Humanitarian Engineering Minor

Minor Director: Jordan Ermilio, Ph.D., P.E., MSWRE, RPCV
Office Location: 250G Drosdick Hall
Telephone: (610) 519-6859


Built on the success of the Villanova Engineering Service Learning (VESL) program and offered through the Center for Humanitarian Engineering and International Development, the minor in Humanitarian Engineering will support the intellectual development of current Villanova University undergraduates who have an interest in humanitarian initiatives with a global perspective, and will foster collaboration with program partners through the provision of technical services that include engineering design and research related to sustainable development. Open to engineering students only, the learning objectives associated with this minor include:

  • Understanding the technical and social aspects of poverty alleviation
  • Applying engineering fundamentals to meet the needs of humanitarian organizations
  • Developing skills in community development using participatory methodologies
  • Understanding the relationship between ethical engagement and sustainable development in a global setting

The ultimate goal of this program is to ensure ethical engagement and impact through collaboration with global partners.


The Humanitarian Engineering minor requires the successful completion of six courses (18 credits). One required course, three VESL seminars, two technical electives, and two professional electives. 

Required Course:

Sub-Total Credits

VESL Seminar Series:

Provides experiential-learning opportunities for students to collaborate with program partners in real-time on projects related to sustainable development, humanitarian technology, and poverty alleviation.

Sub-Total Credits

By rule, any additional Technical Electives can count as a Professional Elective if the student already meets the 6-credit technical elective requirement for the minor.

PJ 5000 or other special topics courses relevant to humanitarian engineering may be substituted, with prior approval from the Director of the Humanitarian Engineering minor program. 

CEE 4606, CEE 4607, ECE 4970, ECE 4971, ME 5006, ME 5000SDURIS (Senior Design, Undergraduate Research, or Independent Study) on a topic relevant to humanitarian engineering may be substituted, with prior approval from the Director of the Humanitarian Engineering minor program.

Academic Framework and Program Timeline

After a student declares the Humanitarian Engineering minor during their first-year, a typical course of study may look like this:

Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year

Fall: Professional Elective

Fall: Technical elective

Professional elective

Spring: Technical Elective

Spring: Professional elective

Fall or Spring: VESL Capstone  - may also be completed the summer after Junior year

Fall or Spring: Introductory Course EGR 2002

Fall or Spring: VESL Leadership Seminar


Fall or Spring: VESL Seminar EGR 5001


In some cases students might need to take more than 5-credits during the final year of the program, and in some cases summer programs would supplement the above framework. For example, during any summer, students could complete a VESL field assignment along with a course to accumulate between 1-7 credits.

Total Credits:


The above program requirements are applicable to students entering Summer 2024 and beyond. Please consult the appropriate archived catalog available on the homepage for years prior to these requirements. In order that programs offered by Villanova University reflect current advances and additions to knowledge and upgraded professional requirements, Villanova University reserves the right to change programs and requirements without prior notice. Students generally are bound to the requirements in effect and published online for the year in which their class begins its first year of study. Special requirements may be in effect for students who have left the University and are being readmitted. Students are advised to check with the web catalog or with their college offices regarding changes that may affect them. Additional academic information may be obtained from the various college offices and the web sites listed for the particular policies, programs and services found in this catalog. 





Curriculum Guide

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