The engagement of Elin Felice Spring and Nathan Evan Kaufman, son of Dr. and Mrs. William M. Kaufman of Chevy Chase, Md., is announced by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard P. Spring of Harrison, N.Y. and Wellfleet, Mass. The wedding is planned for May 17.

Miss Spring, who graduated from Brown University, is studying for a PhD in neurosciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Her father, newly appointed president of the Boston Architectural Center, was for 11 years Dean of the School of Architecture and Environmental Study of the City University of New York. Her mother, Dr. Phyllis T. Spring, is an educator and consultant involved in curriculum studies for exceptional children. He is the grandson of Mrs. Herman Spring of Long Beach, N.Y. and Mrs. Frances Pilato of Palm Springs, Cal.

Mr. Kaufman, a third year medical student at Pennsylvania, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His father is vice-president for ENSCO, Inc., a national research and development corporation with headquarters in Springfield, Va. His mother, Iris Kaufman, is an artist whose work has been shown at the Corcoran and Hom Galleries in Washington D.C. and his grandmother is Mrs. Ben Picovsky, also of Chevy Chase.