Majors & Minors
The Grainger College of Engineering offers an unrivaled academic experience with enriching, top-ranked undergraduate majors and minors intended to challenge you to think critically and creatively in order to make a difference. You can choose your path from 15 world-class engineering majors across 12 departments, and our minors and dual-degree programs offer even more ways to customize your education.
Our degree programs offer an elite academic experience, complete with enriching coursework and hands-on undergraduate research opportunities. Discover your future through one of our engineering majors below.
As an aerospace engineer, you are always looking up. You will work in all areas of aerospace systems and will be responsible for the design and performance of air and spacecraft and their propulsion systems. In this major you take classes in mechanics, materials, and physics. Once you graduate, you’ll be in good company. We have alumni employed with NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and GE Aviation. The average starting salary for our graduates is $69,474 with a signing bonus of $4,536.
If you’ve eaten today, you can thank an agricultural and biological engineer. But you can also do so much more in this field. You work fields like agriculture, food, energy, water, and the environment. You take classes like off-road machine design, erosion and sediment control, and land and water resource engineering. A degree in agricultural and biological engineering can get you a job in food science and engineering, biofuels and engines, robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles, and environmental controls among many others. An ABE graduate earns an average starting salary of $66,411 with a signing bonus of $6,262.
As a bioengineer, you'll use tools from biology, chemistry, physics, and math to understand how human biological systems function. You'll also learn how to develop technology-based solutions to societal needs in human development and disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
The curriculum integrates principles of biology and engineering in its coursework. This coursework includes biomechanics, human physiology modeling, bioinstrumentation, and cell and tissue engineering. The curriculum is project-based, emphasizing systems-thinking as an approach to large-scale bioengineering problems. It also features hands-on laboratory courses for real-world experience.
You'll take fundamental courses to learn more about Bioengineering your first two years. We'll also introduce you to clinically relevant projects as learning experiences. Your final two years, you'll focus on a particular track for further study. Our year-long senior capstone course will allow you to apply your knowledge to biological problems submitted by faculty, clinicians, and industrial firms. Our bioengineering grads make an average starting salary of $67,040 with a $5,500 signing bonus.
As a chemical and biomolecular engineer you get to make everyday life better. You’ll use math, chemistry, and other natural sciences to produce materials and manage energy at a large scale. As a biomolecular engineer, you concentrate specifically on biological applications. As a student you take classes in systems design, chemical reactions, and thermodynamics. Once you graduate, you work in fields like manufacturing, production, and technical problem solving at companies like ExxonMobil, Procter and Gamble, and 3M. Our chemical and biomolecular engineering majors have an average starting salary of $76,797 with a signing bonus of $5,342.
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is housed in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Liberal Arts & Sciences because of its origins in the Department of Chemistry. The department also maintains close ties with The Grainger College of Engineering. As a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering student, you will be able to take advantage of resources and programs, such as career fairs and study abroad opportunities, from both colleges.
Civil and environmental engineers apply basic principles of science, supported by mathematical and computational tools, to address the biggest challenges facing society: ensuring clean air, safe drinking water and sanitation; addressing our changing environment; protecting the population from natural and man-made hazards; designing a sustainable infrastructure that serves everyone; reimagining human and commodity traffic for an automated future; and of course designing and constructing the world’s tallest buildings and most iconic bridges. This major may be for you if you are a creative thinker who likes addressing the world’s problems.
Career options include: Air & Water Quality/Purification, Construction Management, Energy-Water-Food nexus, Forensic Engineering, Foundation Design, Green & Blue Infrastructure, Hazard Mitigation, Material Manufacturing & Design, Risk Management, Site Remediation & Hazardous Waste Management, Structural Design, Transportation Systems, and Water Resources Planning & Design.
Common graduate schools where CEE alums continue their education include: UIUC, Stanford, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Michigan, Yale, and Cornell.
Our graduates make an average starting salary of $63,345 with a signing bonus of $2,750.
When you’re a computer engineer, you are creating the future. You’ll work in computing systems as software and hardware engineers, programmers, computer system architects, among other jobs in all sectors of the economy. As a student you take classes in security, programming, systems, and networks. Our graduates have gone on to be software architects at Google, microprocessor architecture at Intel, and researchers at IBM. Graduates of the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering earn an average starting salary of $91,781 with a signing bonus of $15,591.
As a computer scientist, you’ll have a hand in pretty much all technology we use. You will design, implement, and analyze computing systems, specifically software systems. This includes everything from cyber security to artificial intelligence to graphics and special effects for video games. As a student you take classes like data mining, interactive computer graphics, and human computer interaction. Our graduates have gone on to work as software development engineers at Amazon, product managers at Google, studio tools developers at Pixar, and quantitative researchers at Jump Trading. They also founded companies like PayPal and YouTube, just to name a few. Our computer science graduates make an average starting salary of $108,184 with a median signing bonus of $23,225.
