Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

Admission to the Major

Due to high demand, ALL engineering majors, including Structural Engineering, at the Jacobs School have been designated as oversubscribed and have been granted capped status.

Unfortunately, this means that many qualified, exceptional students will not receive admission into an engineering major.  This is due to the fact that the number of students interested in the Structural Engineering undergraduate program exceeds the resources available to accommodate this demand.  Providing a quality program is of the highest priority to the Department of Structural Engineering.

Please see the "Admissions" page on this website for additional information and including requirements for change of major applications.

Transfer Students

When planning their program, transfer students should be mindful of lower-division prerequisite course requirements, as well as for meeting collegiate requirements. Students transferring into Structural Engineering from outside UCSD have unique circumstances that do not always fit neatly into the course plan. Nonetheless, all of the same course requirements apply equally to all transfer students. Even though students may enter UCSD with junior-level standing, most transfer students should expect to take up to three years to complete all department requirements.  

Students transferring from California community colleges have typically planned for their transfer by using the ASSIST program that shows how various community college courses translate into UCSD courses. Transfer students are strongly encouraged, as soon as possible upon their arrival on campus, to meet with an Undergraduate Advisor to plan out their academic careers to facilitate their successful completion of the major.  Transfer students are encouraged to meet with an Undergraduate Advisor as soon as possible if they think they may have taken an equivalent major class prior to attending UCSD.  Some common major transfer courses include AutoCAD/SolidWorks, MatLab, Statics, Dynamics, and Materials. 

Academic Advising

Upon arrival, students should meet with the Undergraduate Advisor in the Structural Engineering Department to plan a program of study. The undergraduate advisor can be contacted through the Virtual Advising Center (vac.ucsd.edu) as well as by visiting during walk-in advising hours or by appointment.  The Undergraduate Advising Office is located in the SME building on the 3rd floor.  Please see Advisor Information for hours and appointment info.

Your academic plan may be revised in subsequent years, but revisions involving curricular requirements require approval by the Chair of the Undergraduate Affairs Committee. Because some courses and/or curricular changes may be made every year, it is imperative that students consult with the department's undergraduate advisor at least once a year.

Many Structural Engineering courses are offered only once a year and therefore should be taken in the recommended sequence. If courses are taken out of sequence, it may not always be possible to enroll in subsequent courses as desired or needed. If this occurs, students should seek immediate advice from the Undergraduate Advisor. When a student deviates from the sequence of courses specified for the curriculum in the UC San Diego General Catalog, it may be impossible to complete the Structural Engineering major within the normal four-year period.

In addition to the advising available through the Structural Engineering Undergraduate Advising Office, technical or career-related advice may be obtained from Structural Engineering faculty members. A specific Structural Engineering faculty advisor is assigned to each Structural Engineering student.  Students can find their faculty advisor information on the Advisor Information page.  

Program/Major Requirements

The B.S. programs require a minimum of 145 units, plus college requirements in humanities and social sciences. To graduate, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0, and the department requires at least a C- grade in each course required for the major.  All courses required for the major must be taken for a letter grade, including all lower division math and science courses.  Visit the Major Requirements page on this website to see a listing of all the courses required for the major.

Double Majors 

It is the policy of the Jacobs School of Engineering not to approve double majors within engineering. The Department of Structural Engineering supports that policy.

Program Alterations/Exceptions to Requirements

Variations from, or exceptions to, any program or course requirements are possible only if a petition is approved by the Chair of the Structural Engineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee before the courses in question are taken. The Undergraduate Student Petition form is available online and should be submitted to the Undergraduate Advisor.

Independent Study

SE students may take SE 199, Independent Study for Undergraduates, under the guidance of an SE faculty member. Taking SE 199s may not replace ABET approved courses. This course is taken as an elective on a P/NP basis. Under the following restrictive conditions, however, it may be used to satisfy upper-division technical course requirements for the major. The student must be in the SE major and the course must be taken for 4 units.

Students interested in taking an SE 199 course must identify a faculty member with whom they wish to work and propose a research or study topic. After obtaining the faculty member's concurrence on the topic and scope of the study, the student must submit a Special Studies Course form to the Undergraduate Advisor for review by the Structural Engineering Chair of the Undergraduate Affairs Committee. To seek technical elective credit students must also submit an undergraduate student petition form. The forms must be completed, approved, and processed prior to the beginning of the quarter in which the course is to be taken. Please keep in mind that registration into a 199 does not take place until the Special Studies form is received by the Registrars Office.


Students interested in participating in the instructional activities of the department may take SE 195, Undergraduate Teaching. Policy in this regard and the appropriate forms may be obtained from the Structural Engineering Student Affairs Office.

Bachelor’s/Master’s Program

The department offers a bachelor's/master's degree program to enable students to complete both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in an accelerated time frame. Undergraduate students in the Department of Structural Engineering who have reached junior status with a cumulative 3.5 GPA are eligible to apply. Acceptance into this program is an honor which carries with it practical benefits - the graduate application process is simplified (no GREs required) and advanced students are given access to graduate level courses. Upon acceptance as an undergraduate into the program, a faculty member will be assigned who will serve as the student's advisor. Interested students should review additional information here. Students must fulfill all requirements for the B.S. degree prior to being formally admitted to graduate status.