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About Engineering

What is Engineering?
(Adapted from "Engineering Your Future," American Society of Engineering Education)

Engineering is the art of applying scientific and mathematical principles, experience, judgment, and common sense to make things that benefit people. Engineers design bridges and important medical equipment as well as processes for cleaning up toxic spills and systems for mass transit. In other words, engineering is the process of producing a technical product or system to meet a specific need.

Engineers have many different types of jobs to choose from, including research, design, analysis, development, testing, and sales positions. If you are interested in discovering new knowledge, you might consider a career as a research engineer. If you are imaginative and creative, design engineering may be for you. The work of analytical engineers most closely resembles what you do in your mathematics and science classes. If you like laboratory courses and conducting experiments, look into becoming a  development engineer. Sales engineering or engineering management could be good choices if you are persuasive and like working with people.

Engineering work is also organized by traditional academic fields of study, including civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. There are also more specialized engineering fields, including aerospace, biomedical, computer, environmental, industrial, materials, nuclear, and ocean engineering.

Engineering at College of San Mateo


  • Primarily a transfer program
  • First two years of all engineering majors such as civil, mechanical, electrical, computer, bio, aerospace, chemical, and industrial
  • 20-40 students transfer each year to a variety of colleges and universities
Engineering at CSM provides
  • Small class size
  • Professors with academic and industry experience who enjoy teaching
  • A start in engineering without the need to declare a specific major
  • Pre-college work in math, English, and sciences for students who did not complete, or need a review of, high school work
  • Access to technology programs for supplemental work or as an alternate path
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