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Engineering major

comom25comom25 207 replies12 threads Junior Member
SO my DD will be a senior and is interested in Engineering major.
1) what are the common GPA SAT requirements? she has 3.8 unweighted and taking more sat's to iprove sc.)ANd does she have to have AP physics
2) Does she have to be selected as an Engineering major or can she get into it in soph yr of college? how hard is it moving from a stem major to Engineering mechanical/electrical?
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Replies to: Engineering major

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9265 replies93 threads Senior Member
    These questions are extremely school dependent. Some schools are direct admit to major, others to a first year engineering program with a transition to major after freshman year. Same with difficulty of changing major. Average GPA and test scores also vary greatly.

    There certainly are schools where a 3.8 UW GPA would be sufficient with the appropriate course rigor.

    Most engineering programs want to see math through calculus by senior year and bio, chem, physics, and then at least one of those at an AP level. For engineering, my D said AP physics is the most helpful.

    What schools are on your radar?



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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81261 replies729 threads Senior Member
    Most engineering programs want to see math through calculus by senior year and bio, chem, physics, and then at least one of those at an AP level.

    Most engineering programs do not actually require calculus in high school. However, calculus is highly desirable if the student completes precalculus in 11th grade or earlier. For sciences, high school chemistry and physics are important to prepare for those subjects in college (biology also for those majors that require college biology). AP level courses would be a bonus (but non-calculus-based AP physics 1 or 2 will not give advanced placement for engineering majors).
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6246 replies27 threads Senior Member
    As stated very school specific. Much easier to know your targets then just throwing out names of schools.

    All schools expect you to take Calc 1 Freshman year. But having Calc at least on senior year can be beneficial. Same with physics. Not mandatory but I would think the majority applying would have it. Remember to be competitive you want to exceed the minimum requirements. Not 100 % needed but I would bet most competitive applicants do in some way.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9265 replies93 threads Senior Member
    I'll also add that if calc and physics are not offered at your D's HS, that is totally different. Schools will look at your D's application within context of her school.

    If they are offered and she chose not to take them, that sends a different message, especially for a prospective engineer.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9334 replies83 threads Senior Member
    AP physics and calc can be really helpful for students to validate their interest in Engineering major. But in many schools admission would be possible without it.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14394 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    At a state school, like Rutgers, you have to apply to the Engineering School and it is very difficult to move into it from another major.

    For others, like Case Western Reserve University who have a "Single Door Admissions Policy", you indicate what you want to major in but once you are accepted you can major in anything you want. So if you started in Math but wanted to switch to Engineering, then just start taking engineering classes. Like all colleges, you would declare a major after sophomore year and be taking classes in that area so if you switched say Junior year you would still have to take all teh required classes.

    She should really try to get through Calc if possible, or at least Pre-calc. Almost all engineering curriculums start with Calc 1...but it is harder if this is the first time you have seen it...but she can always get a tutor.

    3.8 GPA could be fine..depends what she is taking. If she is taking all College Prep and no honors or AP, then she may struggle.

    She should take Bio, chem and Physics and at least one AP if Possible
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  • comom25comom25 207 replies12 threads Junior Member
    thank yo all for your comments. for her curriculum math sciences she has ap bio and honors chem ap calc ab in and she is planning to take ap calc bc and ap physics 1.
    shooting for schools like umich , purdue, GT, umass, pri, uc irvine/san diego,
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    It sounds like she has covered the coursework expected of most successful applicants at those schools, at least in the area of math and science.

    3.8 may be tough at Mich and GT, and borderline at Purdue. She’d probably need upper 1400s to 1500 on the SAT to be competitive at the first two, mid 1400s at Purdue. I’m not familiar enough with the others to comment.

    This is just the measurable components. EC, personal character, essays, etc., can move these either way.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5747 replies124 threads Senior Member
    If she's looking at mid-UCs, I'm assuming you're from CA. Depending on her major, she should look at Cal Poly. They admit, competitively, by major. For example, every student who wants to be a Civil Engineer, competes only against others interested in the same. The competitiveness is all over the map. With a 3.8 she wouldn't get into CS, ME, Aero, BME or SE (assuming that she doesn't have any of the non-academic adders they value; that's another thread). She'd probably be on the fence for Electrical and Civil. She might be competitive for Environmental, Industrial, Materials, and Manufacturing. It's a great school at a great price, especially at in state tuition.
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