Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


It’s important to me to finish my engineering degree in four years. Is this possible?

While it is possible to complete an engineering degree at UC Merced within four years, some students might take up to five years. Because the majority of engineering classes build on other classes, if you have to retake a class or place at a preparatory level for writing, math or chemistry, you will need more than eight semesters to complete your degree (but no more than 10). In order to make up time, one strategy is to take some lower-division math or science classes during summer session. Another strategy is to take extra units during the regular academic year, but this is not recommended.

I am not sure what type of engineering major I want to pursue. Do I have to declare a specific major?

Freshman and sophomore engineering students have the option of declaring “undeclared engineering” as their major. Students are encouraged to talk to professors, partake in Engineering Service Learning and attend student chapter meetings of professional engineering organizations to explore UC Merced engineering majors. Once a student reaches junior standing, she/he will need to declare a specific major using a change of major form found on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Note: Changing your major after your freshman year might add time to your degree completion time.

I failed the prerequisite for a class that is offered only once a year, what do I do now?

Failing a prerequisite is going to add time to your degree completion. Make the best of your situation and take classes that will strengthen your preparation for when you face this class again and add depth to your degree — for example, more technical electives and independent research units. The focus should always be on completing your degree well instead of completing it quickly.