Image of cover of the NACOE Academic Guide 2020, containing photo montage of students

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

College Highlights

  • Top producer of Goldwater Scholars: 74 total Goldwater Scholarship winners as of 2019. 
  • Number of faculty: 85 tenure-track, 45 non-tenure-track (AY 2019).
  • Research expenditures: $18.3 million (FY 2019).
  • Academic scores: Average ACT of 29; Average SAT of 1303.
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering: 39% (1,294)
  • Civil Engineering: 18% (597)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering: 15% (497)
  • Computer Science: 15% (475)
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering: 11% (360)
  • Undeclared: 2% (53)
  • ePALS
    The student mentoring program pairs freshmen and sophomores with juniors and seniors who provide guidance about classes, activities, internships and more.
  • Empower
    Housed within the engineering college, Empower promotes the success of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM fields through scholarships, tutoring and other paths.
  • 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.

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:

  • Engineers Without BordersMSU students have completed more than 30 projects in the Khwisero region of Kenya, including 14 water well projects, 15 sanitation projects, a water pipeline and two rainwater catchment systems.
  • Senior Capstone Projects: As a requirement of graduation, seniors complete year-long, hands-on projects and present them to the public during the biannual Design Fair. In many cases, students design and build practical solutions for businesses, MSU researchers or government labs.
  • 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.

  • Engineering college Dean Brett Gunnink serves on the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women, which continues to work toward the discovery and elimination of institutional barriers to the success of women.
  • Housed within the engineering college, Empower promotes the success of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM fields through scholarships, tutoring and more.
  • The Women in Engineering program offers professional development and networking opportunities to create a community of successful women engineers and computer scientists.

Facts and Stats:

  • Women faculty on tenure track are 23% of total faculty (2018).
  • The number of women students in the college has increased 203% in the past 10 years (2018).

Departments and Degrees


Biological Engineering

Biological engineers transform natural materials into products such as biodiesel.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering graduates learn to create products from raw materials, for example using natural gas to create fertilizer.



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.

Lighting the Way

Chemical engineering students are partnering with their electrical engineering peers and a local nonprofit to design solar-powered bus stops for the local Streamline service in order to provide light, shelter and heat through the seasons.


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

Get Involved

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

Research Highlight

Haley Tupen, a civil engineering graduate student, is partnering with MSU ecology researchers to gather data on the Yellowstone River in order to one day help fish bypass irrigation structures to spawn, feed and access the best winter and summer habitats.

World-class Work

Housed within the MSU Department of Civil Engineering, the Subzero Research Lab is one of only a few specialized facilities in the world dedicated to snow science and other cold research.


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.

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

Get Involved

  • Bridger Solar Team
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Robocats
  • Robosub Club

Top Employers

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Micron
  • Fluke

Research Highlight

Electrical and computer engineering and computer science students at MSU have helped to create nine satellites launched into space by NASA. One satellite, RadSat, features the hands-on research of more than 50 students and will test radiation-tolerant computing technology developed at MSU.

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
  • Automobile and automation manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • National laboratories
  • Robotics
  • Biomedical
  • Building systems
  • Manufacturing
  • Material science

Get Involved

  • Battlebots
  • Bobcat Motorsports
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • American Society of Engineering Management

Research Highlight

MSU mechanical engineering researchers Mark Jankauski and Erick Johnson are studying the physics
of flapping insect wings in order to improve drone flight as the devices are designed smaller and smaller

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

Indika Kahanda,an assistant professor in the Gianforte School of Computing, is collaborating with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to develop software that can sift through millions of online articles and distill the most relevant information for mental health clinicians.

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.