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Freshman engineering classes PLEASE HELP ME MAKE A DECISION

realchkrealchk 201 replies42 threads Junior Member
Son is torn between TAMU and Univ of Arkansas. We both are worried about the 2nd admission process and the 3.5 GPA requirement. He wants to major in computer science and there's no other field that he is interested in. These are the classes he is planning to take. Can someone offer any advice please? THANK YOU!

Fall
Math 151
Physics 218
Engineering 111
CSCE 111 (or Thar 201 or health 236)

Spring
Math 152
Physics 208
Engineering 112
CSCE 121 (or CSCE 111)

I know 3.5 guarantees admission to 1st choice major, what is the chance for those who have below 3.5?
36 replies
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Replies to: Freshman engineering classes PLEASE HELP ME MAKE A DECISION

  • lessonwitch2lessonwitch2 471 replies85 threads Member
    Hello! First you may want to review this link(page 3): https://engineering.tamu.edu/media/3708723/cpsc201631-20160610.pdf

    Next, what science did he take senior year? And is he coming in with any college credit? If it was biology or chemistry, I would recommend replacing PHYS 218 with CHEM 107/117 and PHYS 208 with PHYS 218 and take PHYS 208 over summer.
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  • realchkrealchk 201 replies42 threads Junior Member
    He is taking AP Cal & AP physics 1 right now, both with A. He does not like chemistry and will not take chemistry, so he will take two semesters of physics. He has quite a few AP credits and college credits already.
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  • lee6666lee6666 247 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @realchk, Last year (Spring 2016 Entry To A Major admission cycle), over 90% of applicants got into their first choice major. Please see https://engineering.tamu.edu/academics/advisors-procedures/entry-to-a-major and click on the related link for Spring 2016 Student Profile for the min/max GPA accepted into each major.
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  • lessonwitch2lessonwitch2 471 replies85 threads Member
    edited March 2017
    Hello! Do you know what college credits he has earned?

    I hope your son knows though that chemistry is required to graduate anyways. And he might have an easier freshman year if he retakes a class that is fresh in his mind.

    Here is the recommended courses for all freshman engineering major.


    FIRST YEAR (Common Engineering First Year)
    Semester 1 _ Semester 2
    ENGR 111 2. _ENGR 112 2
    MATH 151 4. _ MATH 152 4
    PHYS 218 4 _ PHYS 208 4
    ENGL 104 3 _ CHEM 107/117 4
    UCC Elective 3 _UCC Elective 3
    TOTAL 16. _ TOTAL 17
    edited March 2017
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  • realchkrealchk 201 replies42 threads Junior Member
    @lee6666 Thanks very much for the information. This will help. Son is worried that he doesn't have a 2nd choice, he has his mind set on computer science. But I think he will be fine.

