Frequently Asked Questions
How do students acquire full-year co-ops when they usually last 6-9 months?
Student engineers do not have to work 12-month co-ops. They can work multiple co-ops of lesser duration. Our experience is that students on 9-month co-ops are often asked to extend to 12 or more months.
How is this degree different than other engineering degrees?
The Bachelors of Science in Engineering degree prepares student engineers for the integrated world they will enter. Our graduates earn focus areas in many traditional fields like mechanical or electrical engineering. They have successfully found work across all domains of engineering.
How do students acquire co-ops?
Our program does not secure the co-op for the student as we want to teach the student how to develop relationships with companies and earn positions. The faculty work one on one with the student as they go through this process.
How is coursework done during co-ops?
Our coursework comes in three areas: design, professionalism, and technical. Design and professionalism credit comes from the day to day work in the co-op. Students document their learning in these areas through learning journals and written papers. Technical learning is done remotely with IRE professors.
Is this degree accepted for Master’s programs at universities?
This degree is the same degree as is offered at our sister programs Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering. These graduates have had much success in getting accepted into graduate programs nationwide.
Is there an out-of-state tuition fee?
All students in the Bell program are charged the same rate of tuition and fees.
How early does each student need to choose a career field?
Students at IRE usually choose their focus area by the end of their second semester in the program.
What specific career fields are available?
The sky is really the limit for career fields with our B.S.E. degree. The major for the degree is “integrated engineering”. We have had students focus in most traditional fields of engineering as well as design their own field to fit their interest areas.
Do all of the co-ops need to be within the career field chosen by the student?
A minimum of 12 months of co-op should be done in the focus area chosen by the student.
Are the students limited to only working for two different companies on co-op?
No. The Bell Program offers flexibility on how many co-ops the students complete. We do recommend doing 4 or less during the 2 years that students can be on co-op.
Would a student be able to attend any university for their Junior level courses, and then transfer to our program for their senior year?
No. A student attending the Bell program must complete all five semesters to graduate.
Can students bring their families along to the Bell Academy?
Yes! Bring your families along for the first semester that is on-site and that we call the Bell Academy.
Can international students apply/attend?
Is there a minimum GPA requirement to be accepted into this program?
Yes. A GPA of 2.5 or higher is required in math and engineering prerequisites.
Does each co-op performance affect overall GPA?
Yes! Grades are earned each semester for professionalism and design.
How are assessments for technical knowledge done?
Verbal exams for each course are done remotely with professors. Students also defend their work, in person, at the end of the third and fifth semester.