3/2 Engineering Program?

The 3/2 Engineering Program

At Siena College

By Lindsay McTague


What is the 3/2 Program?

    The 3/2 Engineering Program is a special program for driven individuals who wish to pursue a career in an engineering field.  These engineering options include, but are not limited to, mechanical, software, aeronautical, electrical, civil, nuclear, chemical and computer engineering.  These individuals don’t have to be absolutely positive in their choice to become an engineer until their junior year of college, but if they are interested in pursuing the 3/2 Program for Engineering it is a good idea to be at least a little bit serious about a career in engineering. 

    The basis of this program is to fast track a student’s education in order to receive both a liberal arts and technical education.  The student spends three years at Siena College taking normal classes, including core requirements and major requirements, and then continuing his or her education at a school for engineering.  The current schools that are available to Siena students for semi-guaranteed acceptance (guaranteed given a GPA of 3.0 or above) are RPI, SUNY Binghamton, Catholic University, Clarkson University, Manhattan College, and Western New England College.  After attending both Siena and an engineering school, the student will graduate with two bachelor’s degrees.  The first degree will be from Siena College, obtained after 4 years of school, in one of the 3/2 majors (chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and physics).  The second bachelor’s degree will be in whatever type of engineering they chose to pursue. 

    The great part about the 3/2 Program is how the schools set up and plan for incoming students.  There are agreements with all of the schools listed above such that each 3/2 student is guaranteed admission and financial aid for all five years of their education.  However, the engineering school itself, not Siena College, determines the financial aid that the student will receive. 


How do I know if the 3/2 Program is right for me and how would completing the program benefit me?

    The 3/2 Program is a good fit for any type of student who is serious about pursuing a career in an engineering field.  However, they are not bound to the program.  If a student should wish to opt out of the program, it is completely possible to finish his or her degree at Siena College.  This program is also good for a student who does not wish to continue on to graduate school for any reason.  This is mostly because it allows students to quickly complete their education for engineering, giving them the necessary tools to apply for jobs right out of their undergraduate education.  This program also allows people who wish to go to graduate school to have a competitive edge in the acceptance process.  This is because not only will they have a well-rounded educational background from attending a liberal arts school and an engineering school, but they also show that they can handle a different kind of workload because they are driven and serious about their education.  It’s also very convenient because the course load the student will have at Siena is no more intense than a regular, not 3/2 student’s course load.  This leads to the benefits of completing the 3/2 Program. 

    In addition to the previously stated benefits, the 3/2 Program also makes it easier for the students that complete it to apply for and obtain jobs after they graduate.  Many students who have done this program reported back to Siena College stating that having two bachelor’s degrees set them apart from other applicants when applying to engineering jobs.  Employers saw the two bachelor’s degrees on their resumes and were very interested in learning more about the program.  After hearing about the program, employers liked the applicants more because they experienced real-world engineering and were able to succeed under a more rigorous course load, making them more marketable.  This program also allows students to explore two very different types of work environments.  Leaving Siena College, a friendly and open liberal arts school, and going to an engineering school, which is a completely different atmosphere, makes students aware of the different types of workplaces they could be in.  This also allows for more networking, which also helps in job searches. 


How can I prepare for the 3/2 Program while at Siena?

    There is no extra work that a Siena College student must do in preparation for the 3/2 Program; however, it is wise to look into the various options that Siena offers to enrich the 3/2 Program.  For example, since Siena is a very close-knit community it is not hard to get in touch with a Siena College graduate who completed the 3/2 Program.  Granted, there aren’t many of these alumni, but it is definitely worth finding and asking them about their experiences throughout their education and career.  Siena College also encourages those thinking about being in the 3/2 Program to take an engineering class at RPI before they make their decision.  This is a really important detail because it allows the student to know if engineering is the right fit for him or her.  This course at RPI is typically taken during the spring semester of the student's sophomore year or in the fall of his or her junior year. 

    For more information and a timeline of a student's semester-by-semester experience in the 3/2 program, refer to the PowerPoint below.  

Lindsay McTague,
Apr 28, 2011, 3:47 PM