Department of Engineering and Public Policy
M. Granger Morgan, Head
Deanna H. Matthews, Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs
Office: Baker Hall 129
The Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) is a unique engineering department, whose overall objective is to enhance undergraduate engineering education with the perspectives and skills that enable the engineer to understand and work at the interface between technology and society. Society is largely responsible for setting the goals and framing the problems that engineers work on. However, technologies designed by engineers profoundly change the societies in which they operate. Technology has enabled a healthier, richer, and more productive society. At the same time, technology has contributed to the creation of many of the more serious problems our society faces.
Technology can help us build a happier, freer, and more fulfilling life, while maintaining risks and undesirable impacts at acceptable levels. But that does not happen automatically. It takes careful hard work by people who understand both technology and the society in which they live. In order to do their jobs responsibly and well in today's world, engineers must develop an understanding of the interface between technology and society and a command of the skills necessary to work at that interface. The undergraduate degree programs of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) have been designed to allow engineering students at Carnegie Mellon University to add this important dimension to their traditional engineering education. EPP double major graduates, for the most part, will enter traditional engineering careers, but will carry with them a set of insights and skills that will help them to better deal with issues in technology and policy, and better exercise their ethical and social obligations as practicing professionals.Back To Top
Educational Outcomes: Double Major Knowledge and Skills Development
Through required courses, carefully selected technical and non-technical electives, and project activities, double major students in Engineering and Public Policy develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand and address the broader social context of technology during the course of their future careers as practicing engineers. Specifically they develop:
- An understanding of ideas and analytical tools in economics, decision science, and other social sciences through several required courses and a group of "social analysis electives."
- A knowledge of probability and statistics beyond that acquired by many engineering single majors.
- An understanding of how technical and social issues interact and affect each other through a set of required "EPP technical electives" (these courses are also available to other CIT students who wish to broaden their technical education).
- An appreciation of, and ability to deal with, ethical issues posed by technology and technical systems through case studies and discussion in the EPP Sophomore Seminar. Additionally, students may choose EPP technical and social analysis electives that cover ethics in disciplinary, philosophical, societal, and technical contexts.
- Hands on experience in integrating their technical and social analytical skills by addressing current, open-ended technology and public policy problems in two group project courses. These courses also require students to work in interdisciplinary groups, and they enhance communications skills through group processes and formal presentations.
- An understanding of how decision-makers in governments and other institutions can effectively use technical and scientific information when devising or evaluating public policy.
Double Major Objectives: Advantages in Career Paths
By design, most graduates from Engineering and Public Policy pursue traditional technical career paths. However, the double major provides students with additional insights and abilities such as:
- Displaying an understanding that engineering is not practiced in isolation. Technical products and systems are shaped, conditioned, and evaluated by society while at the same time technology shapes the social world.
- Recognizing situations and knowing how to seek advanced assistance where one's work may have effects in areas beyond the traditional expertise of engineers: These areas include health and safety; environmental and economic regulation; and impacts of technological innovation.
- Displaying an appreciation of the difference between the effects and attributes of engineering a single device or small system, versus engineering for mass consumption or for large technological systems.
- Using, or seeking help in using, tools and methods to approach complex decision problems that engineers often must face, including issues beyond the design of products and processes.
- Considering career paths more diverse than those traditionally associated with engineering or other technical careers.
- Demonstrating an ability to integrate conventional technical analysis with behavioral and other social issues, where the engineer is a participant in teams composed of many disciplines.
The double major graduates in Engineering and Public Policy use the additional dimension in their background to improve the quality, sensitivity, and social responsiveness of their work, and the work of their colleagues. Many who begin in conventional engineering careers later migrate into positions with responsibilities which make special use of their EPP education. A number of graduates elect careers with local, state, or national government or with policy research and consulting firms. Some choose to continue their formal education, doing graduate work in an engineering discipline, in the social sciences, law, or in an interdisciplinary program.Back To Top
Overview of the EPP Double Major
The department offers double major B.S. degree programs with each of the five traditional engineering departments in the engineering college, as well as with the School of Computer Science. The engineering double major programs lead to fully accredited engineering degrees that prepare students for traditional engineering careers. EPP double major engineers are not educated to be a different kind of engineer. Rather their education is intended to enable them to be better, more socially responsible engineers in the traditional engineering fields. The department also offers a minor in Technology and Policy for non-engineering majors.
