Frequently Asked Questions


  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, TAs, 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 an engineering-undesignated (ENGR) or engineering technology-undesignated (ETGR) major. ENGR majors should declare a major at the end of their semester since they will take a discipline-specific course in their second semester. ETGR majors need to declare a major by the time they arrive for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) since they take discipline-specific courses in their first semester.

Introduction to Engineering (ENGR 1201) and Introduction to Engineering Technology (ETGR 1201) are designed to help students explore the different disciplines, learn and apply some of the skills used in the profession, and ultimately help them make a decision or confirm their choice of major. Academic advisors, most of whom have many years of industry experience as practicing engineers, are also available to answer questions and help students make an informed decision.

Do you accept AP credit?

Yes, usually a test score of 3 or more is accepted, but exact equivalency can be found at the Admissions website. Students should contact their academic advisor when AP credits are posted to the University student record. This information can be viewed on their student record at

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 may require more than four years of study depending on the choice of majors.

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 unless a student has earned AP or college transfer credit. The MSAT and MACT equivalency is available at math placement. New freshmen 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?

These courses introduce the engineering professions, design process, teamwork, personal and professional development, oral and written communication, global and societal issues in engineering, discipline-specific technical skills, the college's computing 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. 

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 coaching and Supplemental Instruction as its basic programs but also exposes students to other resources on campus including student organizations. Students who regularly participate in MAPS earn higher GPAs (> 3.0) 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 take the same demanding classes as other freshmen in the college, but are able to easily form study groups, get help for assignments, and make friends in the College of Engineering because many of their floormates are in their classes. In addition, FLC participants are enrolled in dedicated sections of ENGR 1201, Introduction to Engineering. The FLC typically offers about 40+ hours of tutoring in the residence hall. Students can participate in site visits with local engineering companies and networking opportunities with employers and College of Egnineering alumni. Assessment data indicate that FLC participants perform better academically than students who do not live in the FLC. More than 1/3 of the FLC students typically make the Chancellor's List or Dean's List in their first semester. Admitted students can apply for the Freshman Learning community by visiting the FLC website.

Are your courses taught by graduate students, TAs, or faculty?

College of Engineering courses are almost always taught by a full time faculty member. All freshman 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 of our graduates are competitive with those from other institutions. Students who take advantage of the many 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.

Our survey data indicate that: 

  • About half of our graduates find an employment position PRIOR to graduation
  • More than 9 of 10 graduates are employed six months after graduation
  • The majority of those who are not employed after six months pursue graduate degrees

Students who participate in internships or co-ops are more highly recruited and receive higher salary offers than other students. Students who start their job search process early in their senior year and who have a competitive GPA (3.0 or higher) typically have one or more job offers prior to graduation.

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 academic career 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

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 and 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:

What is the starting salary for engineers?

It varies across engineering disciplines but in general they are in the $50-65K range. Based on the most recent salary data available:  CEGR $50-60K and EEGR, CPGR, MEGR and SEGR $55-65K. ET graduates are also highly recruited and earn starting salaries that are competitive with those for engineering graduates depending on GPA and echnical skill sets. 

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

Here is a sample of organizations:

Amazon, Areva, Bank of America, BMW Manufacturing, Boeing, City of Charlotte, Corning, EPRI, Duke Energy, General Dynamics, GE, Fluor, Ford Motor Co., Freightliner Custom Chassis-Daimler Corp., HDR Engineering, Hendricks Racing, Honda Manufacturing of North America, Husqvarna, Ingersoll Rand, Lane Construction, McKim & Creed, Mobil/Exxon, NASA, NAVAIR, Norfolk Southern, NC DOT,  RS&H,  Rodgers Builders, S&ME Inc., Schaeffler Group, Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Sealed Air, Siemens, SteelFab, Talbert, Bright & Ellington, Turner Construction,‚Äč US Dept. of Energy-several facilities, UTC (United Technologies) Corporation, Verizon Wireless, W.K. Dickson, and Zapata, just to name a few!