While the University of Montevallo doesn’t have an engineering program, students planning to go into engineering can take their first two years of pre-engineering classes here. The school’s dual degree program allows students to take a math-heavy curriculum at Montevallo and transfer to their choice of several different engineering universities which will accept the required transfer credits. Engineering students can ultimately graduate with a degree in mathematics and another in engineering if they participate in the dual degree program.

I originally came to Montevallo to study art. It was as much a surprise to me as to anyone else when I fell in love with Montevallo’s mathematics program during my first calculus class. When you build up a solid foundation of mathematics, it all seems to click into place. The concepts you’ve been familiarizing yourself with for years take on a greater meaning within the larger structure of mathematics and the corresponding physical interpretations they have with the real world. Seeing those familiar equations I learned in high school for what they really are and how they were developed was more satisfying than I could have imagined at the time.

I went on to take more advanced math classes alongside my art classes (and I still draw during my math classes, too!). I was unsure how to pursue this newly acquired interest until I learned about the dual degree program and some of the other nuanced features of transferring from Montevallo. While I’m not in the dual degree program, working with my professors and academic advisors to accommodate pre-engineering and art at the same time has been more than rewarding.

For students like myself, taking math at Montevallo is especially appealing because of the student-to-teacher ratio. You have the opportunity to form real connections with your professors and your fellow students should you choose to pursue a scientific field of study. Without exception, each of my professors has strived to challenge me and help me grow academically, especially when I sought it out. The passion they have for what they do and for teaching is apparent every day that I go to class. My academic advisors have always made time to help me plan for the future, select classes that appeal to me and learn about classes I never even knew I wanted to take.

Even without an engineering program, Montevallo is still an environment where young engineers can thrive early in their college career. It has a wonderful mathematics department and endlessly devoted mathematics professors who want nothing more than to see their students succeed. Perhaps the small engineering community here on campus can serve as the starting point for the University to someday add an engineering department of its own. For now, I’ll appreciate the three years I’ve had of tightknit math, science and art classes, the friendships I’ve made and the personal growth I’ve undergone.