All of the undergraduate double major programs in EPP combine the strong foundation in mathematics and physical sciences, and the development of engineering skills in the specific engineering field, with a rigorous preparation in the analysis of social and political problems. The curricula includes subject matter which is not part of traditional engineering or social science curricula, but which contains elements of each. This is accomplished by Engineering and Public Policy technical elective courses, social analysis courses, and through participation by each student in at least two interdisciplinary problem-solving projects. Problem areas for these projects are chosen from local, state, and national situations and include such topics as industrial automation and robotics, environmental control, telecommunication and computer technologies, product safety, and energy systems. Engineering and Public Policy students take courses in engineering and science offered by the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Mellon College of Science. They also take social science, humanities, and industrial administration courses offered in the College of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Tepper School's undergraduate business program. There is also significant interaction between EPP students and the Heinz College, and the Department of Social and Decision Sciences.
All undergraduates interested in the program complete their freshman year before declaring their major. Students planning to be double majors with chemical, mechanical, or materials sciences and engineering are especially advised to check the double major curriculum before selecting their freshman elective courses so as to avoid possible overloads later in the program.
Some of the designated minors such as the Environmental Engineering minor are also compatible with the EPP double major without overload, if the program of study is carefully planned beginning in the freshman year. Additional non-CIT minors such as Business Administration or an H&SS discipline may not be possible without overloads. If you are interested in exploring these options, please contact the EPP undergraduate advisors early.
Credit-unit overloads of between one and six units are also involved. To ease these overloads, some students occasionally elect a minimum of summer work. Course and credit-unit requirements for the single major and double major degrees are listed below.
Faculty in several departments serve as advisors and information resources to students selecting the EPP undergraduate programs. Given the interdisciplinary perspective of EPP, students may find that a faculty member outside their traditional major can provide support and guidance with EPP-related courses and career paths. The EPP Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs is Deanna Matthews. Dr. Matthews can provide general academic advice and guidance for all EPP double majors. Other faculty affiliated with the undergraduate programs in EPP are:
- Civil Engineering: Peter Adams, Scott Matthews, Mitch Small
- Computer Science: Lorrie Cranor
- Electrical and Computer Engineering: Marija Ilic, Marvin Sirbu
- Engineering and Public Policy: Ines Azevedo, Liz Casman, Erica Fuchs, Paulina Jaramillo, Deanna Matthews
- Mechanical Engineering: Jeremy Michalek, Edward Rubin
- Material Science and Engineering: Jay Whitacre
- Social and Decision Sciences: Paul Fischbeck, Baruch Fischhoff
Double Major Curricula
Note: Students in the Class of 2015 and earlier should refer to the Course Catalog for the year they enrolled for EPP degree requirements.
Bachelor of Science in an Engineering Field/Computer Science and Engineering and Public Policy
The EPP double major curriculum consists of two sets of core courses: one set for the disciplinary major (ChE, CivE, CS, ECE, MEG, MSE) and the second set for the interdisciplinary EPP major. The student is referred to the relevant sections of this catalog for the core courses in the disciplinary major. The student simultaneously satisfies all requirements for the undergraduate degree in a traditional engineering department or computer science, and all requirements for the undergraduate degree in Engineering and Public Policy. With early planning, some of the designated minors are also possible without overload.
Specific degree requirements for the double major program vary with each department. With the exception of a three-unit seminar course, the double major program requires the same number of courses for completion as the corresponding single major departmental degree programs. However, as the curricula below illustrate, there are substantial differences between elective course requirements for the double major and single major students.
|Field||Single Major Units||Double Major with EPP Units|
|Electrical and Computer Engineering||379||385|
|Materials Science and Engineering||379||385|
The EPP curriculum consists of the following courses:
|19-201||EPP Sophomore Seminar||3|
|19-45x||EPP Projects (2 semesters)||24|
|73-100||Principles of Economics||9|
|88-xxx||Decision Analysis Course||9|
|36-xxx||Probability and Statistics (2 courses)||18|
|Four EPP Technical Electives||36|
|Four EPP Social Analysis Electives||36|
The above courses for the EPP curriculum in general replace technical and general education requirements, seminars, and free electives of the single major.
