Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

  1. Do I have to pick a major as a freshman?
  2. Do you accept AP credit?
  3. What courses should I take in high school to prepare myself for the College of Engineering?

Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs

  1. Can I double major?
  2. What is the difference between Computer Science and Computer Engineering?
  3. How long will it take me to graduate?
  4. Do you require a foreign language?
  5. How do I know what math course to take?
  6. What are ENGR 1201, ETGR 1201 and ENGR 1202 all about?

Engineering Life

  1. What is the MAPS program?
  2. What is the Freshman Learning Community?
  3. Are your courses taught by graduate students, TA's, or faculty?
  4. How do you rank compared to other engineering schools?
  5. How is your job placement?
  6. Is there any opportunity for work experience while I am a student?
  7. What is the difference between a co-op and an internship?
  8. What is the starting salary for engineers?
  9. What organizations have offered experiential learning or full-time jobs to students/new graduates?

 

Do I have to pick a major as a freshman?

Students can be admitted to the college as engineering-undesignated and engineering technology-undesignated majors. Typically by the end of the first semester, students should be prepared to declare a major. The introduction to engineering and introduction to engineering technology courses are designed to help students explore the different disciplines and learn and apply some of the skills used in the profession to ultimately help them make a decision. Academic advisors are also available to answer questions and help students make an informed decision that is best for them.

Do you accept AP credit?

Yes, usually a test score of 3 or more, but exact equivalency can be found at the Admissions website.

What courses should I take in high school to prepare myself for the College of Engineering?

Take as much math and science as possible. In particular, take calculus and physics in preparation for the freshman plan of study. If you take AP Calculus and Chemistry classes and score a 3 or better on your examination, you may be eligible to move into more advanced classes your first year.

Can I double major?

Yes, but this usually requires more than four years of study.

What is the difference between Computer Science and Computer Engineering?

Computer science is in a different college than computer engineering. A computer scientist tends to focus on programming and software rather than hardware. A computer engineer tends to focus on hardware although software and programming are certainly included in the computer engineering plan of study. Some courses are shared by both majors. Students deciding which major to choose should consult the respective department websites.

How long will it take me to graduate?

Engineering is a four year plan of study, but many students choose to take 4 1/2 or 5 years to graduate.

Do you require a foreign language?

The College of Engineering does not require foreign language beyond the admission requirements to the university. High school courses that are required for admission to the university can be found at the Admission website.

How do I know which math course to take?

The Math SAT or Math ACT scores will be used to determine math placement. The MSAT and MACT equivalency is available at math placement. New freshman with AP or transfer math credit will be placed in their first mathematics course based on the class level of the credit received.Transfer students must complete Pre-Calculus with at least a grade of C in order to be admissible to engineering.

What are ENGR1201, ETGR 1201, and ENGR 1202 all about?

They introduce the engineering professions, design process, teamwork, personal and professional development, oral and written communication, computer skills on the College’s system, and campus resources. Students in ENGR 1201 and ETGR 1201 work in multi-disciplinary teams to design, build, and test to specification. Final designs are entered into a competition. ENGR 1202 is a discipline-specific course that also emphasizes design but integrates technical skills specific to the major. For example, civil engineering students in 1202 learn MatLab computer program to support their design project. Electrical and computer engineering majors work in the microelectronics clean room. Mechanical engineering students learn Pro-E modeling to compliment their design project.

What is the MAPS program?

The purpose of MAPS (Maximizing Academic and Professional Success) is to help students successfully transition into the college, become part of the college community, and learn and apply academic success strategies. The program uses experienced students who have excelled academically to teach others how to plan and organize their time, study, take tests, and use the resources available on campus. Basically, MAPS helps students quickly adapt to college life and learn what it takes to be successful. The program offers peer mentoring, Supplemental Instruction, tutoring, workshops, student organizations, alumni networks, experiential learning, and a technical and professional development library. Students who regularly participate in MAPS earn higher GPAs and are more likely to graduate than other students. More information can be found on the MAPS website.

