UT Austin
Undergrad 00-02


The University

School of Architecture

Red McCombs
School of Business

College of Communication

College of Education

College of Engineering

College of Fine Arts

College of Liberal Arts

College of
Natural Sciences

School of Nursing

College of Pharmacy

School of Social Work

The Faculty

Texas Common Course Numbering System
(Appendix A)

Degree and Course Abbreviations




Academic Policies and Procedures

Quantity of Work Rule

Maximum Number of Hours in the Long Session

  1. As used in (2) and (3) below, "coursework" includes correspondence courses, extension courses, nonrequired electives, physical activity courses, and courses for which the student is registered concurrently at another institution.
  2. An engineering student may register for no more than seventeen semester hours of coursework a semester, unless he or she files an Irregular Student Petition as described below.
  3. No student may register for more than twenty-one semester hours of coursework during any long-session semester.

Minimum Number of Hours in the Long Session

A normal course load in the College of Engineering is fifteen to seventeen hours a semester; the suggested arrangement of courses for each degree program is based on this load. An engineering student may not enroll in fewer than fourteen semester hours of coursework except with the written approval of the dean. Twelve of the fourteen hours must be applicable to the degree. All elective courses counted toward the twelve hours applicable to the degree must be on the lists in this chapter or be approved by the departmental undergraduate adviser. Physical activity courses may not be used to meet these requirements. To register for fewer than fourteen hours, the student must file an Irregular Student Petition as described below.

Rules for the Summer Session

A student may not receive credit for more than fourteen semester hours during a twelve-week summer session nor for more than eight semester hours in a six-week summer term. These limits apply whether the courses are taken at the University or another institution. For more information about the quantity of work allowed in the summer, see General Information.

Irregular Student Petition

A student may request permission to register for fewer than fourteen hours or for more than seventeen hours by filling out an Irregular Student Petition, available in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200. The student may not register for fewer than fourteen or more than seventeen hours unless the Irregular Student Petition has been approved by an engineering adviser.

Combined Work-Study Load

A student who is employed, either by the University or elsewhere, must report the number of hours of employment to his or her adviser when meeting with the adviser before registering each semester or summer session. All changes in employment, including the number of hours employed, must be reported promptly to the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.

University regulations specify that the combined number of hours of University employment and semester hour load may not exceed forty hours a week. A useful guideline is that the number of hours of employment plus three times the semester hour load should not exceed fifty-six. Some students may find a lower number to be more realistic.

Repetition of a Course

The official grade in a course is the last final grade reported. If a student repeats a course and has two or more grades, all grades and all semester hours are used in calculating the University grade point average, in determining the student's scholastic eligibility to remain in the University, and in determining the student's academic standing in the College of Engineering. A student in the College of Engineering may not repeat for a letter grade a course in which he or she has earned a grade of C or better.

Drop Policies

An engineering student must have the dean's approval to add or drop a course after the fourth class day of the semester or after the second class day of a summer term. Applications for approval to drop a course after the fourth class day should be made in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.


Engineering students are expected to attend all meetings of the classes for which they are registered. Students who fail to attend class regularly are inviting scholastic difficulty. In some courses instructors may have special attendance requirements that should be made known to students during the first week of classes. With the approval of the dean, a student may be dropped from a course with a grade of F for repeated unexcused absences.

Standard of Work Required and Scholastic Policies

In addition to regulations given in General Information, the College of Engineering imposes the following academic standards. Students who fail to meet the regulations stated in General Information are placed on "scholastic probation" by the University. The probationary status given to those who fail to meet the following college standards is "academic probation."

  1. A student is placed on academic probation in engineering under the following circumstances:

    1. If, after the student has taken at least six semester hours in the major area of study, his or her grade point average in the major area of study falls below 2.00. The "major area of study" includes all courses taken in residence in the student's discipline (chemical, electrical, mechanical, or petroleum and geosystems engineering) and required under the student's engineering degree plan. For architectural engineering and civil engineering majors, the major area includes all courses in both architectural engineering and civil engineering; for aerospace engineering majors, the major area includes all courses in both aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics; for geosystems engineering and hydrogeology majors, the major area includes all courses in both geological sciences and petroleum and geosystems engineering.

