In their first two years, candidates for the Bachelor of Arts explore areas of academic interest while fulfilling general education requirements and completing prerequisites for possible areas of concentration. In the spring of the sophomore year, students select a concentration from among 29 academic departments.
The Systems Science and Engineering (SSE) program specializes in those aspects of engineering that pertain to effectiveness of whole systems. In contrast to other engineering specialties which are grounded in certain aspects of science, system engineering is grounded primarily in mathematics and methodology. The core curriculum focuses on mathematical modeling and simulation, rather than on particular physical sciences. To assure that designs are responsive to real needs, students learn how to model, simulate, optimize, integrate and evaluate systems.