Pre-Engineering Program

Career preparation

Seven reasons a student should consider studying pre-engineering:

  1. Engineering is a profession that encourages and rewards creativity.
  2. An engineering career provides opportunities for making worthwhile contributions to society by meeting many of the pressing needs of mankind (energy, pollution control, food supplies, transportation, etc.)
  3. An engineering education provides a marketable skill leading to job flexibility and security.
  4. The starting salary for new graduates is excellent.
  5. Chances for advancement in the profession are excellent.
  6. A wide variety of kinds of work within the profession are available (design, production, testing, research, marketing and administration).
  7. For the student undecided about future career preferences, undergraduate engineering provides an excellent "spring board" for entrance into other professions (medicine, business, law, government, education, military). A student in this field must have an inquiring mind, an active imagination and an understanding of mathematics as it is applied to nature.

Contact an advisor


Dr. William Bray
Department Head

Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Dr. Dave Cornelison
Department Head

Computer Science

Dr. Ken Vollmar
Department Head

The academic program

To prepare for a career in engineering, the high school curriculum should include Algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry and physics. Physics is not an absolute prerequisite, but progress toward completion of the program may be delayed without it.

A Pre-Engineering student at Missouri State has two options:

  1. Choose the transfer option by spending two years at Missouri State, then transferring for the remaining two years to any university having an accredited Engineering program.
  2. Deciding that engineering is not the right option and pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at Missouri State University in Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science.

The beginning course requirements are so similar for both options that through careful course selection with a pre-engineering advisor a student may pursue either path. This will require appropriate choices in general education courses, as well as in mathematics and the sciences. If correct choices are made, all Missouri State hours will transfer to any university with an Engineering program. Different engineering specialties have some variance in basic requirements, so the student must work with a pre-engineering advisor.


The first two years of the Pre-Engineering program provide the student with fundamental courses in physics, chemistry and mathematics which form the basis for success in the final two years and beyond. At the end of the first two years, the student will decide whether to remain at Missouri State or transfer to another university having an Engineering program.

Contacts for additional information regarding BS degrees from Missouri State University:

Dr. William Bray, Department Head - Mathematics Department

Dr. Dave Cornelison, Department Head - Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science Department

Dr. Ken Vollmar, Department Head - Computer Science

Please consult the Missouri State Catalog for specific course information.


Serving the pre-engineering option, the Departments of Mathematics and Physics and Computer Science have experienced professionals with research interests in both theoretical and applied physics, mathematics and computer science. Faculty actively conduct scholarly research, participate in professional organizations and sponsor student projects and activities.


Services available to the faculty and students of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences include a well-equipped machine shop and full-time machinist and electronics repair facilities with full-time technicians. The Departments of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science sponsor a variety of pre-professional student organizations, including chapters of the national Society of Physics Students (SPS), the national mathematics society (Kappa Mu Epsilon), a student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). These groups organize and participate in a number of departmental activities that include CNAS Undergraduate Research Day, physics, mathematics and computer science competitions for high school students, tutorial assistance, seminars by guest speakers and tours of engineering or scientific interest. Students often find part-time employment in the departments, at Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC) or through the Missouri State University Career Center.

View a sample schedule