    2. If the student's grade point average in required technical courses taken in residence falls below 2.00. "Required technical courses" are courses taken in the College of Engineering or the College of Natural Sciences and required under the student's engineering degree plan; they include approved technical elective courses. Courses required to overcome admission or prerequisite deficiencies are not considered in decisions on academic probation.

    Grades received at the University in all courses in the major area, including grades in courses that have been repeated, are included in computing the student's grade point average. However, a student admitted to a major sequence may not use credit in lower-division courses for removal of grade point deficiencies in the major sequence.

  2. A student on academic probation in engineering will be removed from probation at the end of a long-session semester or summer session if the student is no longer subject to academic probation under either of the criteria above.

  3. After being placed on academic probation in engineering, a student must be removed from probation within the next two long-session semesters in which he or she is registered. A student who fails to be removed from academic probation within this time will be placed on academic dismissal from the College of Engineering.

  4. A student seeking to reenter the college after having been scholastically dismissed from the University must enroll as an undeclared major unless there is a reasonable likelihood that the student can complete the degree plan under which he or she last registered. A student seeking to reenter the college after having been academically dismissed must enroll as an undeclared major. Students who are undeclared majors may not enroll in engineering courses.

  5. A student may transfer to the College of Engineering from another division of the University in accordance with the regulations given in General Information. If a student transfers from the College of Engineering to another division while on academic probation and then returns to the college, the dean will provide the student with a written statement of his or her probationary status.

  6. To receive credit for any course, a student must earn a grade of D or better. However, admission to many courses requires a grade of at least C in prerequisite courses. Students should consult this catalog or the department for specific grade requirements.

  7. All students in scholastic or academic difficulty should discuss their status with an academic adviser in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.

  8. In cases with extenuating circumstances, the student may petition the dean for a waiver of any of the foregoing requirements.

Pass/Fail Option

With the approval of the departmental undergraduate adviser, a student may elect to take the degree-required approved nontechnical electives or any extra courses (taken for benefit and not to be counted toward the degree) on the pass/fail basis rather than for a letter grade. All other courses required for the degree, and Mathematics 305G, Chemistry 304K, and Physics 306, if taken, must be taken for a letter grade.

To elect the pass/fail system of grading, a student must have received thirty semester hours of college credit. He or she may take no more than one course applicable to the degree program (in addition to physical activity courses) on this basis each semester. Credit by examination may be earned either on the pass/fail or on the letter-grade basis; such credit earned on the pass/fail basis is not counted toward the University's maximum of five courses taken pass/fail that may be counted toward the degree. For more information on how to receive credit by examination, see General Information.


First-Year Engineering Honors Program

This program is designed to recognize students whose high school records and scores on college entrance examinations indicate that they have an excellent chance of becoming Engineering Scholars. Although all students follow the same basic curriculum, special sections taught by outstanding teachers usually are arranged for students in the First-Year Engineering Honors Program. Eligibility for the program is determined by the applicant's scholastic rank in high school, SAT I or American College Testing Program score, scores on the SAT II: Subject Test in Mathematics, Level I or Level IC, and on the SAT II: Subject Test in Writing, and written comments submitted by high school teachers. For additional information and an application form, write to the Office of Student Affairs, College of Engineering, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-1080.

Engineering Honors Program

Beyond the freshman year, a limited number of engineering students who have demonstrated exceptional academic ability will be invited to participate in the Engineering Honors Program. Students are selected by the Engineering Honors Program Committee. Admission to the program includes an invitation and submission of an application that includes a statement of purpose.

To be eligible, a student must be in the top 10 percent of those in his or her classification and degree plan and must meet other criteria established by the Engineering Honors Program Committee. Transfer students are eligible after they have completed at the University twenty-four semester hours of coursework applicable to the degree.

To continue in the program, a student must maintain the academic standards established by the Engineering Honors Program Committee.

Engineering Honors/Plan II Dual Degree Program

A limited number of students whose high school class standing and admission test scores indicate strong academic potential and motivation may pursue a curriculum leading to both a bachelor's degree in engineering and the Bachelor of Arts, Plan II. This dual degree option, offered jointly by the College of Engineering and the Plan II Honors Program of the College of Liberal Arts, provides the student with challenging liberal arts courses while he or she pursues a professional degree in engineering. Admission to this program requires three separate applications: one to the University, one to the College of Engineering, and one to the Plan II Honors Program. Students interested in this dual degree plan option should contact both the College of Engineering Office of Student Affairs and the Plan II office for more information on applications and early deadlines.

Engineering Scholars

Engineering Scholars are designated each spring semester from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes. To be eligible, a student must have a certain number of hours of credit earned at the University, must rank academically in the top 5 percent of the class, must be of good character, and must show promise of continued success in engineering.

University Honors

The designation University Honors, awarded at the end of each long-session semester, gives official recognition and commendation to students whose grades for the semester indicate distinguished academic accomplishment. Both the quality and the quantity of work done are considered. Criteria for University Honors are given in chapter 1.

Graduation with University Honors

Students who, upon graduation, have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement are eligible to graduate with University Honors. Criteria for graduation with University Honors are given in chapter 1.

Professional and Honor Societies

Professional and honor societies play an important role in the life of an engineering student. Membership in the professional societies is open to all students studying engineering and related fields. Many of these societies are student branches of national professional societies that endeavor to advance the profession of engineering by education, publication, and sponsorship of meetings and conferences. Represented at the University are the following: Air and Waste Management Association, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Nuclear Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, Co-op Society of Kappa Theta Epsilon, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (including the Computer Society and the Group on Engineering in Medicine and Biology), Institute of Transportation Engineers, Longhorn Solar Racecar Team, National Association of Architectural Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Pi Sigma Pi, Society of Automotive Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Society of Plan II Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Theta Tau, UT Amateur Radio Club, and UT Space Society.

The purpose of the honor societies is to recognize through membership those students who have established outstanding scholastic records and have demonstrated desirable character and personality traits. Honor societies frequently support projects that aid students and benefit the College of Engineering.

Each of the branches of engineering has a chapter of a national honor society. These honor societies are Chi Epsilon (architectural and civil engineering), Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering), Omega Chi Epsilon (chemical engineering), Phi Lambda Upsilon (chemical engineering and chemistry), Pi Epsilon Tau (petroleum engineering), Pi Tau Sigma (mechanical engineering), Sigma Gamma Epsilon (geological sciences and petroleum engineering), and Sigma Gamma Tau (aerospace engineering).

Embracing all branches of engineering is the Texas Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, which was organized at the University in 1916. Only students in the upper fifth of the senior class or the upper eighth of the junior class, and a few graduate students, qualify scholastically for membership consideration. Character and personality traits are also considered in selecting new members. Generally the chapter elects fewer members than the number of eligible students.

Engineering students are eligible for membership in Phi Kappa Phi, a national academic honor society that elects its membership from the top few percent of the entire student body, and in the Golden Key National Honor Society.

The Student Engineering Council is the governing body representing all undergraduate engineering students. Representatives to the council are selected by the professional and honor societies in the college.


Special Requirements of the College of Engineering

All University students must have a grade point average of at least 2.00 to graduate. Students in the College of Engineering must also have a grade point average of at least 2.00 in the major area of study and in required technical courses. "Major area of study" and "required technical courses" are defined in the section "Standard of Work Required and Scholastic Policies."

A candidate for a degree in engineering must be registered in the College of Engineering either in residence or in absentia the semester or summer session the degree is to be awarded. Candidates must complete an Application for Graduation in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200, no later than the date given in the official academic calendar.

All individual degree programs must include at least forty-eight semester hours of engineering coursework.

Residence Rules

All University students must complete in residence at least thirty semester hours of the coursework counted toward the degree. In the College of Engineering, these thirty hours must be in the major field or in a field closely related to the major as approved by the major department and the dean.

