right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Should my daughter apply as a pre-engineering major, or undecided?

Thinking101Thinking101 5 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
edited August 10 in College Admissions
My daughter is a math/science kid. She might be interested in pursuing an engineering degree, but really has no idea now, as a rising HS senior. When she applies to Pitt, Penn State, Delaware, CWRU, OSU shortly, what are the pros and cons to applying as a pre-engineering major (as opposed to undecided)? Any difference in the likelihood of admission, or ability to get into the engineering program at a later date? Thanks for your advice.
edited August 10
19 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Should my daughter apply as a pre-engineering major, or undecided?

  • carachel2carachel2 2956 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't think you can apply as a pre-engineering major. You either apply to Swanson Engineering or not. Traditionally the advice has always been if you are even remotely thinking of engineering, you should start off in engineering. It's easier to transfer out than to transfer in to engineering.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77098 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Pitt students in the engineering division enter as undeclared engineering students but may declare after completing first year courses with a 2.0 college GPA.
    https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/First-Year/First-Year/Advising/Choosing-a-Major/

    However, Pitt students outside of the engineering division need a 3.0 college GPA to apply to change into the engineering division, but this does not guarantee admission.
    https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/First-Year/First-Year/Transfer-Students/Internal-Transfer-Students/

    So a frosh applicant who wants to study engineering at Pitt should apply to the engineering division.
    · Reply · Share
  • Thinking101Thinking101 5 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for your advice. Is it tougher to get into Pitt, or to snag any merit discount, as an applicant to the engineering division?
    · Reply · Share
  • chmcnmchmcnm 61 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 10
    Not sure about merit being easier or more difficult based on major.

    When I was at Pitt all freshman engineers took the same classes pretty much. It was easy to transfer out. Not so much to transfer in but I knew a few who did.

    Talk to an AO. Maybe apply to engineering but see what policies are about changing your mind before freshman year starts. Maybe a 3/2 program might work for her.

    Has your D been around engineers? They have a different mindset. If she likes to tinker, build stuff or destroy stuff she’s a good candidate. If she likes theory or a particular science maybe a degree in math/science would be better. JMHO.
    edited August 10
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77098 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    https://www.asundergrad.pitt.edu/student-toolkit/procedures indicates that changing into Pitt's arts and sciences division needs a 2.0 GPA. So starting in engineering means that the students can easily change to an arts and science major, but starting in arts and science means that it can be difficult to change into an engineering major.

    Regarding 3+2 programs, intended 3+2 students only rarely complete the program through transfer to the "2" school. This may be partly because admission to the "2" school can be competitive, financial aid uncertain, and it has an extra your of costs in any case.
    · Reply · Share
  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 935 replies7 postsRegistered User Member
    For Pitt she should apply directly to engineering., for the reasons mentioned above. For Penn State, applying to DUS (undecided) would be preferable, as it is an easier admit and she can take the same entrance-to-major courses that a pre-engineering student would. Other than having an engineering department advisor, there is no advantage to being a pre-engineering student. No one at Penn State is formally admitted to a major until the end of sophomore year. I'm not as knowledgeable about the other schools on your list.
    · Reply · Share
  • airway1airway1 690 replies3 postsRegistered User Member
    My recommendation is apply as stated directly to an engineering program. So tough to transfer in! Penn state will not let you transfer in but she can consider DUS (penn state has two schools with engineering).. as a friend found out the requirements to transfer in if approved is high plus the course requirement is designed to minimize credit transfer
    · Reply · Share
  • carachel2carachel2 2956 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    A merit discount? There is no such thing as a merit "discount." Pitt does offer merit scholarships if that is what you mean? Pitt merit scholarships are competitive and not guaranteed but in seasons past, it seems that an ACT of 33+/SAT 1480+ will generally get you *some* amount of merit. The higher the score , the more merit. Does your daughter have stats in that range?

