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7. Cockrell School of Engineering
- Gregory L. Fenves, PhD, Dean
- Gerald E. Speitel Jr., PhD, PE, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
- John C. Halton III, MA, Associate Dean, College and Alumni Relations
- John G. Ekerdt, PhD, PE, Associate Dean, Research
- Alvin H. Meyer, PhD, PE, Associate Dean, Student Affairs
- Janet Ellzey, PhD, PE, Assistant Dean
- Tricia Gore, MEd, Assistant Dean
- Wesley G. Queen, BBA, Assistant Dean
The Department of Engineering was established in 1884, an outgrowth of work in applied mathematics first offered in the Department of Literature, Science, and Arts. About 1920, the department became a college; in 2007, the college was renamed the Cockrell School of Engineering in honor of Ernest Cockrell Jr., an alumnus and benefactor of the University. The first degree in engineering, a Bachelor of Science with a major in civil engineering, was conferred in 1888. Civil engineering degrees have been conferred since 1894 and electrical engineering degrees since 1896.
Degrees in architecture were conferred in the College of Engineering from 1909 through 1951, when the School of Architecture became an autonomous division of the University. Degrees in chemical engineering have been conferred since 1916; degrees in mechanical engineering since 1919; degrees in architectural engineering since 1928; degrees in petroleum engineering since 1931; degrees in aeronautical engineering from 1943 to 1959 and in aerospace engineering since 1960; degrees in ceramic engineering from 1948 to 1961; degrees in meteorology from 1951 to 1963; degrees in geosystems engineering and hydrogeology, offered jointly with the College of Natural Sciences, since 1996; and undergraduate degrees in biomedical engineering beginning in 2002. A degree in engineering science was offered from 1960 until 1988.
The mission of the Cockrell School of Engineering is to achieve excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and public service. The school strives to provide an educational experience that inspires students to reach for the highest levels of intellectual attainment and personal growth throughout their lives, to provide a scholarly and professional environment that enables students and faculty members to make lasting contributions to the advancement of knowledge and the creative practice of engineering, to engage in service that enhances the public's understanding of technology and facilitates the use of technology for the betterment of society, and to lead the nation in providing equality of opportunity for engineering education.
Engineering education affords individuals the opportunity to prepare themselves for life in an era when human well-being depends more than ever before on the ability to apply technology for the benefit of society. It has become clear that in producing the goods and services demanded by an expanding population, we must consider the effects of technology on the environment. Solution of many of the problems faced by society today will involve a high level of technology.
Engineers are involved with all the devices and systems made by and for people--buildings and factories, transportation and communication systems, equipment for generating and distributing electrical energy, computers and electronic devices; indeed, all of the manufactured products we see around us. Engineers of diverse backgrounds working together and with other professionals have produced heart pumps, surgical lasers, robotics for manufacturing and construction, polymers, safer and more efficient nuclear reactors, advances in space research and in environmental protection, safe and attractive bridges, satellites and telecommunication systems, and small but powerful computers. Just as much of the technology being applied today has been developed within the past ten years, the solution of tomorrow's problems will require the development of new technology through engineering research.
In addition to its traditional function of giving men and women the opportunity to prepare for careers as professional engineers, the Cockrell School of Engineering also has a second function: providing the opportunity to acquire a technical background to students who plan to continue their education in areas such as business, public affairs, law, medicine, and scientific disciplines related to engineering. The engineering faculty willingly accepts its obligation to enhance cooperation between engineers and others working to improve the quality of life.
The school is organized into academic departments that offer a variety of degrees. Although there are distinct differences among the degree programs, they have much in common; all are based on a foundation of mathematics, natural sciences, and basic engineering subjects. Following the development of an adequate foundation during the first two years, an engineering student begins concentrated study in a particular area. During the senior year the student delves into practical engineering problems, developing skills in defining a problem, translating available information into equations that can be analyzed logically, creating additional information when necessary, and choosing a course of action that has a reasonable chance of producing the desired results.
The school seeks to give students the knowledge necessary to take advantage of opportunities in a number of areas. The engineer who begins a professional career immediately following graduation usually will find opportunity for a variety of responsible positions in industry and government. The first assignments usually are of a technical nature. Later, one may choose to become a technical specialist or to move into positions involving administration and management. Either choice can lead to a rewarding professional career.
Many engineering graduates elect to continue their education. Studies by the American Society for Engineering Education indicate that nearly 50 percent of all engineering graduates eventually earn a master's degree. Most do their graduate work in engineering, either in a professional program where advanced design techniques are emphasized or in a graduate school where the emphasis is on research. Others elect to enroll in graduate programs in other disciplines. The flexibility to accommodate a broad spectrum of educational objectives has been incorporated into the degree structure of the Cockrell School of Engineering through technical area options and electives that permit students to define programs of study that best suit their needs.
