Systems Engineering and Design (formerly General Engineering)

What Is It?:

Systems Engineering and Design (formerly General Engineering) is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program that emphasizes real-world problem-solving through a unique orientation toward partnerships with industry. It brings together basic sciences, engineering sciences, and engineering design. Systems Engineers understand how to apply business fundamentals to promote utilization of new technology, engage in entrepreneurship, and succeed in engineering and non-engineering careers. 

The curriculum emphasizes the integration of engineering and business principles, preparing students to apply both functions to bring a product from invention to market. Design experience and project management are emphasized and integrated across the core curriculum with a focus on establishing critical problem-solving skills applied across disciplines, strong communication skills, and the ability to work effectively and get results in a team environment.

Students can specialize further by selecting a pre-approved secondary field option or petitioning for a customized plan.

For more information, please visit the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • CHEM 102/103—General Chemistry I / General Chemistry Lab I
  • CS 101—Introduction to Computing: Engineering & Science
  • MATH 221—Calculus I
  • MATH 231—Calculus II
  • PHYS 211—University Physics: Mechanics
  • PHYS 212—University Physics: Electricity & Magnetism

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Application Engineer
  • Consulting
  • Design Engineer
  • Engineering Administration
  • Engineering Marketing
  • Engineering Product Planner
  • Government Services
  • Process Engineer
  • Research and Development
  • Staff Engineer
  • Systems Engineers
  • Technical Sales
  • Technical Service Support

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • General Engineer
  • General Maintenance Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Consultant

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Gamma Epsilon: honors outstanding students at the University of Illinois pursuing the General Engineering Degree. Provides incentive for scholastic achievement, and to do service projects.
    • National Society of Black Engineers: increases the number of black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

Related Skills:

  • Ability to conduct/explain scientific data
  • Ability to follow systematic procedures
  • Ability to formulate/defend positions
  • Ability to understand measurements
  • Ability to use technical equipment
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Analyze/organize/interpret data
  • Aptitude for details, logic and reasoning
  • Eye/hand coordination
  • Make sound judgments
  • Research skills
  • Solve open-ended problems
  • Speak effectively/listen objectively

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in General Engineering, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to General Engineering.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of General Engineering.  These organizations include National Academy of Engineering and National Society of Professional Engineers.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in General Engineering, visit Undergraduate Programs.