    @lessonwitch2 Son has 4 hour Biology credit with lab, hopefully he can use those in place of chemistry. If not, most likely he will take it in the summer at a community college instead.
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  • TxSkerTxSker 199 replies19 threads Junior Member
    @realchk The only way to get out of chemistry at A&M would be to have AP credit for the class. CHEM for engineers is a required course even for computer science majors.
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  • lee6666lee6666 247 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @realchk, As others have mentioned, PHYS 218, and particularly 208, are difficult courses at A&M. Many students take PHYS 218, CHEM 107/117, then take PHYS 208 at a community college in the summer. You can check out grade distributions for courses here: https://web-as.tamu.edu/gradereport/ to help make course selections.
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  • realchkrealchk 201 replies42 threads Junior Member
    We met with the CS adviser last week, he said either physics OR chemistry. But I will let my son know about this. Base on what I saw from the grade distribution, seems like Chem 107/117 is not any easier than Phys 208. That's something to consider. If he decides to go to TAMU, he will need to utilize tutoring service to get through.
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  • lessonwitch2lessonwitch2 471 replies85 threads Member
    Hello ! Chemistry 107 may be easier for him though because, after taking AP chemistry, he will have an easier time with the material since he already knows alot of it
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  • 3boysmom923boysmom92 46 replies5 threads Junior Member
    We have been told to take PHYS 208 online through West Texas. I was wondering if they should take it this summer, before they take PHYS 218? I thought it might be beneficial to see how rigorous PHYS is going to be and also give them a better base for PHYS 218. They are incoming freshmen who did well in phys in high school but need to work on study habits since they never had to study to pull an A.
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  • realchkrealchk 201 replies42 threads Junior Member
    edited March 2017
    Do transfer courses count towards GPA? Maybe he can Chemistry here locally and then transfer it to TAMU.
    edited March 2017
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  • lee6666lee6666 247 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @realchk, The credit would transfer, but the grade will not factor into his TAMU GPA.
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  • CollegeMom789CollegeMom789 31 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited April 2017
    I agree with @lee6666 about which science courses to take first & second semester. Unless required by his department, AVOID taking Physics 208 (Engr Physics II) at Texas A&M. Western Texas College online was a great option for my Aggie. It seems backwards....but at TAMU Physics 218 is taken before Physics 208. 218 is a pre-req for 208. I'm almost certain that Calc II and Physics I are pre-reqs for WTC Physics 2426 (equiv to TAMU 208). I didn't look at grade distribution....but for my Aggie, Chem 107 was MUCH easier than Phys 218.
    edited April 2017
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  • CollegeMom789CollegeMom789 31 replies1 threads Junior Member
    After campus visits, did your son have a preference between a medium-size university (Ark) and a huge university (A&M)? I absolutely love Aggie students...as a whole, the most polite student body of any campus I've visited! Profs in my son's major are excellent! In my opinion, A&M is admitting a lot more STEM/engineering students than they can accommodate. Sometimes difficult to get into Engr pre-req courses. I'm certain there aren't enough openings in some upper-division courses in my son's major to accommodate the number of students admitted to the major. A&M is running out of lab space & classroom space. Professors very busy teaching & researching.....no longer have time for advising. Because he & another student weren't properly advised as freshmen, each of them took a course not needed for their major. Different advisors & different inaccurate advice given to each of them.. My son has already had 5 different advisors. Not even one of them has a STEM background. My son's last advisor doesn't know how to read a flow chart & "advised" my son to take a course he hadn't taken pre-req for. It's Definitely a Poorly-Designed & Confusing Flow Chart. My son didn't catch the pre-req issue either. I was the one who caught it. After spending tuition $$$ on a time-consuming/busy-work course my Aggie son didn't need, I now feel the need to "look over his shoulder" as assistant advisor. For the cost of tuition & fees at Texas A&M, I certainly expected better advising and a better registration process (especially for incoming students). Your son can compensate for that by doing a lot of research & planning prior to New Student Conference. NO individual advising or registration help is given there. For Sping 2017, my son was unable to get into an upper-division course in his major (which is a pre-req for several other courses in the major). He knows quite a few students in his major who needed the course, but couldn't get in. Bottlenecks like that can cause graduation delays. My Aggie isn't in Computer Science. Perhaps advising & course availability are better in Computer Science. I also know that advising problems aren't unique to A&M. I'm aware of specific advising issues that occurred at both Colorado School of Mines and University of Montana.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43111 replies470 threads Senior Member
    The schedule you describe looks super heavy - having a 3.5 in it would be very difficult.
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  • izelkayizelkay 397 replies10 threads Member
    @3boysmom92 You can't take PHYS 208 before taking PHYS 218. PHYS 218 is a prerequisite for PHYS 208.

    @realchk There's absolutely nothing wrong with that schedule. In fact, it's almost exactly the same as my schedule was when I was a freshman, except I took CHEM 107/117 in Spring and took PHYS 208 over the summer, and I was an electrical engineering major. Nonetheless, maintaining a 3.5 would not be insanely difficult with that schedule, and I doubt he will need any tutoring outside of office hours and SI sessions.
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  • lee6666lee6666 247 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited April 2017
    @realchk, The electives you mention -- THAR and HLTH 236 -- are real GPA boosters, so they will help. My son took two of the THAR classes with Anne Quackenbush early on -- both easy As, and took HLTH 236 online -- also a very easy A. As far as the Physics vs. Chem debate, he found Chem easier than Physics. Other than that, your schedule is pretty standard for all entry-level engineering students. And just keep in mind that >90% received their first choice major last year, whether they had a 3.5 GPA or not. It will be interesting to see if this spring's Entry To A Major numbers are similar.
    edited April 2017
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  • 3boysmom923boysmom92 46 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for setting me straight. I just assumed the smaller number meant it came first. LOL
    This thread has been most helpful. I appreciate everyone's input.
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  • CollegeMom789CollegeMom789 31 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Even if your son already has AP credits for Chem 107/117, I think he should consider taking Chem his first semester. As a GPA booster. PHYS 208 can be a "GPA killer," especially if he gets the wrong prof. Many students I know take it in summer at community college or online thru Western Texas College (either summer, fall, or spring). He should definitely ask his dept if they want PHYS 208 taken at A&M or if somewhere else is ok.

    I had credit for Calc I ages ago. My high school teacher recommended that Calc I my first semester as a GPA booster. So glad I did! Math teachers were strong at my HS, but science teachers not. I needed that extra time for Chem & Engr courses.
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  • GleeGlee 73 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @CollegeMom789 Do students take PHYS 208 over the summer after High School graduation or Freshman Year at A&M? Thanks for all your advice.
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