What is the Freshman Learning Community (FLC)?

The College of Engineering FLC offers freshmen a unique opportunity for success. Students in the community are assigned to a residence hall with other College of Engineering freshmen. FLC participants endure the same demanding classes as other students in the college, but are able to easily form study groups, ask questions about a course, and make friends in the College of Engineering because many of their floormates are in their classes. In addition, FLC participants are grouped together in sections of Engineering 1201 and Engineering Technology 1201. Students who participate in the College of Engineering FLC are retained at higher rates and often obtain higher G.P.A.s than students outside the community. Admitted students can apply for the Freshman Learning community by visiting the FLC website.

Are your courses taught by graduate students, TA's, or faculty?

College of Engineering courses are almost always taught by a full time faculty member. All freshman engineering/engineering technology instructors have industry experience. Sometimes a lab session may be taught by a graduate student. Many classes use experienced students as teaching assistants (TAs) to answer questions, grade homework, and mentor.

How do you rank compared to other engineering schools?

The undergraduate engineering programs are comparable to any of our peer institutions in the southeast. Rankings in popular magazines are based primarily on national visibility which is driven, in part, by external research funding. UNC Charlotte is a regional university and enjoys an excellent reputation in the Charlotte area, and although the College of Engineering is engaged in targeted applied research, undergraduate education remains the focus of our mission.

How is your job placement?

Very good. Even in an economic down-turn, the engineering field offers many opportunities to students who actively seek employment. Average starting salaries are in the mid-40k’s. Students who take advantage of the professional development opportunities offered by the college and the University Career Center are better prepared to compete in the job market in terms of number of offers and starting salaries. The college strongly emphasizes the importance of internships, co-operative education, and undergraduate research to help students develop their skills and understand the workplace.

According to the most recent Post Graduate Survey:

  • 49.6% found a position PRIOR to graduation
  • 91.3% were employed 6 months after graduation
  • Of the 7.4% who reported being unemployed, many were in graduate school

Is there any opportunity for work experience while I am a student?

Yes, there are many opportunities through internships and co-ops, international internships, and numerous on-campus positions. There are also research experiences for undergraduate students. Students should connect with the University Career Center early in their university careers to maximize knowledge of opportunities for internships and co-ops.

What is the difference between a co-op and an internship?

Both options are classified as experiential learning, which are opportunities to gain hands-on experience in your field by working for an organization. Co-ops are the most intensive type of experiential learning, requiring students to commit to three semesters of full-time work as they are completing their degrees. Because organizations require full-time work, students often need to lengthen their programs of study by one to two semesters. The good news is organizations often use their co-op programs to recruit entry-level employees and hours accumulated in a co-op can count toward hours needed to earn a professional engineering license (P.E.). Co-ops are only available to undergraduate students. To learn more about the co-op program visit www.career.uncc.edu/coop.

Internships are usually one semester or summer opportunities to gain work experience. The difference is an internship is not registered through the University and is typically part-time (fall & spring) or an option to work full-time in the summer. Internships can be completed to gain experience or obtain academic credit (only available to graduate students). Internships are an option for both undergraduate and graduate students. For more details on pursuing any of these opportunities, visit the University Career Center's website: www.career.uncc.edu.

What is the starting salary for engineers?

It varies across engineering disciplines but in general they are in the 40-55Ks.

Based on the most recent salary data available, CEGR 40-48K’s and EE, CP and ME are 45-55K. ET graduates are also highly recruited and earn starting salaries that are comparable to or just slightly below those for engineering.

What organizations have offered experiential learning or full-time jobs to students/ new graduates?

Here is a sample of organizations:

Areva, EPRI, Duke Energy, General Dynamics, General Electric, HDR Engineering, Honda Manufacturing of North America, Johnson Controls, Kimley-Horn & Associates, Mobil/Exxon, NASA, Nol-tec Systems, Norfolk Southern, NC DOT, Regal-Beloit Corp., Rodgers Builders, Qualcomm, S&ME Inc., Siemens Westinghouse, and Skanska.