School of Engineering

Frequently Asked Quesitons

FAQs are a collection of students' questions from the School of Engineering office during the past few years. If you have any question that is not answered in the FAQs, please contact Dr. Pong (wspong@sfsu.edu).

  1. How do I change my major?
  2. Who is my advisor?
  3. What is a Student Planning Worksheet, and why do I need one?
  4. Why am I being warned about missing prerequisites?
  5. How can I transfer required engineering courses from another institution?
  6. How do I file for graduation?
  7. How do I arrange for individual supervised study?
  8. How can I drop or withdraw from a class?
  9. Why am I on academic probation, and what can I do about it?
  10. What undergraduate majors are offered by the School of Engineering?
  11. Can I take a minor in engineering?
  12. What concentrations are offered for graduate study in the School of Engineering?

How do I change my major?

If you're changing majors, and your new major is in engineering, fill out a Change of Major form, available from the Engineering office (SCI 163) or online at https://www.sfsu.edu/~admisrec/reg/changemajor.html  (Opens in New Window). Be sure to use the 6-digit SIMS major code for the new major you've chosen:

671703 Civil engineering
671701 Computer engineering
671705 Electrical engineering
671711 Mechanical engineering

Return the form to the Engineering office for the Director's signature (allow up to one week: sometimes we're very busy!). Pick up the signed form and turn it in at the One-Stop desk.

If your new major is not one of the four engineering programs, submit the form to the new department rather than to us.

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Who is my advisor?

If you have been assigned an advisor in the past, and you don't remember who it is, stop by the Engineering office (SCI 163) and ask. If you've never had an advisor, you need to fill out a Student Planning Worksheet-see below for details. Once we have a worksheet on file for you, we will assign you an advisor.

If you are a lower-division student (have never taken a 300- or 400-level class), or have questions about your General Education curriculum, you must see one of the GE/LD advisors: Dr. Krishnan and Dr. Owen. Signup sheets are in the Engineering office.

If you need upper-division advising in your major, find out what your advisor's scheduled office hours are and arrange to meet then.

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What is a Student Planning Worksheet, and why do I need one?

A Student Planning Worksheet is a four-page sheet that tracks your progress toward graduation by recording the required and elective courses you have completed. The sheets are color-coded: green for CE, salmon for CmpE, yellow for EE, blue for ME.

Every engineering major MUST have one and only one worksheet on file in the Engineering office. If you do not have a worksheet on file with us, complete one right away. If information on your worksheet is out of date, fix it. This is the most important thing you can do to avoid unforeseen problems later.

It is essential that every undergraduate student attend Advising Day, held once a semester; in addition, upper-division Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering majors must meet with an individual advisor. In any case, you must retrieve your Student Planning Worksheet from the Engineering office (SCI 163) before Advising Day, bring it with you to all individual and group meetings, and return it promptly so we may record your attendance.

If you are a transfer student, we also use the worksheet to record transfer equivalencies for courses taken at previous institutions (see "How can I transfer required engineering courses from another institution?" below).

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Why am I being warned about missing prerequisites?

Because of the highly interdependent "critical paths" in the undergraduate engineering curricula, we take special care to ensure that you have completed all prerequisite courses as specified in the SFSU Bulletin. If you have failed to complete one or more prerequisites for a course you are currently taking, we will administratively withdraw you from that class.

Note that concurrent enrollment, or completion of a prerequisite course with less than a C grade, may not satisfy the requirements of a class. Check the Bulletin for details on your specific course.

If we have warned you that you are missing required prerequisites, the email or letter that we sent you will outline the steps you can take to address the problem. Administrative withdrawal is our last resort, and we will use it only after giving you adequate opportunity to remedy the situation.

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How can I transfer required engineering courses from another institution?

If you are a transfer student, you must fill out a Student Planning Worksheet as soon as possible (see "What is a Student Planning Worksheet?" above). Take your worksheet, along with unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended, to the program head for your major. The program head will evaluate your transcripts and mark those that are approved as equivalent to SFSU courses on your worksheet. Bring the worksheet back to the Engineering office (SCI 163) and we will keep it on file.

If the coursework you're trying to transfer was completed at another California State University campus, a University of California campus, or a California junior college, you can find out for yourself whether a transfer equivalence exists by visiting http://www.assist.org/  (Opens in New Window). Otherwise, engineering program heads evaluate transfers on a case-by-case basis. As of Spring 2005, the program heads are:

Civil EngineeringProf. Timothy D'OrazioSCI 168BEJKuczynsk@aol.com
Computer EngineeringProf. Thomas HoltonSCI 170tholton@sfsu.edu
Electrical EngineeringProf. Thomas HoltonSCI 170tholton@sfsu.edu
Mechanical EngineeringProf. Ahmad GanjiSCI 129aganji@sfsu.edu

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How do I file for graduation?

The relevant dates for graduation (including the dates by which applications are due and the actual date of the commencement ceremony) are determined by the University at the beginning of each semester. You may always check the SFSU academic calendar at http://www.sfsu.edu/deptpage/acal4.htm  (Opens in New Window) to see these dates. Typically, applications are due to the School of Engineering two weeks before they are due to the University Registrar's office.

There are two sets of General Education (GE) requirements applicable to engineering majors: the 33-unit ("engineering GE") program or the 48-unit ("University GE") program. You must choose one of these. If you are on the University GE program, you must submit a major application packet and a GE worksheet; if you are on the engineering GE program, you must submit a major application packet and GE application packet.

We post detailed instructions on applying for graduation at the beginning of each semester in the Engineering office (SCI 163).

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How do I arrange for individual supervised study?

You may register for ENGR 699 (undergraduate) or ENGR 899 (graduate) supervised study for 1, 2, or 3 units. Complete a Petition for Individual Study (the form is available in the Engineering office) and attach a proposal. Have this signed by the professor with whom you wish to work, and turn it in after the first day of class in the semester you wish to do the study. We will then give you an add sticker, so that you may register online or by touch-tone.

If you are a graduate student, you may earn units for ENGR 895/898 (master's thesis), 897 (research project), or 899 (individual supervised study). See your advisor or the graduate program coordinator for details.

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How can I drop or withdraw from a class?

During the first four weeks of instruction, dropping a course or courses is permitted without academic penalty. No symbol is recorded on your permanent record, and you may drop through the Gator Reg system (online or touch-tone) during access hours.

After the first four weeks of instruction, withdrawal from a course is not permitted except for serious and compelling reasons. You must fill out a Petition for Withdrawal (available in the Engineering office or online at https://www.sfsu.edu/~admisrec/forms/wc.htm  (Opens in New Window)) and submit it to us with your instructor's signature, an unofficial transcript, and documentation of the extenuating circumstance making the withdrawal necessary. The Director of the School of Engineering may ask to meet with you personally to discuss your situation.

Withdrawal during the last three weeks of a semester is typically not permitted except for verifiable and compelling reasons clearly beyond your control; withdrawals at this stage ordinarily involve withdrawing totally from the University.

If you withdraw after the fourth week, you will receive a W grade on your transcript.

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Why am I on academic probation, and what can I do about it?

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What undergraduate majors are offered by the School of Engineering?

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Can I take a minor in engineering?

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What concentrations are offered for graduate study in the School of Engineering?

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