Planning the Student's Program

Students vary in their goals and objectives, in their level of achievement and in their high school or pre-engineering preparation. Considerable variety and flexibility are provided to plan each student's schedule so that the individual may reach graduation as efficiently as possible. The objective is to place each new student in courses commensurate with his or her academic profile, previous experience and potential for academic success.

Most courses have prerequisites. The completion of courses on schedule and with satisfactory grades is essential to the student's progress.

The appropriate schedule for each student in each term will depend on a number of factors such as: past scholastic record; placement test results; extracurricular activities; election of co-op, international or Military Office Education Programs; health; and need for partial self-support. A schedule of 12 to 18 hours is considered full-time.

All College of Engineering B.S.E. programs require successful completion of a program of 128 credit hours. An average of 16 credit-hours per term allows a student to complete these programs in 8 terms, generally requiring 4 years of study.

First- and Second-Year Programs

At the time of each student's first advising session, all of the high school and advance placement records may not yet be in the student's file. It is the entering student's responsibility to make certain that all pertinent information is brought to the attention of an Engineering Advising Center (EAC) Advisor. Any changes in test scores or transfer credits will affect final course selection and need to be discussed with an advisor.

With complete information available, the advisor and the student will be able to make carefully considered adjustments in course elections for the first-term course schedule.

First Year

Assuming the necessary academic preparation and no advanced placement credit, each student will be expected to complete some combination of the following courses:

  1. Mathematics 115 and 116 or one of the honors Math sequences.
  2. Chemistry 130 and 125/126, or, for some, 130, 210, and 211.
  3. Engineering 100
  4. Engineering 101 or Engineering 151 (ENGR 151 is an approved alternative to ENGR 101 for all CoE programs)
  5. Physics 140 and 141

Additional course information will be available during the advising session.

Second Year

All students will continue with the mathematics, physics and intellectual breadth courses common to all programs. A second-term student who has selected a degree program should be meeting with that program advisor for third-term elections.

Students who have not selected a degree program should consult the Engineering Advising Center for their course selections.

LSA Honors-Level Courses

Some math and science courses in LSA are considered honors level equivalents of the core math and science requirements. A student whose record indicates qualifications to perform at an advanced level should discuss this option with an advisor in the Engineering Advising Center.

Minimum Common Requirements

Each of the degree programs offered by the College includes credit hours that are common to all programs, subject to appropriate adjustment for equivalent alternatives. See individual sample schedules for required programs in each program section of this Bulletin. Some programs may have a higher minimum grade requirement for some courses.

Engineering 100: Introduction to Engineering

Engineering 100 introduces students to the professional skills required of engineers and provides them with an overview of engineering at the beginning of their program. An important component of the course is the real-world engineering project. Important engineering skills developed in Engineering 100 include:

  • Preparation of written technical reports and oral presentations to communicate ideas to a broad audience
  • Technical problem solving and the creative engineering design process
  • Teamwork and team management
  • Professional responsibility
  • The influence of engineers on society
  • Sustainable engineering
  • Decision-making skills

Numerous sections are offered both Fall and Winter semesters, featuring a variety of design projects. Students are strongly encouraged to select a section that aligns with their interests. Details on each of the sections can be found at the Engineering 100 website: http://eng100.engin.umich.edu

Important Note: You must receive a grade of C- or better in Engineering 100 to fulfill the requirement, however earning a grade lower than C may negatively impact a student's eligibility to declare a program and may require repeating the course. Note: A grade of "C" is required for EECS Programs. Transfer students must complete English composition or a course equivalent to ENGR 100 as a prerequisite for transfer admission. Be sure to consult with the Office of Recruitment and Admissions if you have questions.

Advanced Placement English Credit

Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature credit is assessed as English departmental credit and can be used towards the Liberal Arts Courses (LACs) of the Intellectual Breadth Requirement. You will not receive credit for Sweetland Writing Center courses.

Engineering 101: Introduction to Computers and Programming

The objective of Engineering 101 is to introduce students in engineering to the algorithmic method that drives the information age. Algorithms are an organized means to construct the solution of a problem, structured as a well-defined set of steps that can be carried out by a mechanism such as a computer.

Engineering 101 focuses on the development of algorithms to solve problems of relevance in engineering practice and on the implementation of these algorithms using high-level computer languages. It is centered on quantitative and numerical problems that are suited to computational solutions. These often arise as part of larger, more complex problems in engineering practice.

