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) Advising Center focuses on advising and retaining all engineering students starting from the time they matriculate until they complete their degree. Each student, 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 First-Year

Year One
CHM 110 General Chemistry I 3
CHM 110L General Chemistry I Laboratory 1
COM 122 English Composition 3
Program Specific Course * 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
UNIV 101 College Success 1
Lower-Level Humanities *** 3
Lower-Level Social Sciences *** 3
 Credits Subtotal33.0
 Credits Total: 33.0

*General Education Courses For Engineers

Lower Level Humanities and Social Sciences courses may be chosen from those listed in the General Education Program Courses 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.

Still Exploring Engineering First Year Students

Engineering students exploring which degree program to select may enroll in the engineering Common Year courses as advised by COE advisor. This enables students interested in engineering to explore the content of all COE programs during their first year. All courses in the above list apply towards any engineering degree. 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.