Mar 29, 2023  
2023-2024 General Catalog (UNDER REVISION) 
  
2023-2024 General Catalog (UNDER REVISION)

College of Engineering


College Leadership & Faculty Contact Information

Dean: Jagath J. Kaluarachchi

Associate Dean: Rose Hu

  • Location: Engineering 413C
  • Phone: (435) 797-0322
  • Fax: (435) 797-2769
  • E-mail: rose.hu@usu.edu

Associate Dean: Thomas Fronk

College of Engineering

 

Mission Statement & Goals
Accreditation and Assessment

The College of Engineering fosters a creative and inclusive learning environment where students and faculty are empowered with the knowledge and experience to become the leaders in engineering who will improve tomorrow’s economy, environment, and society by:

  • Developing as ethical professionals who understand engineering in its societal context
  • Learning modern engineering/science principles and their application in conducting experiments and analyzing data
  • Gaining experience in working on engineering problems and designing solutions to meet desired needs
  • Acquiring skills in communicating effectively and working in teams
  • Understanding the importance of lifelong professional development and learning

The College of Engineering is committed to assessing the quality of its academic departments and programs to prepare graduates to enter critical STEM fields in the global workforce. Faculty members in the College are committed to ensuring their students obtain the knowledge and skills needed for success in their chosen fields.

Assessment of student learning, with a focus on continuous improvement, enables the College to implement programmatic and curricular actions to improve the quality of students’ educational experience. 

The College of Engineering is accredited by subject to ABET accreditation policies.

 

Academic Departments and Programs

Founded over 100 years ago, the College of Engineering at Utah State University (hereafter referred to as USU or university) is recognized throughout the Intermountain West as a leader in teaching, research, and innovation. Through rigorous academic programs, cutting-edge research opportunities, and professional development activities, students gain the vision and skills to advance society, drive economic progress, and improve the quality of life across the nation and the world. The College offers 6 ABET-accredited undergraduate degrees and 21 graduate degree programs. Students experience hands-on application of engineering and design principles through industry partnerships and world-class labs and facilities. The faculty and staff in the College of Engineering are committed to students’ success by providing exceptional teaching, research, advising, and mentorship opportunities for students. 

The College of Engineering has five academic departments with four-degree levels:  Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Engineering (M.E.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).  For specific programs, see the table below:

Department BS Minors MS ME PhD
Biological Engineering X   X   X
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil Engineering X        
Environmental Engineering X        
Civil and Environmental Engineering     X X X
Irrigation Engineering     X   X
Electrical and Computer Engineering  
Electrical Engineering X X X X X
Computer Engineering X   X X  
Space Systems Engineering     X    
Engineering Education
Engineering Education     X   X
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Mechanical Engineering X X X   X
Aerospace Engineering     X   X
Mechanical Engineering with Aerospace Emphasis X        
Space Systems Engineering     X    
Composite Materials and Structures     X    

 

Undergraduate Programs

An undergraduate education in engineering is based on a strong foundation in math and science. Coursework in the social sciences and humanities provides an interdisciplinary approach enabling students to make informed decisions, become creative problem solvers, and expand their vision of design in their given field. Students working toward undergraduate degrees receive unparalleled classroom education, research experience, and mentorship from nationally and internationally renowned faculty. 

Undergraduate Requirements

Standards and requirements ensure students can successfully progress in their designated programs. It is the responsibility of the student to understand and follow all current standards necessary to fulfill degree requirements. The advisors in the Engineering Advising Center in the College of Engineering can help students understand how to meet all academic requirements.

Undergraduate Advising

The academic advisors in the College of Engineering provide personalized guidance for developing and achieving meaningful educational and professional goals. The advising team is committed to helping students plan their academic path for successful and timely graduation. Students are encouraged to meet with their designated academic advisor annually or more frequently for course selection, program planning, and fulfilling academic and graduation requirements. 

Undergraduate students are encouraged to visit the Advising Center website for information or to schedule an appointment.    

 

Admission to the College of Engineering  

Students are evaluated based on previous academic performance and assigned their academic standing in the College of Engineering after applying to USU and requesting an academic department within the College of Engineering. A student may be accepted into an academic department in the College of Engineering in either the:

  • Preparatory Engineering Program or
  • Pre-Professional Program

See program-specific information in the Preparatory Engineering Program Admission and Pre-Professional Program Admission sections below.

NOTE:  Students not meeting admissions requirements of the university or College of Engineering may be denied admission.  If a student is concerned their standing in the College has been incorrectly assigned, they should contact the Engineering Advising Office. The College of Engineering follows the university policy for academic appeals .    

Admission for First-Year Students

Incoming, first-year students may be admitted directly into a Pre-Professional Engineering Program based on their high school GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and university admission index. Although the university does not require the ACT or SAT for admission, all engineering programs do require the ACT/SAT for direct admission into their programs. Students that do not take the ACT/SAT may be placed in the Preparatory Engineering Program and will be evaluated for admission into the Pre-Professional Program after completing the specified bridge courses and meeting the requirements. Incoming international students need to show Math Placement Exam (ALEKS) results or ACT/SAT scores in addition to the listed requirements.  

Each academic department in the College of Engineering has a minimum ACT score (or SAT score), high school GPA, and admission index requirements as outlined in the following table:

 

Freshman Score Requirements for Admission into Pre-Professional Engineering Programs

  High School GPA ACT/SAT Math ACT Admission Index
Biological Engineering 3.00 23 24 73
Civil & Environmental Engineering 3.00 23 24 73
Electrical & Computer Engineering 2.70 19 * 63
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering 3.50 24 25 81
*ECE students must be Calculus Ready

 

Students not meeting the above admission requirements may be accepted into the Preparatory Engineering Program (see program description below).