Engineering 101 also ties itself to the introductory physics and math courses, and provides concrete examples of some of the concepts being covered in those classes. Sample problem types might include:

  • Finding area and volume
  • Simulating statistical processes
  • Data analysis
  • Physical simulation
  • Simulating complex systems with simple rules
  • Minimization and optimization
  • Computer graphics
  • Logic Puzzles

In addition to the problem-solving component, students who take Engineering 101 will learn aspects of the C++ programming languages and be exposed to the MATLAB programming language. C++  and MATLAB are used today in many fields of engineering. MATLAB is also popular and has powerful capabilities for handling computation involving matrices and for visualizing data using 2-D and 3-D graphics. It is important to note that MATLAB will be useful in future math and engineering courses. 

Students entering Engineering 101 are not expected to know how to program; this skill will be taught as part of the class.  Visit the Engineering 101 website for detailed information on specific sections of the class.

Engineering 151: Accelerated Introduction to Computers and Programming

Engineering 151 provides an accelerated alternative to Engineering 101 for students either with previous programming experience or with strong motivation and natural intuition for algorithms. It introduces students to the algorithm development, procedural programming concepts and languages covered in Engineering 101 but at a faster pace. It also introduces object-oriented programming, engineering analysis methods and additional topics such as parallel computing or embedded systems. Visit the Engineering 151 website for more detailed information.

Important notes (1) You must receive a grade of "C-" or better in Engineering 101 or Engineering 151 to fulfill the requirement, however earning a grade lower than C may negatively impact a student's eligibility to declare a program and may require repeating the course.

Mathematics

The mathematics courses of 115 (4 credits), 116 (4 credits), 215 (4 credits), and 216 (4 credits) provide an integrated 16-credit-hour sequence in college mathematics that includes analytic geometry, calculus, elementary linear algebra and elementary differential equations. Students taking mathematics preparatory courses (currently Math 105 and Math 110) preparing them for the election of the first calculus course may not use these courses as credit toward an Engineering degree; however, grades from these courses will be used in computing students' grade point averages.

All students with strong preparation and interest in mathematics are encouraged to consider one of the honors-level math sequences. Qualified and interested students should consult their engineering advisor about these options. It is not necessary to be in an honors program to enroll in these courses.

Earning a grade lower than C may negatively impact a students' eligibility to declare a program and may require repeating the course. Experience indicates that students earning a grade of C- or below in a math class may have an insufficient foundation for further study in the quantitative field of engineering.

Chemistry

Chem 130 (3 credits) with laboratory Chem 125/126 (2 credits) is required by most degree programs. Students will normally elect these courses during the freshman year. The following degree programs require additional chemistry: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. Students expecting to enter one of these degree programs would normally elect Chem 130 (3 credits), and Chem 210 (4 credits) with laboratory, Chem 211 (1) during the freshman year depending on UM placement exam results.

Important Notes: (1) If you have a satisfactory score or grade in Chemistry AP, A-Level, IB Exams or transfer credit from another institution you will have met the Chemistry Core Requirement for CoE. (2) Students who place into Chem 210/211 will not be given credit for Chem 130. (3) Earning a grade lower than C may negatively impact a students' eligibility to declare a program and may require repeating the course.

Physics

The usual first year schedule includes Physics 140 (4 credits) with laboratory, Physics 141 (1 credit). This course requires completion of Calculus I. A second course, Physics 240 (4 credits) with laboratory, 241 (1credit), is required by all programs and is normally scheduled in the third term.

Important Notes: (1) If you have a satisfactory score or grade in Physics AP, A-Level, IB Exams or transfer credit for Physics 140/141 and 240/241 from another institution you will have met the Physics Core Requirement for CoE. (2) All students with strong preparation and interest in physics are encouraged to consider the honors-level physics sequence. (3) Earning a grade lower than C may negatively impact a students' eligibility to declare a program and may require repeating the course.

Transfer credits for Core Math and Science

Students who through use of transfer credit or credit-by-test have fewer than 31 credits total in: math covering the introductory sequence (equivalent to Math 115 – 214/216); introductory physics (Phys 140, 141, 240, 241); and introductory chemistry (Chem 130, 125/126); but have learned the required content as assessed by the math, physics or chemistry department must never-the-less make up the difference in credit hours. This can be done using any number of elective courses in math or science, or, at the discretion of the program advisor, using engineering courses with a mathematical or science focus (e.g. engineering statistics, solid state or nuclear physics, etc.), to make up the total of 31 credits.

