Advising Guidebook: Academic Policies and Requirements
Humanities and Social Science Electives
Independent Study and Undergraduate Research
International Baccalaureate (IB) Program
Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS)
Repeating a Course
Prerequisites, Co-Requisites, and Passing Grades
Transfer Credit (Course Substitution)
Advanced Placement (AP)
Students may use AP credit to satisfy degree requirements. For a listing of AP examinations, score required for credit, and equivalent courses at CU Boulder, please refer to the current University of Colorado, Boulder Catalog.
Successful work in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (EN) is dependent upon regular attendance in all classes. Students who are unavoidably absent should make arrangements with instructors to make up the work missed. Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal from a course. If a student stops attending a course in which they are formally enrolled, they will receive a failing grade (F) unless they officially drop the course by the university's drop deadline, which is about a month into the semester (sooner in the summer, though).
Computing is an implicit prerequisite for M.E. course work at the 2000-level and above. M.E. curriculum uses MATLAB programming, which is taught in GEEN1300. M.E. will also accept CSCI1300 to satisfy the Computing Elective, but it teaches C++ programming, so students would have to learn MATLAB on their own.
Degree seeking students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science who complete at least 12 semester credit hours on the Boulder Campus (excluding Continuing Education) during the fall or spring semester and earn at least a 3.60 semester grade point average are automatically placed on the Dean's List. Notation of the Dean's List is placed on the student's transcript by the Office of the Registrar.
M.E. students may enroll in courses designated as equivalent courses in any semester when the corresponding ME department course(s) is/are not offered. The list of equivalent courses may change from one semester to another, so students should verify with the M.E. undergraduate advising coordinator that the intended course qualifies as equivalent before enrolling. It is not generally necessary to file a petition.
|M.E. Course||Equivalent Course|
|MCEN 2023 Statics and Structures||CVEN 2121 Analytical Mechanics or
GEEN 3851 Statics for Engineers
|MCEN 2063 Mechanics of Solids||CVEN 3161 Mechanics of Materials I|
|MCEN 3043 Dynamics||CVEN 3111 Analytical Mechanics II|
|MCEN 3021 Fluid Mechanics||CHEN 3200 Chem Eng Principles I or
CVEN 3313 Theoretical Fluid Mech or
GEEN 3853 Fluid Mech for Engineers
|MCEN 3022 Heat Transfer||CHEN 3210 Chem Eng Principles II|
If a student misses a final exam because of illness or other valid personal emergency, the student must notify the instructor and the Dean's Office no later than the end of the day on which the final examination is given. Failure to properly notify these officials is likely to result in an F grade in the course. Students with three (3) or more final exams on the same day are entitled to arrange an alternative examination time for the last exam scheduled on that day. Such arrangements must be made with the instructor of the exam to be rescheduled no later than the sixth week of the semester. Additional information on the Final Examination Policy at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/final_exam.html.
Free Elective (FE)
- A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours of Free Elective course work is required, and you automatically meet this when you reach 128 credits.
- The Free Elective credits may be any credits earned at CU Boulder, or accepted by CU in transfer (appearing on your CU Boulder transcript) not otherwise applied to your degree.
- Consider choosing a course to give yourself a better niche in engineering (seek counsel from a faculty advisor here), or to develop an avocational interest to enhance your mental health and enjoyment of life!
- Students pursuing a minor will have plenty of credits to apply toward our Free Elective.
A student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science is encouraged to enroll for a MINIMUM of 12 semester credit hours each fall and spring semester. Part-time enrollment could not only delay graduation (and negate the four-year graduation guarantee), but also negatively impact a student’s financial aid, scholarships, health insurance, and on-campus housing. You may petition to take fewer than 12 credits, though. CU athletes, international students and students on probation or returning from suspension must complete 12 or more credits each semester. http://www.colorado.edu/catalog/catalog10-11/engineering/admissionandenrollmentpolicies.html
Faculty within this College have the option
of awarding grades with a plus (+) or minus (-)
designation, except for A+. The instructor has complete authority for assigning final grades.
