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Department of

Structural Engineering

Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

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.  

General Education Requirements

For graduation each student must satisfy general-education course requirements determined by the student’s college, as well as the major requirements determined by the department. The colleges at UCSD require widely different general-education courses, and the number of such courses differs from one college to another. Each student should choose his or her college carefully, considering the special nature of the college and the breadth of general education.

The Structural Engineering B.S. program allows for general elective (GE) courses so that students can fulfill their college requirements.  It should be noted that some colleges may require more than the thirteen GE courses indicated in the curriculum table.  Students must consult with their college to determine which GE courses to take.

Major Requirements

Specific course requirements for the major are outlined in the table below. In addition to the required major courses, a suggested scheduling of general education courses are distributed in the curricula for students to use to meet college requirements. 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.

Students with different academic preparations may vary the scheduling of lower-division courses such as math, physics and chemistry, but should consult with the SE Undergraduate Advisor before doing so. Deviations in scheduling lower-division Structural Engineering courses are discouraged due to scheduling constraints. It is strongly advised that students taking courses outside UCSD seek prior approval from the appropriate departments before doing so. A tentative schedule of course offerings is available from the department each spring quarter for the following academic year.

Deviations from the program of study must be approved by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee prior to taking alternative courses. In cases where a student needs to take a course outside UCSD, prior departmental approval is essential. Technical Elective (TE) courses are restricted to meet ABET standards. Courses such as SE 195, SE 197 and SE 198 are not allowed as technical electives in meeting the upper-division major requirements. SE 199 can be used as a technical elective only under restrictive conditions. Policies regarding these conditions may be found in the Undergraduate Handbook available on this website.

Students with different academic preparations may vary the scheduling of lower-division courses such as math, physics and chemistry, but should consult the department prior to doing so. Deviations in scheduling lower-division Structural Engineering courses are discouraged due to scheduling constraints. It is strongly advised that students taking courses outside UCSD seek prior approval from the appropriate departments before doing so. A tentative schedule of course offerings is available from the department each spring quarter for the following academic year.

  Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter
Freshman Year Calculus I (Math 20A) Calculus II (Math 20B) Calculus III (Math 20C)
  Intro to Structures (SE 1) Mechanics (Phys 2A) Engin. Graphic Design (SE 3)
  Gen Chem I (Chem 6A) Gen Ed Elec & Magnetism (Phys 2B/2BL)
  Gen Ed Gen Ed Gen Ed
Sophomore Year Diff. Equations (Math 20D) Linear Algebra (Math 18) Vector Calculus (Math 20E)
  Statics (SE 101A) Dynamics (SE 101B) MatLab (SE 9)
  Fluids & Thermo (Phys 2C/2CL) Solid Mechanics I (SE 110A) Solid Mechanics II (SE 110B)
  Gen Ed Gen Ed Structural Materials (SE 105)
Junior Year Vibrations (SE 101C) Fluid Mechanics (SE 115) Finite Element Analysis (SE 131A)
  Stats & Probability (SE 125) Computing for Engin (SE 102) Structural Analysis II (SE 130B)
  Structural Analysis I (SE 130A) Focus Sequence Focus Sequence
  Gen Ed Gen Ed Gen Ed
Senior Year Computing in SE (SE 131B) Capstone Class Capstone Class
  Focus Sequence Focus Sequence Technical Elective
  Technical Elective Technical Elective Gen Ed
  Gen Ed Gen Ed Gen Ed

Gen Ed: General education requirement (varies by college).

Focus sequence courses: Students choose one of four focus sequences to complete from the following: 1) Civil Structures 2) Aerospace Structures, 3) Geotechnical Engineering, or 4) Structural Health Monitoring/Non-Destructive Evaluation (SHM/NDE).  For more info on specific course requirements in each focus sequence please see: Focus Sequences

Technical elective course: Students must take three technical elective (TE) courses chosen from a Preapproved Technical Electives list.  These courses are typically upper division courses in the Structural Engineering department or other engineering departments.  Students may also petition to have classes not on this preapproved list count towards their technical electives on a case by case basis.  All technical electives must be upper division courses (courses numbered 100 or higher).

Capstone Classes: Most students take either Design of Civil Structures I & II (SE 140A/B) or Aerospace Structural Design I & II (SE 143A/B) depending on their chosen focus sequence with the exception of students completing the Structural Health Monitoring/Non-Destructive Evaluation (SHM/NDE) focus sequence.

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.

For department exceptions current students should submit the following via the VAC for review: 1) specific petition request, 2) reason for the request. In cases where a student needs to take a course outside UCSD, prior departmental approval is essential.  Requests to take non-UCSD classes to fulfill major requirements also require the course syllabus which should be emailed to the SE Undergraduate advisor after a student submits their petition via the VAC.

Technical Elective (TE) courses are restricted to meet ABET standards. Courses such as SE 195, SE 197 and SE 198 are not allowed as technical electives in meeting the upper-division major requirements. SE 199 can be used as a technical elective only under restrictive conditions. Policies regarding these conditions may be found in the Undergraduate Handbook available on this website.

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 an EASY request to be reviewed by the department.  When completing the EASY request students must indicate the scope of their work and number of hours per week they will be working on the project.  The department follows the standard campus hourly expectation of 3 hours per week per unit (ie 12 hours per week for a 4 unit class). 

To seek technical elective credit students must also submit a petition request via the VAC which 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 EASY request is approved by the faculty sponsor, then the SE department, and then is received and processed by the Registrars Office.

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.

Teaching

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.

Transfer Students

When planning their program, transfer students should be mindful of lower-division prerequisite course requirements, as well as for meeting college 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 to contact the SE Undergraduate Advisor to plan out their academic plan as soon as their transfer credits have been evaluated during the summer prior to starting at UCSD.  It will be helpful to inform the advisor 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, or Solid Mechanics.  Students can petition equivalent transfer work by submitting their petition request in writing via the VAC if they have access to the VAC, or if they do not have access to the VAC, via email to the SE Undergraduate Advisor along with the syllabus of the previously completed course.  

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.


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