The Cockrell School occupies six buildings on the central campus, with a total of 927,000 square feet for classrooms, laboratories, and offices. The Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory and a substantial number of other engineering research laboratory facilities are housed at the J. J. Pickle Research Campus, about six miles north of the central campus.
University libraries include the Perry-Castañeda Library, the Tarlton Law Library, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, and several branch libraries and special collections. The units together make up one of the largest academic libraries in the United States, with more than six million volumes covering almost all fields of academic and scientific research.
The Richard W. McKinney Engineering Library, a branch of the University Libraries located in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall, supports teaching and research in all fields offered by the school. Extensive facilities are available for computer retrieval of technical literature. Special files include manufacturing catalogs, industry standards, United States patents, and selected technical material issued by NASA and other government agencies.
Other branch libraries of special interest to engineers are the Architecture and Planning Library, the Mallet Chemistry Library (which includes chemical engineering), the Walter Geology Library, the Kuehne Physics Mathematics Astronomy Library, and the Life Science Library.
All units of the University Libraries offer reference services, circulation and reserve, access to computer-based information and electronic media, and interlibrary loan services.
Office of Student Affairs
The mission of the Office of Student Affairs (SAO) is to serve the University and the public by helping to recruit, retain, and graduate engineering students. The office aims to accomplish this mission by providing personal and responsive guidance and support throughout each student's University experience. The staff strives to provide a foundation for students to develop successful lives, careers, and long-term relationships with the University.
The SAO represents the Office of the Dean in student matters. Academic advisers and SAO staff members are available to assist students in the following areas: adding, dropping, and withdrawing; application to take less than fourteen hours; application to take more than seventeen hours; concurrent enrollment approval; correspondence course approval; course selection for new students; crisis intervention; degree holder/nondegree seeker; extension course approval; final degree audits; First-Year Interest Groups (FIGS); supplemental instruction courses; grade change processing; graduation; the Engineering Honors Program; internal transfer application (change of major); major sequence application; new student orientation; probation and dismissal; prospective student visits; recruitment; resource referral; international engineering educational opportunities; and students with disabilities.
The SAO also serves as a clearinghouse for information about the Cockrell School and the University. Students may seek assistance in person in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200, by phone at (512) 471-4321, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The SAO also provides information about student affairs online.
Engineering Students with Disabilities
The coordinator of the Engineering Students with Disabilities Program (ESD) assists students with disabilities to meet the challenges of their academic programs. The coordinator works with students, faculty members, and administrators to remove barriers that limit qualified people in their pursuit of educational goals. Confidentiality and privacy are respected. Students must be registered with the University's Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) every semester in which they wish to receive accommodations and services. Information about registration is available from SSD in Student Services Building 4.104 and at (512) 471-6259. The ESD coordinator is available in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200 and at (512) 471-4321. More information about the Engineering Students with Disabilities Program is given online.
International Engineering Education
Each semester, a growing number of students in the Cockrell School of Engineering pursue opportunities to study in a foreign country. Practicing engineers who are undergraduates today are likely to work with citizens of other countries and to be involved professionally in international projects. Participation in a study abroad experience is excellent preparation for this global marketplace.
There are several international programs that allow students to take courses that will count toward their degrees. Some programs require proficiency in a foreign language, while others allow for study in English. Engineering students who are interested in going abroad should visit the International Engineering Education Office in Engineering Teaching Center II 7.126.
The Cockrell School supports the International Engineering Focus Programs, in which students may study abroad for a long-session semester or summer session; Maymester Abroad courses are also available in May and June. There is a program available for every engineering department. Students may study at respected engineering schools in Argentina, Singapore, Australia, France, Mexico, England, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Scotland. Courses are approved in advance, to ensure that they will count toward the engineering degree. All the courses in the International Engineering Focus Programs are taught in English.
All engineering students interested in going abroad are encouraged to meet with the International Engineering Education Office program coordinator, who can help them decide which program will best suit their needs.
More information about engineering study abroad can be found online, in Engineering Teaching Center II 7.148, or by telephone at (512) 232-9675.
The Cockrell School also offers a certificate in international engineering studies. More information is available from the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.
Engineering Career Assistance Center
The Cockrell School assists students as they pursue professional career opportunities through the Engineering Career Assistance Center (ECAC). The center helps to prepare engineering students for the job search through counseling, workshops, and a comprehensive on-campus recruiting program. Students should register with the ECAC beginning in August each academic year to receive full benefit of the center's services.
Located in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.400, the Engineering Career Assistance Center hosts as many as twenty-three interviewers daily throughout the fall and spring recruiting seasons. Interviewers represent hundreds of companies seeking graduates, co-op students, and summer interns in all engineering disciplines to fill positions worldwide.
ECAC offers individual career counseling services to engineering students on a walk-in basis or by appointment. Topics addressed in individual counseling sessions and workshops include résumé and letter writing, interviewing skills, dressing for success, site visits, salary negotiation, online job searches, and other career issues.
Students may contact the Career Center online or by phone at (512) 471-1915.