In order to be directly admitted into the Pre-Professional Engineering Program and complete an engineering curriculum in eight semesters, incoming students should have experience in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, physics, English, and must be academically prepared to enroll in calculus. Students with deficiencies in these areas may require more than eight semesters to fulfill graduation requirements.

Students can earn university credits by receiving appropriate scores on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests or through Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Coursework (including transfer credit) that is more than 10 years old and is required by the major may be disallowed by the student’s department.

Admission for Transfer Students

Students transferring to an engineering major from another USU program or other institute of higher education must meet the following requirements to be admitted to the Pre-Professional Program:

 

Department Required Courses to be Completed prior to Admission* Minimum GPA in required coursework and Pre-Professional Program Minimum Allowable Grade # of Allowable Repeats in PPRU courses (includes labs)**
Biological Engineering MATH 1210 , 12 credits of math, science and engineering 2.50 C- 2
Civil Engineering MATH 1210 , 12 credits of math, science and engineering 2.70 C- 2
Environmental Engineering MATH 1210 , 12 credits of math, science and engineering 2.70 C- 2
Computer Engineering MATH 1210   2.80 C- 3
Electrical Engineering MATH 1210   2.80 C- 3
Mechanical Engineering MATH 1210   , 12 credits of math, science and engineering 3.00 C- 2
Mechanical Engineering:  Aerospace Emphasis MATH 1210   , 12 credits of math, science and engineering 3.00 C- 2

*Course descriptions can be found in the online general catalog. 

**The allowable repeated course requirement includes courses that are audited or receive a Passing grade. Retaking a course multiple times counts as multiple repeats.

After students are accepted into a Pre-Professional Engineering Program, transfer credits are evaluated according to the articulation agreements in place for most universities. If the course material covered is not the same, transfer credits may not be accepted as engineering courses even if the number of credits for courses are the same. In the event no articulation agreement is in place, the USU department responsible for the course evaluates and assigns the transfer credits. Courses taken on the quarter system are evaluated according to the university policy for quarter credit conversion; credits transferred from a quarter calendar system will receive 0.667 semester credits for every quarter credit earned. Coursework (including transfer credit) that is more than 10 years old and is required by the major may be disallowed by the student’s department. The final decision on accepting credits for a degree resides with the academic department that awards the degree.

Transfer students will be denied admission into a College of Engineering Department if they don’t meet the above requirements. Once a student has been denied admission, there is no guarantee they will be reconsidered for admission in the future. Students are denied admission into a College of Engineering Department for the following reasons:

  • Low academic performance
  • GPA lower than the minimum GPA allowed in the Preparatory Engineering Program
  • More repeated courses than allowed in the Pre-Professional courses

The repeat policy for Pre-Professional Engineering Program courses applies to courses taken at other colleges or universities, including USU (see Pre-Professional Engineering Program for repeat policy).  Transfer students coming to USU with an Associate of Science degree from a regionally accredited institution may be deemed as having satisfied the General Education portion of USU’s University Studies Requirements. In general, transfer students will still need to satisfy the Depth Education portion of University Studies. In addition, since not all Associate of Science degrees granted by institutions outside of Utah include an American Institutions course (a State of Utah requirement), students may need to complete a Breadth American Institutions (BAI)  course while at USU.

The Professional Engineering Program refers to the major-specific courses in the junior and senior years of each degree program. Transfer students must apply to the Professional Engineering Program using the Admission/Permission Application for the Professional Program.  A final decision on admission into the Professional Engineering Program will not be made until after the applicant has completed at least 15 semester credits of acceptable engineering, math, and science coursework at USU with the required GPA. Some of this coursework may include upper-division classes taken by permission. Transfer students who have completed the Pre-Professional Engineering Program courses at another institution may apply to the Professional Engineering Program after they have been accepted into the Pre-Professional Engineering Program. 

The College of Engineering accepts a limited number of transfer students each semester/year. Students may be denied admission into the academic program of their choice if the number of transfer students enrolled exceeds available program resources. 

 


                                                                                                                                      

The Preparatory Engineering Program

Freshmen students who have not met the admission requirements for their desired engineering major or who have not submitted ACT/SAT scores are admitted to the Preparatory Engineering Program. Once a student meets the Preparatory Engineering Program requirements for their desired major (see table below), they must work with their designated academic advisor to be reconsidered for admission to the Pre-Professional Engineering Program. To be admitted into the Pre-Professional Engineering Program, a student must have:

  • Completed the required Bridge Courses
  • A GPA that meets the minimum GPA in the Bridge Courses of the department of interest
  • Taken no more than the number of allowed repeated courses
  • The minimum grade allowed by the department for the Bridge Courses

Bridge Courses and Admissions Requirements to the Pre-Professional Engineering Program

Department

Bridge Courses*

Minimum GPA

Minimum Allowable Grade

# of Allowable Repeats**

Biological Engineering

BENG 1000 BENG 1880 MATH 1210 /MATH 1220 BIOL 1610 /BIOL 1615 PHYS 2210 /PHYS 2215 CHEM 1210 /CHEM 1215  

2.50

C-

2 (including labs)

Civil Engineering

CEE 2240 MATH 1220 CHEM 1210 /CHEM 1215 PHYS 2210 /PHYS 2215  

2.50

C-

2

Environmental Engineering

BIOL 1010 CHEM 1210 /CHEM 1215  MATH 1210 PHYS 2210 /PHYS 2215  

 

2.50

C-

2

Computer Engineering

MATH 1210 ***

2.80

C-

3

Electrical Engineering

MATH 1210 ***

2.80

C-

3

Mechanical Engineering 

 MATH 1210 /MATH 1220 ,CHEM 1210 /CHEM 1215  PHYS 2210 /PHYS 2215  MAE 1010 /MAE 1200 

 

3.00

C-

2

Mechanical Engineering:  Aerospace Emphasis

 

MATH 1210 /MATH 1220 CHEM 1210 /CHEM 1215  PHYS 2210 /PHYS 2215  MAE 1010 /MAE 1200 

 

3.0 C-

2

*Course descriptions can be found in the online general catalog. 

