Undergraduate Program in Engineering Sciences (A.B.)

The degree requirements for each of the five tracks in the the Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences are included below.  If you would like more information about any of the undergraduate engineering areas at SEAS, including a comparison of the degree options within each area, please visit the homepages for Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science & Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

Concentration Requirements

The requirements for all tracks within the Engineering Sciences A.B. concentration can be found in the Harvard College Handbook for Students

Plan of Study Forms for the A.B. in Engineering Sciences

Advising Contacts

Zhiming Kuang, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Engineering Sciences

Biomedical:

Daniel Needleman, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Biomedical Engineering

Linsey Moyer, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, Biomedical Engineering

Electrical:

Marko Loncar, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Electrical Engineering

Christopher Lombardo, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

Environmental:

Frank Keutsch, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Environmental Science and Engineering

Patrick Ulrich, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Environmental Science & Engineering

Mechanical:

Joost Vlassak, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Mechanical Engineering

Christopher Lombardo, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

English Honors

Recommendations for English honors are decided individually by vote of the engineering faculty based on the student's academic accomplishments, superior performance in an ambitious set of courses, and evidence of scholarly achievement in their field. Ordinarily, the following criteria set the minimum qualifications necessary to be considered for an honors recommendation:

  • For Highest Honors: a concentration GPA in the top 5% and an outstanding thesis
  • For High Honors: a concentration GPA in the top 20% and an excellent thesis
  • For Honors: a concentration GPA in the top 50% 

Thesis Information

For the Engineering Sciences A.B. degree, a research thesis is strongly encouraged but not required; however, a thesis is necessary to be considered for High or Highest Honors. Additionally, a thesis will be particularly useful for students interested in pursuing graduate engineering research. 

The following information is provided as a brief guide to the process, please talk with your concentration adviser for more information. Please note that specific dates change each academic year and Kathy Lovell in the Office of Academic Programs should be contacted for current dates.

  • Notify the Office of Academic Programs by e-mail by the specified date in early December, if you are writing a thesis. In your message, include the name, campus or business address, telephone number, and e-mail address for your thesis adviser and readers.
  • Three readers are required. One is ordinarily the thesis adviser. You and your adviser select at least two other faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to be readers. You or your thesis adviser should secure the agreement of the individual(s) concerned to serve in this capacity. Exceptions can only be approved by Prof. Zhiming Kuang, Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Please note that the same rule applied to joint concentrators, so if you are a joint concentrator and your “other” field has a similar rule you may need more than three readers.
  • The submission deadline is typically 4 pm on a date in late March or early April. Electronic copies should be delivered by the student to all three readers and to es-submit@seas.harvard.edu (which will forward to the Director of Undergraduate Studies) on or before that date. An electronic copy should also be submitted via the SEAS online submission tool on or before that date. SEAS will keep this electronic copy as a non-circulating backup and will use it to print a physical copy of the thesis to be deposited in the Harvard University Archives. During this online submission process, the student will also have the option to make the electronic copy publicly available via DASH, Harvard’s open-access repository for scholarly work. More information can be found on the SEAS Senior Thesis Submission page.
  • We do not have any formal formatting guidelines. A thesis usually begin with a title page, followed by an abstract, body, and references. You may also include acknowledgements (which are fun to write!), a table of contents, and/or appendices. Your thesis should be double-spaced and use an 11 or 12 point serif font. A good reference is the Chicago Manual of Style. The length of the thesis should be as long as it needs to be to make the necessary arguments, but no longer.
  • Please inform your adviser and readers that they will receive a rating/instruction sheet by the specified date in late March or early April. They will be required to return the thesis along with the rating sheet to the Office of Academic Programs by the specified date in mid to late April. After the degree meeting in May, you will be notified that you may pick up the reader copies along with the comments in the Office of Academic Programs.

Some recent thesis examples across all of SEAS can be found on the Harvard DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard) repository here