School of Engineering and Applied Science

Dean: Steve Silliman
Associate Dean: Paul S. Nowak

Engineering is the profession in which a knowledge of natural sciences and mathematics is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, sustainably, and with concern for the environment and society, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of humankind. Engineers and scientists pursue a common goal of introducing new knowledge through research. The new knowledge is applied by the engineers to create new devices and systems. Engineers enjoy a unique professional satisfaction: they can usually point to tangible evidence of their efforts. For example, every bridge, skyscraper, television set, computer, robot, airplane, steam or hydro-electric plant, or automobile is a lasting testimonial to the engineers responsible for it.

It is difficult, maybe impossible, to imagine contemporary civilization without computing machines and the software that brings them to life. The Department of Computer Science trains students to meet the expanding quantitative needs of society and provides them with the theoretical structures from which practical applications derive. Majors in this department are well-prepared for positions in industry and government demanding quantitative techniques or computer science, and for graduate work.

The over-arching goal of the undergraduate programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at Gonzaga University is to provide an education that prepares the student with a baccalaureate degree to be a professional engineer or computer scientist. In addition, the programs provide a base both for graduate study and for lifelong learning in support of evolving career objectives, which include being informed, effective, and responsible participants in the profession and society. It is also an education that is designed to challenge the intellect of the student and help him/her learn the value and reward of analytical and logical thinking.

All departments within the School therefore share a common mission of equipping graduates to enter professional practice. This is summarized by our School's Mission Statement:

The School of Engineering and Applied Science at Gonzaga University produces broadly educated and capable engineers and computer scientists ready to contribute innovative solutions for a better world.

This statement is consistent with the University's mission and specifically implements the following section of that mission statement:

  • We believe that our students, while they are developing general knowledge and skills during their years at Gonzaga, should also attain more specialized competence in at least one discipline or profession.
  • We hope that the integration of liberal humanistic learning and skills with a specialized competence will enable our graduates to enter creatively, intelligently, and with deep moral conviction into a variety of endeavors, and provide leadership in the arts, the professions, business, and public service.


Our common mission is accomplished through the following four Program Educational Objectives that articulate the broad areas where we believe our graduates will contribute to society in their careers and professions. That is, the programs are developing students who in their careers will:

  1. 1. Develop engineered solutions that are well-conceived and carefully implemented to meet public and private sector needs.
  2. 2. Contribute effectively to organizations as leaders and/or team members,
  3. 3. Foster personal and organizational success in a dynamic, globalized professional environment,
  4. 4. Improve society by applying Jesuit, humanistic values to their professional and civic responsibilities.


Further, the suitability of these objectives, and the coursework to attain them, are assessed and evaluated by each department on a three-year cycle. As such, these skills embody the intent of the "specialized competence" as described in our University mission statement.

A concerned and well-trained faculty, small class size, easy access to faculty outside the classroom, and modern facilities provide Gonzaga University students with the knowledge and skills to become productive engineers or computer scientists and to assume leadership roles in business, industry, and government. A unique feature of the program is the strong emphasis on liberal arts education. A strong and rigorous technical curriculum combined with a broad liberal arts education emphasizing communication skills, critical thinking, and ethics enables Gonzaga graduates to adapt to an ever-changing computing, engineering, social, political, and business environment.

Degree Programs and Accreditation

SEAS offers four-year Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering (BSCE), Computer Engineering (BSCpE), Electrical Engineering (BSEE), Engineering Management (BSEM), Mechanical Engineering (BSME), and Computer Science (BSCS). The civil, electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering degree programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET), and Computer Science and Engineering Management degrees are in the process of seeking accreditation.

Center for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship

Engineering and computer science are rapidly changing professions. The fast pace of technological advances and new approaches to organizing the work place are requiring engineers and software developers to continually update their training. In addition to having a broad range of technical knowledge, today’s engineers and software developers are expected to possess excellent interpersonal skills. They must be able to deal with open-ended design problems, to work cooperatively in a team environment, to communicate effectively, and to understand the technical, economical, environmental, and managerial aspects of projects.

The diverse skills required of modern engineers and software developers cannot be learned solely in a classroom or from a textbook. Design skills are best learned through a combination of observation, emulation, analysis, and experimentation. This demands a high degree of interaction between the student and experienced designers. Interpersonal skills are best developed through team work. Industry has discovered that the give-and-take process that characterizes a well-motivated team is a key element to a project’s success.

The Center for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship enhances the design experience of students in the engineering and computer science programs at Gonzaga University by promoting interaction between the industrial and academic communities. Student teams, under the guidance of industry engineers and GU faculty, undertake design projects defined by sponsors in both the private and public sectors. A project team typically consists of three to five students, often from different fields of study in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students are assigned to projects based on their knowledge and experience, exactly as they will be assigned to technical projects once they graduate. Team members must make effective use of available resources to perform and manage the project activities. By working on a real-world problem, each student has the opportunity to make decisions under risk, to work as part of a team, and to interact with professionals in the private and public sectors. Further, working on technical projects that have real value to business, non-profits, and the government, encourages students to acquire new skills.

Gonzaga faculty members, who advise the student teams, are ideally suited as advisors. More than half of them have at least five years of industrial experience. A faculty advisor lends knowledge and experience to the project team by guiding and counseling the students in the technical and managerial decisions required by the project.

A liaison from the sponsoring organization provides technical direction and advice to the student team, monitors the project’s progress, and ensures that the project meets the needs of the sponsor. The liaison also assists the team in making the best use of the sponsor’s resources and facilities.