Incomplete Grades are given only when students, for documented reasons beyond their control, are unable to complete course requirements by the end of the course. You may ask your professor please to give you an IF, if you intend within one year to turn in the remaining work, take the missing exam, or repeat the entire course. The professor is in no way obliged to grant your request. When repeating the entire course, note that the repeat course must be on the same campus (CU Boulder) in the same department with the same course number. Otherwise the IF turns to an F after 12 months. Incomplete grades do not affect your GPA during the year they appear.
Failure to complete the requirements listed below will postpone your graduation. Any exceptions will require authorization from the M.E. Undergraduate Committee and the Dean’s Office. Students should meet with the M.E. Undergraduate Advising Coordinator at least one semester prior to their planned graduation to review their records. It is the student’s responsibility to be certain that all degree requirements have been met, to fill out the diploma card in the Dean’s Office, and to keep the M.E. Undergraduate Advising Coordinator and the Dean’s Office informed of any change in graduation plans.
To be eligible for the BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, students must meet the following minimum requirements:
- The satisfactory completion of the prescribed and elective work in the department’s BS curriculum. A student must complete a minimum of 128 semester hours, of which the last 45 shall be earned on the Boulder campus in the classroom after admission to the College of Engineering and Applied Science as a degree student (the 45-Credit Rule).
- A minimum cumulative grade point average
of 2.00 for all courses attempted and for all
courses that count toward graduation requirements,
excluding P grades for courses taken Pass/Fail.
(Pass/Fail courses do not count for graduation credit except as the Free Elective.)
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all M.E. course work. This “major” grade point average is computed separately from the student’s cumulative grade point average and includes only course work from M.E.
- Completion of all Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) requirements of the College, including foreign language (3 yrs. h.s., or 3 semesters College).
- Successful completion of WRTG 3030, Writing on Science and Society or an approved alternate writing course. WRTG 3035, HUEN 3100 or HUEN 3200 may substitute for WRTG 3030. Any other exceptions to the WRTG 3030 requirement must be approved via petition with signature of the director of the Herbst Humanities for Engineers and of the Assistant Dean of Engineering.
- Taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination, fall or spring of the student’s senior year (including both the general portion in the morning, and the Mechanical Engineering Subject-Specific Section in the afternoon), is required. Graduation is not contingent upon passing. However, it is beneficial for your career to do so because this exam is the first step toward a Professional Engineer's license.
- Complete the Senior Survey at end of your final semester.
- Participate in an average of one Professionalism Seminar/Workshop each semester.
- Submission of an Application for Diploma (the 3 x 7 card), which is available in the Engineering Dean’s Office (ECAD 100) or in the M.E. Undergraduate Office (ECME 112A). Submit this early in your final semester in order to graduate, receive a diploma, and have your name printed in the Commencement Program.
- Obtain the recommendation of the M.E. faculty (simply meet criteria 1-7 above).
- Obtain the recommendation of the faculty of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
(Note: Double degree students must obtain approval of both designated departments and colleges. The University requires that a minimum of an additional 30 semester credit hours be earned for the second degree. However, BOTH degree requirements must be completed. Students earning a minor must provide the Engineering Dean’s Office and the M.E. Undergraduate Office with a Minor Completion Form, enabling them to verify that you are meeting the minor requirements.)
THE BURDEN OF PROOF OF MEETING GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS IS ON THE STUDENT. THEREFORE, WELL BEFORE MAKING YOUR FINAL CHOICE OF COURSES, YOU’D BE WISE TO CONSULT THE M.E. UNDERGRADUATE ADVISING COORDINATOR, YOUR FACULTY ADVISOR, OR THE M.E. UNDERGRADUATE CHAIR. PETITION FOR APPROVAL OF ANY PROGRAM DEVIATIONS.
The designation Cum Laude is awarded when the student graduating has earned a cumulative University of Colorado grade point average between 3.70 and 3.799. The student will earn Magna Cum Laude for a grade point average between 3.800 and 3.899, and Summa Cum Laude for between 3.900 and 4.00. The cumulative grade point average is calculated at the end of the semester prior to the semester of graduation. In addition to the minimum cumulative grade point averages, students must complete at least 45 semester credit hours on the Boulder Campus.
