ARISE Curriculum

The ARISE Curriculum provides scholars with the foundational skills to become master Engineering Students. The first year courses focus on developing and strengthening problem solving, critical thinking, and academic strategies. The second year focuses on major and career exploration and development. Success in the initial Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics courses is a critical step in pursuing an Engineering degree therefore the ARISE supplemental courses will focus on developing strategies to be successful within these courses.

ARISE works closely with academic support programs across Grainger Engineering. These resources have been an integral part of the success of our ARISE Scholars and the driving force behind the retention numbers of our underrepresented populations. We continue to incorporate these support classes into our curriculum.


The Morrill Engineering Program (MEP) supports the success of underrepresented student populations through academic and professional development as well as creating relationships among peers, faculty/staff, and alumni. The MEP Mentoring class helps promote the right habits and mindset students need to excel in their program.


The Center for Academic Resources in Engineering (CARE) creates a dynamic learning community where services, resources, and expertise converge to support engineering students as they work to realize their academic aspirations. The Peer Led Teams (PLT) sessions helps students practice and refine their learning through structured groups.


Merit style teaching consists of using highly trained instructors to stimulate student-student interactions by providing challenging problem sets or other activities. The active participation in Merit sections supplements the learning done in lectures, homework, and discussion sections allowing students to achieve a level of understanding necessary to succeed.

First Year Sample

Fall Semester Spring Semester
MATH 220: Calculus I MATH 231: Calculus II
CHEM 101: Introductory Chemistry CHEM 102/103: General Chemistry I + Lab
PHYS 100: Thinking About Physics RHET 105: Writing and Research
ENG 100: Engineering Orientation *Major exploration course
ENG 111: MEP Mentoring ENG 101: Engineering at Illinois
Merit: MATH 220 and CHEM 101 Merit: MATH 231 and CHEM 102

Second Year Sample

Fall Semester Spring Semester
MATH 241: Calculus III PHYS 212: Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 211: Mechanics Math Core: Typically MATH 257 or MATH 285
*Major exploration course Major Technical Core: Technical course toward major
**Liberal Education Course Major Technical Core: Technical course toward major
ENG 199: Peer Led Teams (PLT) for PHYS 211 **Liberal Education Course
**Merit: Math 241 **ENG 199: Peer Led Team (PLT)  for PHYS 212

*Specific course will vary depending on student interest. See below for more information.

**Not required. Students will discuss with Coordinator to ensure appropriate progress is being made. List of available Liberal Education courses is here.

Example of Major Exploration courses typically taken:

AE 140: Aerospace Computer-Aided Design CS 101: Intro Computing: Engrg & Sci CEE 190: Project-Based Introduction to CEE IE 300: Analysis of Data
ME 170: Computer-Aided Design CS 124: Introduction to Computer Science I CHEM 104/105: General Chemistry II + Lab STAT 400: Statistics and Probability I
SE 101: Engineering Graphics & Design ECE 110: Introduction to Electronics MCB 150: Molec & Cellular Basis of Life
ECE 120: Introduction to Computing MSE 182: Intro to MatSE