Engineering Fundamentals Program

First-Year Engineering Experience

All first-year engineering students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), whether they aspire to become Aerospace, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, or Software Engineers, will enroll in a common set of courses. This first-year engineering curriculum provides students with a broad overview of the engineering profession, engages them in hands-on projects, and teaches them the fundamental skills required to be successful throughout the engineering curriculum. Engineering Fundamentals, Mathematics, Computing, and Physical Science courses are integrated into the first-year engineering curriculum to prepare students to work in teams solving real-world problems that span across many engineering and engineering-related disciplines.

The Common First-Year experience provides a number of benefits for students as they advance toward graduation.  First, it gives students who are not sure which engineering discipline is right for them, or students who may decide to change majors, time to better understand the different engineering disciplines before engaging in discipline-specific courses. Second, it helps communicate a common language and set of experiences for all students to draw upon as they advance into more complex topics. Finally, it provides a real-world experience working in collaborative, cross-disciplinary environments, learning how to work in teams to complete a common goal.

The first-year engineering curriculum is taught by the Department of Engineering Fundamentals whose mission is to deliver impactful, clear and relevant course content that introduces engineering students to the engineering profession and to utilize the tools, both software and cognitive, crucial for their success. Engineering Fundamentals faculty are trained and focused on teaching excellence and conduct research on engineering education to improve the engineering learning experience.  The Engineering Fundamentals faculty maximize the first-year engineering experience through innovative and empirically-based pedagogy such as: flipped classrooms, hybrid learning, small learning communities, inquiry learning, entrepreneurial mindset, service learning projects, and challenging team-based projects.


The College of Engineering (COE) First-Year Advising Program (FYP) focuses on advising and retaining all first-year engineering students starting from the time they matriculate until they complete their first year. Students are then transferred to the COE Advising Center to be assisted and guided through their sophomore year towards their chosen engineering program.  Juniors and seniors, per their selected degree, will be mentored by a faculty member till graduation.

Students entering the first-year engineering curriculum should be able to demonstrate a competence in mathematics and science. They should be prepared to enter Calculus I, having demonstrated proficiency in algebra and trigonometry.  If necessary, students can prepare for the first year of engineering by taking MA 140 (College Algebra) and MA 142 (Trigonometry) or MA 143 (Pre-Calculus Essentials) before taking MA 241 (Calculus and Analytical Geometry I).

Common Year One

Year One
COM 122 English Composition 3
COM 219 Speech *3
EGR 101 Introduction to Engineering 2
EGR 115 Introduction to Computing for Engineers **3
Scientific Programming in C
MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I 4
MA 242 Calculus and Analytical Geometry II 4
PS 150 Physics for Engineers I 3
PS 160 Physics for Engineers II 3
UNIV 101 College Success 1
Lower-Level Humanities 3
Lower-Level Social Sciences 3
 Credits Subtotal32.0
 Credits Total: 32.0

COM 219 is required in every degree for graduation. However, students are advised to postpone COM 219 during their first year in favor of one of the following courses based on their field of interest:

  • Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering: EGR 120.
  • Computer Engineering or Software Engineering: CS 225, first year, COM 219 second year
  • Electrical Engineering: CEC 220/CEC 222, first year, COM 219 second year
  • Please refer to the specific Area of Concentration (AOC) in the Computer Science degree for specific science requirements.

CS 223 is required for students enrolled in CE, CS, EE, or SE degree programs.
EGR 115 is required for students enrolled in AE, CIV, or ME.

General Education Courses For Engineers

Embry-Riddle courses in the general education categories of Humanities and Social Sciences may be chosen from those listed in the Degrees and Programs, General Education and Undergraduate Requirements section assuming prerequisite and other listed requirements are met. Courses that students have taken at other institutions may be acceptable if they fall into these categories and are at the level specified in the particular engineering program. All Special Topics courses must be pre-approved by the appropriate engineering department before registration will be allowed.

Still Exploring Engineering First Year Students

Engineering students that are still exploring which degree program to select may enroll in the engineering Common Year One courses as advised by First Year Programs. This enables an engineering student interested in engineering to explore the content of all the engineering programs during their first year. All courses in the above list apply towards any engineering degree. Sophomores will then be assigned to the COE Advising Center for advisement of courses towards a particular engineering program. During the sophomore year, Still Exploring Engineering students will need to select a degree program.  Pre-college preparation in math and physics is essential for success in engineering. If it is necessary to enroll in more basic math and physics courses to ensure that preparation, still exploring engineering students should understand it will take longer than the projected four years to complete their chosen engineering degree.