Eligible students are encouraged to participate in the Engineering Honors Program, which is coordinated by Professor Scot Douglass. He can be contacted at 303-492-6021 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Engineering Honors website at http://www.cuhonorsengineering.com
Eligible students are also encouraged to participate in the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. Interested students should consult with the Director of the Honors Program for detailed information, or visit the website: http://www.colorado.edu/honors/fromdirector.html.
Humanities and Social Science Electives (H&SS) and the Upper-Level Writing Requirement
Your engineering courses prepare you to analyze the physical or material world, but not all important questions can be well addressed by scientific knowledge or technical skills. It is to help prepare you to overcome life’s non-technical challenges and to embrace its opportunities that ABET requires engineering students to take courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Chosen carefully, such courses can help you learn more about contemporary issues such as globalization and the impact of science on society, the complexity of ethical decision-making, the sources of conflict between different cultures and nation-states, or the power and insight of poetry and drama. With so much at stake, we encourage you to choose all of your courses thoughtfully. The overall college requirements are listed at http://engineering.colorado.edu/homer/.
Independent Study & Undergraduate Research
Undergraduates can participate in ongoing research through independent study projects, or as paid research assistants. These opportunities allow for individual contact with faculty and graduate students, and they provide an educational experience that cannot be obtained in the traditional classroom setting. Please see page 22 for more information on paid research opportunities.
Up to six (6) semester credit hours of Independent Study and/or Undergraduate Research are acceptable for Technical Electives. Upon satisfactory completion of a first 3-hour independent study/undergraduate research experience, a second 3-hour independent study/undergraduate research course may be approved by petition. If it is to be used to fulfill any other requirement, it must be approved ahead of time by petition.
An Independent Study is normally supervised by a M.E. faculty member. An approved Independent Study supervised by a faculty member outside of M.E. may also be applied to curriculum requirements as an out-of-department technical elective.
If interested, students must adhere to the following:
- An Independent Study Agreement form must be completed and signed by both the student and the sponsor of the Independent Study or Undergraduate Research (which includes a written Statement of Work). These forms are available through the ME Undergraduate Advising Coordinator. This paperwork must be submitted by the course drop/add deadline.
- Satisfactory completion of a significant portion of the initially defined project.
- A written final report, including a copy for M.U.Department Undergraduate Office files, must be submitted before a grade will be sent to the registrar’s office for posting.
- A second independent study must be approved by petition PRIOR to the submission of the independent study form. Note: a copy of the previously approved independent study form should be attached.
- Under no circumstances will a third independent study be allowed.
- In most cases, students will contact faculty in an area the student is interested in pursuing. Sometimes, a faculty will approach a student who has excelled in a particular course. Students may use the faculty list section of this Advising Guide to determine what faculty to contact.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Program
Students may use IB credit to satisfy degree requirements. For a listing of International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations, level of examination required, examination score and equivalent courses at CU Boulder, please refer to the current University of Colorado, Boulder Catalog (www.colorado.edu/catalog), or the College of Engineering’s 2006-2007 College Advising Guides and Forms (http://ecadw.colorado.edu/engineering/students/advising/htm).
Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS)
All students entering CU-Boulder who finished high school in the spring of 1988 or thereafter must meet MAPS specified by each school or college. The College of Engineering and Applied Science has adopted the following standards for admission. These standards are defined in high school units: a unit is one full year of high school course work. (http://www.colorado.edu/prospective/freshman/admission/maps.html).
- English: 4 units
- Mathematics: 4 units
- Natural Science: 3 units (including 1 unit in chemistry and 1 in physics or 1 in biology)
- Social Science: 3 units
- Foreign Language: 3 units (must be in the same language)
In some cases, students who are otherwise admissible may be admitted even though they have not met all MAPS. In those instances, students are required to complete the appropriate MAPS through courses taken here at CU or at other institutions of higher education or by approved credit-by-examination programs prior to their graduation from CU. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of any MAPS deficiencies and complete them in a timely manner. The major department has the responsibility to advise the student on which courses must be taken to satisfy any MAPS deficiencies.
