Advice to Incoming Students Interested in Engineering

If you’re an entering student who’s interested in the engineering combined-degree plan, it is important that you take or place out of General Physics I and Calculus I your first semester, get at least a B (3.0) in them, and contact the program director, Eric Hill, prior to Spring registration so he can work with you to identify appropriate courses. 

Please note that General Physics I is offered during only the FALL semester, so a student would have to wait an entire year for it to be offered again.  Also, only one section is offered (MWF 11-12:20 plus a choice of lab times).  If this conflicts with your current First Year Seminar, your advisor and the program director, Eric Hill, can work with you to determine whether changing seminars would be recommended.  If it is full at time of registration, contact the program director to ensure a spot.

Calculus I is a co-requisite for General Physics I, but we strongly encourage you to enroll in the highest calculus course for which you are qualified since Calculus II and III are core pre-engineering courses (and required for General Physics II and III which are also core pre-engineering courses.)  If you place into Integrated Calculus I (MATH 118) or lower, you should contact the program director to discuss options; the soonest you could take General Physics I and II would be next year (or you may take comparable summer courses.) 

Suggested first-year courses for students interested in engineering:

  • Fall
    • First-year seminar
    • General Physics I (PHYS 231) AND lab (PHYS231L)
    • Highest possible Calculus class (at least MATH 121)
    • LAF*
  • Spring
    • General Physics II (PHYS 232) AND lab
    • Highest possible Calculus class (at least MATH 122)
    • LAF
    • LAF

An alternative path into engineering (outside of the combined-degree plan) is earning a strong science degree and then pursuing an MS in engineering.  The courses required for the combined-degree plan are still highly recommended for this option; the program director can help you choose appropriate courses for this option.

* If you’re interested in Chemical or Biomedical Engineering, you should take General Chemistry I (CHEM 131 and 131L) your first semester; otherwise, this may be postponed a year or two.

What started as a freshman prank in 1913?
The giant R

The giant "R" seen on the mountain north of the University that is about one-third the size of the Quad.

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