Cooperative Engineering Education Program
The Cooperative Engineering Education (Co-op) Program is an academic program that allows undergraduate students to obtain full-time engineering experience before they graduate. Students gain work experience directly related to their field of engineering by alternating semesters of full-time campus study with training in industry.
Students should apply for the Co-op Program in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.400 at least one semester before planning to begin a co-op work term. Students may apply for the first work term after completing twenty-eight semester hours of basic sequence coursework, which must include eight hours each of physics and calculus and coursework in the selected engineering discipline. Students must have a University grade point average of at least 2.50, a grade point average of at least 2.00 in the major area of study, and at least twelve semester hours of degree-applicable coursework left to complete after the final co-op term. Transfer students may apply for the program after one semester at the University.
To realize the full academic and professional value of the Co-op Program, the student must complete either two or three semesters with the same employer in a cooperative engineering position. The student is then eligible to receive two or three hours of letter-grade credit that may be applied toward the engineering degree as a technical elective.
Students may contact the Co-op Program office online or by phone at (512) 471-5954.
Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program
The Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program invites students to become part of a community that focuses on academic success and personal growth. EOE initiatives such as the Fall Kick-Off, First-Year Interest Groups (FIGS), and Engineering Peer Leaders help students establish a strong academic foundation and promote the formation of a peer support network. In addition, EOE provides students with access to tutoring, undergraduate research opportunities, and professional development workshops. The EOE Program builds a network that makes it easy to meet other engineering students, form study groups, and develop friendships that last well after graduation.
The Cockrell School established the EOE Program in 1970 to promote the recruitment and academic development of Hispanic, African American, and Native American students interested in pursuing careers in engineering. Since that time, EOE has expanded its goals; the program now seeks to increase the diversity of the student body by supporting students who come from historically underrepresented population groups in Texas and students who have backgrounds or experiences that will contribute to the overall diversity of the Cockrell School.
Additional information about the EOE Program is available online; in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.102; by telephone at (512) 471-5953; and by e-mail at email@example.com.
Engineering Scholarship Program
Information about undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and other financial resources available to students in the Cockrell School can be found online, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the Engineering Scholarship Program in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.106.
Office of Student Life
The Office of Student Life (OSL) provides a variety of student development programs for engineering students to create a sense of community in the school, to involve engineering students in the life of the school, and to provide opportunities outside the classroom for students to develop skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication.
In addition, the OSL is the Cockrell School's primary liaison to almost sixty engineering student organizations. These organizations are generally student chapters of national professional engineering organizations; the OSL works with them on programming, team building, and budgeting.
More information about the Office of Student Life, its programs, and engineering student organizations is available online and in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 1.224.
Women in Engineering Program
The Women in Engineering Program (WEP) connects students to opportunities and careers in engineering and introduces them to mentors, peers, and resources in the field. The mission of WEP is to increase the overall percentage of women in the Cockrell School of Engineering. WEP strives to educate girls and women about engineering, inspire women to pursue the unlimited opportunities within the world of engineering, and empower women engineers to benefit society.
WEP provides a supportive structure to help women succeed in the Cockrell School and offers a wide variety of activities to help students meet other students and faculty members, form study groups, and explore engineering career options. Programs include first- and second-year programs, luncheons and dinners, workshops and seminars, and opportunities to meet corporate representatives.
Additional information about the Women in Engineering Program is available online; in the WEP office, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.108; by phone at (512) 471-5650; and by e-mail at email@example.com.
Faculty members and students of the Cockrell School of Engineering may participate in a wide variety of research projects conducted under the Bureau of Engineering Research. The bureau and its component research units are supported by federal, state, and industrial research contracts and grants that provide part-time employment for selected undergraduate and graduate students and for some faculty members. More than six hundred individual research projects are usually underway at any one time. In addition to providing students with experience in research methodology, these research projects enable faculty members to keep abreast of developments in their principal areas of interest.
Research units currently operating within the Bureau of Engineering Research are the Advanced Manufacturing Center; Center for Aeromechanics Research; Computer Engineering Research Center; Center for Mechanics of Solids, Structures, and Materials; Construction Industry Institute; Center for Energy and Environmental Resources; Geotechnical Engineering Center; Microelectronics Research Center; Offshore Technology Research Center; Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering; Center for Space Research; Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory; Center for Biological and Medical Engineering; Center for Transportation Research; Center for Excellence in Distributed Global Environments; Wireless Networking and Communications Group; and Center for Research in Water Resources.
The Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory is an academic unit of the Cockrell School. Interdisciplinary research units operated cooperatively by the school and other colleges are the Center for Construction Industry Studies, the Center for Perceptual Systems, and the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. Research organizations are located both on the main campus and at the J. J. Pickle Research Campus.
In 1955, the University's Board of Regents authorized establishment of the Engineering Foundation and the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council to promote academic excellence in engineering education. Since then, the generous contributions of alumni and individual and corporate friends of the school have enabled the Engineering Foundation to develop a program of excellence through the encouragement and support of innovation in teaching and research; the creation of academic and leadership enhancement programs for engineering students; the establishment of funds for scholarships and fellowships; the recognition of outstanding engineering faculty members with meritorious service awards; and the endowment of chairs, professorships, faculty fellowships, lectureships, and named rooms, laboratories, library collections, and book collections.
The Engineering Foundation office supports the work of the Engineering Advisory Board, a body of corporate leaders who volunteer to advise and assist the school. Through the Engineering Foundation, the school conducts fund-raising efforts in five areas of emphasis: corporate involvement and support; Friends of Alec (alumni support); alumni relations; endowments; and bequests and estate planning. The staff of the Engineering Foundation coordinates these efforts, and the Engineering Advisory Board provides strategic leadership.
Admission and Registration
Admission and readmission of undergraduate students to the University is the responsibility of the director of admissions. All students who wish to major in engineering must be admitted to the University according to the procedures given in General Information. However, enrollment in any engineering degree plan may be limited by the availability of adequate academic resources. Hence, a student may be admitted to the University but denied admission to a specific engineering degree plan. An applicant who is denied admission to an engineering degree plan may seek to enter another major in the Cockrell School of Engineering or in another college or school.
Required and Optional Placement Tests
To establish appropriate course placement, all new students must take the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics, either Level 1 or Level 2. This requirement may also be fulfilled by credit for a specific college-level course or credit earned through the appropriate College Board advanced placement examination. Students are encouraged to take subject tests in their home communities. The subject tests are offered at the University during most orientation periods.
Optional placement tests are available in a number of other fields. These tests include the UT Austin Test for Credit in Chemistry (for credit for Chemistry 301), the UT Austin Test for Credit in Physics: Mechanics (for credit for Physics 303K and 103M), and the UT Austin Test for Credit in Physics: Electricity and Magnetism (for credit for Physics 303L and 103N). More information about these and other placement examinations is published by the Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment.
Information for Transfer Students
Below are general guidelines for prospective transfer students; additional information about transfer addmission is given online. Because significant differences may exist among courses that appear to be quite similar, students are encouraged to contact the Cockrell School of Engineering about the applicability to University degrees of courses offered at other schools. General information is available from The University of Texas at Austin, Office of Student Affairs, Cockrell School of Engineering, 1University Station C2108, Austin TX 78712. The telephone number is (512) 471-4321. Prospective engineering students who have not chosen a major should consult this office. If the student consults the school early enough, loss of credit may be avoided. Students should also consult the automated transfer equivalency Web site.
Students who have questions about the requirements of a specific degree plan should contact the appropriate departmental advising office. Additional information about academic advising can be found online.
Guidelines for Transfer Students
- Students who wish to transfer to the University from another college or university must apply to the Office of Admissions for transfer admission as described in General Information. Requirements for admission as a transfer student vary, but all transfer applicants must submit transcripts of all college and high school coursework.
- Only courses listed in the student's engineering degree program, or equivalent courses accepted by the department chair and approved by the dean, may be counted toward an engineering degree. A course may therefore be accepted for transfer credit but not be applicable toward an engineering degree.
- Courses that are common to all degree programs in the Cockrell School are listed below. These may be taken at any school offering courses acceptable for transfer to the University.
- Transfer students must have completed at least the equivalent of Mathematics 408C.
- Completion of sequences of technical courses in the major area sometimes requires five or more semesters. Therefore, most transfer students should anticipate a minimum of five semesters or the equivalent in residence at the University.
- Transfer students with more than forty semester hours of credit in an engineering or preengineering program may be eligible for admission to a major sequence as explained in the following section.
Admission to a Major Sequence
In engineering degree programs, the major sequence is a set of courses in which the student learns to put to engineering use the concepts learned in the basic sequence. Major sequence courses are normally taken in the last two years of undergraduate study.
Students must apply online for admission to a major sequence. The following requirements apply both to students seeking to transfer to the school from another institution and to those currently enrolled at the University, either in another college or school or in a basic sequence of courses in the Cockrell School. Those in another college or school must also meet the requirements given in General Information for transfer from one division to another within the University.
- Applications for admission to the major sequence are evaluated by the Cockrell School each semester. The criteria for admission vary from semester to semester; current admission criteria are published online.
- To be eligible for admission to a major sequence, the applicant must have received credit from the University for the basic sequence of courses of the degree plan, either by completing the courses at the University or by receiving transfer credit for equivalent courses taken elsewhere. The student must not be on scholastic probation according to University regulations and must not be on engineering probation according to the regulations of the Cockrell School. For the basic sequence of courses in each degree plan, see the outline of the plan later in this chapter.
- No engineering student may register for a course identified as a major sequence course in any of the degree plans of the Cockrell School unless the student has been admitted to the major sequence.
