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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a Bachelor’s degree in engineering?

Many factors can affect the length of time it will take you to finish an engineering degree. It can be done in four years, but many engineering students take longer. If a student takes 12 credit hours per semester, which is considered full time in the fall and spring semesters, and 6 credit hours in the summer, he/she would have completed 30 credit hours for that year. Engineering degrees range from 121 to 131 credit hours.

Biomedical Engineering Tissue Engineering Concentration: 127 credit hours
Medical Imaging Concentration: 128 credit hours
Aerospace Engineering 130 credit hours
Architectural Engineering 120 credit hours
Civil Engineering 130 credit hours
Computer Science 121 credit hours
Computer Engineering 121 credit hours
Construction Management 120 credit hours
Electrical Engineering 125-126 credit hours
Industrial Engineering 128 credit hours
Mechanical Engineering 130 credit hours
Software Engineering 121 credit hours
Can I register for classes without being advised?

No, each student must be advised every semester. This ensures that you’re taking the correct courses in the correct order so you can graduate in a timely fashion.

Whom do I see to be advised?

For your first year as a freshman, you will be advised in University College

After you complete your first year and courses like math and Introduction to Engineering, you will transition to the department of your major, where you will see a faculty advisor each semester. Keep in mind they will have teaching loads and office hours, so it is best to schedule an advising appointment. 

Undergraduate Advisors in the College of Engineering

What courses should I take if I’m undecided about which engineering program I want to go into? Are there foundation courses that all engineering students must complete?

Many lower-division courses, such as Calculus I and II and Technical Physics, are the same for all undergraduate engineering degrees. In addition, college students in Texas must all take the same courses in English, history, and political science. Beginning engineering students can easily spend their first year taking courses that will apply toward a variety of undergraduate degree programs.

How can I be sure which credits will transfer from another school and count towards an engineering degree at UTA?

We have transfer guides for the community colleges, junior colleges and most universities in Texas.

May I take courses at another school after I’ve been accepted at UTA and still have them transfer for credit towards an engineering degree?

Any courses taken after admission to UTA should be approved by your major advisor. It is your responsibility to verify the courses will transfer and count toward your degree BEFORE taking the course at another school.

Will my grades from other schools affect my GPA (Grade Point Average) at UTA?

No. Courses from other schools may be accepted for credit, but the grades from these are not calculated into your UTA GPA. Grades of “D” or “F” will not be accepted for credit. However, these courses will be counted when we consider how many attempts you have made on a particular course. (See 3-attempt policy question below).

I plan to complete my associate's degree at a community college before transferring to UTA. Is this a good idea?

An associate's degree can be beneficial in that you will have completed a specific training program, which could be an employment asset in the short term. It demonstrates that you can set and achieve a goal. Keep in mind that some of the courses for the associate's degree may not apply toward the four-year degree, and none of your grades earned at another school are used in calculating your GPA at UTA.

You can always complete the remaining courses for your associate’s degree at UTA and transfer them back to your community college if the associate’s degree is an important milestone for you.

What are the three GPAs?

The College of Engineering uses three GPA calculations in measuring a student’s progress. They are:

  • all courses relevant to an engineering degree,
  • all math, science, and engineering courses, and
  • all engineering courses in your intended major.
What are “leveling courses”?

These are courses that are not required for an engineering degree but may be necessary preparation for the next required course in the sequence. For example, MATH 1302 (Algebra) is a leveling course. It would be unwise for a student who is not proficient in algebra to attempt Calculus I.

What are Lower-Division and Upper-Division courses? Pre-Professional and Professional courses?

Lower-Division or Pre-Professional courses are the preparatory courses that must be successfully completed before a student is allowed to begin taking courses designated as Professional or Upper-Division. Upper-Division courses are specific to the major and are generally related to a student's area of interest.

What are the requirements for being admitted into Upper-Division courses?

Each engineering department sets its own standards for admission into the Upper Division coursework, but all require a 2.25 in all three of the GPA calculations. You must also pass all Lower-Division courses before being admitted to the Upper-Division program. The is the last major event in a student’s academic career before being awarded his/her degree. All students should plan carefully to reach this milestone on schedule. Engineering advisors will help with this process.

What is the foreign language requirement for an undergraduate engineering degree?

If you have completed two years of foreign language in high school, then you are exempt from the foreign language requirement.

What is the C-grade rule?

If a grade of “D” or lower is received in any College of Engineering required course that is a prerequisite for another required course, then that course must be repeated.

Can I complete an undergraduate engineering degree without taking day classes?

Not at this time. Some day classes will be necessary to complete an undergraduate degree.

What is the three-attempt rule?

A student may not attempt a course (at UTA and/or at any other institution) more than three times and apply that course toward an engineering degree. Enrollment in a course for a period of time sufficient for assignment of a grade, including a grade of W, is considered an attempt. All courses, including transfer courses, are considered for this policy.

Will my classes from a technical school count toward an engineering degree?

No. ABET, the accrediting agency for engineering, prohibits accepting technology coursework as credit towards an engineering degree. An engineering degree from an ABET-accredited school will be accepted by employers and professional societies as proof of a comprehensive engineering education.

What will it cost to attend UTA?

Important information about tuition and expenses may be found at

Does UTA have a residence hall for especially engineering students?

Kalpana Chawla Hall (KC Hall) residents may participate in residential learning communities and/or Freshman Interest Groups. See for more information about these living/learning communities and the “Designing Your Future in Engineering” FIG.

Can a student be penalized for taking courses that do not apply toward his/her intended degree or for taking too many courses?

Yes. Senate Bill 345, passed by the Texas Legislature in March 1999, says that students who first enrolled in a college or university in either fall 1999 or a later semester will be charged a higher tuition rate if the number of credit hours he/she has attempted exceed by 45 or more the number of credit hours required for their declared baccalaureate degree and the student has not yet earned a baccalaureate degree. This ruling applies to any grade, including a “W” (withdrawn) or “WF” (withdrawn failing), that is received from a Texas public institution of higher education. Semester hours earned at a private or out-of-state institution are not counted toward the limit. See Degree Requirements.

What do people with engineering degrees in Aerospace, Electrical, Civil, Computer Science, Industrial, or Mechanical do? How much money do they make? What is the anticipated future demand for them?

The most comprehensive source of information for such questions can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is published every two years by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is available in libraries, bookstores or online.

Students are strongly encouraged to read UTA's Undergraduate Catalog.
For additional information, please contact Engineering Student Services

242 Nedderman Hall
Phone: 817-272-1294