EPP Core Course Requirements
The EPP Core courses include the EPP Sophomore Seminar and EPP Projects courses. EPP Sophomore Seminar is offered in the Fall and may substitute for a disciplinary seminar course for the primary majors with a seminar requirement. This course prepares students for the double major experience through discussion and assessment of technology-policy interactions. EPP Projects are taken twice by all students, either in the Spring of Junior year and once in Senior year or during both semesters Senior year. EPP Projects are technology/policy projects which deal with research and development of recommendations for solving actual and critical problems currently affecting society. The students, faculty, and graduate student managers for the project are drawn from EPP, H&SS, and Heinz College, and hence bring different areas of expertise to the structuring and solution of the problem.
The topics for EPP Projects are drawn from diverse areas such as environmental systems and resources, public transportation, urban engineering problems, energy and fuel utilization, the interaction of law and technology, strategic materials and vulnerability of supply, technical issues in national security, and problems in automation, robotics and communication technology.
Examples of past project course topics and final reports are available: http://www.epp.cmu.edu/undergraduate/project_courses.html
Note: Students completing the EPP major are not required to take Introduction to Engineering and Public Policy (19-101) as the second introductory engineering course, although taking it as the second introductory engineering elective course serves as an opportunity to learn about the kind of questions and issues studied in EPP.
Technical Course Requirements
Probability and Statistics Sequence
In today's world, knowledge of probability and statistics is critical in understanding how technological systems operate. The EPP double major requires that students take a 2 course sequence in probability and statistics. Most of the traditional majors require a statistics course, typically 36-220 Engineering Statistics and Quality Control, which will count towards meeting one course of the two course requirement. A list of qualifying statistics courses to meet the second course requirement is assembled each semester. The statistics courses fill disciplinary technical elective and free elective course slots in the traditional major curricula as follows:
- ChE/EPP majors take in place of a disciplinary technical elective and the second course in place of a free elective.
- CivE/EPP majors have 36-220 in their single major curriculum, and take the second course as a free elective.
- CS/EPP majors should take 36-217 as part of their single major curriculum, and take the second course as a free elective.
- ECE/EPP majors must take 36-217 or 36-225 in their single major curriculum, and take the second course as a free elective. Note that 36-217 is the preferred option for students planning to take the communications course. Either 36-220 Engineering Statistics and Quality Control or 36-226 Introduction to Statistical Inference are recommended for the second statistics course.
- ME/EPP majors take 36-220 as part of their single major curriculum, and take the second course in place of a technical elective.
- MSE/EPP majors take 36-220 as part of their single major curriculum and the second course in place of a technical elective.
Students should complete the initial statistics course as early as possible, preferably by the end of Sophomore year.
EPP Technology-Policy Electives
EPP Technology-Policy Electives include courses in CIT, MCS, or SCS that generally belong to two categories: courses which synthesize engineering analysis and social analysis perspectives and apply them to problems with substantial societal technological components; and courses which teach methods or background vital to classes of important problems at the technology-society interface. Specific areas of interest for these courses are (1) energy, resources, and the environment, (2) risk assessment, (3) forensic engineering, (4) urban engineering, (5) information and communication technology, (6) product engineering and design, and (7) robotics. Courses in other topic areas may also be included as determined from year to year. Students should work with their advisors to define areas of concentration or a selection of breadth courses for the Technology-Policy Electives. Students use free elective units to complete these electives.
Each student elects four of these courses. A list of qualifying Technology-Policy Electives is assembled each semester. The following categories of courses count as Technology-Policy Electives:
- 19-xxx EPP departmental courses are considered Technology-Policy Electives. Exceptions to this rule will be identified when the courses are offered.
- Courses in engineering, mathematics, or science that have direct policy analysis applications are considered Technology-Policy Electives. Examples include mathematics courses related to optimization, estimation, and related topics.