    The general advice at Pitt is to start in engineering and here is why: the *average* GPA after First Year Engineering (FYE) is around 2.8-2.9. It is a year loaded with Calc, Chem, Physics and coding. For the ones who are already IN FYE, they just need to survive and have a GPA > 2.0 to declare their major.
    The ones who are in another college must have a 3.5 to transfer in and they should be taking similar courses of Calc, Chem, Physics and coding. So it's really really tough to transfer in to engineering.
    · Reply · Share
  • Thinking101Thinking101 5 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for the great info, which leads to a follow up question.
    My daughter's SATs are 670 verbal and 700 math (3.8 unweighted GPA, AP calc and physics). Your message would indicate that a merit scholarship at Pitt is quite unlikely, and that's ok.
    Question: Are these stats likely to gain her admission to Pitt Engineering (or the engineering programs she's also considering - Penn State, OSU, UDel, and Case Western)?
    · Reply · Share
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1319 replies19 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    CWRU has a one door admission policy. Therefore, you don't have to worry about differences by college. Their 25-75 percentiles are EBWR 650-750 and Math 700-790. tOSU Math is 680-770. Remember, the tOSU number are for both in and out of state students. Page 43 of this report https://engineering.osu.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/annual_report_2018.pdf has the freshman profile for tOSU. It looks like they hover around 21%-23% OOS.
    · Reply · Share
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1319 replies19 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you follow the Gladwell School, your DS may want to look at some other schools. Places like the University of Alabama will give her $20k/year with her stats. That brings the net cost to about $32k/year. The average ACT score at UA engineering is 30.1 vs. 31.1 at tOUS.
    · Reply · Share
  • carachel2carachel2 2956 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Thinking101 Here are the average stats for recent years for Swanson.
    https://oafa.pitt.edu/explore/class-profile/
    For a student on the lower end of the average stat wise, the mantra seems to be "apply super early." I think an early application would really help in this matter. And the chance of merit is highly unlikely based on past years. But who knows, it seems to change every year.
    · Reply · Share
  • Thinking101Thinking101 5 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    What a dilemma for her at Pitt: her stats put her in the top 1/3 of applicants for Arts and Sciences, but the bottom 1/3 for Engineering. She has no idea if she wants to be an engineer, but because it's so difficult to transfer into Engineering, if she protects that option by applying for Swanson she risks not getting into Pitt at all.
    · Reply · Share
  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 935 replies7 postsRegistered User Member
    edited August 12
    I think Pitt's application may allow a second choice of major/school, or admissions may offer Dietrich as an alternative if your daughter isn't accepted into Swanson. You may want to check with the admissions office about this. This is not the case at Penn State, which is another reason why I recommend applying to DUS there.
    edited August 12
    · Reply · Share
  • carachel2carachel2 2956 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    She should apply like...right now for Pitt engineering with Dietrich as a second choice as the person above stated.
    · Reply · Share
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG 848 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    Domestic students can work their way into the College of Engineering at tOSU starting in their Exploratory (undecided) program and it is possible to get through in 8 semesters if they start with Math placement M or higher and plan ahead (most engineering students schedule 15-18 cr a semester). See their Science, Technology & Environment meta-major http://exploration.osu.edu/fields-of-study

    Pros Undecided: Math/Science students get exposure to majors/careers besides engineering, still eligible for Honors/Scholars and the large university merit awards. 20% of students come in as undecided. The meta-majors allow students to build their network within a broad field of interest.

    Cons Undecided: No additional CoE level scholarships freshman year, although these tend to be small single year awards and are awarded on a competitive basis. Students can apply for CoE scholarships every year and once a specific major is identified department scholarships can also be awarded. Extra administrative step of applying to CoE (declaring a pre-major) http://exploration.osu.edu/current-students/declare-a-major-or-pre-major "Students need a 2.5 minimum GPA, a C- or better in Math 1151, and a C- or better in Chem 1210 or Physics 1250"

    FYE (First Year Engineering) program, students take general engineering courses and get exposure to different areas of engineering before declaring their major https://advising.engineering.osu.edu/current-students/your-first-year-engineering To stay on track from exploratory be sure to schedule the engineering fundamental class.

    It is also important to note that gpa is very important for applying to the engineering major after specific classes have been completed. https://advising.engineering.osu.edu/current-students/applying-your-major

    For admission purposes there is no disadvantage applying for direct admission to the CoE. "Once it is determined that you are admissible, you will be considered for enrollment in the college of your intended major. " If not directly admitted to CoE the university would still offer a spot in Exploratory if the student meets the university admissions standards (holistic decision). http://undergrad.osu.edu/apply/freshmen-columbus/who-gets-in

    It is important to meet the early application deadline for best chance at admission and merit.
    · Reply · Share
  • Thinking101Thinking101 5 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks so much. You folks are awesome.
    I thought U of Delaware would be a good school to add to the list (not as difficult to gain admission as tOSU, Penn State or Pitt), but it doesn't seem to award much in merit scholarships for out-of-staters like my daughter.
    · Reply · Share
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG 848 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
  • Thinking101Thinking101 5 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Yes, that's on her list! She hasn't gotten to the application yet, and so the question of whether to apply "undecided" or "engineering" hasn't quite come up yet. Any thoughts on this question for Miami?
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity