Oct 13, 2019  
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) 
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

College of Engineering

Dean: Christine E. Hailey
Location: Engineering 413
Phone: (435) 797-2775
FAX: (435) 797-2769
E-mail: office@engineering.usu.edu
WWW: http://www.engineering.usu.edu

Senior Associate Dean:

Jagath J. Kaluarachchi, Engineering 413C, (435) 797-3918, jagath.kaluarachchi@usu.edu

Associate Dean:

V. Dean Adams, Engineering 413B, (435) 797-9114, dean.adams@usu.edu

Academic Advisors:

Kathleen E. Bayn, Engineering 308, (435) 797-2705, kathy.bayn@usu.edu

Myra Cook, Main 424, (435) 797-8019, myra.cook@usu.edu

Katherine Grover, Engineering 314C, (435) 797-1829, katherine.grover@usu.edu

Isobel M. Roskelley, Engineering 312, (435) 797-2705, isobel.roskelley@usu.edu

Executive Director of Development: Val K. Potter, Engineering 413L, (435) 797-8012, val.potter@usu.edu 

The College of Engineering includes the following academic departments:

Biological Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Computer Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Engineering Education
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

The College of Engineering includes the following research centers, institutes, and laboratories:

Research Centers, Institutes, and Laboratories:

Anderson Center for Wireless Teaching and Research

Jacob H. Gunther, Director

Buried Structures Laboratory

Steven L. Folkman, Director

Center for Engineering Education Research (CEER)

  1.    Kurt Becker, Director

Center for Self-Organizing and Intelligent Systems (CSOIS) 

Center for Space Engineering

Charles M. Swenson, Director

Computer Science Research Labs:

Institute for Natural Systems Engineering

Austin Jensen, Director

International Irrigation Center (IIC)

Christopher M.U. Neale, Director

Micron Research Center at Utah State University

Todd K. Moon, Director

Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant Consortium

Joe Orr, Director (U of U)

Synthetic Bio-Manufacturing Center

H. Scott Hinton, Director

The Sustainable Waste-to-Bioproducts Engineering Center

Ronald C.Sims, Co-Director

Issa Hamud, Co-Director

USU Biofuels Center

Byard D. Wood, Director

Utah Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)

Nicholas R. Jones, Executive Director

Utah On-Site Wastewater Training Center

Judith L. Sims, Director

State Centers of Excellence:

Center for Control of Flows in Manufacturing

Barton L. Smith, Director

Center for Solar Biofuels Technology

Byard D. Wood, Director

National and State Centers

Utah Transportation Center

Paul J. Barr, Director

Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL)

Mac McKee, Director

Utah State University Research Foundation:

Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL)

Neil Holt, Director


The primary objective of the College of Engineering is to foster a creative learning environment that will:

  1. 1. prepare engineering students to support the needs of industry and
  2. 2. develop new technologies and services that will improve tomorrow's economy and environment.


The goal of the academic programs of the College of Engineering is to provide engineering and science education enabling engineering students to:

  1. 1. develop as ethical professionals who understand engineering and computer science in its societal context;
  2. 2. learn modern engineering/science principles and their application in conducting experiments and analyzing data;
  3. 3. gain experience in working on engineering problems and designing solutions to meet desired needs;
  4. 4. acquire skills in communicating effectively and working on teams; and
  5. 5. understand the importance of life-long professional development and learning.

The college strives to create a brighter future by working with students, employers, industry, and government research partners to achieve this objective.


The undergraduate engineering BS degree programs offered by USU, which are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org, include: Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The undergraduate Computer Science bachelor degree programs, with emphasis in Bioinformatics, Digital Systems, Information Systems, or Science, are accredited by the Computer Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

At the graduate level, Master of Engineering (ME), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees are offered in these specific majors, along with the Civil Engineer (CE) degree.

The Department of Engineering Education (EED) offers a PhD degree in Engineering Education. Admission and academic requirements for the EED department can be found in the Engineering Education  department description.

For details about the various majors and specialties offered by departments and programs within the College of Engineering, see the respective departmental sections in this catalog.


The College of Engineering is committed to assessing the quality of its academic departments and programs, in order to assure that the desired educational outcomes will be achieved. Faculty members within the college strive to assure that their students obtain the knowledge and skills needed for success in their chosen fields.

The college uses a variety of tools and methods to gather information and data to evaluate progress in meeting the college's program goals and objectives, and to take actions to continually improve the quality of students' educational experience.

Undergraduate Programs


The objectives of the engineering curriculum are: (1) to provide students with professional competence enabling them to enter and progress rapidly in their professional careers, (2) to provide an understanding of the physical and social world in which they live and work, and (3) to provide a basis for continued intellectual growth, professionally and socially.

In the engineering programs, the curricula begin with studies in mathematics, basic science, introductory engineering, and introductory engineering design. These basic science and engineering skills are coupled with communication skills, as well as courses in humanities and social sciences. The professional engineering programs continue with engineering science, engineering design, and modern engineering tools. Engineering design activities start during the freshman and sophomore years, progressing in-depth during the junior and senior years as the student's proficiency increases. The design experience culminates with a capstone design sequence, which builds upon the fundamentals of engineering, communication skills, science, mathematics, humanities and social sciences, economics, ethics, safety, reliability, aesthetics, and social impact.

The expected outcomes of the professional engineering programs are: (1) to unite engineering sciences and modern engineering tools with engineering design to enhance the practical problem-solving abilities, decision-making proficiency, and creativity of the engineering student; (2) to provide for an understanding and appreciation of professional responsibility and ethics; (3) to expand a sensitivity to the economic, legal, and social dimensions of engineering decisions; and (4) to provide the foundation and help instill a desire for life-long learning.

Studies in the humanities and social sciences serve not only to meet the objectives of a broad education, but also to meet the objectives of the engineering profession. In the interest of making engineers aware of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context, the College of Engineering requires coursework in the humanities and social sciences as an integral part of the engineering program. To satisfy this requirement, courses selected must provide both breadth and depth and be planned to fulfill an objective appropriate to the engineering profession.

Admission Requirements

Engineering Requirements

In addition to the policies of the University concerning admission of students, the following regulations apply to the engineering programs:

  1. 1. In order to complete an engineering curriculum in four years, high school students must complete at least two years of algebra, one year of geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, four years of English, and courses in computers, chemistry, and physics. If these courses are not taken in high school, they must be taken in college prior to starting the regular engineering programs. Students with deficiencies in several areas will probably require five years to fulfill graduation requirements.

    Students can earn university credits in English, humanities, and social sciences by receiving appropriate scores on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests. Advanced placement (AP) credit may be obtained in calculus, chemistry, English, history, and physics.
  2. 2. Transfer students from other colleges or universities will be referred to the Engineering Admission Committee for evaluation. Criteria considered in admission decisions for transfer students include resources available in the requested department and the transfer GPA, along with an evaluation of the program of the former college or university. Decisions concerning academic standing once the student is admitted to USU will be based solely on USU grades. The repeat policy applies to courses taken anywhere, including at USU.
  3. 3. Students registered on campus must be approved by the Engineering Admission Committee before transferring to the College of Engineering. Students in this category must have demonstrated, by courses taken at USU, a potential to succeed in the major of their choice.

Professional Engineering Program


The purpose of the Professional Engineering Program (PEP) is to ensure that students are fully prepared for upper-division engineering coursework by having satisfactorily completed all required pre-professional courses.


Enrollment in upper-division engineering courses (3000-level and above) is available only to students who have been accepted into the PEP or an appropriate graduate program or have a non-engineering major which requires a specific engineering class for which the student has passed, with a C- or better, the prerequisite courses.

Application Requirements

Current PEP applications listing the required PEP courses and admission standards are available from the various departments and the Engineering Advising Center.The minimum requirements a student must satisfy in order to be eligible to apply for admission to a professional program are:

  1. 1. The student must be in good academic standing in the University and the college.
  2. 2. The student must achieve a grade of C- or better in every required pre-professional course. Required pre-professional courses are defined by each major. They include math, science, and engineering courses, as well as ENGL 2010 . The 2.3 (2.8 for Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering) minimum GPA requirement (see item 3 below) does not include ENGL 2010 . The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used except in freshman English Composition.
  3. 3. The student must achieve an overall grade point average of 2.3 (2.8 for Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering) or better for all required pre-professional coursework completed at USU.

