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UT Austin
Undergrad 02-04


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

Graduate School of
Library and
Information Science

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



6. College of Engineering


Ben G. Streetman

Neal E. Armstrong
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Randall Charbeneau
Associate Dean

Alvin H. Meyer
Associate Dean

Cynthia M. Brown
Assistant Dean

John C. Halton III
Assistant Dean

Web site

General Information


The College of Engineering was established in 1884 as the Department of Engineering, an outgrowth of work in applied mathematics first offered in the Department of Literature, Science, and Arts. The first degree in engineering, a Bachelor of Science with a major in civil engineering, was conferred in 1888. Civil engineering degrees have been conferred since 1894 and electrical engineering degrees since 1896.

Degrees in architecture were conferred in the College of Engineering from 1909 through 1951, when the School of Architecture became an autonomous division of the University. Degrees in chemical engineering have been conferred since 1916; degrees in mechanical engineering since 1919; degrees in architectural engineering since 1928; degrees in petroleum engineering since 1931; degrees in aeronautical engineering from 1943 to 1959 and in aerospace engineering since 1960; degrees in ceramic engineering from 1948 to 1961; degrees in meteorology from 1951 to 1963; degrees in geosystems engineering and hydrogeology, offered jointly with the College of Natural Sciences, since 1996; and undergraduate degrees in biomedical engineering beginning in 2002. A degree in engineering science was offered from 1960 until 1988.

Engineering Education

Engineering education affords individuals the opportunity to prepare themselves for life in an era when human well-being depends more than ever before on the ability to apply technology for the benefit of society. It has become clear that in producing the goods and services demanded by an expanding population, we must consider the effects of technology on the environment. Solution of many of the problems faced by society today will involve a high level of technology.

Engineers are involved with all the devices and systems made by and for people--buildings and factories, transportation and communication systems, equipment for generating and distributing electrical energy, computers and electronic devices; indeed, all of the manufactured products we see around us. Engineers of diverse backgrounds working together and with other professionals have produced heart pumps, surgical lasers, robotics for manufacturing and construction, polymers, safer and more efficient nuclear reactors, advances in space research and in environmental protection, safe and attractive bridges, satellites and telecommunication systems, and small but powerful computers. Just as much of the technology being applied today has been developed within the past ten years, the solution of tomorrow's problems will require the development of new technology through engineering research.

In addition to its traditional function of giving men and women the opportunity to prepare for careers as professional engineers, the College of Engineering also has a second function: providing the opportunity to acquire a technical background to students who plan to continue their education in areas such as business, public affairs, law, medicine, and scientific disciplines related to engineering. The engineering faculty willingly accepts its obligation to enhance cooperation between engineers and others working to improve the quality of life.

The College of Engineering is organized into academic departments that offer a variety of degrees. Although there are distinct differences among the degree programs, they have much in common; all are based on a foundation of mathematics, natural sciences, and basic engineering subjects. Following the development of an adequate foundation during the first two years, an engineering student begins concentrated study in a particular area. During the senior year the student delves into practical engineering problems, developing skills in defining a problem, translating available information into equations that can be analyzed logically, creating additional information when necessary, and choosing a course of action that has a reasonable chance of producing the desired results.

The college seeks to give students the knowledge necessary to take advantage of opportunities in a number of areas. The engineer who begins a professional career immediately following graduation usually will find opportunity for a variety of responsible positions in industry and government. The first assignments usually are of a technical nature. Later, one may choose to become a technical specialist or to move into positions involving administration and management. Either choice can lead to a rewarding professional career.

Many engineering graduates elect to continue their education. Studies by the American Society for Engineering Education indicate that nearly 50 percent of all engineering graduates eventually earn a master's degree. Most do their graduate work in engineering, either in a professional program where advanced design techniques are emphasized or in a graduate school where the emphasis is on research. Others elect to enroll in graduate programs in other disciplines. The flexibility to accommodate a broad spectrum of educational objectives has been incorporated into the degree structure of the College of Engineering through technical area options and electives that permit students to define programs of study that best suit their needs.

Instructional Facilities

The College of Engineering occupies five buildings on the central campus, with a total of 927,000 square feet for classrooms, laboratories, and offices. The Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory and a substantial number of other engineering research laboratory facilities are housed at the J. J. Pickle Research Campus, about six miles north of the central campus.


The University library system, one of the largest academic libraries in the United States, includes the General Libraries, the Tarlton Law Library, and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. The General Libraries consist of the Perry-Castañeda Library, the Undergraduate Library, and several branch libraries and special collections; these units together house more than six million volumes, covering almost all fields of academic and scientific research.

The Richard W. McKinney Engineering Library, a branch of the General Libraries located in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall, supports teaching and research in all fields offered by the college. Extensive facilities are available for computer retrieval of technical literature. Special files include manufacturing catalogs, industry standards, United States patents, and selected technical material issued by NASA and other government agencies.

Other branch libraries of special interest to engineers are the Architecture and Planning Library, the Mallet Chemistry Library (which includes chemical engineering), the Walter Geology Library, the Kuehne Physics-Mathematics-Astronomy Library, and the Life Science Library.

All units of the General Libraries offer reference services, circulation and reserve, access to computer-based information and electronic media, and interlibrary loan services.

Office of Student Affairs

The mission of the Office of Student Affairs (SAO) is to serve the University and the public by helping to recruit, retain, and graduate engineering students. The office aims to accomplish this mission by providing personal and responsive guidance and support throughout each student's University experience. The staff strives to provide a foundation for students to develop successful lives, careers, and long-term relationships with the University.

The SAO represents the Office of the Dean in student matters. Academic advisers and SAO staff members are available to assist students in the following areas: academic probation (engineering); extension course approval; new student orientation; adding, dropping, and withdrawing; Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs); recruitment; change of major; final degree evaluations; resource referral; concurrent enrollment; general engineering courses; schedule changes; correspondence course approval; grade change processing; scholastic probation (University); course selection for new students; graduation; disabilities; crisis intervention; honors programs; study abroad; degree holder/nondegree seeker; irregular student petition; major sequence admission.

The SAO also serves as a clearinghouse for information about the college and the University. Students may seek assistance in person in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200, by phone at (512) 471-4321, or by e-mail at The SAO also provides information on-line at

Engineering Students with Disabilities

The coordinator of the Engineering Students with Disabilities Program (ESD) assists students with disabilities to meet the challenges of their academic programs. The coordinator works with students, faculty members, and administrators to remove barriers that limit qualified people in their pursuit of educational goals. Confidentiality and privacy are respected. Students must be registered with Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in the Office of the Dean of Students every semester in which they wish to receive accommodations and services. Information about registration is available from the SSD in Student Services Building 4.104 and at (512) 471-6259. The ESD coordinator is available in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200 and at (512) 471-4321.

Engineering Study Abroad

Each semester, a growing number of students in the college pursue their interest in traveling abroad and studying in a foreign country. Several exchange programs, with various language requirements,offer courses that may be counted toward the engineering degree.

Students are able to earn a certificate in international engineering studies by completing requirements that include a study abroad experience and associated cultural enrichment studies. For more information on the International Engineering Studies Certification Program, contact the Study Abroad Liaison, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.200, or see

Engineering Career Assistance Center

The College of Engineering assists students as they pursue professional career opportunities through the Engineering Career Assistance Center (ECAC). The major objective of the Career Center is to assist engineering students through counseling and a comprehensive on-campus recruiting program to prepare for and conduct the job search. Students should register with the ECAC in August each academic year to receive full benefit of the center's services.

Located in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.400, the Engineering Career Assistance Center hosts as many as twenty-three interviewers daily throughout the fall and spring recruiting seasons. Interviewers represent hundreds of companies seeking graduates, co-op students, and summer interns in all engineering disciplines to fill positions worldwide.

The center offers individual career counseling services to engineering students on a walk-in basis and by appointment. Topics addressed in individual counseling sessions and workshops include resume and letter writing, interviewing skills, dressing for success, site visits, salary negotiation, and conducting an electronic job search.

For additional information, consult the Engineering Career Assistance Center at (512) 471-1915 or visit

Cooperative Engineering Education Program

When applying for a job, graduating engineering students have discovered that employers seek applicants with significant practical work experience in addition to good academic knowledge. The Cooperative Engineering Education (Co-op) Program permits engineering students to obtain one year of work experience directly related to their field of study. Students gain this experience while completing undergraduate work at the University by alternating semesters of full-time campus study with training in industry.

Students should apply for admission to the Co-op Program in Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.400 at least one semester before they plan to begin a Co-op work term. They must have completed at least twenty-eight semester hours of basic sequence coursework but no more than ninety hours of work to be counted toward an engineering degree. The student's completed coursework must include at least eight hours of physics, eight hours of calculus, and coursework in his or her engineering discipline. He or she must have a University grade point average of at least 2.50. Transfer students must have completed at least one semester at the University.

Each student must schedule at least three alternating work semesters for a total of one full year of cooperative education employment. The student must complete the full year of work experience to realize the full academic and professional value of the program. He or she is then eligible to receive three hours of credit on the letter-grade basis that may be applied toward the engineering degree as a technical elective.