- An applicant who has not previously been registered at the University must be admitted to the University as described in General Information. Admission to the University does not imply or guarantee admission to a major sequence in the Cockrell School. A student's application to the major sequence is considered only after the student has been admitted to the University.
Application for admission to a major sequence must be made online.
- A student who is currently enrolled in the school must submit a completed application form.
- A student seeking to transfer from another institution must first be admitted to the University by the Office of Admissions. Each transfer student must then confer with the transfer adviser for the major under which the student was admitted to the Cockrell School. A student who wishes to change majors within the Cockrell School after being admitted to the University must meet the requirements given in the section "Transfer to an Engineering Major (Internal Transfer)."
- Deadlines for submitting completed applications to the Cockrell School Admissions Committee for admission to a major sequence are October 1 for entrance in the following spring semester and March 1 for entrance in either the following summer session or the following fall semester.
- A student who has been admitted to a major sequence but does not enroll, and who wishes to enter in a subsequent semester, must reapply for admission to a major sequence and must meet all requirements in place at the time of reapplication. A student who has been admitted to the University but does not enroll must reapply to the University for admission according to the policies in place at the time of reapplication.
- A student who has been enrolled in a major sequence and wishes to return to the school after being out for one or more semesters must apply for admission or readmission to a major sequence on the basis of all requirements in place at the time of return. A student who has been out of the University for at least one long-session semester must apply for readmission to the University.
- Any student who has been denied admission to a major sequence will not be considered for admission for a subsequent semester unless reapplication is made.
General Information gives information about registration, adding and dropping courses, transfer from one division of the University to another, and auditing a course. The Course Schedule, published before registration each semester and summer session, includes registration instructions, advising locations, and the times, places, and instructors of classes. The Course Schedule and General Information are published on the registrar's Web site. The printed General Information is sold at campus-area bookstores.
To register for a course, a student must fulfill the prerequisite given in the catalog or Course Schedule. If the student has not fulfilled the prerequisite, he or she must obtain the approval of the department offering the course before registering for it.
During the summer, orientation sessions are held to acquaint entering students with many aspects of life at the University. The required and optional placement tests described above are given during these sessions. Before they register, all engineering students must take the required tests. Abbreviated orientation programs are offered just before the beginning of each semester and summer session.
An engineering student must have the approval of the dean before registering concurrently at another institution, either for coursework in residence or for a distance education course, and before enrolling in correspondence or extension coursework either at the University or elsewhere. Application for approval of concurrent enrollment should be made online. The student may not enroll concurrently during his or her last semester in any course to be counted toward the degree. More information about the approval process is available in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.
To facilitate movement through an academic program, each engineering student must be advised in his or her major department before registering for each semester or summer session. The student may not register until his or her proposed schedule of courses has been approved. Approval as specified by the student's major department is required for any change from the set of courses initially approved. Continued registration for courses without proper approval is justification for the student to be dropped from such courses. Students are also required to consult their advisers whenever they change their academic programs. Departmental advisers are available throughout the year to discuss matters that affect the student's performance.
Each student should review his or her audit every semester through IDA, the University's Interactive Degree Audit system. The advising audit lists the courses remaining in the student's degree plan and the requirements the student has not yet fulfilled. It normally provides an accurate statement of requirements, but the student is responsible for knowing the exact requirements for the degree as stated in a catalog under which he or she is entitled to graduate and for registering so as to fulfill those requirements. The student should seek an official ruling in the Office of Student Affairs before registering if in doubt about any requirement.
A transfer student registering in the Cockrell School for the first time is advised by an undergraduate adviser in the department in which the student will be enrolled. To be advised properly, the student must have both the transcripts of work completed at other colleges and the evaluation of that work by the University's Office of Admissions.
Many students find the advising they receive from their academic advisers and from other faculty members and students will suffice. However, some find it desirable to discuss matters with academic advisers in the school's Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.
Counseling and Referral Services
The Office of Student Affairs advises and counsels students about problems or concerns they have about their academic work or life in the school.
In addition, University counseling services are available from the Counseling and Mental Health Center, the Telephone Counseling Service, the UT Learning Center, and University Health Services. These offices are described in General Information.
Transfer to an Engineering Major (Internal Transfer)
A student may transfer from another division of the University to the Cockrell School of Engineering in accordance with the regulations given in General Information.
A University student, either an engineering major or a nonmajor, who wants to transfer to a major in the Cockrell School must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of at least twenty-four semester hours of coursework in residence at the University. Credit by exam and correspondence, extension, and transfer hours may not be counted toward this requirement.
- A cumulative in-residence grade point average of at least 2.50.
- Completion of Mathematics 408D and Physics 303K and 103M, or their equivalents.
Only currently enrolled students may apply; students may apply while in the process of meeting the admission requirements. Forms to apply for internal transfer are available online.
