By Scott Craig for Westmont College


Westmont College will offer a bachelor of science degree in engineering with a concentration in mechanical engineering beginning in fall 2019, blending courses in engineering, physics, mathematics and chemistry and grounding the program in the college’s liberal arts tradition.

The new major continues Westmont’s tradition of cultivating innovation, collaboration, problem-solving and moral discernment in graduates.

“Through the ages, the greatest minds have possessed the unusual capacity to make connections across every discipline and in every sphere of life and thought — in the arts and sciences, in the humanities, in technology and industry, and in the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said President Gayle D. Beebe.

“We seek to make this remarkable capacity — the genius to find innovative solutions to enduring problems — a hallmark of our engineers,” he said.

The launch of the new program coincides with Westmont’s capital campaign to raise $250 million for new academic programs, student scholarships and long-term financial stability through endowment growth.

 “As educators and leaders in our world consider local and global challenges, more of the solutions and strategies require insights from engineers, especially when addressing social mobility, caring for the environment, reducing poverty and promoting human welfare,” said Provost Mark Sargent.

“Blending voices from engineers in discussions with economists, theologians, ethicists, historians, sociologists and other experts in the arts and sciences can enrich the ability of a Christian liberal arts community to cultivate justice, pursue peace and foster human flourishing,” he said.

Westmont is responding to an invitation from the National Science Foundation challenging schools to prepare adaptive engineers committed to blending science, engineering and the arts.

“The new engineering program offers a great opportunity to students who are technologically inclined but eager to ground their training in a rich Christian liberal arts tradition,” said Eileen McMahon McQuade, professor of biology and associate dean of faculty.

“Our engineering graduates will benefit from thorough technical and scientific training as well as an interdisciplinary sensitivity and moral imagination that the Christian liberal arts can nurture,” she said.