CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) — Clemson University will offer the nation’s first undergraduate Bachelor of Science program in automotive engineering.

University President Jim Clements made the announcement Thursday during the 2023 SC Automotive Summit.

The four-year program will give students hands-on experience in designing and manufacturing cars and trucks.

“We would like to give the students an experience of how to build an automobile from scratch,” said Dr. Srikanth Pilla, the ExxonMobil Employees Endowed Chair.

Students will spend the first two years learning on Clemson’s main campus. They will move to the CU-ICAR campus in Greenville for their final two years where they will take what they have learned and begin to design and build a car.

“Students will gain a better understanding of how to manufacture these vehicles, how to test them and how to make sure all the different components come together,” explained Dr. Chris Paredis, the BMW Chair in Systems Integration. “Ultimately, at the end of the project, we’ll do a demonstration.”

Clemson’s graduate students have worked with auto companies to build several cars as part of their Deep Orange program.

“Our students really address every aspect of a vehicle,” said Paredis.

By the end of the program, Pilla said their team hopes their students will have the tools to be able to work immediately after graduation so they can begin designing and manufacturing the vehicles of the future.

The first cohort of students will begin classes in Fall 2023.