Admission to all engineering majors is offered as space is available to the students who are best qualified. For equally qualified applicants, preference is given to the student who has completed more of the basic sequence courses for the requested major. No more than 10 percent of internal transfer students may be non-Texas residents. Information on Texas residency is available in General Information. Some degree programs may have additional admission considerations; these are described in their individual sections later in this chapter.
If a student who has been admitted to a major sequence is granted admission to another major, he or she must complete all the requirements of the basic sequence of the new major and must apply for admission to the new major sequence on the basis of the curriculum in effect at the time of application.
Academic Policies and Procedures
Grade Point Average for Academic Decisions
In the Cockrell School of Engineering, the grade point average used in all academic decisions is the average of grades the student has earned in residence in courses applicable to the degree. Academic decisions are decisions about engineering probation, engineering dismissal, internal transfer (change of major), admission to the major sequence, admission to the Engineering Honors Program, designation as an Engineering Scholar, eligibility for graduation, and eligibility for graduation with University Honors.
Quantity of Work Rule
Maximum Number of Hours in the Long Session
As used in items (1) and (2) below, "coursework" includes correspondence courses, extension courses, distance education courses, nonrequired electives, physical activity courses, and courses for which the student is registered concurrently at another institution.
- An engineering student may not register for more than seventeen semester hours of coursework without an approved application to do so. Application to take more than seventeen hours is made online.
- No student may register for more than twenty-one semester hours of coursework during any long-session semester.
Minimum Number of Hours in the Long Session
A normal course load in the Cockrell School is fifteen to seventeen hours a semester; the suggested arrangement of courses for each degree program is based on this load. An engineering student may not enroll in fewer than fourteen semester hours of coursework except with an approved application to do so. Application to take fewer than fourteen hours is made online. Twelve of the fourteen hours must be applicable to the degree. All elective courses counted toward the twelve hours on the lists of approved electives in this chapter or be approved by the departmental undergraduate adviser.
Rules for the Summer Session
A student may not receive credit for more than fourteen semester hours during a twelve-week summer session nor for more than eight semester hours in a six-week summer term. These limits apply whether the courses are taken at the University or another institution. For more information about the quantity of work allowed in the summer, see General Information.
Combined Work-Study Load
A student who is employed, either by the University or elsewhere, must report the number of hours of employment to his or her adviser when meeting with the adviser before registering each semester or summer session.
University regulations specify that the combined number of hours of University employment and semester hour load may not exceed forty hours a week. A useful guideline is that the number of hours of employment plus three times the semester hour load should not exceed fifty-six. Some students may find a lower number to be more realistic.
Repetition of a Course
An undergraduate in the Cockrell School may not enroll in any course required in his or her engineering degree plan more than once without written consent of an adviser in his or her department. If the student registers for a course without having received consent, his or her registration may be cancelled. If the student is denied approval to repeat a required course, he or she will be placed in the undeclared major code and must consider other degree options.
A student who is denied approval to repeat a course in residence at the University will also be denied approval to complete the course by transfer, extension, correspondence, distance education, or credit by examination and then count it toward the degree.
Except in unusual circumstances that can be documented, it is unlikely that an engineering student will be given consent to enroll in a required course more than twice.
To be "enrolled" is to be registered for the course as of the twelfth class day in the fall or spring or the fourth class day in the summer. If the student drops a course or withdraws from the University after this date, the student is considered to have been enrolled.
A student in the Cockrell School may not repeat for a letter grade a course in which he or she has earned a grade of C or better.
The application to repeat a course is submitted online.
The official grade in a course is the last final grade reported. If a student repeats a course and has two or more grades, all grades and all semester hours are used in calculating the University grade point average, in determining the student's scholastic eligibility to remain in the University, and in determining the student's academic standing in the Cockrell School.
Engineering students are expected to attend all meetings of the classes for which they are registered. Students who fail to attend class regularly are inviting scholastic difficulty. In some courses, instructors may have special attendance requirements; these should be made known to students during the first week of classes. With the approval of the dean, a student may be dropped from a course with a grade of F for repeated unexcused absences.
Standard of Work Required and Scholastic Policies
In addition to the scholastic standards described in General Information, the Cockrell School imposes the following academic standards. Students who fail to meet the standards stated in General Information are placed on "scholastic probation" by the University. The probationary status given to those who fail to meet the following school standards is "engineering probation."
In cases with extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal to the dean for a waiver of any of the following requirements.
A student is placed on academic probation in engineering under the following circumstances:
- If his or her grade point average in courses in the major area of study taken in residence falls below 2.00. The "major area of study" includes all courses in the student's discipline (biomedical, chemical, electrical, mechanical, or petroleum and geosystems engineering) and required under the student's engineering degree plan. For architectural engineering and civil engineering majors, the major area includes all courses in both architectural engineering and civil engineering; for aerospace engineering majors, the major area includes all courses in both aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics; for geosystems engineering and hydrogeology majors, the major area includes all courses in both geological sciences and petroleum and geosystems engineering.
