Undergraduate Study / Prospective UndergraduatesFrequently Asked Questions
Do prospective undergraduates apply for a specific major?
No. Undergraduates are admitted by Undergraduate Admissions of Northwestern University, not by individual departments. Prospective undergraduates do indicate that they are applying to the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science but may select either "undecided engineering and applied science major" or a specific major.
Entering students who indicate a specific major are assigned a professor from that department as their freshman adviser, but they are free to choose a different field when they officially designate their major, typically at the end of their first year.
Can engineering students take courses from other Northwestern Schools?
Yes, subject to prerequisites or enrollment limitations of the departments offering those classes, engineering students can and do take many courses outside of the McCormick School of Engineering. In fact, engineering students are required to take seven courses to fulfill a social sciences and humanities requirement and have an additional five unrestricted electives that can be used to take either engineering or other classes.
There is also a Combined Music and Engineering Program, which enables students to earn degrees in both music and engineering simultaneously. This allows Northwestern engineering students the opportunity to get a much more well-rounded education than is possible at many other engineering schools.
Northwestern engineering students are encouraged to become whole-brain engineers™ by developing many kinds of skills and knowledge.