Design projects related to all the SEAS disciplines are sought throughout the year. Sponsors who are supportive of SEAS education provide ideas, resources, and funds for projects. By identifying project topics and the technical areas that are of interest to them, they help direct students to realistic problems that are important to their operations.

At the end of the spring semester, student design teams present their projects and reports, and demonstrate models and prototypes. Industrial sponsors, faculty members, prospective students, and members of the community are invited to attend the event and to interact with the project teams.

The Herak Engineering Computer Center

The Herak Engineering Computer Center (HECC), located in the Herak Center for Engineering, is the central facility for general purpose computing in SEAS. This fully staffed center is available to students seven days a week, and provides general computing services over and above the extensive and diverse computer systems found in the SEAS departmental laboratories.

The center’s computer facilities include over forty CAD/CAE workstations. All systems are connected to the University network which makes them able to access Internet, the computing resources of the Computer Information Services department, and the Foley library system. The Center also contains numerous plotters and printers.

Software is available to support all aspects of SEAS disciplines taught at Gonzaga University. Computer aided drafting and solid modeling programs are available to support the engineering graphics portion of our curriculum. Finite element, hydrologic and hydraulic structural, and mechanism analysis programs are available for the mechanical and civil engineering programs. Electrical and Computer Engineering are supported by programs for controls analysis, schematic and circuit board layout and simulation, and VLSI design layout and simulation. The Center also supports several general purpose programs, including language compilers, a spreadsheet, a data base manager, three mathematics programs, a word processor, and a project management package. A separate computer science laboratory includes additional workstations, servers, and other specialized software.

Gonzaga-in-Florence Engineering Semester Program

Engineering students have the opportunity to study on the Gonzaga-in-Florence program during the spring semester of their sophomore year. The engineering and mathematics courses offered on the program are designed to fit into most engineering students‚ existing curriculum and requirements. Interested students must apply no later than the fall semester of their sophomore year.

Degree requirements include
  1. 1. Fulfillment of the general degree requirements of the University including the University Core Curriculum.
  2. 2. Completion of SEAS common core courses for all engineering programs.
  3. 3. Completion of the specific program requirements.
  4. 4. Attainment of an average cumulative grade point of 2.00 in all SEAS course work taken at Gonzaga University.
  5. 5. No SEAS or core courses can be taken under the Pass/Fail Option.
The Core Curriculum of the School of Engineering and Applied Science
The SEAS core curriculum represents a common body of knowledge. The engineering programs core consists of fifty-three credits which are common to and required of all engineering degree programs in the school: the first thirty-two credits (of which there is a more complete description in the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue) form the University core requirement while the remaining twenty-one credits are required by engineering degree programs.

All undergraduate students are subject to the provisions of this core; transfer students, however, should consult the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue for possible modifications to the Philosophy and Religious Studies requirements listed below. Substitutions for discontinued courses are required and authorized by the proper University authorities. The University and School core requirements are grouped into the following categories.

University requirements

I. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably taken in the same semester).
II. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and PHIL 400 level elective.
III. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, 200, and 300 levels: one elective from each level.
IV. Mathematics (4 credits): one MATH (not CPSC) course at the 100 level or above: engineering students must use MATH 157. Computer Science students refer to VIII, below.
V. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102,103H, 105 or 106.

Engineering program specific:

VI. Mathematics (11 credits): MATH 258, 259, 260.
VII. Physics (4 credits): PHYS 103, 103L.
VIII. Chemistry (4 credits): CHEM 101, 101L.

Computer Science program specific:

VIII. Mathematics and Science (28 credits beyond IV in University Requirements above). See the computer science program description.

Table of Credits

Degree Major Minor
Civil Engineering BSCE 133 n.a.
Computer Engineering BSCpE 131 n.a.
Electrical Engineering BSEE 132 n.a.
Engineering Management BSEM 131-135 n.a.
Mechanical Engineering BSME 136 n.a.
Computer Science BSCS 129 18

The SEAS core curriculum represents a common body of knowledge. The engineering programs core consists of fifty-three credits which are common to and required of all engineering degree programs in the school: the first thirty-two credits (of which there is a more complete description in the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue) form the University core requirement while the remaining twenty-one credits are required by engineering degree programs.

All undergraduate students are subject to the provisions of this core; transfer students, however, should consult the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue for possible modifications to the philosophy and religious studies requirements listed below. Substitutions for discontinued courses are required and authorized by the proper University authorities. The University and School core requirements are grouped into the following categories.

University requirements
  1. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably taken in the same semester).
  2. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and PHIL 400 level elective.
  3. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, RELI 200, and RELI 300 levels: one elective from each level.
  4. Mathematics (4 credits): one MATH (not CPSC) course at the 100 level or above: engineering students must use MATH 157.
  5. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102, ENGL 103H, ENGL 105 or ENGL 106.
Engineering program specific:
  1. Mathematics (11 credits): MATH 258, MATH 259, MATH 260.
  2. Physics (4 credits): PHYS 103, PHYS 103L.
  3. Chemistry (4 credits): CHEM 101, CHEM 101L.
Computer Science program specific:
  1. Mathematics (17 credits): MATH 157, MATH 231, MATH 258, 2 300/400 level electives.
  2. Lab Science (12 credits): Students are encouraged to take 16 credits.
  3. History (6 credits): see program description section.
  4. Fine Arts (3 credits): see program description section.
  5. Literature (3 credits): see program description section.
  6. Social Science (6 credits): see program description section.
  7. Foreign Language or Culture (3 credits): see program description section.
  8. Social Justice (3 credits): see program description section.