Information and Guidelines for International Engineering Studies (IES) Certificate

Students in the Swanson School of Engineering may earn a certificate in International Engineering Studies (IES) by completing a set of requirements. These requirements include an approved educational, global experience and associated cultural enrichment and/or language studies. The certificate will indicate the country and language in which the IES certificate was completed, and a certificate notation will appear on the student's final transcript upon graduating.

Students should contact Alicia Olalde ( in the Global Experiences and Engagement Office to discuss their intent for certificate completion and must submit their completed plan by their final semester prior to graduation. The final plan must include their relevant coursework at the University of Pittsburgh, global-related activities, and site of their global experience.

In order to earn the certificate, the student must complete at least four of the five requirements listed below:

  1. Language Training: A minimum of either one term-long course at the intermediate level in the local language on-site during their global experience, or two term-long intermediate level courses at the University of Pittsburgh (defined as third semester level or higher). A summer language school program at the study abroad site could also be used to satisfy this requirement.
  2. Local Culture: A minimum of one term-long course on-site during a study abroad experience. Acceptable areas are broadly defined to include subjects such as fine arts, history, literature etc., and should focus on the culture local to the study abroad program.
  3. Culture Requirement at Pitt: An upper division course at the University of Pittsburgh which will serve as a complement to Requirement 2.
  4. Academic Courses in Engineering: A minimum of two term-long courses on-site during the study abroad experience. The courses must satisfy graduation requirements for specific courses in the student’s major department or program.
  5. Work Experience / Internship: Equivalent of one term spent in engineering-related work in an overseas location. A co-op rotation or an internship may be used to satisfy this requirement.

NOTE: If the global experience is in an English-speaking country, the first requirement is waived, and the student must complete three of the remaining four requirements. The courses taken as part of requirements 1, 2 and 3 may be used to satisfy part of the student’s humanities and social science requirements as long as the courses are on the approved list of such courses for the Swanson School of Engineering and focus on the local culture of the country of interest.