Design a Future You’ll Love

Central College engineers success for tomorrow's leaders.

Today’s engineering careers demand not only technical knowledge but creativity, versatility and great communication skills. Central College’s Bachelor of Science engineering degree is designed to be completed in four years and readies you for a rewarding career at the interface of mechanical and electrical engineering.

Central has partnerships with three large, international companies headquartered a short distance from campus, including two Fortune 500 companies. Studying engineering at Central opens doors to ample opportunities for students to apply for internships and jobs.

of graduates are admitted into their first- or second-choice engineering grad school
of Central STEM grads are employed, in grad school or completing a year of service one year after graduation
Central's electrical and mechanical engineering grads have nearly 100% employment

The Central Difference

Learn in Nationally Recognized Facilities

The Vermeer Science Center classrooms and laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and advanced technological equipment to support coursework, augment independent studies and elevate research projects. Additional mechanical and electrical engineering laboratories with cutting-edge equipment and a design studio are available in Peace Hall.

The Art of STEM

Abigail Lowry ’22 is an ambitious student with a passion for the arts and STEM.

Benefit from Rare Research Opportunities

Begin building your résumé by working alongside professors as a student instructor and/or teaching assistant. Funding for student research in engineering is made possible through the Arthur J. Bosch Endowment for Student Research, which supports collaborative research projects with faculty and alumni.

At Central, you’ll find a wide variety of research and professional development opportunities to choose from, including an X-ray diffractometer and a high-vacuum system with a mass spectrometer to conduct additional research projects. The on-campus observatory with an 11-inch reflector telescope allows you to observe planets, stars and other celestial objects.

Central’s physics department is licensed by the state of Iowa to own and use a plutonium-beryllium neutron source and a cesium gamma-ray source for experiments in atomic and nuclear physics.

Next Level Opportunities: Off-Campus Experiences

Students who want to develop an open mind and broaden his or her perspective as a global citizen and earn credits toward an engineering degree can participate in one of Central’s international programs. Get the attention of prospective employers and graduate schools by adding this to a résumé.

Learn more about Central’s off-campus experiences.

Career Counseling

Central’s Career and Professional Development staff can provide guidance to help students identify career options in the engineering field.

Central offers assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, including specific internship programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C., help with graduate school essays and related application materials, career mentoring through the use of a database of Central alumni in a wide variety of engineering careers and an annual graduate school conference with representatives from regional universities and presentations about success in graduate school. Find out what it means to be Forever Dutch®.

Central College student

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

Central College graduates have found successful careers in engineering careers.

  • Electrical engineer, KCL Engineering, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • R&D engineer, Dee Zee, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Building automation engineer, Woodman Controls Company, Urbandale, Iowa
  • Project engineer, Vermeer Corporation, Pella, Iowa
  • Project engineer, Sachs Electric Company, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Mechanical engineer, Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Civil engineer, Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Product development engineer, The HON Company, Muscatine, Iowa
  • Associate HVAC sales engineer, Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Process engineer, Pella Corporation, Pella, Iowa
  • Wafer sustaining engineer, Seagate Technology, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Motor control application engineer, Nexteer Automotive, Saginaw, Michigan
  • Transmission line design engineer, POWER Engineers, Inc., Seattle, Washington
  • Manufacturing engineer, John Deere, Ankeny, Iowa
  • Planning engineer, MidAmerican Energy Co., Davenport, Iowa
  • Product specialist, Vermeer Corporation, Pella, Iowa

UPDATE: Central Hosts Event Featuring NASA Commander Raja Chari

The Central College community will present “Space Station Central” on Thursday, Feb. 24, featuring NASA commander Raja Chari who is currently aboard the International Space Station. The event will also be livestreamed via the Central Dutch Network.

Graduate School Placement

  • Iowa State University, mechanical engineering; materials science and engineering
  • Oregon State University, electrical engineering
  • University of Colorado – Boulder, aerospace engineering
  • University of Iowa, civil engineering
  • University of Notre Dame, aerospace engineering
  • University of Oklahoma, structural engineering
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, chemical engineering

Internships/Research Opportunities

  • Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska
  • JFSCO Engineering, Red Oak, Iowa
  • Mechanical engineering department, Iowa State University
  • Civil and environmental engineering department, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
  • The HON Company, Muscatine, Iowa
  • PPI, Pella, Iowa
  • Pella Corporation, Pella, Iowa
  • Musco Sports Lighting, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Pathway to Success

An articulation agreement between Pella Community High School, Des Moines Area Community College and Central College has been finalized to provide a clear pathway for Pella High School students to begin their engineering studies in high school, move to DMACC for one year and then transfer to Central to complete the Bachelor of Science in Engineering in an additional three years.

Central College student

Courses & Faculty

The engineering major includes coursework in materials, electronics, thermodynamics, dynamic systems, physics and mathematics. The major culminates with a two-semester Capstone Design course. Students can complete the degree in four years (eight semesters) and gain practical experience through summer internships.

Graduates will have a strong foundation in physics and the basic sciences which, coupled with the Central College core curriculum, will prepare students broadly for careers or graduate school and long-term success in mechanical and electrical engineering.

Engineering students are strongly encouraged and supported to complete internships and/or co-ops in engineering at local, national and international locations. Students interested in off-campus experiences can complete international internships during a semester or summer around the globe. Internships, co-ops and off-campus experiences open the door to lifelong connections.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

Sample Coursework

Students majoring in engineering should be ready for Calculus I fall semester their first year. Pre-calculus concepts should be covered prior to enrolling.

First Year

  • Engineering Graphics
  • General Physics I + lab
  • General Physics II + lab
  • General Chemistry + lab
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II

Sophomore Year

  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Strength of Materials
  • Electric Circuits
  • Electronic Devices + lab
  • Modern Physics I
  • Waves
  • Theoretical and Experimental Methods
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Differential Equations
  • Matlab for Engineers

Junior Year

  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Engineering Materials + lab
  • Electromagnetism
  • Theory of Machines
  • Heat Transfer + lab
  • Signals and Systems + lab

Senior Year

  • Dynamic Systems and Control + lab
  • Digital Control Systems
  • Capstone Design I
  • Capstone Design II
  • Engineering elective
  • Engineering elective
  • Physics elective


Learn More

Want to find out more about Engineering at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.

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