The policies of the Boulder campus with respect to completing MAPS coursework after enrollment are as follows:
- Appropriate missing MAPS coursework is included in the hours for graduation (whether taken from within the CU system or taken at other institutions).
- All coursework toward fulfillment of the MAPS must be taken for a letter grade.
- Students are required to enroll in and complete at least one MAPS course each term, beginning in the first term of enrollment, until such time as all MAPS are completed. This policy applies to new freshmen, to transfer students, and to students transferring from other academic units on the Boulder campus and from other campuses of the University.
- All students who first enroll in one academic unit at CU-Boulder and who subsequently transfer to another unit are required to meet the MAPS specified for the new unit, irrespective of their completion of MAPS units in their previous college or school.
- Students in double-degree programs must meet MAPS requirements of both degree granting units.
- Students must consult with a CU-Boulder academic advisor or read their college’s guide to determine which specific courses may be used to meet a MAPS requirement.
- Students who graduate from a foreign high school are exempt from MAPS.
No Credit (NC)
A course taken for no credit cannot be used for fulfilling graduation requirements. Once a course has been taken for no credit it cannot be repeated for a grade. Students must petition before enrolling for any course for no credit. Students are still subject to course tuition and fee expenses when registering for a course with the NC option.
The primary purpose for offering the opportunity for a student to enroll in a course for a grade of P or F rather than the standard letter grade is to encourage students to broaden their educational experience by electing challenging courses without serious risk to the cumulative grade point average.
P/F credit will be permitted only for course work used as free elective or for courses above and beyond degree requirements. Students on academic probation may not elect the P/F grade option.
Repeating a Course
Except for designated special topics, independent study, or seminar courses, students may not receive credit toward their degree when they repeat a course for which they already have received a grade of C- or better. A student is not permitted to enroll in a course offered by the College when that course has not been successfully completed on three prior attempts.
Any exceptions or waivers of M.E. Department or College of Engineering rules must have prior approval by petition. This petition must be typed, submitted to M.E. for departmental approval, and then forwarded to the College of Engineering and Applied Science (EN) Dean's Office for approval. It is best to petition and “get it in writing” whenever a variance to rules or procedures is involved. It is the student's responsibility to follow up on the petition's progress and be aware of the final decision.
Please refer to the College's Petition Form for more information on examples of situations that must be petitioned. The Petition can be obtained in the EN Dean's Office (ECAD 100), by download at: http://engineeering.colorado.edu/downloads/forms/Petition.pdf or from the M.E. Undergraduate Advising Coordinator (ECME Room 112A)
The following list provides some examples of situations for which a petition is required.
- Enrolling in a course when you have not satisfied the course prerequisites.
- Waiving a required course.
- Dropping or adding a course after College or University deadlines.
- Requesting the pass/fail option.
- Ensuring that courses taken elsewhere will be counted toward degree requirements.
- Taking additional Independent Study credits beyond the first 3.
Follow these guidelines when completing the petition:
- Review the rules and policies of the College as published in the University of Colorado Catalog during your year of admission to this College and the current edition of the M.E. Advising Guide to establish your need to petition and the specific rule or policy you wish to waive.
- Consult with the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator for clarification of departmental rules and policies.
- . The petition must be clearly and neatly typed with correct grammar and spelling, concise, and legible to all whom must judge its merits. When referring to specific courses, the appropriate course number and title should be given. Be sure to include pertinent data such as a copy of the course syllabus and/or catalog course description
- Submit your petition request to the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator for review by the M.E. Undergraduate Committee.
Please attach all the information the M.E. Undergraduate Committee might need (for instance, a catalog description or a syllabus for a course you’d like to substitute, documentation of extenuating circumstances, etc., etc.). Then the M.E. petition process will normally take 1-2 weeks, depending upon the submission date, since the M.E. Undergraduate Committee meets every other week during the spring and fall semesters.
Once you have submitted the petition, keep in regular contact with the M.E. Undergraduate Advising Coordinator to find out when the petition will be reviewed. You will be notified by the Dean's office for the final decision and to sign the certification that you are aware of the decision. Note that departmental approval does not automatically assure College of Engineering approval. Failure by the student to confirm the final petition disposition makes the student responsible for any errors or problems which may result. So pave the way for becoming a great engineer, and follow up!
