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Four engineering students work on a project in the classroom.

Through a new applied sciences and engineering minor, students select engineering-related electives that complement their majors.

Minor teaches skills in engineering, entrepreneurship

An applied sciences and engineering minor that launched in fall 2020 is helping engineering-oriented students build on the foundations of math and science while engaging them to find hands-on solutions to tangible challenges.

The inaugural class of students pursuing the APSE minor graduated in May with skills they’re now using to pursue new academic paths and make an immediate impact in the workplace.

“Through the APSE minor, students learn valuable skills,” said Richard Goldberg, teaching associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the applied physical sciences department. “They learn how to use important software tools, including tools in the BeAM makerspaces on campus, while gaining exposure to a variety of resources and activities that will help them in their future careers.”

The minor consists of a set of five courses in categories that include “Introduction to Engineering,” “Engineering Fundamentals” and “Engineering Topics.” The minor also requires a set of prerequisite courses that are common to most majors in the sciences.

Through the minor, students select engineering-related electives that complement their majors. Electives draw from a variety of departments, including applied physical sciences, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental sciences and engineering, marine sciences, mathematics, psychology and neuroscience, and physics and astronomy.

Offering students a variety of engineering-focused electives helps them understand how to use engineering, design and modeling approaches, and these skills can also give students an advantage if they want to pursue graduate school, Goldberg said.

For more information, visit aps.unc.edu/apse-minor.