**The allowable repeated course requirement includes courses that are audited or receive a Passing grade. Retaking a course multiple times counts as multiple repeats.

***In addition to the requirements listed above, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering students must also take the first two ECE courses in the major. 

Students must meet the requirements for admission into the pre-professional program of their desired engineering major before they can take any of the following courses: BENG 2330 , BENG 2400 , ENGR 2010 , ENGR 2030 , ENGR 2140 , ENGR 2210 , MAE 2160 , MAE 2165 , and MAE 2300 .

Additionally, students must meet the requirements for admission into the professional program of their desired engineering major before they can take any 3000 or higher course taught through the College of Engineering.

 

Students who are in the Preparatory Engineering Program and have completed the Bridge Courses and have met the minimum requirements identified in the table above may apply to the Pre-Professional Engineering Program by completing the Change of Major Request Form. Students not meeting the minimum requirements will not be able to enroll in sophomore engineering courses or continue in the Program and are invited to declare an alternate major. If students disagree with the denial, they may file an academic appeal. The College of Engineering follows Utah State University’s policy for academic appeals .

The Pre-Professional Engineering Program

The Pre-Professional Engineering Program is designed to help students obtain the academic knowledge and skills to be successful during the junior and senior years of their degree program. Courses in the Pre-Professional Engineering Program include math, science, and fundamental engineering courses. Each engineering major has distinct Pre-Professional Engineering Program requirements that must be satisfied to qualify for the Professional Engineering Program. Department-specific requirements are described in the engineering degree maps  found in the USU Catalog. For all engineering majors, only three repeated courses are allowed in the Pre-Professional Engineering Program. Pre-Professional Engineering courses repeated at other colleges or universities are included in this three-repeat course limit. 

The College of Engineering has additional standards beyond the university’s minimum academic standards. Satisfying university requirements does not guarantee students are meeting Pre-Professional Engineering Program requirements. Students in good standing according to university requirements (maintain a USU GPA of 2.0 or higher) must also meet the departmental entrance requirements for admission into a Professional Engineering Program. Students in a Pre-Professional Engineering Program who are not making satisfactory progress toward acceptance into the Professional Engineering Program, or who become ineligible to enter the Professional Engineering Program, will be re-assigned to the Preparatory Engineering Program.

 

Admission to the Professional Engineering Program from the Pre-Professional Engineering Program

To apply for admission into the Professional Engineering Program, students must complete all Pre-Professional Engineering Program courses and meet the major-specific admission requirements identified in the table below and described in the engineering degree maps . Only students currently in the Pre-Professional Engineering Program can apply to the Professional Program, and they may only apply to the Professional Engineering Program that is consistent with their current declared major. To be considered for the Professional Engineering Program, students must complete the Admission/Permission Application for the Professional Program. After their application is evaluated, students are notified of acceptance or denial into the Professional Engineering Program. 

If students disagree with the denial, they may file an academic appeal. The College of Engineering follows the university policy  of academic appeals . The College will not entertain more than one academic appeal per student for admission into the Professional Engineering Program. Students should contact their designated academic advisor for questions and assistance in applying to the Professional Engineering Program. Transfer students who have completed the Pre-Professional Engineering Program courses at another institution may apply to the Professional Engineering Program after they have been accepted into the Pre-Professional Engineering Program. 

Students should apply to the Professional Engineering Program midway through the semester they will complete all Pre-Professional Engineering Program courses. Students may request permission to take a limited number (not to exceed 15 credits) of upper-division (junior and senior) courses if they:

  • are within 10 credit hours of completing the necessary Pre-Professional Engineering Program requirements;
  • have submitted a Permission for Professional Engineering Courses application;
  • have 0.20 above the major’s minimum required GPA; and
  • are registered for all remaining Pre-Professional Engineering courses.

Students requesting authorization to take upper-division (junior/senior) courses must have a Pre-Professional Engineering Program GPA at least 0.20 points higher than their major’s minimum required Pre-Professional Engineering Program GPA and have no more than three repeated courses. The final decision for granting permission to take upper-division (junior/senior) classes before formal admission to the Professional Engineering Program rests with the designated academic advisor and the Associate Dean of Engineering for Academics.

Requirements for Admission to the Professional Engineering Program from the Pre-Professional Program

Department Minimum Pre-Professional GPA* # of Allowable Repeats in the Pre-Professional Engineering Program ** Minimum Allowable Grade in Pre-Professional Engineering Program Courses
Biological Engineering 2.30 3 C-
Civil & Environmental Engineering 2.50 3 C-
Electrical & Computer Engineering 2.80 3 C-
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering 2.80 3 C-

*Department catalog pages  list the courses included in the Pre-Professional Engineering Program and the courses used to calculate the Pre-Professional Engineering Program GPA. Although ENGL 2010 , Intermediate Writing, is required in the Pre-Professional Engineering Program, it is not used to calculate the Pre-Professional Engineering Program GPA for all majors except Civil & Environmental Engineering. A final decision on admission into the Professional Engineering Program will not be made until after the applicant has completed at least 15 semester credits of acceptable engineering, math, and science coursework at USU with the required GPA. Some of this coursework may include upper-division classes taken by permission. After a student enrolls in courses at USU, only USU coursework is included when calculating engineering-specific GPAs. Non-USU engineering coursework continues to factor into repeat and minimum grade requirements.

**The allowable repeated course requirement includes courses that are audited or receive a Passing grade. Retaking a course multiple times counts as multiple repeats.

Professional Engineering Program Academic Requirements

The Professional Engineering Program refers to the major-specific courses in the junior and senior years of each degree program. The Professional Engineering Program includes required courses and technical elective courses on advanced engineering topics. The Professional Engineering Program curriculum of each major has been designed by department faculty to meet the expectations of ABET accreditation standards, graduate programs, and professional societies.    

Enrollment in upper-division engineering courses (3000-level and above) is available only to students who have been accepted into the Professional Engineering Program or an appropriate graduate program. Once admitted, students in engineering majors are assigned a faculty mentor who can help them select technical elective courses and identify areas of interest appropriate to a student’s career goals. 

Engineering courses are also available to students in majors outside of the College of Engineering if their major includes engineering courses as part of the required curriculum. Before these students can be authorized to take the required engineering course(s), they must pass the course prerequisites with a C- or better.

The minimum upper-division GPA, the allowable number of repeated courses, and an allowable number of credits with a “D” grade vary for each Professional Program Engineering major. Department requirements are listed below:

 

Departmental Academic Requirements for the Professional Engineering Program 
  Allowable Credits with a “D” Grade Allowable Number of Repeats* Minimum Allowable Professional Program GPA** Allowable number of Courses with P Grade
Biological Engineering 0 3 2.00 0
Civil & Environmental Engineering 10 3 2.00 0
Electrical & Computer Engineering 10 3 2.00 0
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering 0 1 per course 2.00 0

*The allowable repeated course requirement includes courses that are audited or receive a Passing grade.  Retaking a course multiple times counts as multiple repeats.

**Courses taken for Pre-Professional Engineering Program requirements and University Studies courses are not included in this GPA calculation.

NOTE: Once a student completes (receives a standard letter grade) an approved technical elective, it is considered a required course for that student. If the student doesn’t pass the technical elective, they must retake and pass it.

Professional Engineering Program Academic Probation and Ineligibility

When a student is placed on probation, a hold is added to their account to prevent them from registering in future semesters. To have the hold removed, students must meet with their engineering advisor to review Professional Program requirements and make a plan to correct the existing academic standard violations for readmission into the Professional Engineering Program. Students are placed on Professional Program Probation for any of the following reasons:

  • The student exceeded the allowed hours of D for their specific major 
  • The student exceeded the allowed number of repeats for their specific major
  • The student’s Professional Program GPA dropped below a 2.0

Students in the Professional Engineering Program who are no longer eligible for graduation have their status changed to Preparatory Engineering until they declare a new major.

Graduation Requirements

Students are eligible for graduation when the following criteria are met: 

Students may apply for graduation anytime during their senior year; however, to be considered for graduation for a specific semester, students must apply by the deadline specified on the Registrar’s Office website. It is recommended students meet with their advisor at least two semesters before graduation to verify the correct courses will be completed in the final year.

Undergraduate Scholarships

Utah State University offers a variety of scholarships specifically for incoming students, both first-year and transfer students. Some scholarship opportunities for incoming students do not require any action on the student’s part to be considered. When students apply to the university for admission, they are automatically considered for these awards, which are generally based on academic performance. Other awards may require a separate application for consideration

Additionally, the College of Engineering awards endowed scholarships annually on a competitive basis to first-year students as well as current and transfer students. Online applications are accepted each year between January 1 and January 31.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Utah State University’s Undergraduate Research Program is the second oldest in the nation. Students have the opportunity to work closely with research faculty and to pursue their own research projects. College of Engineering students are encouraged to obtain research experience through the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URF), Undergraduate Research & Creative Opportunities Grants (URCO), and Engineering Undergraduate Research Program (EURP). For information on these research programs, visit the Undergraduate Research Opportunities website. Additionally, faculty members often accept undergraduate research assistants to assist on funded research projects, and students are encouraged to contact faculty directly regarding participation in research projects. 

See the Research Centers and Labs section for more information.

Undergraduate Student Resources

The College of Engineering provides specialized academic, extra-curricular, and hands-on resources free of charge to help ensure academic and professional success.

Launch Your Engineering Career

Launch Your Engineering Career is an innovative program to help students navigate their engineering education. Involvement in the program includes academic preparation, engineering engagement, and career readiness opportunities throughout the undergraduate experience to enhance career and personal success upon graduation. 

Student Clubs and Organizations

College of Engineering students are encouraged to enhance their leadership, communication, and teamwork skills by participating in college-wide and departmental student clubs and organizations. Participation in student clubs provides opportunities for networking, research, professional development, and regional/national conferences and competitions.

Additionally, over 100 USUSA Clubs provide service, involvement, and academic opportunities to students across campus. 

Student Success Resources

The College of Engineering enhances students’ skill development and academic success through no-cost access to academic support services and hands-on facilities including the:

  • Open-Access Computer Lab: Provides poster printing services and over 75 technical software programs. 
  • IDEA Factory: Through access to specialized equipment and machines, students can work with consultants in a hands-on environment to create personal and class-related projects.
  • Metal Factory: Students can work on senior design and class projects through access to a wide variety of tools including fabrication tools, grinders, hand power tools, lathes, mills, presses, and welders. A conference room is also available for reservation.
  • Engineering Tutoring Center: Engineering tutors with knowledge of a variety of math and engineering subjects provide one-on-one assistance to students through online or in-person appointments.
  • Engineering Writing Center: Through one-on-one writing consultations, students refine their technical writing skills for class-related projects and homework. 
  • Engineering Design Lab: Provides access to 3D printing and over 75 technical software programs. Reservations can be made for an event or club use. 
  • Engineering Math Resource Center: The Math Resource Center is intended to provide resources to students for learning the principles of mathematics that will be essential for future careers in engineering.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by university policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

Utah State University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination including harassment in employment including in hiring, promotion, transfer, or termination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by university policy or any other federal, state, or local law.