When you’re an electrical engineer, you’re behind the electronic systems that we use every day and that are propelling us into the future. You work in areas like energy and power, circuits, optics, remote sensing, communications, networking and computing systems, and much, much more. To learn all this you take classes like signal processing, circuits and electromechanics, and green electric energy. You can do a lot with this degree, including jobs like design engineer, technology analyst, system engineer at companies like Microsoft, GE Energy, Texas Instruments, and Goldman Sachs. Graduates of the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering earn an average starting salary of $91,781 with a signing bonus of $15,591.
As a engineering mechanics student, you get to the heart of what makes things work. This major lets you explore combined passions for engineering, math, physics, computation and other sciences, and usually leads students to higher level degrees, research, academia, entrepreneurship, and industry. You take classes like solid mechanics design, design for manufacturability, engineering acoustics, and mechanics of composites. Graduates of this program have gone on to study in our graduate programs and with our peers at MIT, University of California Berkeley, and Stanford, and had jobs like a packaging engineer at Dell, machinery engineer at ExxonMobil, and design engineer for Toyota. Graduates of the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering earn an average starting salary of $69,214 with a signing bonus of $5,423.
When you’re a physicist, you understand the fundamentals. You work with the integrations of matter, energy, space, and time to solve scientific mysteries and reveal the workings of nature. Physicists are behind quantum computers, superconducting magnets, atomic clocks, and so much more. As a physics student, you take classes in electricity and magnetism, thermal physics, electromagnetic fields, and quantum physics. Once you graduate you might find yourself in astronomy, nuclear medicine, laser science and engineering, quantitative finance, and solar energy engineering. The average starting salary for a Grainger Engineering Physics graduate is $72,506 with a signing bonus of $9,523.
As an industrial engineer, you get to make things happen. You work with integrated systems and their materials, information, energy, people, money, time, equipment, and processes. This major includes a little bit of everything from math to communications to computer science. As a student you take classes in data analysis, operations research, business, and facilities planning and design. Once you graduate you might find yourself in a career like engineering administration, manufacturing engineering, or supply chain analysis. Graduates of the Department of Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering earn an average starting salary of $71,620 with a median signing bonus of $6,625.
As a materials scientists, you are making things like no one has ever seen before. You use chemistry, physics, and engineering to make new materials with unique properties to solve problems in energy, medicine, space exploration, transportation, and environmental remediation. As a student you take classes in electronic properties of matter, synthesis of materials, and atomic scale simulation. Once you graduate you could get a job like a materials engineer, manufacturing engineer, research engineer, or packaging engineer at companies like Kraft Foods, ExxonMobil, The Clorox Company, or the Naval Research Laboratory. Our material science and engineering grads make an average starting salary of $69,475 with a signing bonus of $6,643.
When you’re a mechanical engineer, you make the world go around. They work with design and manufacturing, thermal-fluid sciences, and controls, meaning you basically have your hands on everything we use. As a mechanical engineering student, you take classes like engineering materials, computer-aided design, energy conversion systems, and robotics. Once you graduate you could go on to be anything, including a mechanical engineer, structural engineer, design engineer, safety engineer, or technical consultant, among others. And work at companies like John Deere, Microsoft, SpaceX, and Rolls-Royce. Graduates of the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering earn an average starting salary of $69,214 with a signing bonus of $5,423.
As a nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineers you are at the forefront of energy and medicine. You’ll work to make the most of all the benefits of nuclear energy and radiation. You work with in fields including power plants, safety, plasma physics, health physics, and medical diagnostics and therapy. As a student you take classes like modeling nuclear energy systems, plasma fusion science, neutron diffusion transport, and radiation protection. After you graduate you could work in nuclear utilities, the military, design, and nuclear consulting at companies like Exelon Energy, Intel, the United State Navy, and General Electric. NPRE graduates take home an average starting salary of $68,200 with a signing bonus of $5,458.
As a systems engineer, you bring everything together. You’ll use basic science, engineering analysis, and engineering design to study the interactions between parts of a whole and work in fields like consulting, automotive, manufacturing, control systems, and patent law. As a student you take classes like business, graphics and design, and design analysis. After graduation you might have a career like engineering consulting, computer-aided design and manufacturing, law consulting, or systems engineering. Graduates of the Department of Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering earn an average starting salary of $71,620 with a median signing bonus of $6,625.
Minors in Engineering
The minors in engineering give you the opportunity to elevate your academic experience and customize your course schedule to pursue your multifaceted interests and future professional goals.
Top Ranked Engineering Programs
Learn more about why we ranked the #6 college of engineering with 13 top 5 programs from U.S. News and World Report for excellence and research in every field.
Unique Learning Experiences
Find out about Grainger Engineering’s unparalleled learning experiences that expand your academic horizons and mold you into an impactful leader in the world of engineering.