Applying to the 4+1 Program

As a dual degree program, the Olin 4+1 program offers a number of potential advantages for Wellesley students. Graduates of the program may have greater access to engineering careers and/or graduate study in engineering. The program requires relatively little disruption to the student’s Wellesley program: the student graduates at Wellesley with her entering class, and then transitions smoothly to being a full-time student at Olin for her fifth year of study. The Olin engineering programs also differ significantly from most other schools’ programs, particularly in the emphasis on design, active learning, and interdisciplinary approaches.

At the same time, the 4+1 program is clearly not appropriate for all students. The 4+1 program requires a significant commitment (at least an additional year of study), and Wellesley students must complete math and science requirements, as well as at least five engineering courses, before their final year at Olin. For some students in fields such as physics or computer science, a master’s degree in engineering or science can make more sense than an additional bachelor's degree. Furthermore, the requirements of the program reduce a student’s elective flexibility during her four years at Wellesley.

Compatibility with Wellesley Majors 

Many Wellesley majors are, in principle, compatible. Naturally majors that include a higher fraction of science and mathematics courses have greater overlap with the requirements of an engineering degree; some majors may be incompatible simply due to the large number of units required.