Explore expanding the scope of your IDE degree into the legal arena, and read more about the pre-law track below!

Video testimony from Christopher Reed, JD., SJSU Engineering Alumni. 

Video testimony from Vignesh Ramachandran, JD., SJSU Engineering Alumni. 

Video testimony from Andy Han, JD., SJSU Engineering Alumni.

What can I do with the IDE prelaw track? 

The IDE prelaw track prepares you to for many exciting careers in high demand. Here’s a sampling of some of the careers you’ll be prepared to pursue: 

Intellectual Property Attorney

IP attorneys are practicing lawyers who specialize in intellectual property law. Often times, they help clients establish and protect their intellectual property rights. 

Educational Requirements: In order to be an IP attorney, you'll have to go to law school. A degree in engineering, especially with a track in IDE, can prepare you for law school by training your critical thinking skills and giving you the background necessary to understand some of the intellectual property you may end up protecting. 

Learn more aout Intellectual Property Law at the United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO.

Patent/TM Agent

Patent and TM agents work with inventors on filing for patent and trademark protection. They are professionally licensed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Educational Requirements: You don't need a law degree to become a patent agent, though you do need an undergraduate degree in an approved major--such as interdisciplinary engineering! In addition, you'll have to pass the USPTO's patent bar exam. 

Find out more about becoming a patent practitioner

Legal Engineering

Legal engineers work in the intersection of law and technology. For instance, they might help determine whether a legal service can be standardized into a product, or help create those products.

Educational Requirements: You don't need a law degree to be a legal engineer, though some legal engineers have them and it helps to be familiar with legal processes. The ability to think creatively, communicate with both lawyers and technologists, and understand the intersection of law and technology are essential skills. You can build these skills with the IDE track!

Read more at American Society of Legal Engineers.

Other Careers

The beauty of the intersection between law, technology, and engineering is that you can create your own career path. You'll have a unique mix of skills that are in high demand in many industries. 

Meet Our Advising Team 

Want to learn more? We have a full advising team who can answer your questions about the IDE pre-law track. 

Rebecca Chan PhD, JD
SJSU Pre-law Advisor

Christopher Reed JD
SJSU Alumnus BSEE 1997, Advisor

I’m in! What’s my course of study?

A 4-year program of study road map can be found BSIDE Pre-law Track