Utah State University does not discriminate in its housing offerings and will treat all persons fairly and equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, national origin, source of income, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Additionally, the university endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations when necessary and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. 

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit the Office of Equity or contact the university’s Title IX Coordinator

 


Concurrent Bachelor’s/Master’s Program   

The Concurrent Bachelor’s/Master’s (BS/MS) Program allows engineering students to begin taking graduate-level classes during the final year of their undergraduate program, which permits students to complete requirements for both the BS degree and the MS degree simultaneously. Since many graduate courses are taught during alternate years, students in this program have a greater selection of graduate courses. After completing BS degree requirements, students in the Concurrent Program can earn a Master of Science degree in one additional year. Both the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science degree can generally be earned with 150-156 total credits, although a Plan C MS degree requires 3 additional credits. During the second year of the Concurrent Program when the student is within 21 credits of completing both degrees, students will pay graduate tuition and fees. Students in the Concurrent Program are eligible for loans but not grants. 

Each College of Engineering department has unique requirements for Concurrent Program eligibility. To be considered for admission into the Concurrent Program, students must:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree graduation application
  • Contact the department to determine eligibility (see the department graduate program coordinator for assistance with the application process)
  • Apply and be admitted to the USU School of Graduate Studies
  • Take the GRE and submit scores to the School of Graduate Studies
  • Submit the Program of Study to the graduate committee and School of Graduate Studies for approval
  • Submit a Split Registration Form each semester enrolled in the Concurrent Program
  • Select an approved faculty advisor to determine the coursework in the Program of Study
  • Select a graduate committee, which must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies

Once admitted to the Concurrent Program, students must maintain a 3.00 or higher GPA in courses approved for the Concurrent Program. If the student’s GPA falls below the 3.00 GPA requirement, the student is ineligible for the Concurrent Program and cannot enroll in graduate courses.

Graduate Programs

Through involvement in cutting-edge research and participation in courses taught by nationally recognized faculty, students who earn graduate degrees in engineering become world-class leaders and researchers in high-level, specialized positions in their chosen fields of study. Faculty are committed to the success of their graduate students and work closely with them as mentors in both research pursuits and career advisement. 

The College of Engineering offers 21 graduate programs leading to Master of Engineering (ME), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Master of Science degrees have three plans:

  • Plan A:  Research, Thesis, and Coursework
  • Plan B:  Project, Report, and Coursework
  • Plan C:  Coursework Only

The following table outlines the graduate program offerings in the College of Engineering.  Please see the departmental graduate program coordinator for more information regarding program requirements.

Graduate Programs
  Master of Science (MS) Plan A Master of Science (MS) Plan B Master of Science (MS) Plan C Master of Engineering (ME) Plan C PhD
Biological Engineering
Biological Engineering X X - - X
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering X X - X X
Irrigation Engineering X X X - X
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering X X - X X
Computer Engineering X X - X -
Space Systems Engineering - - X - -
Electrical and Computer / Master of Business Administration (MBA) - - - X -
Engineering Education
Engineering Education X X - - X
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Mechanical Engineering X X X - X
Aerospace Engineering X X X - X
Space Systems Engineering X - - - -
Composite MAterials and Structures - - X - -

 

For information about graduate programs and specific admission requirements, see the following departmental websites:

Application Deadlines

Graduate school application deadlines are department or program specific. Once received by Utah State University, the time to process an application may take six to eight weeks. When an application is complete, it is forwarded to the department or program for review. To apply for admission to a graduate program, students must submit their completed application by the following deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

Application Deadlines by Department, College of Engineering*
  Fall Enrollment/Admission   Spring Enrollment/Admission
Domestic Applicants International Applicants    Domestic Applicants        International Applicants    
Biological Engineering March 15 February 15 July 15 June 15
Civil and Environmental Engineering January 15 January 15 October 1 October 1
Electrical and Computer Engineering January 1 (1st review) January 1 (1st review) July 1 (1st review) July 1 (1st review)
May 1 (2nd review) May 1 (2nd review) Sept 1 (2nd review) Sept 1 (2nd review)
Engineering Education February 1 February 1 n/a n/a
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Last Day of February Last Day of February August 30 August 30

*Application dates listed are for full funding consideration.

Admission Requirements

For admission to a graduate program, potential students are required to:

  • Complete the online application and pay the non-refundable $55 fee through the School of Graduate Studies
  • Possess a BS degree OR a MS/ME degree from an accredited college or university
  • Meet departmental requirements for minimum GPA for the student’s last 60 credit hours (identified below by academic department)
  • Provide official transcripts from previously attended colleges or universities, including Utah State University
  • Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit scores. NOTE: some degree programs have eliminated the GRE requirement; see the table below for GRE requirements
  • Submit three letters of recommendation that address the applicant’s potential for success in the proposed graduate program
  • Provide a statement of purpose (as required by the specific department

Specific departmental requirements are identified in the table below:

MS/ME and PhD Admission Requirements (X indicates required items)
  Minimum GPA for last 60 semester hours* Official Transcripts GRE Letters of Recommendation (3) Statement of Purpose Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Biological Engineering 3.00 X - X X -
Civil and Environmental Engineering 3.00 X - X - -
Electrical and Computer Engineering 3.00 X X X** X X
Engineering Education 3.00 X - X X -
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 3.30 X X X** - -

*For courses taken on the quarter system, the last 90 credit hours are evaluated. 

**Letters of recommendation are not required for students with a BS in Engineering from USU.

***Letters of recommendation are not required for students with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from USU. 

