Special Programs and Opportunities
College involves more than taking classes. These academic and co-curricular activities cover a wide range of interests. Engineering students are active in the opportunities listed below and many others across campus.
Engineering students typically participate in paid industrial internships during one or more summers over the course of their college career. Internships provide valuable hands-on training, broaden your view of engineering career options in industry, introduce you to an exciting network of people, and are a primary pathway to full-time employment upon graduation.
Performing research with faculty is an excellent way to try out different engineering fields and see if graduate school would be interesting to you. About 35% of our students participate in research prior to graduation. This is a paid summer job that lets you immerse yourself in a specific topic, working closely with other students and your faculty mentor. Many students also perform research during the academic year, travel to present their work at national and international conferences, and contribute as authors on peer-reviewed journal articles. These experiences contribute to Hope students’ success in obtaining NSF Graduate Fellowships, exceeding rates from all engineering programs in Michigan and the Big Ten.
Summary of ongoing student-faculty collaborative research projects
Engineering Honors Designation
The honors designation in engineering provides an opportunity for students to be challenged beyond the minimum requirements for the major and to pursue opportunities to enhance their career preparation.
Complete a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering along with one of the following options:
- 2 minors and participation in research or internship for at least one semester.
- 1 minor and participation in research for at least 3 semesters or the equivalent.
- 1 minor and completion of an honors project under the guidance of an engineering faculty member approved by the department. The honors project should have a topic and format that complements the student’s career interests developed in collaboration with an engineering faculty mentor. The honors project is intended to be separate from work used to fulfill course assignments.
Demonstrate communication skills as evidenced by creation of publications, presentations, published abstracts or other public communications describing the results of research, internship or honors project work to a broad audience. These publications and presentations should be separate from work done to fulfill course assignments.
Display a commitment to community service or leadership through activities such as serving as an officer in a student organization, serving as a teaching assistant, significant outreach activities or other service to the community as approved by the engineering honors advisor.
Maintain a high GPA of at least 3.0 in engineering courses.
Additional activities may be considered upon approval of the department. Students interested in engineering honors should coordinate their plan with the engineering honors advisor.
- Engineers without Borders (EWB)
- Hope College’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) was established in 2005 as an opportunity for students to pair philanthropic desires with their engineering skills. From 2005 to 2012 the chapter partnered with a community in Nkuv, Cameroon, to address issues with overall water quality and accessibility. After successfully achieving this in Nkuv, the chapter established a partnership with a community of approximately 500 in Bondo, Kenya, in 2013. This community also lacks clean and sustainable water, and the student chapter is working to design and implement a solution for this engineering challenge.
- Formula SAE
- Established in 2008, the Formula SAE team at Hope College designs and builds a formula-style race car based on a set of rules established by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) International. Throughout the development of the car, the students are involved in all aspects of analysis and design and utilize a variety of skills from 3D modeling to welding and fabrication. The team first competed in the annual international competition in 2010, when it won the William C. Mitchell Award for Best Rookie Team. Visit the Formula SAE team on Facebook.
- Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
- Hope College’s student chapter of Society of Women Engineers was officially chartered in 2014 to support and encourage female engineering students. Chapter activities include social events, community outreach and professional development. Specifically, the group has organized engineering activities for girls age 5 through 12, traveled to Nashville for the SWE Annual Conference, gone ice skating and toured local manufacturing plants.
- United Society of Diverse Engineers (USDE)
- Students of USDE also hold memberships in the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) or the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). The focus of this Hope College group is to provide fellowship and professional development opportunities for underrepresented students in engineering.
Many Hope students take advantage of the liberal arts environment and pursue second majors or minors in non-technical fields such as dance, English, studio art, economics, music, theater or a second language. There are many opportunities to study abroad for a course during the month of May, as well as full-semester experiences taking courses in another place. Other common options for dual majors or minors are physics, chemistry, computer science and math.
A significant number of Hope students participated in a high school sport prior to coming to college. There are always a fair number of engineers participating in Hope’s varsity sports such as basketball, volleyball, football, golf, track, swimming and cross country. For students not up to that level of commitment, intramural sports offer a fun way to continue playing a favorite sport or learn a new one. Options range from soccer and flag football to inner tube water polo.
VanderWerf Hall27 Graves PlaceRoom 204Holland, MI 49423