At least the last twenty-four hours of technical coursework counted toward an engineering degree must be taken while the student is registered as an undergraduate engineering major at the University. A student seeking an exception to this requirement must obtain written approval in advance from the dean. Information about the petition process is available in the Office of Student Affairs, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200.

The Degree Audit

After earning ninety semester hours of credit toward the degree, the student should request a degree audit in the undergraduate office of his or her academic department. Failure to do so may delay the student's graduation. Each student may review his or her degree audit through IDA, the University's Interactive Degree Audit system.

The degree audit normally provides an accurate statement of requirements, but the student is responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree as stated in a catalog under which he or she is entitled to graduate and for registering so as to fulfill these requirements. Rules on graduation under a particular catalog are given in chapter 1. Since the student is responsible for correct registration toward completion of the degree program, he or she should seek an official ruling in the Office of Student Affairs before registering if in doubt about any requirement. Avoidance of errors is the main purpose of the degree audit, but it remains the responsibility of the student to fulfill all catalog requirements.

Applying for Graduation

Students must apply for graduation the first semester they are eligible to graduate. Failure to do so will jeopardize the student's future registration in the College of Engineering. Any subsequent registration must be recommended by the undergraduate adviser and approved by the dean.

A student is considered eligible to graduate if he or she can complete all course requirements by registering for fourteen semester hours or fewer.

Nonresidence Coursework

A student in his or her final semester may not enroll concurrently at another institution in any course, including a distance education course, to be counted toward the degree. The student may also not enroll by extension or correspondence in coursework to be counted toward the degree. All transfer, extension, and correspondence coursework must be added to the student's official record before his or her last semester.

Final Degree Review

The student must complete all procedures associated with the final degree review.

Any student who does not graduate when eligible must contact the engineering degree auditor in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200. The degree auditor will advise the student what steps are needed for future registration and graduation.

Second Degrees

A student who completes a bachelor's degree in engineering may receive a second bachelor's degree in a second engineering discipline if the student (1) completes at least twenty-four hours of approved coursework beyond the work counted toward the first bachelor's degree; and (2) meets all the requirements of the second degree that he or she did not meet in completing the first degree. No student may receive two bachelor's degrees in the same discipline of engineering, even if the technical area options are different. For example, a student may receive the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and that of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering but may not receive two Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degrees. A student may not receive bachelor's degrees in both architectural engineering and civil engineering.


In addition to the University commencement ceremony held each spring, the College of Engineering holds graduation ceremonies in December, May, and August. Students may participate only in the College of Engineering ceremony for the semester in which they complete degree requirements.

Registration as a Professional Engineer

The practice of engineering has a profound effect on public health, safety, and welfare. Therefore, the commitment to the public good through the licensing or registration provisions available in all states and many foreign countries is an important step in the professional development of an engineer. Becoming licensed in Texas as a registered professional engineer requires graduation from an approved curriculum in engineering, passage of the examination requirements, and a specific record of an additional four years or more of active practice in engineering work indicating that the applicant is competent to be placed in responsible charge of such work. Additional requirements include good character and reputation.

Engineering students are encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Engineering examination during their last long-session semester and to seek certification as an "engineer-in-training."

For additional information, contact the Texas State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers or the equivalent agency in another state.

Top of File      Chapter Six

Contents |  Next file |  Previous file

Undergraduate catalog

Chapter 1 - The University
Chapter 2 - School of Architecture
Chapter 3 - Red McCombs School of Business
Chapter 4 - College of Communication
Chapter 5 - College of Education
Chapter 6 - College of Engineering
Chapter 7 - College of Fine Arts
Chapter 8 - College of Liberal Arts
Chapter 9 - College of Natural Sciences
Chapter 10 - School of Nursing
Chapter 11 - College of Pharmacy
Chapter 12 - School of Social Work
Chapter 13 - The Faculty
Texas Common Course Numbering System (Appendix A)
Appendix B

Related information

Course Schedules
Academic Calendars
Office of Admissions

Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

27 July 2000. Registrar's Web Team
Comments to rgcat@utxdp.dp.utexas.edu