Carnegie Mellon University

Additional Major in Engineering and Public Policy

The EPP department offers additional major B.S. degree programs with each of the five traditional engineering departments in the engineering college. The engineering additional major leads to a fully accredited engineering degree that prepares students for traditional technical career. EPP additional major engineers are not educated to be a different kind of engineer. Rather their education is intended to enable them to be better, more socially responsible engineers in the traditional technical fields. 

The undergraduate additional major programs in EPP combine the strong foundation in mathematics and physical sciences, and the development of engineering skills with a rigorous preparation in the analysis of social and political problems. The curricula include subject matter which is not part of traditional engineering or social science curricula, but which contains elements of each. Students complete courses in four core areas: economics, statistics, decision-making, and communication. Breadth is achieved through EPP Technology-Policy elective courses. Finally, students apply their skills in a project preparatory course and two interdisciplinary problem-solving projects. Problem areas for these projects are chosen from local, state, and national situations, and include such topics as: information privacy and security, environmental monitoring, global energy issues, terchnological innovation, and internet communicaiton technologies. Students from several CMU colleges enroll in these projects courses exposing EPP additional majors to working in truly multi- and inter- disciplinary situations.

The Engineering and Public Policy additional major program, in conjunction with completing one of Carnegie Mellon University’s accredited traditional engineering programs, is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

If you would like to learn more about this program, please schedule an appointment with Deanna Matthews, Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs.

EPP Program Educational Objectives

Students who earn an additional major in Engineering and Public Policy at the undergraduate level do so in conjunction with a traditional engineering major. The elements of the EPP undergraduate program broaden the traditional scope of technical analysis to encompass an engineering solution’s potential impact on society. Thus, our graduates have the same skills as their peers in traditional engineering majors, but with a broader societal perspective and additional analysis skills. This enables our graduates to understand the interface between technology and society and to help solve the complex, interdisciplinary systems problems facing our world, in their careers. Students will be able to work in a variety of career fields, including technical and non-technical, in industry, government, or elsewhere where these broad skills are needed.

EPP Student Outcomes

By the end of the combined B.S. programs in a traditional program and the EPP program, students should have attained the following:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Course Requirements

Introductory Courses

19-101      Introduction to Engineering and Public Policy

19-201      EPP Sophomore Seminar

Core Area Courses

73-102      Principles of Microeconomics

19-250      Special Topics: Statistical Models for Engineering Analysis and Design

36-220      Engineering Statistics and Quality Control or other approved statistics course

Decision Science elective - one of the following, or other approved course

19-301      Decision Making Methods for Engineers & Scientists

84-369      Decision Science for International Relations

88-223      Decision Analysis and Decision Support Systems

88-302      Behavioral Decision Making

EPP Writing and Communications - one of the following, or other approved course

76-270      Writing for the Professions

Technology-Policy Electives

At least 3 courses of EPP Technology-Policy electives (24 units minimum)

Capstone Courses

19-351      Applied Methods for Technology-Policy Analysis

19-451      EPP Projects (taken twice)
or 19-452

EPP Technology-Policy Electives include courses that synthesize engineering analysis and social analysis perspectives and apply them to problems with substantial societal and technological components. Specific areas of interest for these courses are (1) energy, resources, and the environment, (2) risk assessment, (3) forensic engineering, (4) urban engineering, (5) information and communication technology, and (6) product engineering and design, among others. Courses that teach methods or analysis skills necessary for solving complex problems or courses that provide technical background for policy relevant issues are also included. 

The capstone experience for EPP undergraduates consists of problem-solving project courses to synthesize technology-policy issues with social science analysis. In the EPP Projects Course, students experience working on unstructured, real-world problems that, for proper treatment, require teamwork and contributions from diverse disciplines. A common lament from recruiters of undergraduates is a lack of general team-oriented, multi-faceted, problem-solving skills, along with poor written and oral communication skills to a broad audience. The EPP Projects courses provides all of those skills to students, and is the course most often identified by our alumni as the essential course of their undergraduate careers. Offered each semester, the courses involve faculty and students from EPP, the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, and the Heinz College. Problem areas are abstracted from local, state and national situations and involve the interaction of technology and public policy.

Recent student enrollment

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