 

International Student Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements listed in the table above and other department-specific requirements, all applicants whose native language is not English must provide university-level English proficiency. Students who have completed two years of college in one of the countries listed below and at an institution in which instruction was in English are considered proficient in the English language and will not be required to provide additional evidence of English language proficiency:

  • Australia
  • Canada (except Quebec Province)
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

The School of Graduate Studies’ English language requirement may be satisfied in several ways (see below). Test scores must be sent to the School of Graduate Studies by the testing agency.

  • TOEFL score of at least 79 (Internet-based), 213 (computer-based), or 59 (paper based)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 6.0 overall
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) overall score of at least 53
  • Completion of a degree from a university in an English-speaking country
  • Utah State University’s Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) placement exam score of at least 146.

NOTE:  English proficiency test scores are valid for two years.  Proof of English language proficiency is rarely waived.

 

Financial Aid and Graduate Assistantships

Utah State University provides options to help students finance their education through graduate tuition awards and graduate assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Graduate students may be eligible to receive graduate tuition awards for the resident and/or nonresident portion of tuition through the following graduate tuition awards:

  • Alumni Legacy Waiver
  • Research Nonresident Tuition Waiver
  • Nonresident Tuition Waiver

Other financial aid opportunities include:

Graduate students in research-oriented degree programs may have the opportunity to work on paid, part-time research projects with the College of Engineering faculty. Research Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis from the individual grants of major professors. For more information on research assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, and grants, visit the departmental websites below:

Graduate Advising

Graduate program coordinators (GPCs) play a key role in supporting the success of graduate students throughout their program of study. GPCs are a critical link between students’ academic department and the School of Graduate Studies. GPCs assist graduate students with deadlines, program of study completion, and thesis/dissertation requirements. Graduate program coordinators work with graduate students from program acceptance to graduation and are the first point of contact for questions or concerns. 

Major Professor and Graduate Committee

Once admitted to a graduate program, the student selects a major professor and graduate committee, which must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies. The proposed master’s program of study must be approved by both the student’s graduate committee and the School of Graduate Studies. The student’s major professor acts as a mentor and provides guidance through the graduate program.  Major professors can:

  • Recommend courses to include in the program of study
  • Help define research projects and research questions
  • Provide feedback on written materials
  • Assist in preparation of proposals, theses, dissertations, and dissertation defenses
  • Assist in preparation for comprehensive exams (Ph.D. students only)

The student and major professor should identify prospective graduate committee members based on their potential contributions to the student’s academic and research program. The graduate committee will approve the program of study, direct comprehensive exams (if required), supervise and provide feedback on research, and conduct the student’s defense. It is the responsibility of the student to approach potential committee members regarding their participation and role within the committee as well as the student’s proposed work.

Student Registration Status

A full-time matriculated graduate student must be one of the following:

  • Registered for 9 or more graduate credits
  • Registered for 6 or more graduate credits if employed as a graduate assistant for 15 hours per week or more
  • Registered for 3 graduate credits with all required coursework completed and only the research component of the degree remaining (the student’s Program of Study must have been submitted to the School of Graduate Studies)
  • Registered for at least 3 graduate credits during the semester of the final thesis/dissertation defense or, in a non-thesis degree program, the last semester of coursework required on the student’s Program of Study

Program Academic Rules and Policies

Graduate students are expected to know the requirements and standards of their specific program and to assume full responsibility for meeting the following requirements:

  • All students are required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or better for all courses listed on their official program of study
  • Graduate students must also maintain at least an overall 3.00 GPA for ALL courses taken at Utah State University, including any extra courses of personal interest and required make-up courses
  • Make-up courses must be taken for a grade and cannot be taken for pass/fail
  • If at any time a student’s overall GPA for those courses listed on the official program of study falls below a 3.00, the student will be placed on academic probation by the USU School of Graduate Studies
  • In any semester while the student is on probation, if the GPA for that semester falls below 3.00, the student may be suspended as a candidate for an advanced degree
  • No USU scholarship funding or tuition waiver will be available during the suspension
  • Reinstatement to the degree program or a change from non-degree to degree seeking status will require a petition to the Department Head for approval
  • Pass (P) grades are accepted only for seminars, special problems, interdisciplinary workshops, theses or dissertation research, and continuing graduate advisement
  • Students must have authorization from their academic major advisor to enroll in more than 18 credits a semester

Program Forms

Graduate students are responsible for the timely submission of all program forms at specific points in the program of study. All academic forms for Master of Science degrees (Plans A, B, and C) as well as Doctoral degrees can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website. Submission instructions are on each form. Forms must be submitted and approved at the appropriate time or authorization to defend a thesis or dissertation will not be granted. For information about academic forms, students should contact their graduate program coordinator.

Students are required to submit a Program of Study (POS) form to the School of Graduate Studies by the end of the second semester for Master of Science degrees and by the end of the third semester for Doctoral degrees. The Program of Study is a contract between the student, the student’s graduate committee, and the School of Graduate Studies outlining the courses the student will take to meet the School of Graduate Studies requirements and complete the degree program. Revisions to a Program of Study can be made by contacting the Graduate Program Coordinator who will update the courses; major professors and department heads will receive the revision for approval.

Residency Requirements

Utah law requires students who have not previously acquired a residency at a Utah school of higher education to maintain a physical presence in Utah for 12 continuous months and meet other criteria as outlined on the Admissions website. The following alternatives and exemptions may apply:

  • A 12-month physical presence in Utah is not the only route to gaining residency. Alternatives to the Utah law are identified on the admissions website
  • Exemptions exist for students who are active duty U.S. Military service members or veterans OR are a dependent of active duty U.S. Military service members or veterans. An online application must be submitted

Deadlines and instructions are found on the admissions website. The Admissions Office also hosts Information sessions to answer questions about the residency process.

