Engineering, School of

The university began offering courses in applied sciences in the 1850s as part of an effort to prepare students for careers in engineering, mining, agriculture, and medicine. This was a new area for UNC and required some preparation: after Charles Phillips was selected to teach engineering, he left for a year to study the subject at Harvard before taking over classes in Chapel Hill. Engineering remained on the curriculum when UNC reopened in 1875, with specialties in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, mining, and military science. By the 1890s chemical and electrical engineering were being taught at UNC, and in 1922 the university created a School of Engineering. The school became of point of contention in the discussions over consolidation of the UNC System in the early 1930s. Both UNC and North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering had strong engineering programs, but the consolidation plan sought to avoid this sort of duplication. In 1936, over the objection of the UNC faculty, the board of trustees accepted the recommendation of President Frank Porter Graham and voted to consolidate engineering instruction in Raleigh.

Date Established: 1850

Date Range: 1850 – 1938