image of cover of the 2022 academic guide

Download a photo-filled PDF version of the NACOE Academic Guide highlighting degree offerings, student support resources and more. An accessible web version of the text appears below.


The Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering is at the core of MSU’s land- grant mission, providing an inclusive, hands-on learning environment that supports academic excellence, strives for innovation in research and serves the community in Montana and beyond. 

I’m thrilled to share with you the exciting opportunities available to our students. In the pages that follow, you’ll get a glimpse of how our engineering and computer science undergraduates are reaching their goals at MSU and in their fields. With a variety of student support services, hands-on research opportunities, and courses designed to meet the need for capable and creative professionals, we set our students up for success. I invite you to learn what awaits you at the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering and how you can be part of our legacy of excellence. 

- Brett Gunnink, Ph.D., P.E. M.Eng.Dean

Programs and Degrees

We invite you to explore the undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs we offer by visiting the MSU Programs and Degrees portal.

College Highlights

  • Top producer of Goldwater Scholars:

    The Goldwater Scholarship is a competitive national award given to math, science and engineering students. MSU has produced a total of 84 Goldwater Scholars, and eight engineering students have won the award in the last five years as of 2022.

  • Number of faculty: 87 tenure-track, 51 non-tenure-track (AY 2021).
  • Research expenditures: $18 million (FY 2021).
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering: 40% (1,335)
  • Civil Engineering: 20% (675)
  • Computer Science: 15% (508)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering: 12% (410)
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering: 10% (315)
  • General: 3% (102)
  • ePALS
    The student mentoring program pairs freshmen and sophomores with juniors and seniors who provide guidance about classes, activities, internships and more.
  • Empower

    The Empower program supports historically underrepresented students in STEM fields. The Empower Student Center provides a study space and services that support inclusive community and academic success.

  • Women in Engineering

    Offering professional development and networking opportunities, the Women in Engineering program works to build a community of successful women engineers and computer scientists.

  • Walk-in help centers
    The engineering college offers walk-in help centers where students can get one-on-one help with challenging core courses.
  • Global horizons
    The International Engineering Certificate is a step towards becoming a global computer scientist or engineer – someone who can live, work and perform anywhere. Students work closely with their advisors to turn their engineering study abroad experience or service trip into credit toward the certificate.
  • Dedicated faculty
    In the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, every class is taught by a dedicated faculty member, and one-on-one faculty advising is available to all students for discussing course load, degree planning and career preparation.
  • Online Advising Center

We provide easy access for current and prospective students to connect with academic pathways, support resources and engagement opportunities.

Norm Asbjornson Hallhouses parts of the College of Engineering and Honors College with nine classrooms, 17 laboratories, maker spaces and an Innovation Hall where students can display their completed projects. The building is thoughtfully designed to promote interdisciplinary engagement and meaningful student-faculty interaction.

Cutting-edge building technologies helped Norm Asbjornson Hall become one of only 10 buildings in Montana to be certified as LEED Platinum, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest certification.

Named for a generous donor and 1959 MSU electrical engineering alumnus, the Bill Wurst Makerspace will include specialty tools such as 3-D printers for students and faculty to build, test and prototype their big ideas.

Choose from 38 student clubs and organizations, including:

  • Community and Connections:

    Engineering and computer science students can join any of 38 clubs and organizations within the college, including the Bridger Solar Team and Association for Women in Computing.

  • Engineers Without Borders: MSU students have completed more than 30 projects in the Khwisero region of Kenya, including water well projects, sanitation projects, a water pipeline and rainwater catchment systems.

  • Contruction Competition: MSU civil engineering students regularly place among the top teams at a regional competition where they create mock construction bids on real-world projects such as bridges.

We remain committed to providing a place for a place for all to realize their potential in engineering and computer science.

The Empower program aims to advance our population of students from diverse backgrounds by fostering a supportive learning environment that encourages their academic, professional and leadership development.

  • Women faculty on tenure track are 25% of total faculty (Fall 2021).
  • The number of women students in the college has increased 157% in the past 10 years (Fall 2021).

Departments and Degrees


Biological Engineering

Biological engineers integrate life sciences with engineering to transform natural materials into products such as medicines, biofuels and foods.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering graduates create valuable products using chemical processes that are cost- effective, energy efficient and sustainable.

Biomedical Engineering

Combines engineering with courses like anatomy and cell biology to fulfill pre-med requirements while opening doors to careers in medical research and technology.




Career Opportunities

  • Biofuels
  • Biomedicine
  • Environmental Restoration
  • Pharmaceuticals

Top Employers

  • BP
  • Exxon
  • Micron
  • Intel
  • DuPont
  • Pfizer

Get Involved

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • Electrochemical Society
  • Society for Biological Engineers

Research Highlight

In an effort to improve the feasibility of a renewable energy source, a team of MSU researchers is exploring a potential breakthrough in producing biofuel from algae with the help of a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Building a Sustainable Future

Chemical and biological engineering students plan and host an annual conference on climate change that brings together guest speakers and more than other 100 participants to explore ways that chemical and biological engineers can help society while protecting the environment.


