Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Industrial Engineering

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering, MS

Committee Chair

Saleem, Jason

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

McNeil, Jacqueline

Committee Member

Gerber, Erin


This thesis evaluates the factors that freshman engineering students at the University of Louisville are taking into consideration when deciding on their major within engineering. The outcome of the research is expected to help to shape the syllabus of the ENGR 110 course, which is a mandatory class for all freshman engineering students. ENGR 110 is comprised of course lectures, department presentations, and company presentations. Currently, both the department and company presentations are held outside of course times. The influential factors identified by this research may help shape the course so that these factors are discussed thoroughly about each major as an aid to the decision-making process.

The researcher distributed a survey and conducted interviews to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The researcher then analyzed the quantitative data using non-parametric tests and the qualitative data using a constant comparative method. Based on this analysis, the researcher concluded that there was a low level of confidence in major selection exemplifying the need for ENGR 110 to discuss the different majors within engineering and spend time discussing the differences between them. The researcher also concluded that the most influential factors in deciding upon a major are job opportunities, potential for societal contributions, and personal interests. From these conclusions, the researcher recommends that the presentations be held during class time, that the presentations continue to be posted on Blackboard to refer back to, and that the course place emphasis on the job opportunities and potential for societal contributions in each major.