Note: ABET Criterion 5 requires all students to have a minimum of 32 credits of college level math and basic sciences, some with an experimental experience. They must also have 48 credits of engineering topics (engineering science and design). All of our programs provide at least one additional credit of math or science within departmental curricula, and in applying this policy for missing math and science credits “basic science” and “engineering science” will be appropriately distinguished.

Intellectual Breadth

Note: For students matriculated into the College of Engineering before September 2011, the Humanities and Social Science Requirements apply. You can also refer to the previous edition of the Bulletin as appropriate to your year of matriculation.

For students matriculated for Fall term 2011 and after the following requirements apply:

It is important that our students learn about modes of thought and areas of human accomplishment beyond the purely technical. This breadth can be designed by students to provide context to their engineering work by learning about human modes of thought, the structure and history of the human societies that they serve as engineers, how humans behave and interact, and how humans express their aspirations in the arts, literature and music. This breadth will help students to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context. This breadth makes our students more flexible, creative and better able to work with diverse groups.

We cannot precisely define all of these possibilities for every student so we strive to create a broad intellectual opportunity for students to pursue their interests both beyond and within engineering. Students are encouraged to use these credits in a coherent way to build a foundation of understanding in both the liberal arts and other disciplines that might contribute to their development of creativity or professional foundation.

The College of Engineering requires all students to complete 16 credits of intellectual breadth courses, and between 9 and 16 credits of general electives (depending on engineering major). Each student selects 16 credits of intellectual breadth courses - subject to these rules:

  • Humanities: At least 3 credits of Humanities classes marked HU in the LSA course guide; credit by test cannot be used to meet this requirement.
  • Professional & Creative Development Courses (PCDC): no more than 4 credits of PCDC (defined below).
  • Liberal Arts Courses (LACs): The remainder of the 16 credits are drawn from any of the LACs (defined below).
  • At least 3 credits in the Humanities or LACs must be at the 300 level or higher.

The currently approved numbers of general elective hours for each degree program are:

Degree Program
Credits of Gen Electives
Degree Program
Credits of Gen Electives
Degree Program
Credits of Gen Electives
AERO 9 CHE 12 EnvE 12
BME 11 CS 15 MSE 12
ESSE 11 EE 11 ME 9
CEE 12
EP 12 NAME 9-10
CE 13-16 IOE 9-12 NERS 10

Definition of Liberal Arts Courses

Liberal Arts Courses (LACs) are intended to give students the broader education in qualitative critical thinking and human society that can give context to their engineering practice and to their contributions as citizens. For the sake of the College of Engineering's intellectual breadth requirements, Liberal Arts Courses (LACs) are meant to exclude mathematics and science courses, as well as some courses that are considered preparatory to the CoE experience. Student's elections of LACs are expected to be in this spirit. The precise operational definition of a LAC is:

  • Any course offered by any UM-Ann Arbor unit marked as HU or SS in the LSA course guide is considered a LAC.
  • For a course not marked as HU or SS but offered under one of the LSA subjects listed below, it is considered a LAC if it is not marked BS, NS, QR/1 or QR/2 in the LSA course guide.
Arabic, Armenian, Persian,
Turkish & Islamic Studies (AAPTIS)
Ancient Civilizations & Biblical Studies (ACABS)
American Culture (AMCULT)
Anthropological Archaeology (ANTHRARC)
Cultural Anthropology (ANTHRCUL)
Armenian Studies (ARMENIAN)
Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Asian Languages (ASIANLAN)
Bosnian, Croatian, & Serbian (BCS)
Afroamerican & African Studies (CAAS)
Japanese Studies (CJS)
Classical Archaeology (CLARCH)
Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Classical Linguistics (CLLING)
Complex Systems (CMPLXSYS)
Communication Studies (COMM)
Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP)
Czech (CZECH)
Dutch (DUTCH)
Economics (ECON)
English (ENGLISH)
Environment (ENVIRON)
French (FRENCH)
Geography (GEOG)
German (GERMAN)
Greek (GREEK)
Great Books (GTBOOKS)
History of Art (HISTART)
History (HISTORY)
Hebrew & Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS)
College Honors (HONORS)
International and Comparative Studies (CICS)
Judiac Studies (JUDIAC)
Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LACS)
Latin (LATIN)
Lloyd Hall Scholars (LHSP)
Linguistics (LING)
Medieval & Early Modern Studies (MEMS)
Middle Eastern & North African Studies (MENAS)
Modern Greek (MODGREEK)
Museum Studies (MUSEUMS)
Organizational Studies (ORGSTUDY)
Philosophy (PHIL)
Polish (POLISH)
Political Science (POLSCI)
Portuguese (PORTUG) Psychology (PSYCH)
Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (REEES)
Religion (RELIGION)
Romance Languages & Literatures (ROMLANG)
Romance Linguistics (ROMLING)
Russian (RUSSIAN)
Screen Arts & Culture (SAC)
South Asian Studies (SAS)
Scandinavian (SCAND)
Slavic Linguistics, Literary Theory, Film & Surveys (SLAVIC)
Sociology (SOC)
Spanish (SPANISH) Southeast Asian Studies (SEAS)
Ukrainian (UKRAINE) Women's Studies (WOMENSTD) Yiddish (YIDDISH)
  • In addition, if a course is not marked HU or SS in the LSA course guide, but is marked EXPERIENTIAL or INDEPENDENT, then explicit permission of a CoE program advisor is needed to use it for a LAC course.
  • Study Abroad Courses (STDABRD) might be counted as LACs, but only by explicit permission of a CoE program advisor. This is not meant to discourage study abroad, but reflects the broad nature of the STDABRD designation, which otherwise defies classification. As described below, transfer credit from US and foreign institutions may also be accepted as LACs credit.

