General Engineering is one of the nine engineering majors offered at the Naval Academy. It differs from the other engineering majors in that it is an interdisciplinary, broadly focused major. The initial coursework (e.g. mechanics, materials, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics) for General Engineers is very similar to most of the other engineering majors and you will interact closely in the same courses that other engineers are taking for most of your third- and second-class years. The relatively large number of electives in General Engineering permits a student to seek some depth in one area of interest in engineering. Alternatively, the student may seek exposure to a variety of science and engineering disciplines.
During second-class and first-class year general engineers take several courses principally with other general engineers. In first-class year a general engineering major will take part in an interdisciplinary senior design team either with other general engineers or with other majors from other engineering departments.
Successful general engineers are well equipped to handle the technical aspects of any job in the Navy or Marine Corps. The required courses in the program address all of the engineering topics encountered in the national Fundamental of Engineering Examination. Successful performance in this examination is necessary for becoming a licensed Professional Engineer. A general engineering major from the Naval Academy has the academic background necessary to pursue graduate study in specialized areas of engineering.
Few midshipmen choose general engineering initially. Instead, they transfer into it after finding one of the other engineering majors to be more demanding or more narrowly focused than expected. The major is designed to allow such midshipmen to complete graduation requirements within a respectable engineering program. As described above, the structure of this major is more flexible than any of the other engineering majors. In particular, courses taken previously in another engineering major may count in meeting the requirements of general engineering. This should not be understood to mean that general engineering provides a soft path to graduation; it does not. To achieve success in the general engineering major requires dedication, effort, and fundamental skills in mathematics and science. As a general engineering student progresses through the major, that student will work with his or her adviser to develop a plan that meets both graduation requirements and the student’s interests, goals, and abilities.