Majors & Minors
Find your place and discover your passion
The Grainger College of Engineering offers unrivaled strength in higher education, with approximately 7,200 full-time undergraduates, 4,200 graduate students, and more than 400 faculty members. As an undergraduate, you can choose your path through 15 top-ranked programs in 12 departments. Our minors and dual-degree programs offer even more ways to customize your education.
Majors in Engineering
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 spacecrafts 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 67,482.
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 $59,698.
As a bioengineer, you solve problems for mankind. You’ll use biology, chemistry, physics, and math to work in areas like biomaterials, prosthetics, cell and tissue engineering, biomedical sensing and imaging, bioinformatics, nanomedicine, synthetic biology, drug delivery, and many more. As a student, be prepared to take classes in physiology, biomedical instrumentation, and cell and tissue engineering. Once you graduate you work in fields like making medical devices, pharmaceuticals, forensics, genomics, and medicine, among others. Our bioengineering grads make an average starting salary of $65,394.
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 $72,601.
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 build the world around us. They design highways, skyscrapers, airports, bridges, water treatment, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. As a student you take classes in engineering risk, graphics and design, and systems engineering and economics. And because of how much you learn, you might even find yourself in law, business, or research. After graduation you work as structural engineers, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineers, construction materials experts, and water resources engineers. Our graduates make an average starting salary of $61,296.
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 $88,418.
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 $102,458.
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 $88,418.
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 67,133.
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 70,442.
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 66,432.
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 $68,891.
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 67,133.
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 $63,686.
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 66,432.