Repeated Coursework

A student can repeat no more than three of the required preprofessional courses in order to satisfy the PEP application and eligibility requirements. Multiple repeats of the same course are included in the total of three repeats. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the college academic advisor.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit accepted by the department and the college may be applied toward meeting the requirements for admission into the PEP; however, the grades received will not be used in the USU GPA calculation. For students with transfer credits, a final decision on admission into the PEP will not be made until after the applicant has completed at least 15 semester credits of acceptable engineering, math, and science coursework at USU. Some of this coursework may include upper-division classes taken by permission.


Students should apply to the Professional Program midway through the semester in which they will complete all pre-professional courses. Students may request permission to take a limited number (not to exceed 15 credits) of upper-division courses if they are within 10 credit hours of completing the necessary requirements, have submitted a PEP application, and are registered for all remaining pre-professional courses. The final decision on granting permission to take upper-division classes before admission to the PEP rests with the college academic advisor and the Associate Dean of Engineering for Academics.

Admission Procedures

Admission into a PEP program is for a period of three years. Students unable to complete graduation requirements during this time or not making satisfactory progress toward the degree will be interviewed by the department head to determine whether special circumstances justify their continuance in the program.

Academic Requirements

The Dean's Office of the College of Engineering (Engineering Advising Center) maintains a handout sheet giving current details of all academic regulations of the college. It is the responsibility of the student to know the current regulations and to follow these regulations.

Preprofessional Program

Students must maintain a USU GPA of 2.0 to remain in good standing both in the college and the University. Students in a pre-professional program who are not making satisfactory progress toward acceptance into a professional program or who become ineligible to enter a professional program will be suspended from the college. Students in good standing in a pre-professional program must still meet the entrance requirements for admission into a professional program.

Professional Program

For all engineering majors in the professional program the following academic regulations apply, in addition to University regulations:

  1. 1. A GPA of 2.0 or higher must be maintained in all upper-division engineering/math/science courses required for, or used as technical electives in, the chosen major. Courses which were part of the pre-professional program requirements and University Studies courses are not included in this GPA calculation.
  2. 2. For Civil, Environmental, Electrical, Computer and Mechanical Engineering, not more than 10 hours of D or D+ credit may be applied toward meeting graduation requirements in engineering/math/science classes. For Biological no grades < C- may apply.
  3. 3. College of Engineering courses may be repeated only once. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the department head. A maximum of three (only one in Mechanical Engineering) required or elective courses completed as part of a professional program can be repeated in order to meet graduation requirements. (Courses completed as part of a pre-professional program are not included in this total of three repeats.)
  4. 4. The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used in required or elective courses completed as part of a professional program. (The P/D+, D, F grading option is approved for University Studies Courses.)
  5. 5. The academic regulations listed above (1-4) apply to required coursework and any elective engineering/math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree. That is, once a student completes a particular technical elective, it becomes a required course for that student.
  6. 6. Students in violation of departmental or college academic regulations, no longer eligible for graduation, or not making satisfactory progress toward a degree, will be placed on probation.
  7. 7. Students will be placed on probation if they (i) earn an F in an engineering/math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree (see No. 5 above); (ii) have more than 10 hours of D credit (see No. 2 above)(for Biological Engineering any D or D+); or (iii) have an upper-division GPA of less than 2.0 (see No. 1 above).
  8. 8. Students remain on probation until they improve their standing by repeating and passing all failed classes, repeating classes to reduce the number of D credits to 10 or less (zero for Biological Engineering), and/or by raising their upper-division GPA above 2.0.
  9. 9. While on probation, a student must earn a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher in engineering/math/science classes and must not earn any grades of D or F.

While on probation, a student may not preregister. The student's major code will be changed to a pre-professional code. The student must meet at least once each semester with the college academic advisor to work out a schedule having the primary goal of correcting the existing academic problems.

General Engineering

Engineering students are encouraged to select a major as soon as possible. Many of the courses taken during the freshman year are common to all engineering majors; however, there are significant differences in the courses taken during the sophomore year. Students who have not selected a specific major should meet with the college academic advisor for assistance in planning a personalized program. Students who choose to remain in general engineering must be prepared to meet the specific requirements of a professional program in the department of their choice.

