FAQ

Future Students’ Frequently Asked Questions


What is engineering?

Engineering is the practical application of math and science to solve problems. Engineering is everywhere in the world around you. From the start to the end of each day, engineering technologies improve the ways that we communicate, work, travel, stay healthy, and entertain ourselves.

Engineers are problem-solvers who want to make things work more efficiently, quickly, and less expensively. From computer chips and satellites to medical devices and robotics, engineering makes our modern life possible.

Graduates of the College of Engineering at the University of Utah are hired both locally and internationally to help build products, to design new technologies, to research new ideas, and to lead technology-centric companies.

To learn more about specific disciplines in engineering, visit Department websites in the navigation menu above.

What can I major in?

Students in the College of Engineering can major in:

What courses should I take now?

Prospective engineering students should strive to have a solid background in math, physics, biology and chemistry.

Take advantage of these courses in high school. Enroll in AP, IB, concurrent and honors courses if they exist in your school.

You should also participate in science specific extracurricular activities, such as: science fairs, Science Olympiad, robotics competitions, math/engineering competitions, and engineering camps.

Don’t forget to engage in extracurricular activities that develop your skill-set outside of math, science and engineering. Well-rounded students will always thrive in an ever-changing global engineering community.

Will my AP/IB classes count?

Most AP/IB classes will count for college credit if you score high enough on your AP exam.

Charts of which AP exams will count for credit as well as minimum scores required are summarized here: The University of Utah Admissions Office

I'm a girl, is engineering right for me?

Yes!

More women are succeeding in engineering careers now than ever before.

The College of Engineering at the University of Utah is dedicated to recruiting female students into engineering fields as well as encouraging our female engineers to attain high levels of achievement.

For more information, visit our:
Women in Engineering page
Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter

How do I apply to the University of Utah?

If you want to major in an engineering field, the first step you should take is to apply and get accepted into the University of Utah.

You can find complete application instructions on the Undergraduate Admissions page.

Can I designate an engineering major on my application?

Maybe.

The U’s application allows students to select a pre-major (e.g. pre-biomedical engineering, pre-chemical engineering, etc.) which is an indication that you would like to pursue a certain major.

All applicants who select a pre-major within the College of Engineering are evaluated for direct admission to the College using criteria described here.

Some departments will give their direct admit freshmen major status right away. Other departments require that you first enroll as a “pre-major” in order to take introductory and lower-level coursework. Then, after fulfilling the pre-major requirements, you may apply for major status with the help of your academic adviser.

Explore the admissions website of the department in which you would like to major for specific instructions on how their admissions, major, and pre-major process work.

What is direct admission?

Direct admission to the College of Engineering means that a student becomes part of the College as they enter the University. Students who select one of the College’s pre-majors on their U application will automatically be considered for direct admission to the College. Factors for direct admission include ACT/SAT scores, GPA, math preparation (usually students should be able to take Calculus 1 or higher their first semester), and strong college prep curriculum (emphasis on math and science courses). You can read more about direct admission here.

What does “pre-engineering” mean?

Students who do not meet the requirements for direct admission to the College will be admitted to the University as pre-engineering. Pre-engineering students will be admitted to the College of Engineering when they have successfully completed the required pre-requisites (usually two to three semesters). Pre-engineering students will work closely with academic advisors for admission consideration and help with prerequisites. You can read more about pre-engineering here.

When and how do I register for my classes?

Incoming freshmen will be invited to participate in an orientation session on campus. Among other activities, this is when students will register for their first classes at the University of Utah.

If you are unable to attend your freshman orientation, you should contact the academic adviser in your department for assistance with choosing and registering for classes.

How can I pay for school?

The University of Utah’s Financial Aid and Scholarships office can help you find and get: employment, student loans, scholarships, and grants.

The College of Engineering also maintains a Financial Aid page to summarize financial assistance available exclusively to engineering majors.

Where can I live?

Most new students live on campus: www.housing.utah.edu.

Engineering majors are invited to live in our Engineering communities. These communities offer residents the opportunity to live amongst other students in the College of Engineering who share academic and career goals.

May I talk to an adviser?

Yes, you can and should speak with an academic adviser while you are preparing to attend the University of Utah.

Most incoming students will meet their adviser during orientation on campus. Your adviser will help you register for classes and will answer any questions you may have during your orientation.

Are there clubs and activities for engineering students?

Yes – engineering students are invited to participate in a large number of student groups and organizations. Some of these organizations are specific to the College of Engineering, and others are campus-wide.

Visit our Student Organizations page for a summary of all student organizations affiliated with the College of Engineering.

I'm struggling with classes, can I get help?

The Engineering Tutoring Center provides formal tutoring resources for students, and helps students build informal study groups to encourage academic success in engineering and math coursework.

Can I get paid to do research?

Yes, the University of Utah is one of 96 Top-rated RU/VH research universities; this simply means there is a wide-range of well-funded research opportunities here for graduate students AND undergraduate students. The College of Engineering boasts a variety of top-notch research facilities and faculty. The opportunity to become involved in this type of research as an undergraduate is exceptional.

Visit our Student Research page for a summary of programs and opportunities open where our current students can engage in real research opportunities.