- Courses on substantive technical issues of relevance to policy analysis are considered Technology-Policy Electives. While most technical domain knowledge has some application to policy, qualifying courses are those with information that is essential to deal with policy domains in which EPP students and faculty are actively engaged. Examples include courses in environmental engineering, electric power and energy systems, biological processes relevant to health and safety risks, climate change, and processes of engineering design.
- Some disciplinary major required courses are as follows. Because several traditional majors cannot accommodate four EPP Technology-Policy Electives without overload, EPP counts selected courses in those departments as Technology-Policy Electives even though the courses may not exactly meet the above selection criteria. In some cases, a course is modified slightly for content deemed relevant to EPP, and EPP students register under a separate number for the course.
- ChE/EPP students count three ChE core courses, 06-421 Chemical Process Systems Design, 06-462 Optimization Modeling and Algorithms, and 06-463 Chemical Product Design as 2 EPP Technology-Policy Electives and take only two more EPP Technology-Policy Electives.
- CivE/EPP students count two core mini courses, 12-421 Engineering Economics and 27-357 Introduction to Materials Selection, as one EPP Technology-Policy Elective, and take only three more EPP Technology-Policy Electives.
- ME/EPP students count 24-441 Engineering Design II: Conceptualization and Realization as an EPP Technology-Policy Elective, and take only three more EPP Technology-Policy Electives.
- MSE/EPP students count 27-401 MSE Capstone Course I as one EPP Technology-Policy Elective and take only three more EPP Technology-Policy Electives.
Social Analysis Course Requirements
Decision Analysis and Economics Requirements
For analysis of technical and policy problems in the department, it is important to understand how decisions are made and how economic conditions affect alternatives. Students are required to complete the following economics course:
|73-100||Principles of Economics||9|
Students should complete 73-100 as early as possible, preferably during their freshman year.
Students are also required to complete one decision analysis course. Either 88-223 Decision Analysis and Decision Support Systems or 88-302 Behavioral Decision Making are acceptable. Other decision analysis courses may be substituted with permission. Both 88-223 and 88-302 have a statistics course prerequisite.
Social Analysis Electives
In addition to traditional engineering skills, EPP double majors are expected to acquire social science skills that prepare them to address the complicated problems which confront engineers in both the public and private sector. Courses that fulfill the Social Analysis Elective category fall into a number of topic areas, such as (1) economics, (2) interpersonal processes, (3) organizations, (4) ethics, (5) political analysis, (6) urban analysis, (7) technology and society, (8) international peace and security, (9) policy analysis, and (10) the role of computers in institutions. Courses in other topic areas may also be included as determined from year to year. Students are permitted to choose their electives concentrated in one topic area, or they can select a breadth of courses in different areas. A list of qualifying Social Analysis Electives is assembled each semester.
The Social Analysis Electives include courses in Architecture, Business Administration, Economics, English, History, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, and Social and Decision Sciences. Occasionally, these departments may offer a course which we deem unsuitable as a Social Analysis Elective. Some courses from CIT, MCS, and SCS may be appropriate for Social Analysis Electives depending on the content. Students should check the electives course list each semester for acceptable courses.
Students should work with their advisors to select appropriate Social Analysis Elective courses. Note that students pursuing an EPP double major complete the Social Analysis course requirements as part of the CIT General Education program. Courses should be selected to fulfill requirements in the four general education categories: Innovation and Internationalization; People, Places and Cultures; Social Analysis and Decision Making; and Writing and Expression; or the two general education free elective slots.
Notes on EPP double major requirements
Freshman Electives: In order to avoid overloads later in the curriculum, students wishing to pursue the EPP double major should complete the technical electives for the first two years as required by the student's other traditional technical department. These requirements, including math, physics, and other science courses, are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog for the various departments.
For CIT students, the introductory engineering course in the major and a second introductory course must be completed. Introduction to Engineering and Public Policy is recommended but not required. Other courses that should be completed during the First Year include 76-101 Interpretation and Argument and 73-100 Principles of Economics. Students should complete their first statistics course by the end of Sophomore year.
