Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Programs in International Engineering? 
PIE is an innovative dual degree program which leads students simultaneously to degrees in both engineering and foreign language/culture. PIE students study language and culture each semester along with their engineering curriculum. In the 4th year of the five-year program, students have the opportunity to go abroad for study, research, internships, and/or service learning projects.

Why International Engineering?
PIE was designed to meet the needs of business and industry in the rapidly evolving global workplace. To keep America competitive in a global market, we must have young leaders in business and technology who can communicate effectively and cross-culturally with their peers in other societies. The engineering graduates best poised to take on roles in multinational corporations are the ones with both an in-depth understanding of different cultures and well-developed skills in another language.

Why French, German, and Spanish?
France and Germany have two of the largest economies in Europe.

France has the 5th largest economy in the world and 2nd in Europe behind Germany. France has a large and diverse industrial base. Leading industrial sectors in France are telecommunications (including communication satellites), aerospace and defense, ship building (naval and specialist ships), pharmaceuticals, construction and civil engineering, chemicals, and automobile production. France is the world's fourth largest exporter of cars. In the telecommunications sector, Alcatel is the fourth largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, and the world leader in transmission system and submarine cable networks. Digital television is represented by Thompson Multimedia, which produces digital television decoders.In 2009, according to the World Trade Organization, France was the 6th largest exporter and 5th largest importer of manufactured goods.

Germany is the largest national economy in Europe. Since the age of industrialization, the country has been a driver, innovator, and beneficiary of an ever more globalized economy. Germany is the world's second largest exporter with $1.170 trillion exported in 2009. Exports account for more than one-third of national output. Germany excels in the production of automobiles, machine tools, and chemicals. With the manufacture of 5.5 million vehicles in 2003, Germany was the world's third largest producer of automobiles after the United States and Japan.

If you're looking for employment in the United States, knowing German can give you great advantages. German companies account for 700,000 jobs in the United States, and US companies have created approximately the same number of jobs in Germany. All other things being equal, the job candidate with German skills will trump the one without such skills every time. Most surveyed companies in the United States would choose someone with German literacy over an equally qualified candidate.

Mexico and Spanish Language

As of 2010, 329 to 358 million people speak Spanish as a native language and a total of 417 million people speak it worldwide. It is the second most natively spoken language in the world. Mexico contains the largest population of Spanish speakers. Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. With these numbers it's not a surprise that many companies worldwide prefer to hire employees that can speak Spanish. With regard to Mexico, it is the fifth-largest country in the Americas by total area and the 14th largest independent nation in the world. The economy of Mexico is the 11th largest in the world and contains rapidly developing modern industrial and service sectors, with increasing private ownership.

Do students need a background in French, German, or Spanish?
No, most students begin with little or no prior knowledge in the language. Any background does mean a head start, though. And students have the opportunity to test into a higher level language course after being admitted, saving time and money.

Is Financial Aid available?
PIE students are eligible for all forms of financial aid including grants and loans and scholarships in both the Schools of Engineering and Technology and Liberal Arts. Students have a competitive advantage for all study abroad grants.

How do students enroll in the PIE program?
All students admitted to Freshman Engineering are eligible for PIE program at IUPUI. After successful completion of the first year of engineering studies, students can formally apply to PIE.