Secondary Focus Areas for Engineering Undergraduate Students

Secondary Focus Areas

All Engineering Students must choose a secondary focus. You may create your own focus with the approval of your academic advisor or select from a pre-designed focus below. 

FAQs about Secondary Focus

Secondary Focus and Minors

The secondary focus is part of the 120 credits needed for graduation. A minor is completely separate from the major. They also differ in amount of credit, minors are usually 18-23 credits, the secondary focus is a total of 12 credits.

If I declare a minor, does that replace my secondary focus? 

It may share credits but will not replace; it depends on the minor and how many courses are unique to that minor. Please talk with your academic advisor.

Secondary Focus and Transfer Credits

If you have transferred from another program at ASU or outside of ASU, you may be able to use some courses that are not applying to your degree to secondary focus.

In many cases the courses will satisfy the two lower division courses and then you will have to choose two upper division courses.

If you are transferring from another 4-year institution and have upper division courses not applying, you may be able to use those as well.

How does a secondary focus benefit me?

You can oversee the courses that you take. This program has a heavy prerequisite structure, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for students to take other courses in other areas of interest; or to expand on knowledge within the field. This gives you the chance to do that.

How will it help me accomplish my goals?

The secondary focus can help narrow down your concentration into a niche that you want to pursue in your career. It can also allow you to indulge in a passion or hobby that makes your experience here at ASU more fulfilling.

Secondary Focus and 4+1

If you are admitted or considering the 4+1 program, we want to reserve 6 credits to share in the secondary focus.

For example: If your secondary focus is electrical systems/4+1 then your 4 courses would look something like this (but not limited to): EGR 330, EGR 334, EGR 520 (4+1 shared course), EGR 598 (4+1 shared course)

Things to Consider

Where are the courses located that you want to take for that focus? (example: Tempe, Downtown, Poly)

Can you get into the upper division courses for that focus? 

What are the prerequisites (if any) for those courses? 

Are any of the courses reserved for certain majors?

Are you a student receiving WUE? Students with WUE can only take courses on the Polytechnic campus. 

Are any of the courses that you are considering equivalent to the courses required for your major?

Secondary Focus Areas

Secondary Focus is four courses in the BSE Engineering Programs that students must choose that fit within a theme of their choosing. The secondary focus areas below are listed to help to identify courses that fit into a theme. If you do not see an area of interest listed on this website please contact your academic advisor for additional ideas.

Aviation Management Technology

(Choose AMT 308 to include a combination of 4 of the following 5 courses.)

AMT 308 Air Transportation

AMT 444 Airport Management and Planning

AMT 410 Aviation Safety and Human Factors

AMT 408 National Aviation Policy

AMT 442 Aviation Law and Regulation – or –  AMT 456 Organized Labor in Aviation

ERM: Environmental and Resource Management (also available as a minor)

Course sequences with selection options

Engineering students now have the opportunity to engage in an Environmental and Resource Management (ERM) secondary focus area by selecting four of five course options.

Required courses:

  • ERM 201 Environmental Management (3)
  • ERM 203 Environmental Regulations (3)
  • ERM 302 Water and Wastewater Treatment Technology (pre-req. Gen Chem and math 170 or 2103)

Choose one elective from the list below:

  • ERM 401 Hazardous Waste Management (there are no pre-req in the system at this time)
  • ERM 402 Unit Treatment Technology (pre-req. gen chem and math 170; and ERM 302)
  • ERM 406 Environmental Chemistry (3)
  • ERM 407 Environmental Chemistry (pre-req. Gen Chem and math 170 or 210)
  • ERM 428 International Environmental Management, G (3)
  • ERM 432 Sustainable Solid Waste Management (3)
  • ERM 494 Special Topics: Environmental Management Leadership (3)
GIT: Graphic Information Technology
  • GIT 333 – Printing Technology 
  • GIT 334 – Image Editing and Manipulation
  • GIT 437 – Color Reproduction Systems 
  • TWC 411 – Principles of Visual Communication  or GIT 494 – Special Topics

*These courses have prerequisites, so students would need permission from the GIT department to add the classes. 

Humanitarian Engineering

Course sequences with selection options

Engineering students now have the opportunity to engage in Humanitarian Engineering as a secondary focus area by selecting four of the courses below:

  • EGR 307: Humanitarian Engineering Project I
  • EGR 308: Humanitarian Engineering Project II
  • EGR 371: Best Practices in Humanitarian Engineering
  • EGR 394: Design for the developing World
Manufacturing Engineering
  • EGR 370 – Welding Survey
  • MFG 472 – Additive Manufacturing
  • EGR 240 – CADD and Solid Modeling  
  • EGR 380 – Advanced CADD & Solid Modeling  


TEM: Technological Entrepreneurship and Management

Course sequences with selection options

  • TEM: Technological Entrepreneurship and Management


  • TMC 110: Understanding the Enterprise and:
  • TEM 230: Creativity/Business Innovation
  • TEM 200: My Technology Venture

Choose a combination of two upper division courses:

  • TMC 330: Leading the Enterprise and:
  • TMC 331: Quality Assurance or
  • TMC 430: Enterprise Strategy and Innovation or
  • TMC 470: Enterprise Planning and Implementation
  • TEM 330: Systems Innovation and TEM 400: Technology Entrepreneurship


*Please Note* Upper division courses are subject to prerequisites, please check with your advisor if you have any questions.

Additional Secondary Focus Themes

Energy Systems

Other Engineering Concentrations

History of Technology


Global Management (4+1 candidates only)