High School Preparation
Do you want to become an engineer? Are you thinking about a career in engineering? It’s never too early to start preparing for your life in engineering, and it’s important that the right college prep work be completed before starting the rigors of obtaining an engineering degree.
Engineering requires a strong foundation in the fields of science and mathematics. An effective written and oral command of language and basic understanding of history, culture, and current events are also necessary.
A typical high school curriculum for the student interested in engineering consists of:
- English - 4 years
- Mathematics - 4 years (including trigonometry and pre-calculus)
- Science - 3 years (including chemistry and physics)
- Social Science - 2 years
Preparing yourself well in high school will have a huge impact on your performance and success in an engineering program at Kansas State University, not just academically, but possibly financially in the form of scholarships.
College Credit Courses
Many students will take courses for college credit during their high school careers, which can help get the student on an accelerated college track; however, some care needs to be taken when choosing courses for college credit. The engineering curriculum at Kansas State University has very distinct requirements. This does not mean there isn't any room for flexibility for the student to pursue other interests; it simply means that much of the college career for engineering students is nicely mapped out. Thus, when a high school student is planning to go into engineering at K-State and wants to take courses for college credit in high school, it would be in the student’s best interest to contact the department of interest to make sure the course the student is planning to take will transfer as credit towards the chosen engineering degree.
High school courses that offer college credit are a great opportunity for students to be exposed to the rigors of college courses before their collegiate career begins. These types of courses can help motivate the amount of time and effort that many courses in engineering will require once a student is at the university level. Many AP, CLEP, DANTES, IB, and community college courses will transfer to K-State, but if the student has decided to major in engineering, it may be beneficial to see if the course will count towards the chosen engineering degree at K-State. This should not be perceived as discouragement against taking courses that offer college credit, but rather a cautious note when deciding whether or not to pay to take the AP, CLEP, DANTES, IB, etc., exams.
A word about calculus
Calculus can be a source of great frustration for many new students in the College of Engineering. Here at K-State, we have a great academic support system for students who have difficulties adjusting to the pace and rigor of college math courses. Even with a great support system in place, we find that many students do much better in calculus if they have been exposed to it prior to their freshman year at K-State. We highly recommend a student take a calculus course in high school or from a community college before heading to K-State. Coming into engineering with exposure to calculus will be of great benefit and the student will likely have a much higher chance of success.