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Program Gives Bryn Mawr Students Opportunity to Earn Engineering Degrees

October 4, 2018 Makenna Lenover

Bryn Mawr offers students a number of combined degree program options. Recently, a panel of Mawrters in the 4+1 Engineering Program spoke about their experiences.

The panelists were joined by Alyse Edwards, associate director for graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania. Students in the program begin a master's degree in engineering at Penn during their undergraduate experience, and finalize the degree with one additional year post-graduation.

When asked what life was like as a 4+1 student, Leah Baker '19 said, “It is important to push yourself to talk to people, and you need to take advantage of the grad student social events and the career fairs! Both of these types of events give you the opportunity to network and make connections to help find jobs and internships. Also, these events are just a lot of fun! Additionally, everyone in the program is really nice and also wants to make friends. Between the study groups that I have formed with other students and my Bryn Mawr education, I feel very prepared in my classes.”

Students who took part in the panel were:

  • Leah Baker '19: physics and math / materials science engineering
  • Kara Breeden '18: computer science and math / robotics
  • Hyunjung Kim '19: physics and math / mechanical engineering
  • Sophia Kim '19: physics / electrical engineering
  • Linghan Mei '19: biology and German / bioengineering

The panelists touched on how they got involved in the program, logistics, fun opportunities, and their advice for joining the program.

"Finish your Bryn Mawr major first and start to explore engineering early through the Engineering Club and the University of Pennsylvania's Engineering classes. Once you figure out what you like, talk to the faculty advisor for the chosen discipline," said Hyunjung Kim '19.

Students apply to the program at the end of their sophomore year or during their junior year. This program enables students to explore fields outside of Bryn Mawr's majors and take courses through engineering programs at Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania.

Pursuing a master's in bioengineering, Linghan Mei '19 shared, "I became interested in this program and biomedical engineering in general because I enjoy combining what I have learned in other science subjects into ways to further biomedical research. Many courses in the program are based on basic biology courses but extend into the industrial aspect of chemical engineering and bioengineering. So far, I think it has given me a better sense of different types of career I could have in the field of chemical/bioengineering."

In addition to academic support, the program offers many opportunities for participants to ready themselves for their professional lives.

"There was a career fair that lasted for two days and there were more than 100 companies that were there to recruit specifically the engineering students,” said Sophia Kim. “Also, there is an engineering resume adviser who specifically helps students to format their resume for the engineering recruiters."

Future ambitions for these students include designing robotics for industry, developing biomedical devices, improving clinical practice, and ethically working to improve sustainability.

The event was co-hosted by the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Math, and Physics, and the Provost's Office.

Students interested in the program should reach out to the Bryn Mawr Departmental coordinators of each program, or Alyse Edwards, M.Ed, Associate Director, Professional Programs, University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Science, at

Bryn Mawr's 4+1 Program


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