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Engineering is a complex discipline and popular choice for international students looking to choose a major to study. An engineering degree is absolutely a versatile choice for students looking to work in a number of different fields. International students will be excited to learn about the different areas within the field of engineering.

Many students deciding on which academic major they want to pursue often ask themselves “What is engineering?” Engineering is a section of technology and science that focuses on the design of engines, machines, structures and electrical systems. Engineering is deeply rooted in mathematics principles. Engineering is also a very broad topic. There are many subsets of engineering that make up the discipline. Engineers can work in careers ranging from astronauts to beer plant engineers.

There are three major branches of engineering that most universities offer an engineering degree in. These main three disciplines are: civil engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering deals with naturally built structures to include bridges, buildings, roads and other infrastructure projects. Civil engineering is noted as being one of the oldest forms of engineering. Civil engineering is such a great choice for international students because all aspects of industry support the discipline. Civil engineers are employed by both the private and public sectors, with graduates going on to work for construction companies and engineering firms in the private sector, and government agencies in the public sector. Most people identify civil engineering with architecture, and they would be absolutely right. Design is a very important aspect of the civil engineering. Some of the greatest modern achievements in architecture were constructed by civil engineers. The new World Trade Center building in New York City was designed and constructed using top engineers. Historical monuments like the Eiffel Tower in Paris were also constructed by famous engineers.

To be a top civil engineer, an academic degree from an accredited university is necessary. Most universities offer an undergraduate program in civil engineering. In addition, many schools offer graduate degrees in civil engineers for those students wanting to set themselves apart and advance their education.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering combines the core principle of engineering and applies them to the field of physical sciences like chemistry and biology. This discipline seeks to engineer certain chemicals into usable means. Chemical engineers often manage the engineering operations at manufacturing plants that create new machinery for the chemistry industry, and also develop new products using chemical compounds that are beneficial to the public. Chemical engineers are often employed by pharmaceutical companies, petrochemical companies and engineering firms. With these types of employers, engineers turn raw materials into useable products like medicines and fuels. Chemical engineers also seek to create chemical process more efficient and cost effective and reduce pollution from processes or products. Chemical engineers often require an advanced degree, so international students interested in this discipline should consider graduate programs as well.

Mechanical Engineering

What is mechanical engineering? Mechanical engineering brings in the core principles of engineering like mathematics and physics, and applies them to the design and manufacturing of mechanical products like engines and heavy machinery. Mechanical engineering is by far the broadest discipline, allowing students to work in a slew of different career opportunities. Mechanical engineers work for a number of different types of industries. These types of engineers can be seen working for motor companies designing and improving combustion engines, in manufacturing plants improving process and providing quality assurance to plants, and even working in the manufacturing of heavy equipment like sea vessels and tanks. Mechanical engineers always require an undergraduate degree. Many international students decide to study mechanical engineering because the degree is so versatile it often overlaps other forms of engineering and provides for great career outlooks.

Though these three branches are the most popular, there are certainly other areas a student may want to study. Other areas an international student would be interested in getting an engineering degree in include electrical engineering, computer engineering, aeronautical engineering, nuclear engineering, and materials engineering. So what is engineering? Engineering is so broad it is really too hard to give it a single answer!

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