Sep 19, 2019  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Engineering

The mission of the School of Engineering is to provide an exceptional technical and professional education that instills in our students advanced problem-solving skills, effective leadership qualities and the ability to recognize and build on individual  strengths throughout one’s career.


The School of Engineering offers the following majors:

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. Engineering is one of the most important ways we can improve lives in the developing and developed worlds.

Here, you will learn 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 you use in solving problems and delivering exciting new products and services to society.

Your experiences inside and outside the classroom will build a solid foundation for a career of leadership and responsibility.

You have embarked on an exciting journey.

Your engineering education at UC Merced will be challenging and satisfying, and will expose you to extraordinary people: world-class faculty members, committed fellow students, dedicated staff and partners from the local community and around the world.

The global social network you develop in engineering and beyond during your time at UC Merced will last throughout your career.

Your education in engineering is a launching pad. You might choose a career in engineering design or as an engineering manager, a career in international development, graduate education in engineering or professions such as medicine or law.
But once you master the methods of engineering problem-solving, you will have the skills and flexibility to chart your own course and 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.

Dean E. Daniel Hirleman
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 effective Fall 2009 for entering or reinstated students.

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 46 Units]

School of Engineering students are required to complete the following list of general education courses:

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]

Service Learning

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.

Engineering Fundamentals

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.

Transfer Requirements

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 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. Applicants for admission will be approved, conditionally approved, or denied. Only students who have completed most or all of the foundation courses will be approved or conditionally approved for acceptance to the major.

Students who are conditionally approved must complete the remaining required foundation courses for their major in their first academic year at UC Merced. These students will be monitored for successful completion of these courses. Conditionally approved majors should be prepared to declare an alternative major outside of the School of Engineering if they are unable to successfully complete the terms of their conditional admission. More information on transfer preparation and admission can be found on and the School of Engineering Student Advising website. 

General Education

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

At least one course from arts, humanities or social sciences is required for UC eligibility.

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