Flexus: The Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans Women in Engineering (WIE) Living and Learning Program is a two-year living and learning community that was established in 2007 with the goal of promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of engineering. Open to incoming first-year engineering students, Flexus is an ideal program for students who are looking for community, academic support, and ways to develop as future engineers outside of technical courses. The Flexus community works closely with the Virtus Community, with combined living (mixed gender) and academic seminar components. 

In alignment with the mission of the Women in Engineering Program, Flexus aims to shift the culture of engineering to be more inclusive of underrepresented groups, including, but not limited to, women. Flexus seeks to provide the resources and structure for first- and second- year engineering students to be successful through graduation. Furthermore, Flexus aims to create living and learning experiences that enhance the social, intellectual, and leadership development of its members.

Living with Flexus

First-year Flexus students live in the common residential community in Easton Hall. Living with the Flexus and Virtus community in Easton Hall is a requirement for all first-year participants in the Flexus or Virtus Program. Second-year students may live elsewhere, but are encouraged to remain in Easton. Living with this community helps students to connect with peers in engineering and develop a peer support network. Students can easily create their own study groups, benefit from peer tutoring, and engage in a variety of social activities specific to the development and interests of the community.

In addition, the "Flexus & Virtus Student Lounge" is available within Easton Hall for all Flexus and Virtus participants. This space is used for free tutoring services, studying, and other activities.

Learning with Flexus

All participants in Flexus are required to enroll in a 1-credit seminar course each semester for a total of four seminar courses during their first- and second-year. Enrollment in and completion of all four seminars is a requirement to complete the Flexus Program.

A key feature of the Flexus program, these 1-credit seminars explore a range of topics that seek to:

  • Enhance campus and community engagement
  • Promote critical self-awareness
  • Connect engineering to social issues.

Below is a table providing an overview of the curriculum throughout the two-year program:

Term Course Theme Course Credits

First Year Fall 

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:30pm*
First-Year Transition ENES 115  1

First Year Spring

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Professional & Career Development ENES 116 1

Second Year Fall

Thursdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Introduction to Diversity & Inclusion in Engineering ENES 215 1

Second Year Spring

Wednesdays 4:00pm-5:15pm*

Introduction to Engineering & Social Change ENES 216 1

*Day and time subject to change.

Social and Academic Support

In addition to the Living and Learning Program, Flexus students can also enjoy other resources provided by the Women in Engineering Program, such as: networking opportunities; mid- semester advising; participation in the Peer Mentoring Program; and access to WIE staff.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be admitted into the Clark School of Engineering for enrollment as a first-year student in Fall 2020.
  • As space is limited, Flexus is designed for students who are not a part of other Living and Learning Programs. 
  • Living in Easton with the Flexus community as a first-year student is a requirement for participation in the program.

Application, Review Process, and Timeline

The priority deadline to apply was on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, with rolling admissions based on the availability of space. As of April 28, 2020, the program has been filled. If you would like to complete an application to be on the waiting list, please complete the application, which can be found through this link: go.umd.edu/wieLLPapp
For questions, please contact Women_in_Engineering@umd.edu.

Contact Information

Please direct any questions about the program to any of the following contacts:

Sama Sabihi
Program Coordinator, Women in Engineering
Phone: 301-405-0315
Email: ssabihi@umd.edu

Elizabeth Kurban
Assistant Director, Retention
Phone: 301-405-8308
Email: ekurban@umd.edu

Paige Smith 
Director, Women in Engineering
Phone: 301-405-3931
Email: pesmith@umd.edu