- If the student's grade point average in required technical courses taken in residence falls below 2.00. "Required technical courses" are courses taken in the Cockrell School, the College of Natural Sciences, or the Jackson School of Geosciences and required under the student's engineering degree plan; they include approved technical elective courses. Courses required to overcome admission or prerequisite deficiencies are not considered in decisions on engineering probation.
Grades received at the University in all courses in the major area, including grades in courses that have been repeated, are included in computing the student's grade point average.
A student on engineering probation will be removed from probation at the end of a long-session semester or summer session if the student is no longer subject to engineering probation under either of the criteria above.
After being placed on engineering probation, a student must be removed from probation within the next two long-session semesters in which he or she is registered. A student who fails to be removed from engineering probation within this time will be placed on engineering dismissal from the school.
A student seeking to reenter the school after having been scholastically dismissed from the University must enroll as an undeclared major unless there is a reasonable likelihood that the student can complete the degree plan under which he or she last registered. A student seeking to reenter the school after having been dismissed from engineering must enroll as an undeclared major. Students who are undeclared majors may not enroll in engineering courses.
A student may transfer from another division of the University to the Cockrell School in accordance with the regulations given in General Information.
Any student having academic difficulty should discuss his or her status with an academic adviser in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.
With the approval of the departmental undergraduate adviser, a student may elect to take the degree-required approved nontechnical electives or any extra courses (taken for benefit and not to be counted toward the degree) on the pass/fail basis rather than for a letter grade. All other courses required for the degree, and Mathematics 305G, Chemistry 304K, and Physics 306, if taken, must be taken for a letter grade.
To elect the pass/fail system of grading, a student must have received thirty semester hours of college credit. He or she may take no more than one course applicable to the degree program on this basis each semester. Credit by examination may be earned only on the pass/fail basis; such credit is not counted toward the University's maximum of five courses taken pass/fail that may be counted toward the degree. For more information on how to receive credit by examination, see General Information.
Engineering Honors Program
The Engineering Honors Program (EHP) is designed to provide an intellectual challenge, opportunities for leadership development, and social interaction for students who have distinguished themselves academically and in leadership roles outside the classroom.
Admission to the program is limited to a small number of exceptional students who are chosen on a competitive basis by the Engineering Honors Program Committee. Most students enter the program when they enter the University; selection is based on class rank, standardized test scores, leadership roles, academic extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, an essay related to engineering, and faculty review.
Engineering students may also apply for admission to the EHP when they have completed in residence at least twenty-four hours of the coursework to be counted toward the degree. To be invited to apply, the student must have at least sixty hours of coursework remaining in the degree program and must have an in-residence grade point average of at least 3.50. Selection is based on the student's rank in his or her degree plan class, in-residence grade point average on courses to be counted toward the degree, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation from faculty members, an essay related to engineering, and faculty review.
To remain in the EHP, the student must maintain an in-residence grade point average of at least 3.50. The grade point average is evaluated each year after grades for the spring semester have been awarded.
To earn Special Honors in Engineering and to have that designation placed on the academic record, the student must complete the undergraduate honors thesis course in his or her discipline.
Additional information is available from the Office of Student Affairs.
Engineering Scholars are designated each spring semester from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes. To be eligible, a student must be enrolled in the Cockrell School, must have completed at least twenty-four semester hours of coursework in residence while enrolled in the school, must have a grade point average that places him or her in the top 5 percent of the class, must be of good character, and must show promise of continued success in engineering. The grade point average used to determine the student's class rank includes only courses that the student has completed in residence and that are applicable to the degree.
The designation University Honors, awarded at the end of each long-session semester, gives official recognition and commendation to students whose grades for the semester indicate distinguished academic accomplishment. Both the quality and the quantity of work done are considered. Criteria for University Honors are given in chapter 1.
Graduation with University Honors
Students who, upon graduation, have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement are eligible to graduate with University Honors. Criteria for graduation with University Honors are given in chapter 1.
Professional and Honor Societies
Professional and honor societies play an important role in the life of an engineering student. Membership in the professional societies is open to all students studying engineering and related fields. Many of these societies are student branches of national professional societies that endeavor to advance the profession of engineering by education, publication, and sponsorship of meetings and conferences. A complete list of professional societies for engineering students is published online.
The purpose of the honor societies is to recognize through membership those students who have established outstanding scholastic records and have demonstrated desirable character and personality traits. Honor societies frequently support projects that aid students and benefit the Cockrell School.
The engineering honor societies are Engineering Honors Council, Chi Epsilon (architectural and civil engineering), Beta Mu Epsilon (biomedical engineering), Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering), Omega Chi Epsilon (chemical engineering), Phi Lambda Upsilon (chemical engineering and chemistry), Pi Epsilon Tau (petroleum engineering), Pi Tau Sigma (mechanical engineering), Sigma Gamma Epsilon (geological sciences and petroleum engineering), and Sigma Gamma Tau (aerospace engineering).
