School of Engineering and Applied Science

Interim Dean: Joseph Fedock
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:

  • Gonzaga models and expects excellence in academic and professional pursuits and intentionally develops the whole person: intellectually, spiritually, physically, and emotionally
  • Through engagement with knowledge, wisdom, and questions informed by classical and contemporary perspectives, Gonzaga cultivates in its students the capacities and dispositions for reflective and critical thought, lifelong learning, spiritual growth, ethical discernment, creativity, and innovation.

In both Engineering and Computer Science

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

Additional objectives identified with the Computer Science program

  • Earn advanced degrees in computer science of professional credentials.
  • Contribute to the development of the next generation of information technology either through research or through practice in a corporate setting.
  • Bring a critical intelligence, formed through the University's commitment to liberal humanistic learning, to the development of information technology.

A concerned and well-trained faculty, 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, Computer, Electrical, Engineering Management, and Mechanical Engineering degree programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. The Computer Science degree program is accredited through the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

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. These 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 engineers and computer scientists. 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 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, or through proposals submitted by student teams. 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. 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 a large number of general purpose, as well as CAD/CAE workstations, that are connected to all computing resources of the Computer Information Services department, the Foley library system, and the external internet. The Center also maintains servers hosting most software required within the Engineering and Computer Science programs. The Center also contains numerous plotters, printers, and 3-D printers.

Beyond these services, the center now supports a student laptop program whereby students can access all software required in the Engineering and Computer Science programs from any location on campus that is connected to the internet. As such, students can work as individuals or in teams, with full access to required software, from anywhere on the Gonzaga campus.

Software is made available to support all aspects of SEAS disciplines taught at Gonzaga University. These include not only general purpose software (document, presentation, and spreadsheet applications), but specialized software for use in the individual programs. These include CAD/CAE programs, programs involving hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, Solidworks, controls analysis, schematic and circuit board layout and simulation, and VLSI design layout and simulation. Additional computing laboratories also support both the freshman and senior capstone experiences in Computer Science,

Gonzaga-in-Florence Engineering Semester Program

Semester Abroad Possibilities
Engineering and computer-science students have multiple opportunities to study abroad. Principal among these is the Gonzaga-in-Florence program through which students complete engineering, mathematics, and core classes in Florence during the spring semester of their sophomore year. The engineering and mathematics courses offered in the program are specifically designed to fit into most engineering students' existing curriculum and requirements.

Beyond Florence, a number of opportunities for individualized study abroad in the sophomore (and possibly junior) years have been explored and are actively being advanced as possibilities for incoming students.

For Gonzaga-in-Florence, interested students must apply no later than the fall semester of their sophomore year. For other programs, students are encouraged to work with the Center for Global Engagement and the Dean's Office in the School of Engineering and Applied Science in order to explore options.

Degree requirements for the School of Engineering & Applied Science

In addition to the general degree requirements of the University, including the University Core Curriculum (see below for engineering-specific adaptations to the core), students earning all Bachelor’s degrees offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science must complete the following requirements:

  1. For engineering programs, completion of the following courses: MATH 258, 259, 260, PHYS 103/103L, and CHEM 101/101L. For computer science majors, please see the program description below.
  2. Completion of certain program specific requirements.
  3. Attainment of an average cumulative grade point of 2.00 in all SEAS course work taken at Gonzaga University

Please note: Every degree requires a minimum of 128 completed semester credits. No core, major, minor, or concentration courses may be taken under the Pass/Fail option.

The University Core for SEAS Engineering Majors

In addition to their major and minor areas of study, all undergraduate students follow a common program designed to complete their education in those areas that the University considers essential for a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal, and humanistic education. The University Core Curriculum consists of forty-five credits of course work, with additional designation requirements that can be met through core, major, or elective courses.

SEAS engineering majors will fulfill the requirements of the University Core through a combination of courses within the regular University Core Curriculum combined with specific courses within Engineering. The engineering-specific substitutions for University Core courses are:

  • First-Year Seminar: Fulfilled through ENSC 191 & 192
  • Writing: Fulfilled through ENSC 191 & 192
  • Communication & Speech: Fulfilled throughout Engineering program
  • Fine Arts & Design: Fulfilled throughout Engineering program

The credit requirements for an engineering major along with those in university core typically preclude engineering majors from taking elective course work. Therefore, all core designation requirements (i.e., global studies, social justice, writing enriched) should be completed within other core or major requirements. Because the core curriculum is in a transitional period (AY 2016-17 to AY 2020-21) with many core and major courses that carry designations yet to be developed, engineering majors who are unable to complete designation requirements within other core or major requirements will be waived of these designation requirements.

SEAS computer science majors will complete the regular University Core.

Transfer students should consult the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalog for possible modifications to the Core requirements. Substitutions for discontinued courses are required and must be authorized by the proper University authorities.

Pre-requisite to co-requisite override

If a student requires a class in which a pre-requisite has been completed but failed, a pre-requisite waiver may be available. The requirements for the waiver include:

  1. The student must have completed all of the course work for the pre-requisite class (yet received an F grade);
  2. The pre-requisite class is offered in the same semester as the required subsequent class;
  3. The student must pass an exam that tests the concepts from the pre-requisite class that are required in the subsequent class (this exam is administered by the faculty teaching the subsequent class, and will be completed before the semester in which the subsequent class begins).

If items [1] through [3] are completed, and there is approval from both the Department Chair and Dean, both the pre-requisite class and subsequent class may be taken as co-requisites in the same semester. Note that if approved, the pre-requisite class cannot be dropped unless the subsequent class is also dropped. 


Table of Credits

Degree Major Minor
Civil Engineering BSCE 134 n.a.
Computer Engineering BSCpE 136 n.a.
Electrical Engineering BSEE 134 n.a.
Engineering Management BSEM 133-137 n.a.
Mechanical Engineering BSME 138 n.a.
Computer Science BSCS 128 18