More information is given at

Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program

The Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program (EOE) seeks to promote academic excellence by supporting supplemental instruction classes, tutoring, and research opportunities for all engineering students. Students from groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in the engineering profession, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans, may benefit particularly from the program. EOE encourages community support and involvement in the promotion of academic excellence by conducting mentoring programs and by being available to assist student engineering organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Pi Sigma Pi Minority Academic Engineering Society, with their activities.

EOE also promotes career and professional development by providing engineering students contact with industry and federal and state agencies. EOE helps students find summer, co-op, and permanent employment by conducting an annual job fair.

In addition, EOE works to encourage precollege students to pursue careers in engineering through outreach initiatives such as the World of Engineering campus visitation program and the nationwide MITE summer residential program.

For more information about EOE programs, contact the EOE office at (512) 471-5953 or see

Financial Assistance Available through the College of Engineering

Undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, research assistantships, student assistantships, loans, and other kinds of financial aid are available to students in the College of Engineering. Information and application forms are available from the Scholarship Office, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.106, and department offices and at

Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life provides a variety of student development and community-building services and programs. The office coordinates the Engineering Fall Gathering (with the Student Engineering Council) and the First-Year Mentor Program, the LeaderShape Texas Institute, Engineering Student Ambassadors, Interpersonal Communications Skills Training, Dean's Leadership Retreat, Gone to Texas (for the college), and commencement student marshalls. It is the primary liaison to engineering student organizations. More information is given at

Women in Engineering Program

The Women in Engineering Program (WEP) provides a supportive structure intended to help women to be successful in the College of Engineering. WEP offers a wide variety of activities to help students meet other students and faculty members, form study groups, and explore engineering career options. Programs include design derbies, luncheons and dinners, workshops and seminars, and opportunities to meet corporate representatives. All engineering students have access to free tutoring for a variety of basic sequence courses.

Additional information is available in the WEP office, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall 2.108; by phone at (512) 471-5650; by e-mail at; and on-line at

Research Organizations

Faculty members and students of the College of Engineering may participate in a wide variety of research projects conducted under the Bureau of Engineering Research. The bureau and its component research units are supported by federal, state, and industrial research contracts and grants that provide part-time employment for selected undergraduate and graduate students and for some faculty members. Over six hundred individual research projects are usually underway at any one time. In addition to providing students with experience in research methodology and with the chance to contribute to basic knowledge, these research projects enable faculty members to keep abreast of developments in their principal areas of interest.

Research units currently operating within the Bureau of Engineering Research are the Center for Aeromechanics Research, Computer Engineering Research Center, Center for Mechanics of Solids, Structures, and Materials, Construction Industry Institute, Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, Geotechnical Engineering Center, Microelectronics Research Center, Offshore Technology Research Center, Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Center for Space Research, Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory, Telecommunications and Signal Processing Research Center, Center for Transportation Research, and Center for Research in Water Resources.

The Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory is an academic unit of the College of Engineering. Other research units include the Center for Control and Systems Research, Manufacturing Systems Center, and Center for Synthesis, Growth, and Analysis of Electronic Materials. Interdisciplinary research units operated cooperatively by the College of Engineering and other colleges are the Center for Biological and Medical Engineering, Center for Perceptual Systems, Texas Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics, and Texas Materials Institute. Research organizations are located both on the central campus and at the J. J. Pickle Research Campus.

Engineering Foundation

In 1955, the University's Board of Regents authorized establishment of the Engineering Foundation and the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council to promote academic excellence in engineering education. Since then, the generous contributions of alumni and individual and corporate friends of the college have enabled the Engineering Foundation to develop a program of excellence through the encouragement and support of innovation in teaching and research; the creation of academic and leadership enhancement programs for engineering students; the establishment of funds for scholarships and fellowships; the recognition of outstanding engineering faculty members with meritorious service awards; and the endowment of chairs, professorships, faculty fellowships, lectureships, and named rooms, laboratories, library collections, and book collections.

The Engineering Foundation office supports the work of the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council, a body of corporate leaders who volunteer to advise and assist the college. Through the Engineering Foundation, the college conducts fund-raising efforts in five areas of emphasis: the Industrial Program and Centers for Excellence, which seeks corporate support; Friends of Alec (alumni support); Student Engineering Gift Campaign (student-led fund-raising); endowments; and bequests and estate planning. The staff of the Engineering Foundation coordinates these efforts, and the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council provides strategic leadership.


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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 - Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Chapter 10 - College of Natural Sciences
Chapter 11 - School of Nursing
Chapter 12 - College of Pharmacy
Chapter 13 - School of Social Work
Chapter 14 - The Faculty
Texas Common Course Numbering System (Appendix A)
Appendix B - Degree and Course Abbreviations

Related Information
Course Schedules
Academic Calendars
Office of Admissions

Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

19 August 2002. Registrar's Web Team

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