Program Structure


Engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi draw upon courses across an array of disciplines. The liberal arts core provides the intellectual breadth, a “license to learn,” preparing students to thrive in a multicultural globalized world and equipped to learn and adapt quickly in areas that evolve with ever-increasing swiftness.

Students gain a firm grounding across various science and engineering fields that underscore the technical component of an engineering education, but they also draw upon courses across the curriculum to develop an understanding of cultural, political, economic, environmental, and public safety considerations that are integral to engineering solutions. In their engineering courses, students are involved in the design process and the progression of technological inventions from concept through product development and market feasibility.


All engineering majors at NYUAD take the four-course sequence Foundations of Science followed by Engineering Common Courses, which explore fundamental engineering topics of importance to all engineering disciplines, including mechanics, conservation laws, computer programming, digital logic, electrical circuits, numerical methods, and design and innovation. The courses expose students to transdisciplinary technological fields that combine several traditional areas of engineering, complementing the in-depth knowledge acquired in an area of specialization. Students also take courses in Mathematics.

Requirements Specific to Civil Engineering Majors

Civil Engineering majors must complete 9.5 elective courses specific to the Civil Engineering discipline, and complete 24.25 total courses to graduate.

Program Educational Objectives

Undergraduate programs at NYU Abu Dhabi share common educational objectives.  These are to educate and graduate engineers who, within a few years of graduation, will:

  1. Pursue a diverse range of careers in academia, industry, public service, or entrepreneurship.
  2. Develop innovative, ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible solutions to a range of local, regional, or global problems.
  3. Practice life-long learning and continuous professional development.

The program education objectives were drafted by the engineering division faculty, and reviewed by the program stakeholders including students and the Engineering Industry Advisory Council.

Capstone Design Project

All engineering students must complete a Capstone Design Project in their senior year. The goal is to provide students with a major design experience that leverages the knowledge and skills acquired through their undergraduate studies. Its structure includes a process of design with measurable metrics, and incorporation of appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints. Emphasis is placed on clearly framing the design problem and following the design process to result in an optimized design solution. Students are encouraged to build prototypes of their designs and seek validation of their solutions through simulations and experiments, as appropriate.

The Capstone Project aims to be collaborative and trans-disciplinary across several engineering streams. The emphasis is on students applying the design process to solve real-world problems in a 21st century, global context. The projects address engineering and technology topics that overlap with the sciences, social sciences, liberal arts or business. The Capstone provides an opportunity to integrate technical, human, aesthetic, business, and ethical concerns with engineering design. Students practice critical skills in communication, team-building, and project management.

Work Experience and Study Away

  • Engineering students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful real-world work experience in one of the approved organizations in the United Arab Emirates, United States, or elsewhere. Internships are an important mechanism to acquire specific skills and knowledge, build professional networks and gain confidence, as well as to explore career options prior to graduation.

    Depending on the student’s career objectives, an internship may involve working in a large corporation, small company, high-tech start-up, non-governmental organization, or alongside a faculty research mentor on cutting-edge research projects at one of NYU’s campuses. Through NYUAD’s internship program, students can also test their educational skills and classroom knowledge on various service learning projects. Internships can vary in length from a summer to a semester or a year. They do not earn academic credit.

Co-Curricular Activities

Engineering students are strongly encouraged to participate in co-curricular programs, such as Engineering for Social Impact, distributed over the four-year curriculum, including field trips, seminars, workshops, and ethics discussions. Students examine the foundations of ethics, the broad scope and complexity of ethical claims, as well as ethical issues specific to engineering and technology and ethics in the profession. These co-curricular activities typically entail a commitment of a few hours each fortnight during the regular semesters.

The Engineering Design Studio serves as a hub of activity for engineering projects, teams preparing competition entries, and student interest groups. Since the inception of the lab, students have created open source projects, filed and received patents, won national and international awards and competitions, worked with partners in government and industry, and received grants and awards totaling more than AED 2.1 million.