Civil Engineering

Civil engineers provide society with vital infrastructure including roads, buildings, bridges, transit systems and water treatment systems while tackling challenges such as pollution and community planning.

Construction Engineering Technology

Construction engineering technology graduates plan and supervise construction for major projects such as highways, buildings and industrial plants.

Environmental Engineering
Focus on environmental, municipal and industrial processes and strengths in water chemistry, fluid mechanics and hydraulics.


Land Surveying

Business Administration

Career Opportunities

  • Construction
  • Project management
  • Transportation
  • Water resources
  • Geotechnical
  • Structural
  • Environmental

Get Involved

  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Chi Epsilon
  • MSU Institute of Transportation Engineers
  • Sigma Lambda Chi

Research Highlight

In partnership with the Montana Department of Transportation, MSU undergraduates have helped develop an exceptionally strong and durable concrete that’s now being used for bridge decks in the state.

Educaton for the real world

With a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, MSU is transforming its Environmental Engineering degree to better position graduates to excel in professional practice and serve communities. Courses are structured around real-world, multifaceted projects that incorporate technical subjects as well as community engagement, economics and writing for general audiences.


Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers are key contributors at the frontier of science and engineering, using physics, electronics and electromagnetism to work with everything from nanotechnology to smart grids, inside human bodies to deep outer space.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineers use their understanding
of software, electronic circuits, innovation and design to work with modern embedded computer processors that provide the electronic brains for phones, autonomous vehicles, biomedical devices, computer networks and more.

  • Aerospace
  • Optics
  • Robotics
  • Digital design
  • Audio engineering
  • Power systems

Get Involved

  • Bridger Solar Team
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Robocats
  • Robosub Club
  • Space Science and Engineering Lab

Top Employers

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Micron
  • Fluke

Research Highlight

More than 70 undergraduates have been involved in developing RadPC, a spacecraft computing technology that can recover from radiation interference in outer space. A prototype is scheduled to journey to the moon for testing aboard a NASA mission in 2023.

Inform and inspire

Service learning is key to the MSU experience. That’s why you’ll find computer and electrical engineering students and faculty active with local, regional and international activities including FIRST Robotics, outreachto K-12 education, engineering competitions and summer research programs for underrepresented groups in engineering.


Financial Engineering

Financial engineers work at the intersection of business, economics and engineering to manage market risk, create strategic business opportunities and lower costs for goods and services.

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

IMSEs optimize the ways in which organizations deliver goods and services across a number of fields, including health care, manufacturing, energy and transportation.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers transform materials into products that you use every day, creating the machines that we use, developing the energy sources we rely on, and designing environmentally- friendly buildings where we live and work.

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Mechanical engineering technology graduates solve design problems big and small in order to improve the operation and performance of mechanical systems.

  • Aerospace
  • Automation and robotics
  • Automotive
  • Biomedical
  • Building systems
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Material science
  • National Laboratories

Get Involved

  • American Society of Engineering Management
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Battlebots
  • Bobcat Motorsports
  • Bridger Solar Team
  • Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Robocats
  • RoboSub Club

Research Highlight

For their senior capstone project, a team of MSU undergraduates designed and build
a device that simulates how water lines on
the International Space Station experience
the microgravity of low Earth orbit. MSU researchers are working with NASA to fine-tune the tool for studying how to prevent bacterial biofilm from clogging the pipes.

Hands-on Learning

As a requirement of graduation, every engineering college senior completes and presents a hands-on project to the public during the biannual Design Fair. In many cases, students design and build practical solutions for businesses, MSU researchers or government labs.


Because computing is pervasive in today’s world, the variety of computing-based careers is limitless. Computer scientists and software engineers use their expertise in computational thinking to advance knowledge and make the world a better place.

Students can choose from a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. in Computer Science empowers students to pair knowledge of computer science with social sciences, the humanities or business, while the B.S. allows students to master the fundamentals of computing while diving into topics such as artificial intelligence, multimedia and computational biology through professional or interdisciplinary options.

Professional option - B.S.

Master the fundamentals of computing while diving into topics such as artificial intelligence, multimedia and computational biology.

Interdisciplinary option - B.S.

Master the fundamentals of computing while applying it to a wide range of other fields.

B.A. in Computer Science
Empowers students to pair knowledge of computer science with social sciences, the humanities or business.


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mobile app development
  • Robotics
  • Special effects artist
  • Web design

Top Employers

  • SoFi
  • Oracle
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Boeing

Get Involved

  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Association for Women in Computing
  • Robocats
  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon
  • Computational Topology and Geometry

Research Highlight

MSU researcher Brittany Terese Fasy recently won a $600,000 CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to advance topological data analysis,
a powerful computing technique that can be used
to map and compare road networks from GPS data, diagnose prostate cancer from medical imaging, and classify galaxies based on telescope images.

Invest in Your Future

Computer science students are encouraged to take advantage of professional development opportunities such as all expenses-paid trips to the oSTEM or Grace Hopper conferences or taking part in the annual Spring Break Tech Road Trip.