Note: Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering each requires one course in economics. This economics requirement can overlap with the LAC requirement.

Professional or Creative Development Courses (PCDC)

Professional and creative development courses offer a student the opportunity to build on non-engineering and non-technical courses to develop their creativity and professional capabilities as engineers. PCDC courses include any course from the following subjects in the indicated units, provided they are not marked BS or NS in the LSA course guide:

  • Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning: Architecture (ARCH), Urban Design (UD), Urban Planning (UP).
  • School of Art & Design (ARTDES, UARTS)
  • Ross School of Business: Accounting (ACC), Business Administration (BA), Business Economics and Public Policy (BE), Entrepreneurial Studies (ES), Law History & Communication (LHC), Marketing (MKT), Management and Organization (MO), Strategy (STRATEGY)
  • School of Music,Theatre & Dance: Music Composition (COMP), Musicology (MUSICOL), Music Theory (THEORY), Theater & Drama (THTREMUS)
  • School of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE)
  • Ford School of Public Policy (PUBPOL)
  • School of Public Health: Health Behavior & Health Education (HBEHED), Health Management & Policy (HMP).

Transfer Credit and Credit by Test

College course credit transferred as any course meeting these requirements will be accepted as an HU, LAC or PCDC. Courses transferred as departmental credit can be accepted at the discretion of a CoE program advisor. Courses evaluated for transfer credit may also be marked HU or SS, in which case they are considered humanities or liberal arts courses, as described above. In addition, courses transferred as English Composition (ENGCMPTC) also count as an LAC. Credit by test (e.g. Advanced Placement, A-Level and International Baccalaureate) can be used to satisfy any of these requirements except for the 3 credit humanities requirement. Foreign language credit by test at the 200 level or higher can count toward the LAC requirement but not the 3-credit humanities requirement. Foreign language credit by test at the 100 level can be used for General Electives only. In addition, language credit by test is limited to 8 credits.

Credit for Foreign Language

The CoE will grant credit for students passing a language placement test offered by the College of LSA provided the student has previously studied that language in a course in their secondary education. This will be verified using their high school or college transcripts. AP language credit will also be granted.

"Study of a language in a course" means a student took coursework designed to teach them the fundamental vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and writing system of that language as a foreign language, as opposed to a class in literature, argumentative or essay writing or creative writing in a language whose fundamentals they already knew.

The CoE values the study of language, so even when credit might not be granted, students are encouraged to take any language placement test for which they may be qualified, so that they can be properly placed in a more advanced language course.

General Electives

General electives are intended to allow students to explore any dimension of intellectual endeavor that they elect, in both technical (including engineering) and non-technical fields. This requirement can be met by any course offered by the UM Ann Arbor, subject to the following restrictions, or by transfer credit subject to the same restrictions in spirit.

Restrictions: Courses that require tutoring of other students enrolled in courses are limited to a maximum of 3 credits, with the exception of Physics 333 & Physics 334 which are both allowed for a maximum of 6 credits.

All undergraduate degree programs in the College of Engineering will accept credits earned in 200-, 300- and 400-level courses in military, naval or air science.

Tutorial courses are not acceptable for credit of grade points but will be included on the student's official record.