Prerequisites, Co-Requisites, and Passing Grades
When you’re about to sign up for courses, look very closely at the M.E. Flowchart for prerequisites. Otherwise you may later be surprised to find yourself deleted from a course you registered for! The M.E. Department’s policy is that you must earn at least a C- in all prerequisite course(s) (PRC) before taking the subsequent course. A co-requisite course (CRC), on the other hand, is concurrent (although MCEN 4026 “Manufacturing Processes & Systems” can be taken before MCEN 4045 “ME Design Project 1”). When a CU Catalog (www.colorado.edu/catalog) course description names a co-requisite, that means the co-requisite must at least be taken concurrently (of course, it may also be taken earlier).
- Successful completion of a PRC or CRC course requires a grade of C- or better.
- Grades of D+, D, D-, F, or IF do not satisfy the requirement.
PRC and CRC requirements for all M.E. required courses will be monitored, however it is the student’s responsibility to re-take those courses below a grade of C-. Should that be the case, the student is strongly urged to consult with the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator prior to registering for the next required M.E. course.
Courses not taken in M.E. may be used to satisfy PRC and/or CRC requirements if (1) they are included in the Approved Equivalent Course List as described in this document, (2) transfer credit has been awarded, or (3) a petition to the Undergraduate Committee Chair has been approved.
This policy applies only to ME required courses. If a student has not satisfied all of the PRC and CRC requirements for a particular ME technical elective course, that course may be taken with the approval of the instructor.
PRC and CRC requirements for a course taken outside of M.E. will have those requirements set by the department offering the course, and students must abide by the policies in effect for the other department.
Students participating in the ROTC Program may receive up to nine (9) semester hours of credit toward fulfilling M.E. BS degree requirements from approved ROTC coursework (3 hours of Free Elective, 3 hours of Humanities/Social Science Elective, 3 hours of Technical Elective).
Technical electives provide an opportunity for students to explore a range of subjects (engineering, mathematics, programming, and the natural sciences), to provide increased breadth or to focus on a specific technical area to develop in-depth understanding, such as the Environmental and Biomedical Engineering Options available within the curriculum.
Although a student has great latitude in selecting
electives, students are strongly encouraged to
use technical elective credits wisely to complement
their undergraduate engineering experience.
Of the 12 hours of technical electives required, six (6) hours must be MCEN Tech Electives, MCEN 4100 or above.
The remaining six (6) hours may be from General Tech Electives. These include 3000-5000 level mathematics,
natural sciences, computer science, or any engineering,
including engineering management (EMEN) or more
mechanical, so long as the courses have a substantially
different content from M.E. required courses.
Exceptions to this rule will be considered by
petition to the Undergraduate Committee Chair.
Double-listed courses, i.e., 4000/5000 level,
may be taken as technical electives, although
note that professors generally make the 5000-level
more demanding. Graduate level courses (5000
level) may also be taken as technical electives,
but admission to graduate courses requires the
consent of the instructor.
Caution: Before you register for a General Technical Elective, please be sure to clear it first with the M.E. Department's undergrad advisor (Molly).
Possibilities and limitations for technical electives:
- A maximum of six (6) credits of independent study can apply to technical electives.
- One (1) 3-credit ROTC course, 3000-level or above, may be used as a General Tech. Only a few ROTC courses have been approved, however.
- Communication, foreign languages, and geography do not count as technical electives.
- A technical elective may be taken pass/fail ONLY IF IT IS NOT REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION.
What is the StayConnected program?
The StayConnected program is a benefits only program that allows degree-seeking undergraduate students to access certain benefits during the 3-4 semester they are not registered for courses through either Boulder main campus or Continuing Education (CEPS). The program is NOT required to return to campus or to preserve your enrollment appointment (time assignment) priority. For more information visit http://registrar.colorado.edu/students/stayconnected.html.
