Jump to content

College of Engineering

Prerequisite Requirements

Engineering is a discipline that requires mastery of prerequisite coursework before you can move forward in the curriculum. You should plan to repeat any engineering requirement in which you earned a grade of less than C-. You are encouraged to adhere carefully to all prerequisite requirements. The instructor is authorized to drop you from a course for which you have not completed the stated prerequisites.

Current Curriculum Requirement

Because engineering is a rapidly developing profession, the things an engineer needs to know change on an almost daily basis. To respond to this, the faculty members make changes to the curriculum on a regular basis. In order to ensure that students graduate with the most current engineering knowledge, College of Engineering students must complete the major requirements in effect in the academic year of graduation or in the immediately preceding academic year. For information about undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering, see http://engineering.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate/.

When degree requirements change, a transition plan is developed to ensure that students who are getting regular advising and following recommended course sequences will be able to graduate within four years. Contact your program adviser or the Engineering Undergraduate Office for more specific information or questions. The list of advisers can be found at http://engineering.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate/advisors/.

The faculty of the College of Engineering may prescribe special or comprehensive examinations or may otherwise test student preparation and achievement, and may specify course-work alternatives to passing such examinations.

Engineering Design

Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet certain needs. Design involves a decision-making process (often iterative), in which the basic sciences, mathematics and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing and evaluation. Specific design requirements are included in individual curriculum descriptions. In general, the design experience in the engineering programs prepares students to recognize responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts. The engineering curricula culminate in a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and incorporating appropriate engineering standards and multiple constraints to satisfy desired needs.

Unit Requirements

Each candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering must satisfactorily complete an approved curriculum in engineering, totaling at least 180 units. No unit of coursework you complete may be used to satisfy two different degree requirements, except under any of the following conditions:

  • You may use course units to satisfy both General Education 3 requirements and course requirements for the major.
  • You may use course units for two different degree requirements in cases where the catalog specifically states that course units may be used to satisfy two different degree requirements.
  • You may use course units for permitted double majors within the College of Engineering.

Detailed requirements for the approved curricula are given in the Programs and Courses chapter of this catalog; to see the courses required in your major, consult this section. The minimum number of required units varies with the curriculum. You are responsible for planning your program and satisfactorily completing all degree requirements.

You may, for good cause, request a modification of particular degree requirements by submitting a student petition. These petitions, available from your program adviser or from the Engineering Undergraduate Office, can be valuable aids in resolving individual program conflicts or other special problems. Such petitions are subject to approval by the Undergraduate Educational Policy Committee, composed of one faculty representative from each department and non-voting staff advisers. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies serves as ex-officio member of this committee.

Residence Requirement

College of Engineering students must meet the university residence requirement. There are no additional college residence requirements.

Limitation on Credit for UC Davis Extension Courses.

Students may apply a maximum of 16 units of credit for courses taken in the Open Campus Program through UC Davis Extension towards the unit requirement of their major. Courses may be taken only when written approval has been obtained from the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. The grade points earned when enrolled in Open Campus courses will count toward the calculation of the student's UC GPA upon your admission or readmission to regular student status at UC Davis. Students registered at UC Davis may not enroll in Open Campus courses.

Scholarship Requirement

In addition to meeting the university scholarship requirement, College of Engineering students are required to maintain at least a 2.000 grade point average for all undergraduate course work within Engineering at UC Davis.

English Composition Requirement

Prospective engineering employers cite the ability to write well and communicate effectively as a desirable trait. Because engineers must be able to explain complex ideas, it is critical that you pay close attention to the development of writing and communication skills. All students admitted to the University must complete the Entry Level Writing Requirement (see Entry Level Writing Requirement) before credit for any composition course or general education writing experience course will be granted.

Once the Entry Level Writing Requirement has been satisfied, there are two distinct composition requirements for engineering students:

  • Lower-division composition. This requirement can be satisfied by completion of an Advanced Placement English exam with a score of 4 or 5; International Baccalaureate credit for English 3; or completion of certain coursework with a grade of C- or better. Courses allowed vary by major. Please see your program adviser to determine coursework that has been approved for your major.
  • Upper division composition. Requirements for upper division composition vary by major. Please see your program adviser to determine the coursework that has been approved for your major.

Please note that when you use coursework to satisfy either of the composition requirements, you must earn a grade of C- or better.


Because, as an engineer, you will be a significant participant in the human setting, you will need to have a breadth of education that will allow you to deal with contemporary social issues and to understand the impact of engineering solutions in the global and societal context. To these ends, you must complete the UC Davis General Education requirement details; see General Education Requirement.

Since all engineering programs are in the Science and Engineering GE topical breadth area, you will fulfill the campus GE requirements by taking courses in the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences areas.

In satisfying the GE requirement note that (a) you must take GE courses for a letter grade, and (b) you must satisfy the Entry-Level Writing requirement before you can receive writing experience credit for any course.

Students in the College of Engineering will complete any version of the general education requirement in effect between the time of matriculation and the time of graduation. Readmitted students will complete the general education requirement in effect at the time of readmission.

Page content manager can be reached at Catalog-Comment@ucdavis.edu.

Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM