Brief History of CEAS

On September 22, 2009, the UC Board of Trustees approved the creation of the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS). This restructuring strengthens the focus on engineering and engineering technology and the enhancement of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related programs. The integration and collaboration of these two predecessor colleges —The College of Engineering and The College of Applied Science — does not diminish the legacy or stature of either unit but offers numerous opportunities for positive change. Each entity brings a rich history with exceptional and often complementary strengths.

The College of Engineering has always been part of the university’s history. The appointment of a professor of civil engineering in 1874 and the organization of a department of engineering, culminated in the establishment of the College of Engineering in 1900.

UC’s College of Engineering is heralded as the founding institution of cooperative education (co-op). In 1906, under the direction of then Dean Herman Schneider, the college began requiring its students to work and attend classes in alternating periods. This combination proved so successful in preparing graduates for their later careers that more than 1,000 schools offer forms of the program today.

In 1923 a six-year cooperative program was added in general engineering which led to dual degrees: a bachelor of engineering and a master of science. The college began offering courses in engineering through its own evening division in 1924 and by 1926 grew to include course work in applied arts.

The Institute for Scientific Research, established in the 1920s, expanded the concept of cooperative education by joining the university with industry at the research level.

The goal in the 1950s was to offer graduate instruction in every department. A joint project with the Engineer’s Council for Professional Development (ECPD), and local industry provided opportunities for young professional engineers to pursue graduate degrees without leaving their jobs.

During the late 50s, fueled by the Cold War, advanced studies in engineering and research became the focus. Every department expanded to accommodate the need. In the decades to follow other research programs emerged to strengthen the college’s focus on graduate education.

 Source: The First Cooperative College,

 A History of the College of Engineering

at the University of Cincinnati, 1993


The Ohio Mechanics Institute (OMI), parent name of the College of Applied Science, was founded in 1828 as a private educational institution and the first school west of the Alleghenies dedicated to technical education. The institute became a regional technology resource boosting the Cincinnati economy in the late 1800s.

OMI operated exclusively as an evening college until 1901 when day courses on a pre-college level were added. In 1919 the day courses were revised into collegiate programs. In 1934 the cooperative education plan, where students could spend time working in industry, was initiated. 

In 1958 the college designated separate names for its day and evening operations, the day school became the Ohio College of Applied Science (OCAS) and the evening school was named the Ohio Mechanics Institute Evening College (OMIEC). The college merged with the University of Cincinnati in 1969 and offered programs in the engineering technologies and related areas with the aim of preparing individuals for careers as engineering technologists, engineering technicians, and managers in industry.  The college began offering bachelor’s degrees in the early 70s.

The name of the college was changed in 1978 to the OMI College of Applied Science, combining the day and evening divisions, and was shortened to the College of Applied Science in 2000.

Both colleges and the City of Cincinnati have shared long and productive partnerships. From the earliest days to the present the Colleges of Engineering and Applied Science have maintained strong ties to local and national industry through cooperative education assignments, research funding and graduate placement.  The University of Cincinnati honors the distinguished history and traditions of these two colleges, now strengthened by their union.