For you, the perspective student who came across this blog because you were googling students’ opinions on their schools and majors, you’re in luck.  In this post I will elaborate on the wonderful major program I am in, IDEAS.  IDEAS stands for Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences.  Going into my freshman year, I knew I wanted to learn more chemistry, more biology, and figure out how to harness those subjects to steward the environment.  Call it a fortunate stroke of serendipity, because on a tour I walked by Professor Best (the IDEAS advisor) giving a speech on the IDEAS program, and I was in.  I have essentially had the freedom to build my degree to specialize in my interests, all the way from an ecology course in the Swiss Alps (yes, you can be an engineer and study abroad in IDEAS) to an aqueous chemistry course with the pre-med students at Lehigh.  For me, an IDEAS degree is the freedom to pick my courses so that I am passionate and excited about each and every one of them.  Don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not an easy road; IDEAS students must meet rigorous math and science requirements.  However, we have more freedom in trading courses between the engineering and arts & sciences schools. For instance, because I do not want to specialize in water-resources engineering, I substituted the normal EnvE-required hydraulics course for environmental microbiology, a course that normal EnvE students are not required to take.  IDEAS gives you the template to maximize your credits to tend to your interests the most.  No one person I know has the same degree concentration, because even in a “major”, everyone has different specialized interests.  I believe pursuing higher education should be driven by a wanting to learn, and I chose to major in IDEAS because it allows me the freedom to do this.


About ludevon16

I am a Lehigh University IDEAS Environmental Engineering student focusing on a mix of biology, chemistry, environmental science, and sustainability. This summer I am participating in the Low-Energy Sustainable Farming Mountaintop Project at Lehigh, after coming back from a semester abroad in Freiburg, Germany. The previous summer I participated in an REU at Cal Poly researching phytoremediation. I am passionate about environmental remediation and want to pursue a career in the field after (fingers crossed) going to grad school. I am a flautist in the LU Philharmonic Orchestra, a student tutor for orgo, a member of LU's Finest step dancing team, and an inmate tutor for the Lehigh Prison Project. I like to rock climb, run, read, and play ukulele! View all posts by ludevon16

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