What Is Engineering?
Engineering is about problem solving, innovation, and the creation of devices, systems, processes, and structures for human use. Engineers create new ideas and then transform those ideas into products and services that improve people’s lives. Engineers apply mathematics and the principles of science—particularly chemistry and physics—to solve problems and meet the needs of society. Engineering spans the very small to the very large, from micro-sensors that can continuously monitor human health, to space stations that can support the exploration of new worlds. It also touches our everyday lives.
Engineering has provided our shelter, our transportation, our entertainment, our medical supplies and technologies, our water supplies, the food we eat, the movies we watch, the appliances that make our lives easier and the protection of our environment. Engineering careers are among the highest in demand in the United States, and as a result, provide great personal and professional satisfaction and quality of life. Engineering is a “people-serving profession” and a pathway to financial security. In short, engineering makes the world work!
Letter of Welcome from the Dean
Dear Future Engineer:
It is wonderful that you are interested in studying engineering at UC Merced. Our engineering profession is at the epicenter of ways for improving lives in both the developing and developed worlds. You will have the opportunity to learn with us about how engineering and appropriate technology helps people. From the time you enter our program you will be exposed to new technologies that will become the tools that you will use in solving problems, grafting sustainability into our culture, education and research, and delivering exciting new products and services to society. By using the local region as our lab, we aim to solve global problems by finding sustainable solutions to local challenges, incubate the creation of new enterprises and good jobs, and facilitate prosperity of the San Joaquin Valley and nation.
You have embarked on an exciting journey. With a diverse school and campus, your engineering education at UC Merced will be both challenging and satisfying, and will give you the chance to meet extraordinary people: world-class faculty, committed fellow students, dedicated staff, and partners from the local community and around the world. The global social network you will develop in engineering and beyond during your time at UC Merced will last throughout your career.
Your education in engineering is a launching pad. Some of you will go on to pursue careers in engineering design, others will become engineering managers, and still others will pursue graduate education in engineering or perhaps go into international development or other professions such as medicine or law. Once you master the methods of engineering problem-solving, you will have the skills and flexibility to chart your own course and to adapt to whatever your future holds.
Congratulations on your vision and initiative. I look forward to welcoming you into our program and watching you develop into a technical leader for tomorrow.
E. DANIEL HIRLEMAN, Dean, School of Engineering
School of Engineering Requirements
All students in the School of Engineering, regardless of major, are required to complete all requirements for all majors with a C- or better. (ENGR 191: Professional Seminar is the only exception, which requires a P grade.)
Students in the School of Engineering must repeat a required course after receiving a grade of D+, D, D-, F, U, or Not Passed for previous attempts, and may do so no more than twice beyond the initial enrollment in the class.
General Education Requirements [At Least 42 Units]
School of Engineering students are required to complete the following list of general education courses:
Lower Division General Education Requirements:
Additional General Education Requirements:
General Education Electives (selected from a list of acceptable courses; at least three units should be a recognized upper division writing course):
- Humanities or Arts [4 units]
- Social Sciences [4 units]
- An upper division writing course [3 units]
- Either 3 Service Learning units, or 3 additional Humanities or Arts or Social Sciences units; these units can be upper division or lower division [3 units]
Under the advisement of a faculty mentor, students have the opportunity to form service-learning teams that work with an approved community not-for-profit organization—or client—to solve practical engineering problems. For example, a team composed of both upper and lower division students might work together to design, develop, implement and test an information system to serve the needs of a local non-profit service organization. Students electing to enroll in the UC Merced Service Learning initiative may earn up to two credits per semester for participation, depending on their leadership position within the team for that semester.
Major Preparation [24 Units]
Engineering students are required to complete the following major preparation courses.
Engineering Fundamentals courses are determined by specific majors. See specific majors or talk to your advisor to find out which fundamentals courses are required for you.
Major Area Upper Division Courses
Major Area Upper Division Courses include major core courses, major technical electives and other specified requirements. See specific majors for the list of courses.
Major Preparation and Acceptance to the Major
Articulation agreements between California Community Colleges and majors in the School of Engineering at UC Merced are found on assist.org. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take as many courses that are equivalent to the major preparation required of their planned major at UC Merced. For School of Engineering majors, the completion of calculus, vector calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, a year of calculus based physics, one semester of general chemistry and two programming courses are strongly recommended.
More information on transfer preparation and admission can be found on assist.org and the School of Engineering Student Advising website.
Transfer students are required to complete the following general education pattern before graduation:
- Two English Composition courses (equivalents to WRI 001 and WRI 010)
- Three social sciences courses in at least two disciplines
- Three arts and humanities courses (of the three arts and humanities courses required, at least one has to be from arts and one has to be from humanities).
IGETC is strongly discouraged but certification will fulfill lower division Writing, Arts/Humanities and Social Science requirements.
Since Engineering is a rapidly developing profession, curricular changes are made by the Faculty from year to year. Changes made to the School of Engineering curriculum will be made available on the School of Engineering website at eng.ucmerced.edu.