Transfer Credit (Course Substitution)
The initial transfer credit evaluation is performed by the Office of Admissions upon receiving an official transcript mailed directly from the institution at which the credit was earned. Just because the Office of Admissions accepted the credit, though, doesn’t mean M.E. will apply that credit toward BS degree requirements. The Office of Admissions will not accept transfer course work in which the student received a grade lower than a “C-.” Nor will they accept Pass/Fail credit. Credits from an Engineering Technology program normally will not transfer, and no academic credit is normally given for work or co-op experience.
Once transfer and advanced placement (AP) credit evaluations have been completed by the University, the applicability of these credits towards the undergraduate mechanical engineering program is determined, initially, by the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator, Molly Conroy. Technical engineering credit applicability is then determined by the M.E. Transfer Credit Evaluator, Professor Derek Reamon, (303) 735-0484, email@example.com. In most cases, students will need a catalog description and a course syllabus for a prior technical engineering course. Students can arrange for a transfer credit evaluation by making an appointment with the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator, Molly Conroy.
All transfer students should see or write to Molly Conroy about acceptance of transfer credits immediately upon being accepted into the College of Engineering and prior to registering for course work. Acceptance of transfer credits is provisional for one academic year following matriculation in the M.E. Department and until academic competence in subsequent courses has been established.
The number of credit hours for each course may vary by institution, and final grades do not transfer between institutions. Also, the completion of these courses does not assure the student of acceptance into an engineering degree program. Lower division (freshman/sophomore)courses cannot transfer as upper division (junior/senior) courses. In that degree requirements may change, hang on to your copy of the University of Colorado Catalog, and to your copy of the current Department of Mechanical Engineering Advising Guide, because you are “grandfathered” into those degree requirements in case new ones come along later.
As a result of SB 93-136, the Colorado Commission of Higher Education (CCHE) has established a Statewide Transfer Policy for all two-year and four-year State post-secondary institutions. Course equivalencies have been established for students transferring from one campus of the University of Colorado to another campus. Additionally, Transfer Guides have been created for State community colleges which identify the equivalent University of Colorado at Boulder courses.
Students pursuing a double degree must have transfer credit evaluations performed by each department involved. Additional course substitution is possible for double degree students, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Intra-university transfer students must have a transfer credit evaluation done by M.E.
Credit hours required for graduation that were earned no more than ten years prior to transferring into an undergraduate degree program at the University of Colorado at Boulder shall apply to the completion of the student’s graduation requirements, provided that the content of those courses meets current degree program requirements.
Academic rules of the College of Engineering require that the last 45 semester credit hours used to fulfill degree requirements must be taken as a regular degree student in the College of Engineering on the Boulder Campus. Unless approved in advance by MCEN and this College, course work taken through the Division of Continuing Education (ACCESS, Boulder Evening, Correspondence) will not satisfy the 45-Credit Rule.
Advanced Placement/College-Level Examination Program AP and CLEP credit is handled as transfer credit. AP may be approved by MCEN on the basis of the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advanced Placement tests. For students who have taken an Advanced Placement course in high school and who make the required score in the CEEB’s AP examination, college credit will be granted if the subject would normally satisfy part of the student’s CU curriculum. If a student elects to take the equivalent college course, the credit for that course will replace the AP credit. For a listing of CU course equivalents, see the College of Engineering’s Advising Guide entitled “Advanced Placement and MAPS” or the University of Colorado Catalog.
CLEP credit also may be accepted toward degree requirements. A list of subjects in which CLEP examinations will be accepted is provided in the current University of Colorado Catalog. M.E. will advise their students on the application of CLEP credit toward degree requirements.Continuing Education credit is not treated as transfer credit. However, you must secure approval through MCEN and the Dean’s Office prior to registering for Continuing Education course work.
If you are leaving the University during an academic term or after having paid your registration deposit, you must withdraw from all courses through the Office of the Registrar. After the sixth week of classes, you are not permitted to withdraw except under documented circumstances clearly beyond your control. Poor academic performance does not justify withdrawal from the University. Students who interrupt their course of study may be required to secure permission of the Dean to re-enroll in the College. A student wishing to return after a withdrawal must reapply for admission and is therefore subject to enrollment limits and academic performance evaluation.
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