Embracing all branches of engineering is the Texas Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, which was organized at the University in 1916. Only students in the upper fifth of the senior class or the upper eighth of the junior class, and a few graduate students, qualify scholastically for membership consideration. Character and personality traits are also considered in selecting new members. Generally the chapter elects fewer members than the number of eligible students.
Engineering students are eligible for membership in Phi Kappa Phi, a national academic honor society that elects its membership from the top few percent of the entire student body, and in the Golden Key National Honor Society.
The Student Engineering Council is the governing body representing all undergraduate engineering students. Representatives to the council are selected by the professional and honor societies in the school.
Special Requirements of the Cockrell School
All University students must have a grade point average of at least 2.00 to graduate. Students in the Cockrell School must also have an in-residence grade point average of at least 2.00 in the major area of study and in required technical courses. "Major area of study" and "required technical courses" are defined in the section "Standard of Work Required and Scholastic Policies."
A candidate for a degree in engineering must be registered in the Cockrell School either in residence or in absentia the semester or summer session the degree is to be awarded. No later than the date given in the official academic calendar, the candidate must complete an online application form for graduation or graduation in absentia.
All individual degree programs must include at least forty-eight semester hours of engineering coursework.
All University students must complete in residence at least sixty semester hours of the coursework counted toward the degree. In the Cockrell School, thirty of these sixty hours must be in the major field or in a field closely related to the major as approved by the major department and the dean.
At least the last twenty-four hours of technical coursework counted toward an engineering degree must be taken while the student is registered as an undergraduate engineering major at the University. A student seeking an exception to this requirement must obtain written approval in advance from the dean. Information about the petition process is available in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.
The Degree Audit
After earning ninety semester hours of credit toward the degree, the student should request a degree audit in the undergraduate office of his or her academic department. Failure to do so may delay the student's graduation. Each student may review his or her degree audit through IDA, the University's Interactive Degree Audit system.
The degree audit normally provides an accurate statement of requirements, but the student is responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree as stated in a catalog under which he or she is eligible to graduate and for registering so as to fulfill these requirements. Rules on graduation under a particular catalog are given in chapter 1. Since the student is responsible for correct registration toward completion of the degree program, he or she should seek an official ruling in the Office of Student Affairs before registering if in doubt about any requirement. Avoidance of errors is the main purpose of the degree audit, but it remains the responsibility of the student to fulfill all catalog requirements.
Applying for Graduation
Students must apply for graduation the first semester they are eligible to graduate. Failure to do so will jeopardize the student's future registration in the Cockrell School. Any subsequent registration must be recommended by the undergraduate adviser and approved by the dean.
A student is considered eligible to graduate if he or she can complete all course requirements by registering for fourteen semester hours or fewer.
A student in his or her final semester may not enroll concurrently at another institution in any course, including a distance education course, to be counted toward the degree. In the final semester, the student may also not enroll by extension or correspondence in coursework to be counted toward the degree. All transfer, extension, and correspondence coursework must be added to the student's official record before his or her last semester.
Final Degree Audit
The student must complete all procedures associated with the final degree audit.
Any student who does not graduate when eligible must contact the Engineering Office of Student Affairs in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200. The degree auditor will advise the student what steps are needed for future registration and graduation.
A student who completes a bachelor's degree in engineering may receive a second bachelor's degree in a second engineering discipline if the student (1) completes at least twenty-four hours of approved coursework beyond the work counted toward the first bachelor's degree; and (2) meets all the requirements of the second degree that he or she did not meet in completing the first degree. No student may receive two bachelor's degrees in the same discipline of engineering, even if the technical area options are different. For example, a student may receive the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and that of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering but may not receive two Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degrees. A student may not receive bachelor's degrees in both architectural engineering and civil engineering.
In addition to the University commencement ceremony held each spring, the Cockrell School holds graduation ceremonies in December and May. August degree candidates who have completed a degree audit and online graduation application may participate in the May graduation ceremony. Information about graduation is available online.
Registration as a Professional Engineer
The practice of engineering has a profound effect on public health, safety, and welfare. Therefore, the commitment to the public good through the licensing or registration provisions available in all states and many foreign countries is an important step in the professional development of an engineer. Becoming licensed in Texas as a professional engineer requires graduation from an approved curriculum in engineering, passage of the examination requirements, and a specific record of an additional four years or more of active practice in engineering work indicating that the applicant is competent to be placed in responsible charge of such work. Additional requirements include good character and reputation.
Engineering students are encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Engineering examination during their last long-session semester and to seek certification as an "engineer in training."
For additional information, contact the Texas Board of Professional Engineers or the equivalent agency in another state.
1. Effective September 1, 2008. Through August 31, 2008, Ben G. Streetman served as dean, David S. Dolling served as associate dean for academic affairs, and Randall J. Charbeneau served as associate dean for research.
Undergraduate Catalog, 2008-2010
page 1 of 7 in Chapter 7