Choose a degree in engineering from Central and you’ll be fully prepared for a career or graduate program immediately after graduation. Central’s engineering degree is designed to be completed in four years (eight semesters) and readies you for a lucrative career at the interface of mechanical and electrical engineering.

Today’s engineering careers demand not only technical knowledge but creativity, versatility and great communication skills. You’ll benefit from the fact that Central’s program is anchored in the liberal arts, which engineering professionals regularly cite as strong preparation for an engineering career. Plus, engineering students can take advantage of Central’s partnerships with local global corporations, including two Fortune 500 companies.

of graduates are admitted into their first- or second-choice engineering grad school
  • Electrical and mechanical engineering grads have nearly 100% employment
  • 98% of Central STEM grads are employed, in grad school or completing a year of service one year out

The Real World


Successful Careers

Central graduates have a track record of employment with major engineering firms.
  • Mechanical engineer, Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Civil engineer, Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Product development engineer, The HON Company, Muscatine, Iowa
  • Associate HVAC sales engineer, Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Process engineer, Pella Corp., Pella, Iowa
  • Wafer sustaining engineer, Seagate Technology, Minneapolis
  • Motor control application engineer, Nexteer Automotive, Saginaw, Mich.
  • Transmission line design engineer, POWER Engineers, Inc., Seattle
  • Manufacturing engineer, John Deere, Ankeny, Iowa
  • Planning engineer, MidAmerican Energy Co., Davenport, Iowa
  • Product specialist, Vermeer Corp., Pella, Iowa


  • Physics Club
  • Kappa Mu Epsilon (mathematics honor society)
  • Chemistry Club
  • SCATE (Students Concerned About The Environment)
Central College student

Graduate Placement

Central graduates are admitted to graduate engineering programs across the country.

  • Iowa State University, mechanical engineering
  • University of Notre Dame, aerospace engineering
  • University of Oklahoma, structural engineering
  • Oregon State University, electrical engineering
  • The University of Iowa, civil engineering
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, chemical engineering
  • University of Colorado, Boulder, aerospace engineering
  • Iowa State University, materials science and engineering


Here's where students interested in engineering are interning:

  • Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, Fort Calhoun, Neb.
  • JFSCO Engineering, Red Oak, Iowa
  • Mechanical engineering department, Iowa State University
  • Civil and environmental engineering department, Washington State Univ., Pullman, Wash.
  • The HON Company, Muscatine, Iowa
  • Musco Sports Lighting, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Courses & Faculty

The engineering major will include coursework in materials, electronics, thermodynamics, dynamic systems, physics and mathematics. The major culminates with a two-semester Capstone Design course. Students will be able to complete the degree in four years (eight semesters) and gain practical experience through summer internships.

Graduates will have a strong foundation in physics and the basic sciences which, coupled with the Central College core curriculum, will prepare students broadly for careers or graduate school and long-term success in mechanical and electrical engineering.

Engineering students will be strongly encouraged and supported to complete internships and/or co-ops in engineering at local, national and international locations. Students interested in study abroad are able to complete international internships during a semester or summer around the globe.

Learn more about engineering in the course catalog.

Meet the faculty:

Chad Garber, B.S., M.Eng. Lecturer of Physics

Liz Golovatski, B.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Physics

Viktor Martisovits, RNDr., M.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physics

Pavithra Premaratne, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering

Alexey Pronin, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physics, interest areas include: quantum field theory, Standard Model of elementary particles and its extensions: neutrino oscillations, masses and mixing angles, sterile neutrinos, supersymmetry, grand unified theories

Puneet Vishwakarma, B.E., M.S., Ph.D. Lecturer of Physics

Sample Schedule

Students majoring in engineering should be ready for Calculus I fall semester their first year. Pre-calculus concepts should be covered prior to enrolling.

First Year
  • Engineering Graphics
  • General Physics I with lab
  • General Physics II with lab
  • General Chemistry with lab
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
Sophomore Year
  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Strength of Materials
  • Electric Circuits
  • Electronic Devices with lab
  • Modern Physics I
  • Waves
  • Theoretical and Experimental Methods
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Differential Equations
  • Matlab for Engineers
Junior Year
  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Engineering Materials with lab
  • Electromagnetism
  • Theory of Machines
  • Heat Transfer with lab
  • Signals and Systems with lab
Senior Year
  • Dynamic Systems and Control with lab
  • Digital Control Systems
  • Capstone Design I
  • Capstone Design II
  • Engineering elective
  • Engineering elective
  • Physics elective

The Central Difference

Learn in Nationally Recognized Facilities

To support your coursework, independent studies and research projects with faculty, you’ll have direct access to the Vermeer Science Center classrooms and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and advanced technological equipment. Additional mechanical and electrical engineering laboratories with state-of-the art equipment and a design studio will be available in Peace Hall.

Benefit from Rare Research Opportunities

Begin building your résumé by working alongside professors as a student instructor and/or teaching assistant. Funding for student research in engineering is made possible through the Arthur J. Bosch Endowment for Student Research, which supports collaborative research projects with faculty and alumni.

At Central, you’ll find a wide variety of research and professional development opportunities to choose from, including an X-ray diffractometer and a high-vacuum system with a mass spectrometer to conduct additional research projects. The on-campus observatory with an 11-inch reflector telescope allows you to observe planets, stars and other celestial objects.

Finally, the Central physics department is licensed by the state of Iowa to own and use a plutonium-beryllium neutron source and a cesium gamma-ray source for experiments in atomic and nuclear physics.

Take Your College Career to the Next Level: Study Abroad

Enhance your development as a global citizen and earn credits toward your engineering major when you participate in one of Central’s international programs. Get the attention of prospective employers and graduate schools by adding this to your résumé. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Career Counseling

Central's Career and Professional Development staff can provide guidance to help students identify career options in the engineering field.

Central offers assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, including specific internship programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C., help with graduate school essays and related application materials, career mentoring through the use of a database of Central alumni in a wide variety of engineering careers and an annual graduate school conference with representatives from regional universities and presentations about success in graduate school.


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Learn More

Want to find out more about Engineering at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.