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The lack of creativity coming from recently graduated engineering students seems to be apparent through my observations of students, standard social stigma, as well as research conducted at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. However, little is known about the reason behind this vastly growing problem. Without a better understanding of the issues, universities will continue to produce engineers lacking innovative abilities and creative motivation. Seven scholarly articles and studies as well as three primary sources were reviewed and analyzed in order to better understand what difficulties universities face within the engineering community. It has come to my realization that not only is the lack-luster curriculum leading to student disengagement, but the professors also have difficulty expressing the value of creativity, as they cannot clearly define what creativity entails in their specific courses and disciplines. Other problems arise when professors who are proficient with the idea of creative teaching are not incorporating it into their classrooms because the courses are material heavy and time-limited. Several solutions such as project-based introductory courses, interdisciplinary study programs, and professor training have been suggested to solve these faults in the engineering curricula. If changes do not begin to occur within the university environment, engineering students may find it difficult to exhibit the main characteristics of a “good” engineer that companies are searching for—becoming an innovator and a thinker.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Biomedical Engineering

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Faye Prichard


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Boxed In: The Lack of Creative Thinking in Engineering Students