The Women's Engineering
Program (WEP) at Notre Dame address the unique needs of our women engineering
students and girls interested in engineering, science, and technology.
Our goal is to encourage more women to pursue engineering as an exciting
and fulfilling educational and career choice.
For our current students, undergraduates as well as those seeking advanced
degrees, we provide a variety of activities that enhance the learning
experience including mentor programs, professional speakers, and industry/plant
visits. The range of academic-support initiatives within the WEP include
tutoring, internships, and other career-development options. We identify
and promote scholarships available to support women studying engineering.
And, we work with national engineering-related organizations, educational
institutions, and prospective employers to identify fellowship and post-graduate
For prospective students, we offer campus visits and access to a wide
range of on-line resources that help pre-college students learn about
the benefits of studying engineering. Through the college's Introduction
to Engineering Program, held twice each summer, high-school students
can come to Notre Dame for a three-week introduction to various careers
in engineering and to college life. We also participate in outreach activities
for younger girls through Ms.
Wizard Day and the University's Expand Your Horizons program, both
of which seek to inspire young girls to pursue their interests in engineering
and other technical fields. Through the student chapter of the Society
of Women Engineers (SWE), we also provide programming to help members
of local Girl Scout troops earn their technology badges.
We have developed the WEP on the foundations of scholarship, faith, community,
and service -- hallmarks of education at the University of Notre Dame
and, of course, at the College of Engineering.
Women students at Notre Dame enjoy a full range of opportunities to develop
their academic talents in the engineering program. In addition to a challenging
curriculum, through which a student can earn one of eight bachelor's degrees
offered by the college, women students can engage in research in a variety
of interesting areas including the development of an artificial hip joint
or a universal blood substitute, the improvement of wireless communications
technology, and other areas in which engineers seek to improve the quality
of life. The WEP actively seeks out research and scholarship activities
for women undergraduate and graduate students. We also provide academic
support services for students who need additional resources to make the
most of their education at Notre Dame.
As a Catholic university Notre Dame has demonstrated a visible and active
commitment to the development of the whole person. For those who seek
a rich and rewarding spiritual life, opportunities abound on campus --
from chapels in the residence halls to retreats focusing on issues of
interest to our students. The WEP recognizes that this unique aspect of
the Notre Dame environment benefits students in many ways. And, we seek
to help students take advantage of all that Notre Dame offers to help
individuals grow in their faith.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the WEP is the way in which we work
to develop a community of women engineers. Through dorm-based mentor programs,
we work to provide underclass students with access to upperclass students
who have experienced and successfully managed the same challenges first-year
and sophomore students face. Through the student chapter of the SWE, we
provide opportunities to socialize and to develop study groups and, more
important, friendships. And, through mentoring and networking opportunities,
we integrate our students into the broader Notre Dame family, where alumnae
help undergraduates both to navigate the challenges of an engineering
education and to network into internships and full-time jobs.
Since much of engineering is based in serving humanity and raising the quality
of life, the WEP supports service opportunities through SWE-ND. Recent
activities have included helping members of local Girl Scout troops
earn their technology badges,
demonstrating science projects to local school children at Notre Dame’s
Robinson Community Learning Center, raising money for a local women’s
participating in the Ms. Wizard Day and the Expand Your Horizons Program,
by the University
to encourage girls to study math and science and to consider careers in
engineering and technology.
Incredibly, 80 percent of all current students participate in some kind
of service activity during their time at Notre Dame. A large majority also
to pursue service opportunities, at least a year or two, after graduation.
It's part of the Catholic character of the University, and it's integral
the character of many of our students.