Transfer Credits

Provided Utah State University residency requirements are or will be met, a student’s graduate committee may recommend the transfer of graduate credits earned at another accredited institution under the following conditions:

  • The credits must not have been used for another degree
  • No more than 12 semester credits taken at Utah State University or another institution prior to matriculation at Utah State University may be used in a program of study for a graduate program at Utah State University
  • Credits with Pass (P) grades may be transferred only with committee approval; some College of Engineering departments do not allow credits with a P grade
  • Transfer credits do not count toward required residency credits
  • Transfer credits are subject to approval of the supervisory committee and the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies 
  • Transfer credits are subject to the same time limit as Utah State University course credits
  • Transfer credits will be shown on official Utah State University transcripts upon completion of the degree

Waiving Courses

Students who have previously taken a course similar to a core course in the program of study at a different institution may petition to waive that course to take another course. Prior approval must be obtained by the:

  • Student’s major professor
  • Instructor of the course at Utah State University
  • Students’ graduate committee

Students must submit the following documents in consideration of the waiver:

  • Syllabus of previous course taken, which is reviewed against the syllabus of the core course. The course instructor determines if the two classes are similar enough to qualify for a waiver
  • Documentation of the final grade from the course. Student must have obtained a minimum grade of B for the class to qualify
  • Supplemental materials as requested

Please note the following requirements regarding course waivers:

  • Courses waived must be made up with a core class
  • Students who are granted waivers must still earn the total credit hours required for their academic program
  • Courses such as special topics and independent study will not be accepted
  • Two course waivers maximum are allowed per student

Auditing Courses

Admitted students may register to audit a class, dependent on space, resource availability, and instructor approval. No credit or grade points will be granted. The regular tuition and course fees will be assessed. At no future time may students request or receive credit for the audited course by any other means than by officially registering for the course and doing the required work. Audit requests, approved by the instructor, must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office, and tuition and fees must be paid before class attendance is permitted. Students are not permitted to register as auditors prior to the first day of classes for any given semester. The instructor’s authorization must be submitted within three business days of being signed.

Students who are registered for a class and would like to change to an audit registration may do so through the Adding Classes deadline, which also coincides with the Last Day to Drop without Notation on Transcript. Students who drop after this period must receive a W (withdrawal) grade and may not register as an auditor.

Continuous Graduate Registration

Graduate students using university facilities or faculty time must be registered for a minimum of 3 graduate credits every semester (except summer semester) until completion of all degree requirements, except, in some cases, the semester of final thesis or dissertation approval (see below). Students employed as graduate assistants or graduate instructors during all semesters, except for summer semester, must be registered as full-time matriculated students. More than 3 credits of continuous registration may be required by a department. Continuous registration may be met with courses, seminars, independent study, research credit, or 6990 or 7990 (Continuing Graduate Advisement). The continuous registration requirement goes into effect the semester a student matriculates in the School of Graduate Studies.
 
A graduate student who is not using university facilities or faculty time may meet the continuous registration requirement by paying the Continuous Registration Fee of $100 per semester (not necessary for summer semester). This alternative requires a written request from the department head, including verification that the student is not using university facilities and/or faculty time. International students usually do not qualify to pay the Continuous Registration Fee because of immigration regulations.

The semester a student defends (or redefends) a thesis, Plan B paper, or dissertation or takes final oral examinations, he or she must be registered for at least 3 credits. Doctoral and master’s Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C students will be given until the last day of the next semester (known as a “grace” semester) following the defense to finish degree requirements, and Plan C students will be given until the last day of the next semester after coursework completion to finish degree requirements. If a student has not completed all degree requirements by the end of the grace semester, the student must pay a $100 Late Completion Fee for each semester following the grace semester. If working with faculty involves more than routine submission of the thesis or dissertation to the assistant dean, registration for 3 or more credits is required. After one year, re-defense may be required.

Academic Honesty and Research Misconduct

Maintaining the highest standards of academic honesty and research ethics is especially important at the graduate level, where students are expected to do original, scholarly work in preparation for future professional and academic roles. Academic dishonesty  is defined in The Code of Policies and Procedures for Students at Utah State University (revised September 2009) Article VI, Section 1 to include cheating, falsification of information, and plagiarism. Violations of this policy will subject the offender to the university disciplinary procedures as outlined in Article VI, Section 3 of the Student Code, with the penalties or disciplinary measures to include one or more of the following:

  • Probation: continued participation in an academic program predicated upon the student satisfying certain requirements as specified in a written notice of probation. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary penalties if the student does not comply with the specified requirements or is found to be committing academic integrity violations during the probationary period. The student must request termination of the probation in writing.
  • Performance of community service. 
  • Suspension: temporary dismissal from an academic program or from the university for a specified time, after which the student is eligible to continue the program or return to the university. Conditions for continuance or readmission may be specified.
  • Expulsion: permanent dismissal either from an academic program or from the university.
  • Assigning a designation with a course grade indicating a violation involving academic integrity. Conditions for removal may be specified, but the designation remains on the student’s transcript for a minimum of one year provided, however, once the student’s degree is posted to the transcript, the designation may not be removed thereafter.
  • Denial or revocation of degrees.

Research is a vital part of the education of any graduate student, and appropriate scientific and research conduct is required. An allegation of scientific misconduct involving funded research is handled through the Office of Research. If the research is not externally sponsored, the allegation is handled following The Code of Policies and Procedures for Students at Utah State University.

Research misconduct may be determined during a student’s program or after the program is completed. If a student is found guilty of research misconduct, the penalty may include correction and reanalysis of data and/or rewriting of the thesis or dissertation, with resubmission and re-defense of the thesis or dissertation, and/or loss of financial assistance. If the misconduct is found to have been knowingly or deliberately committed, the penalty may include dismissal from a program or revocation of an awarded degree.

