Program Overview

What Is Interdisciplinary Engineering?

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. For example, see the pre-law track a student would take for 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.  

BSIDE requirements

The following is a summary of the courses that are required for meeting the major requirement. For complete details on requirements for a BS in IDE, including General Education requirements, see the BSIDE requirements in the SJSU catalog.

Major Preparation courses

Major preparation courses are freshmen and sophomore level courses in science, math and engineering area. These major preparation courses are: 

  • Chemistry:  CHEM30A (or CHEM1A or CHEM1B)
  • Biology:  BIOL10 
  • Calculus sequence:  MATH 30, MATH31, MATH32, and MATH33A (or Math33LA). 
  • Physics sequence:   PHYS50 and PHYS51.  
  • Engineering : ENGR10, EE97, EE98 and CE95 or MATE25. 

Upper-division required course

  • ENGR 100W - Engineering Reports 
  • ISE 130 - Engineering Probability and Statistics 
  • ISE 102 - Engineering Economic Systems 
  • ME 106 - Fundamentals of Mechatronics Engineering 
  • ENGR 120 - Programming Concepts 
  • ENGR 199A/199B - Senior Design Project I & II
  • BUS3 186 - Professional and Business Ethics 
  • TECH 198 - Technology and Civilization 

In addition to the required courses a student must take a set of electives that give the Interdisciplinary Engineering student a platform to support their engineering-related career interest.  The three groups of electives: Depth Area, Technical and Breadth/Minor can be customized to meet the skills and knowledge required for the student’s career goals.

Depth-Area Electives

The Depth Area elective courses are bundled 4-6 course sets (12 units) from different specific engineering areas.  These Depth Area elective courses assure students have some area of depth in engineering related to their career interest. Other customizations of engineering-related course sets may be developed with advisor approval. 

Technical Electives

BSIDE students can select two technical courses in engineering, science, or business area to meet the Technical Elective requirement.  These two courses can be from the same area as the students’ Depth-Area electives or can be used to satisfy pre-requisite courses needed for a Minor program.  The selected courses must be approved by a Interdisciplinary Engineering advisor. 

Breadth or Minor Program Electives

These four elective courses (12 units) are not limited to an engineering or science area. Students can use these 4 courses for developing a specialty area such as in pre-law, business, or computer science area. Review a study plan Pre-law Track. Students can also use these 12 units for obtaining a minor degree in such as minor degree in business or computer science.

 The selected breadth or minor program elective courses cannot be in the same area as the Depth Area.  For example, students pursuing a minor in Computer Science cannot select Computer Engineering as their Depth Area.   

All elective courses require IDE advisor's approval.   The process of obtaining advisor's approval is explained in the page 'Current Students → BSIDE' . 

BSIDE 4-year Road-map

A sample 4-year 'road-map' for BSIDE students can be found at Pre-law Track.

BSIDE with Minor Degrees and Pre-law Track

The following links point to the pages that show the study plans for the BSIDE pre-law track, BSIDE with Business minor and BSIDE with Computer Science minor. 

BSIDE, Pre-law Track
BSIDE with Business Minor
BSIDE with Computer Science Minor

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the BS Interdisciplinary Engineering program are expected to have:

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by
    applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet
    specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as
    well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in
    engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider
    the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and
    societal contexts.
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide
    leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals,
    plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and
    interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate
    learning strategies.