International Minor for Engineers

The International Minor for Engineers

As globalization of engineering increases, the ability to interact effectively across cultures and around the globe is a critical skill to enhance your Michigan Engineering experience. Obtaining international experience is a fun and rewarding complement to your personal and professional development at Michigan.

The International Minor for Engineers seeks to develop 4 core skills:

Overview of Requirements: Total 15 credits

  • Foreign Language Proficiency – Second year college-level language proficiency (obtained through coursework, placement exam, or native fluency)
  • International Engineering Seminars – Two 1-credit courses that examine the role of culture in engineering design and problem-solving 
  • Global/Intercultural Coursework – 7-9 elective credits of coursework focusing on non-U.S. cultures
  • Global/Intercultural Experience – 6-weeks (or longer) experience in intercultural setting (domestic or international)

Important Information


College of Engineering students (including MDDP Dual Degree students whose home school is Engineering)


Pre-requisites for Declaring Minor

  • Two semesters of college-level foreign language or equivalent.
    • May be satisfied by a placement exam or transfer credit.
    • Cannot be English or dead/extinct language.
  • Good academic standing based on an earned U-M GPA (minimum 2.0).
  • First-year students should wait until their second semester to declare.
  • Transfer students are eligible to declare during their first semester at U-M.

Foreign Language Proficiency

  • Foreign language proficiency (cannot be English or dead/extinct language) equivalent to fourth-semester college-level.
  • May be satisfied by U-M courses, transfer credit, or intensive language programs abroad.
  • Students may fulfill the language proficiency requirement using AP credit or test credit, however those credits cannot be used toward the 15-credit total: these students must fulfill the 6-credit requirement by completing a combination of additional credits of the same foreign language (advanced level) or additional courses from the intercultural sequence (see below).
  • For students who complete the language proficiency using U-M courses or transfer credit, up to 6 credits of third and fourth-semester language courses can be used toward the 15-credit total.
  • International students may use the language of their home country as their foreign language, but they must be able to demonstrate proficiency on their U-M transcript (i.e. placement test credit or AP credit for the specified language).

Global/Intercultural Courses

  • Courses in any subject that focus on non-US cultures or countries.
  • 7 credits of Global/Intercultural Courses are required (If students test out of the language requirement, 13 credits of International Courses are required).
  • All International Minor courses can be double-counted as 300-level HU or electives within departments.
  • Courses elected as Pass/Fail cannot be counted toward the minor, unless the course is only offered as Pass/Fail.
  • At least 3 credits must be completed at the 300-level or above.
  • At least one course must be Comparative Perspectives (see below)
  • Language courses in student’s proficiency language that are 5th-semester or above, or beginning-level courses in language courses other than student’s proficiency language may be used.

For a list of currently approved global/intercultural courses click here. We recommend perusing the LSA course guide to see what might interest you. If you find one you think might count toward the minor, you can submit it for approval using the International Minor Course Approval Request Form; our faculty advisor will review the course and e-mail you with the results.

Comparative Perspectives

  • A specific kind of Global/Intercultural course focusing on comparing two or more non-U.S. cultures.
  • If you wish, you can take multiple courses designated as Comparative Perspectives to fulfill requirements. (But note that you cannot double-count the same course for both 300-level and Comparative Perspectives).

International Engineering Seminars (ENGR260 + ENGR460)

  • Two 1-credit seminars examining the role of culture in engineering design and problem-solving.
  • Global trends in engineering and business.
  • Exposure to engineering work in various countries through guest speakers and self-directed research.
  • students declared in the International Minor must take ENGR 260 BEFORE their Global/Intercultural experience
  • ENGR 260 is offered during the Winter Term only and is only asynchronous (Students register for the course through Wolverine Access). Watch a ENGR 260 intro video with Professor Cotel, ‘Engineering Across Cultures’
  • ENGR 460 is offered during the Fall Term only (Students register for the course through Wolverine Access).

Global/Intercultural Experience

  • Minimum of 6 week program length.
  • Study, work, research, or organized volunteer work outside the U.S. as a college student (travel done prior to the start of college does not satisfy the requirement).
  • International students may not satisfy this requirement through programs in their home countries.
  • Program must provide opportunities to develop at least two of the International Minor’s core skills: foreign language proficiency, knowledge of non-U.S. cultures/societies, intercultural communication skills, or awareness of global trends in engineering/business.
  • International experience programs sponsored by or reviewed by the College’s IPE office do not need pre-approval. Other programs, including those from other service providers or those you develop on your own, do need approval from the Faculty Advisor prior to departure. Any program sponsored by a U-M study abroad office (IPE, CGIS, Ross, etc) does not require approval. Click here for approval form. 
  • The program must be completed in one location for at least 6 weeks in length.


  • Pass/Fail courses may not be used to satisfy minor requirements. (COVID-19 Exception | ‘P’ grades can be used to satisfy requirements for courses taken during the W20, F20 and W21 as long as the letter grades earned would meet the requirement.)
  • Once you have started at the University of Michigan, college-level courses, taken from other universities, that appear on your transcript as Transfer Credit, may be used to satisfy course requirements. AP credit earned prior to the start of college does not apply to the 15-credit total.
  • Students must maintain good academic standing in minor courses to earn the minor.
  • Global/Intercultural Courses may be double-counted with Engineering core and department requirements, including CoE minors.
  • Students who wish to double-count International Minor courses with LSA minor requirements should consult with their LSA minor advisor to determine if this is allowed.

International Minor Advising

Prospective Students

  • Considering the International Minor? Write to

For questions regarding course approval and international experience approval:

    Professor Aline Cotel

    Faculty Advisor

    Office Hours

    Professor Cotel is not taking appointments at this time. Please email to make an appointment.

    Appointments by email

    Joshua Monthei

    International Program Manager

    Schedule an appointment