Additional Engineering Information

Professional Societies

Faculty members of the departments hold memberships in various professional societies and organizations.

Student chapters or societies include the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers; the Institute of Biological Engineering; the Biological Engineering Club; American Society for Engineering Education; American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; American Society of Civil Engineers; Chi Epsilon; Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; American Nuclear Society; American Water Resources Association; Tau Beta Pi; International Technology and Engineering Educators Association; Society of Environmental Engineering Students; Society of Women Engineers; Engineers Without Borders; National Society of Black Engineers; and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Students are encouraged to affiliate with appropriate student societies.

The Engineering Council is comprised of a student from each department, a representative from each student society, and a staff member from the Dean's Office. The college senator is chairperson, or a chairperson is appointed by the Dean's Office. The council meets regularly to provide effective student-staff-administration liaison.


Many engineering students find satisfaction in serving their country in the Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) and as reserve officers after graduation. Junior and senior ROTC students receive compensation equivalent to a substantial scholarship. See the Department of Aerospace Studies  or the Department of Military Science section  of this catalog.

Scholarships, Fellowships, and Assistantships

A number of scholarships and assistantships are available to College of Engineering students. Interested high school seniors are encouraged to submit the Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships to the Admissions Office before December 1 of the year before they wish to receive assistance. Continuing students, transfer students, and returning students should contact the Dean's Office, College of Engineering for a scholarship application. Completed applications are always due January 31. There are also opportunities for employment on research projects and other activities.

Concurrent BS/Master's Program


The concurrent BS/Master's program allows engineering students to begin taking graduate-level classes during their senior year. This permits them to complete requirements for both the BS degree and the master's degree concurrently during two years. Students in this program have a greater selection of graduate courses, since many graduate courses are taught during alternate years. In addition, the student's senior design project could be a start for a graduate design project or thesis. After completing their BS degree, students in the program can earn a master's degree in only one additional year. Both the BS and the master's degree can generally be earned with 150-156 total credits, although students should note that a Plan C MS requires 3 extra credits.


Students in Biological Engineering must complete their junior year in engineering with a 3.0 GPA, both overall and during the last 60 semester credits. Students in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering must have a 3.2 GPA, both overall and during the last 60 semester credits. Students in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering must have a 3.3 GPA, both overall and during the last 60 semester credits. Students in Mechanical Engineering must earn a 3.5 GPA for the 60 semester credits completed at the end of their junior year. No later than the beginning of the first semester of the senior year, they must apply to the department offering their major and be accepted into the concurrent program. For application forms, students should contact their department office or the College of Engineering Advising Center (Engineering 314A).

To prepare a two-year completion plan of study, students must meet with their approved faculty advisor. (Department head gives approval for advisor.) Students must take the GRE exam and submit scores to the School of Graduate Studies .

Students must first contact the department to determine eligibility for the concurrent program. If eligible, they should apply to the School of Graduate Studies. A Split Registration Form must be filled out and submitted for each semester the student is enrolled in the concurrent program. All paperwork involved should have a notation of "Concurrent Enrollment" at the top of each page (e.g., undergraduate application for graduation, Program of Study, split forms, etc.).

Formal acceptance into the School of Graduate Studies is required. The student must select a graduate committee, which must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies. The proposed master's program must be approved by the committee, as well as by the School of Graduate Studies.

During the second year of the concurrent program, the student must pay graduate tuition. When the student is within 21 credits of completing both degrees, he or she will be coded as a graduate student. Thereafter, the student will pay graduate fees and will be eligible for loans, but not grants.

An application for graduation with a BS degree must be completed. The student must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in courses approved for his or her concurrent program.

Graduate Programs

For information about graduate programs, admissions, assistantships, and fellowships, see departmental sections of this catalog.


The College of Engineering pursues an extensive program of research through the various research centers, institutes, laboratories, and departments. There are opportunities for graduate students to participate, and many undergraduates can find employment in research programs. An extensive list of research centers and points of contact can be found in the College of Engineering .

Graduate Study

The college offers graduate study programs leading to the ME, MS, CE, and PhD degrees. For further information and details, see individual departmental sections of this catalog.