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about the Engineering Design Minor

The Rice University George R. Brown School of Engineering is committed to advancing the education of its undergraduate students. With nine departments in the School of Engineering, the areas of study, research, and specialization are broad. However, all departments in the School of Engineering teach the design process, even though its application and emphasis varies between departments. The purpose of the minor is to enable our students to meet the growing interest by employers in students with authentic engineering design credentials. By implementing the minor we will keep Rice at the forefront of engineering design education.

The Engineering Design minor is a complement to existing B.S. and B.A. degree programs in the School of Engineering and is open to any student earning a major in any department in the School of Engineering. The program is designed for students inside the School of Engineering because applied engineering practice is expected in the higher-level courses- and this knowledge will come from student’s work in their engineering majors. A strength of the minor is that students from many different departments will work together on projects in highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams. Students will come out of these experiences with enhanced engineering skills as well and leadership and communication skills that will serve them well in any future endeavor.

Students will complete 18 academic credits in engineering design to earn the minor.

Designed for students majoring in any discipline of engineering in the School of Engineering. 
        • May 2018 graduates who have taken many of the existing required courses ( Such as ENGI 120, ENGI 210, ENGI 200, ENGI 300) may qualify with appropriate course selection 
        • May 2019 graduates and beyond should be able to complete the minor with appropriate course selection 
Required Courses:

There are four core courses each at 3 credit hours that are required for every student in the minor:

  • ENGI 120 (or ENGI 220 or FWIS 188) – Introduction to Engineering Design (3 credit hours)
  • ENGI 210 – Prototyping and Fabrication (3 credit hours)
  • ENGI 350 – Needs Identification and Design Implementation (3 credit hours)
  • ENGI 355 – Digital and Computer Aided Design OR MECH 403 (3 credit hours) 

ENGI 220 is identical in content to ENGI 120 except that it is focused on students who are not in their matriculation year. As such students can begin the minor after their first year on campus if they decide later to pursue the minor. 

Elective Courses:

Students take at least two elective courses, worth a total of 6 credit hours. The current list of elective courses is:

  • Departmental design or project- based courses, excluding capstone or final-year design, with approval. Examples of such design-based courses include but are not limited to BIOE 360, CEVE 314, ELEC 491, MECH 488, ELEC 342, and CHBE 490
  • ENGI 200 – Engineering Design Studio
  • ENGI 300 – Engineering Design Workshop
  • ENGI 301 - Introduction to Practical Electrical Engineering 
  • PSYC 370 – Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • ENGI 315 – Leading Teams and Innovation
  • BUSI 221 – New Enterprises
  • BUSI 463 – Foundations of Entrepreneurship: Strategy and Financing 

One additional requirement for the minor is that students must participate in at least two different design projects during their undergraduate experience. This requirement is in place to ensure that students have some breadth in their practice of design. This can be satisfied by taking the courses above and/or capstone design. Note that while in-major, departmental capstone design courses (e.g., BIOE 451-2, MECH 407-8, ELEC 494, etc.) may NOT count as an elective, a project in this course may count as a second design project. For example, a student may work on one project in ENGI 120 and 200 and then a different project in their capstone CHBE 404 course. Table 1 shows a sample academic plan for completing the Engineering Design Minor.

Engineering Design Minor FAQs

How do I get on the EDES list to receive updates and notices? Fill out the EDES Information Form.  We will use this list to send email updates occasionally. We pledge not to send too many emails to this group. Signing up on this form DOES NOT officially register you for the minor.

When can I get advice about the minor? Email the OEDK at and your request will be routed to the appropriate faculty.

How should I prepare for the advising session? Please review the courses that are required for the minor (above). There will be a form to fill out to list the course you have taken and you can discuss any special circumstances with the advisor. We do not expect the session to take long but it is important to do this each semester to be sure you are on track.

When will ENGI 350 and ENGI 355 be taught?

350 will be taught regularly in the spring and 355 will be taught regularly in the fall. (subject to change)

When can I declare the Engineering Design (EDES) minor? At the advising session, bring the paperwork (described below) to get signed by the faculty advisor. Be sure to keep a copy of the form for yourself in case the registrar’s office loses it. We will also keep a copy for our records. This spring only (2017) the registrar will collect any forms you submit, date them and then as soon as the spring semester officially ends, the new minor will be added to your degree plan. This is because it becomes official for next academic year an thus you cannot officially declare until the end of this academic year.

What is the procedure for proposing substitution of BIOE 392 for ENGI 350 for the EDES Minor?

Who: All who have/will take BIOE 392 may receive credit for ENGI 350 if, they submit documentation of design transfer or implementation for a design project that was completed as part of a course or internship.

The technical memo should address and demonstrate your experience in transfer or implementation of a design solution. The memo should describe the project, including the project goals and a brief description of the prototype/solution. Then the memo should describe in detail two of the following steps that have been taken with this project and your role in creating/completing those steps. In an appendix include additional documentation with supporting evidence of the two steps (e.g. patent application, charts/graphs of testing, user manuals, etc.). It should be clear that this is not an additional assignment or task, but a documentation of tasks that were completed and evaluated as part of a class or internship. Clarifying questions should be directed to Dr. Hunter at Submitted materials will be reviewed by the EDES Minor faculty advisory board who will make the decision for substitution approval.

1. Testing (description of the test design, test results, and analysis)

2. Cost analysis or economics for manufacture (bill of materials, quotes for manufacture/assembly)

3. Intellectual property analysis (compelling feature, patent search, provisional patent application,

invention disclosure)

4. Refined Design for Manufacture (technical drawings, spec sheet, assembly instructions)

5. Safety & Failure analysis (safety manual, regulations/standards, hazard analysis)

6. Manuals (user, maintenance, etc.)

How do I declare the Engineering Design Minor?

To declare your major, minor, and/or university certificate:  (The following came from the Rice University Registrar’s website)

    1. Login to ESTHER.
    2. Print an unofficial transcript.
    3. Go to Student Services & Account Information > Degrees, Majors, and Minors Declared > UG Declaration and Change of Major (or Minor or University Certificate) Form.
    4. Print and fill out the form. Note: You must submit a separate form for EACH major (or minor or university certificate) you are adding or dropping.
    5. Take the completed form and transcript to the appropriate department for approval. Have the advisor and/or department chair for the major/minor/university certificate sign the UG Declaration and Change of Major (or Minor or University Certificate) Form.
    6. If the form cannot be signed immediately by the major (or minor or university certificate) advisor and/or department chair, leave it with the department for signature and pick it up when complete.  Please Note:  We discourage students from leaving their forms with the department to be forwarded to our office, especially during the deadline period.  
    7. Return the completed form in person to the Office of the Registrar.

Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen - Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


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