A MSE/EPP double major may choose the Industrial Internship Option (IIO) which is a MSE program in cooperative education. Just as in the MSE single major IIO option, the MSE/EPP IIO option provides the students with an opportunity to supplement the academic program with relevant work experience in metallurgy and materials science as well as in the public policy area.
Side-by-side comparison charts of the curricula for the traditional majors alone versus the traditional majors with the EPP double major can assist students in determining the course requirements and scheduling needed to complete the degree requirements.
Students who feel that they may be interested in an EPP double major program are advised to check with the appropriate faculty advisor or with the Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs in the EPP Department about the optimal selection of courses. By planning the four-year curriculum early, the student can be sure to get the maximum flexibility, and the maximum advantage from any advanced placement credits he or she may have.Back To Top
Fifth Year M.S. program in Engineering and Public Policy
Students affiliated with the department may apply for the fifth year masters program that will lead to the additional degree of Master of Science in Engineering and Public Policy. This course of study will ordinarily require two additional semesters of study beyond that required for the undergraduate degrees in the primary major and EPP double major. Some coursework towards the MS may be able to be completed during the student's senior year, however no courses taken may count for both a BS in CIT and the MS in EPP. The primary concern for scheduling and completing this integrated program is completing the core courses in the EPP graduate program, as some of these courses are taught every other academic year only. Students interested in the program must have a minimum 3.0 QPA and should contact their advisor for details on the application process and course requirements.Back To Top
Minor in Technology and Policy
The department also offers a minor in Technology and Policy to non-CIT majors. This minor allows non-technical students to sample the EPP requirements and develop exposure and awareness to issues at the interface of science, technology and society. Details of this program are provided in the discussion of CIT minors; see Technology and Policy Minor Description.Back To Top
Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Public Policy and Master of Science in Public Policy and Management
Highly motivated and talented students can earn the EPP double major bachelor's degree, and a master's degree in the H. John Heinz College of Public Policy and Management in a five-year course of study. Students interested in the combined degree program should enroll in a standard double major program in an engineering specialty and EPP. During the third year of study, the student applies to the Heinz College for admission to the master's program; an academic record of B average or better is normally a prerequisite for admittance.
The five-year course of study is possible because of specific course load overlaps between the EPP and Heinz College programs: (1) some social analysis requirements in EPP, usually four semester courses, can be satisfied with Heinz College common core courses in economics and social science; (2) at least one project course is common and applicable to both curriculums; (3) at least one additional EPP technical elective, engineering option or project course, will be accepted for Heinz College credit following the usual request to the master's committee.
Students desiring this option should seek faculty advice and counsel in their freshman or sophomore year so that a curriculum satisfying all the degree requirements can be ensured. Contact the Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs in EPP for more information. For general information on Heinz 3-1-1 programs please contact the Heinz College or refer to their website.
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EPP Undergraduate/Graduate Level Courses
Many courses taught by the department (19-XXX courses) are offered to undergraduate and graduate students. These “dual level” courses are offered in two formats:
- Some courses are taught under both an undergraduate and graduate number. An example is 19-402 Telecommunications, Technology Policy & Management. In these types of courses, students who sign up under the 700-level (graduate) course number may be expected to perform the same coursework at a higher level, and/or complete additional coursework, compared to 19-4XX students. Undergraduates who choose to take the course under the graduate number will be also be expected to work at the higher expectation/coursework level.
- Other courses are taught under a 600 level number. An example is 19-688 Innovation for Energy and the Environment. These courses may be taken by undergraduates as a senior level course, or by graduate students as a graduate level course. As with dual number courses, graduate level students or undergraduates taking the course for graduate credit, may be required to perform coursework at a higher level and/or complete additional coursework. Undergraduates who are taking a 600 level course for graduate credit should identify this fact to both the course instructor and to their EPP department advisor.
Students who have questions about the requirements of a specific EPP 400/700, or 600 level course, should contact the course instructor.
Other departments may have different policies regarding courses offered under both an undergraduate and graduate number, and courses offered under numbers other than the 100, 200, 300, 400, or 700 levels. Students who wish to take these courses should check with those departments for their specific policies.