Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Undergraduate International Requirement


Recognizing that engineering is an increasingly global profession, the Department of Industrial Engineering (IE) is committed to providing its graduates with the skills they need to compete on an international basis. Such skills will enable Pitt IE graduates to not only have a distinct employment advantage, but will also provide them with a cross-cultural awareness that will enhance their leadership abilities.

To satisfy our international requirement, all IE students* must either:

A. Successfully complete an approved international experience and two globally focused Humanities / Social Science (H/SS) courses.

As clarified below, the international experience is defined as an approved engineering academic program with a minimum of three-credits, an approved international internship, or an approved international co-op rotation of at least eight weeks. The two globally focused (as furthered defined below) H/SS courses should preferably be related to the international experience and may fulfill two of the six H/SS requirements. Appropriate foreign language courses may be used to satisfy this requirement.


B. Successfully complete an integrated, globally focused set of four H/SS courses. These courses may fulfill four of the six H/SS requirements. Students who elect this option must have it approved by his/her advisor or the undergraduate coordinator prior to completing the sequence.

International Experience Options

The University of Pittsburgh provides a wide spectrum of options that may be used to satisfy the international experience. These options are sponsored directly through Pitt’s Office of Study Abroad as well as offered by Pitt affiliated institutions. All of the Swanson School of Engineering’s programs may be used as technical electives. Specific examples of programs include:
• Term(s) abroad or exchanges including Global E3, SIP (Germany), FIPSE/CAPES, etc.
• International co-op or internship including IAESTE internship
• Integrated Field Trip Abroad (IFTA); e.g., Courses such as Plus3, “Innovate” (ENGR 1600), “Engineering for a Better Environment – Brazil” (ENGR 1610), etc.
• Engineers Without Borders (EWB) or Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) with significant international field experience.

The School of Engineering has its own study abroad office with full-time personnel to help you. See our International page for more information on various programs. Students interested in international co-ops or internships should contact the appropriate Swanson School of Engineering office.

H/SS Course Options

There are over 500 acceptable internationally oriented humanities/social science electives. These may be found on either the approved H/SS list or on the School of Arts and Sciences general education course catalog under “Foreign Culture/International” or “Non-Western Culture.” Up to two foreign language courses may be used to satisfy this requirement. 

Certificate in International Engineering Studies

Students in the School of Engineering may earn a certificate in International Engineering Studies (IES) by completing a minimum set of requirements that include a study abroad experience and associated cultural enrichment and language studies. The certificate will indicate the country and language in which the IES program was completed.

In order to earn the IES certificate the student must formally apply to and be accepted into the IES program. Application forms may be obtained from the Study Aboard for Engineers Office. The application must include a plan for completing the requirements for a certificate. The plan must specify all relevant coursework to be completed at the University of Pittsburgh as well as the activities and site of the study abroad experience. The study abroad program must be formally approved by the student's advisor and the IES Faculty Committee.

 *International students are exempt.