Time Limit

A Master of Science degree must be completed within six years of entering the degree program; a PhD degree must be completed within eight years of entering the degree program. Coursework that is more than eight years old may not be used for a graduate degree unless it is revalidated. If permitted by the departmental or interdepartmental degree program policy, a supervisory committee may allow revalidation, following a plan developed by the supervisory committee and approved by the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies. The results must be verified in writing to the Vice Provost by the student’s major professor or other person(s) responsible for the revalidation. Work experience cannot be substituted for out-of-date coursework or used for revalidation, except where that work experience can be documented to have involved the use of current knowledge and application of material currently covered in the course.

Graduate credits from another institution that exceed the eight-year limit at the time of degree completion may be transferred to a Utah State University graduate degree only if the student’s supervisory committee provides justification acceptable to the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies. The revalidation procedures described above will apply.

Institutional Training

Graduate students are required to complete specific training and have access to other opportunities to enhance academic and professional skills while networking with professors and peers outside the classroom. Graduate program coordinators and the School of Graduate Studies can provide more information regarding these trainings, including required trainings. 

  • New Graduate Student Orientation (required): Orientation may be held face-to-face or in the form of a Canvas course. 
  • Research Scholars Orientation: Typically occurs a week before the beginning of classes in the fall semester and immediately following the New Graduate Student Orientation. If in-person attendance is not possible, students can watch a video through Canvas and take a quiz.
  • Fall Research Scholars Forum: Typically occurs during the fall semester. A Canvas video and quiz are available for students not able to attend in person. 
  • Spring Research Scholars Forum: Typically occurs in the spring semester. A Canvas video and quiz are available for students not able to attend in person. 
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Module (online): provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).
  • FERPA Training: Graduate students who will be participating as a teaching assistant in a course and will be handling grades are required to complete the online FERPA training.
  • Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training: All incoming graduate students are required to take this online course during their first semester at USU.  
  • Employee Sexual Harassment Prevention Training. Graduate students who are Teaching Assistants or otherwise employed at the university are required to complete an online employee sexual harassment prevention training.
  • USU 7920 Teaching Assistant Workshop for Graduate Teaching Assistants: This workshop is a zero-credit course mandatory for all graduate teaching assistants. Students must be registered before their funding will be processed. This class is online and is offered every semester. Graduate TAs are required to take this course only once.
  • USU 6900 Research Integrity for Graduate Research Assistants and Undergraduate Researchers: The Research Integrity course provides an introduction to key topics of Responsible Conduct of Research, which helps students and researchers understand their responsibilities related to proper research conduct and the regulations that ensure research is scientifically sound, ethical, and safe. This understanding is critical for any career in scholarly research, whether in academics, government, or industry.  The following students are required to complete the Research Scholars Certification program:
    • Graduate and undergraduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows who are supported through National Science Foundation funding
    • Trainees supported by some categories of grants from NIH, including training grants, development grants, and dissertation grants
    • Trainees supported through NIFA grants administered by the USDA

Degree Completion

It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that all degree requirements have been met and procedures are complete for their degree to be awarded. Graduate requirements vary based on the specific graduate degree and are time sensitive. Students are encouraged to work closely with their major professor and graduate program coordinator to ensure submission of forms, defense deadlines, and thesis or dissertation requirements are met.

 


Student Resources

The College of Engineering provides specialized academic, extra-curricular, and hands-on resources free of charge to help ensure academic and professional success.

Research Centers and Labs

The College of Engineering supports USU’s mission as one of the nation’s premier land-grant and space-grant universities through extensive groundbreaking research and
innovation. Undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to work with acclaimed faculty in cutting-edge, funded research across all engineering
departments. Research Centers and laboratories include the:

  • Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL): Located on the Logan River, the UWRL provides research, testing, and training related to hydraulics, modeling, water resources planning, and management, and environmental and natural systems engineering.
  • ASPIRE Engineering Research Center: ASPIRE, the only active ERC in Utah, is meeting the nation’s electrified transportation challenges by facilitating electrification across all vehicle classes.
  • Sustainable Waste-to-Bioproducts Engineering Center: The Center’s goal is to develop new bio-based sustainable engineering technologies that convert waste into bioproducts
  • Utah Transportation Center: One of 22 federal funded Tier II University Transportation Centers in the nation, the Center works to advance the understanding of transportation systems and infrastructure using state-of-the-art design tools and best practices in planning, design, operations, and management.
  • Center for Space Engineering: Comprised of a multidisciplinary group of faculty who conduct research and engineering development through the Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL), a unit of the USU Research Foundation.  SDL works with the Department of Defense, scientific community, and industry in providing powerful remote and in situ sensing solutions as well as supporting NASA’s vision to “reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.”
  • Thermohydraulics and Material Properties (TMP) Research Center: USU’s TMP Center plays a major role regionally in nuclear engineering research and education through 11 active research faculty with interests in materials characterization and thermal hydraulics.
  • Center for Advanced Imaging LADAR: A multidisciplinary team of faculty from engineering and physics conducts research and development of techniques to exploit imaging LADAR data. 
  • Sant Innovation Laboratories:  This 44,000 square-foot space houses up to 20 state-of-the-art engineering labs, a class-1000 clean room, and USU’s premier makerspace, the IDEA Factory.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by university policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

Utah State University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination including harassment in employment including in hiring, promotion, transfer, or termination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by university policy or any other federal, state, or local law.

Utah State University does not discriminate in its housing offerings and will treat all persons fairly and equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, national origin, source of income, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Additionally, the university endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations when necessary and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. 

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit the Office of Equity or contact the university’s Title IX Coordinator

 

*COE Courses

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Biological Engineering

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Center for Engineering Education Research (CEER)

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Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Engineering Education

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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Thermohydraulics and Materials Properties Research Center

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