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Advising Policies

School of Engineering Advising Policies

Download a copy of the School of Engineering Undergraduate Handbook for quick reference.

Contacting School of Engineering (SoE) Advisors

  • Email is the preferred method of communication in SoE. Students contacting SoE advisors via their UC Merced email or voicemail should expect responses within 24 hours Monday through Friday. During peak advising periods, response times might be longer. Include your Student ID in all correspondance. 

Major Change

  • Any SoE student who wishes to change to another engineering major must have at least a 2.0 term and cumulative GPA.
  • Any student from outside SoE who wishes to declare an engineering major must complete Math 021 with a C- or better and have a least a 2.0 term and cumulative GPA.
  • Other major-specific criteria may be considered during the major change process (ex. successfully completing CSE 020 when changing to computer science and engineering).


  • Every student (except transfer students) must bring a copy of his or her Audit to every meeting with an academic advisor in the School of Engineering. No exceptions.

  • Students who are five or more minutes late to a scheduled appointment with their advisor will be asked to reschedule.

Independent Research

  • The first step in registering for Independent Research (195) is having a discussion with the faculty member (not lecturer or TA) with whom you wish to work. Independent Research can be 1-4 units, depending on the amount of lab/research contact. The rule of thumb is one unit for every three hours per week of contact. Up to 4 units of Independent Research can be used for technical elective credit in engineering majors. Depending on the area of research and the faculty member involved, the prefix for Independent Research may include BIOE, CSE, ENVE, ME or MSE. You will need to download and complete the Independent Study form. Once you have filled out the form with your faculty advisor, bring the form to the SoE reception desk (SE2, room 315) to obtain the dean designee's signature. You will then be contacted to pick up your form for you to submit to the Students First Center.

Education Abroad Program (EAP)

  • Students interested in studying abroad should contact UC Merced Study Abroad. Academic advisors will need at least two weeks to review and complete academic planning forms from the EAP office.

Courses Taken Outside UC Merced

  • Each student who takes an engineering course at an institution outside UC Merced and wants it to count toward his or her major is required to complete the School of Engineering Course Approval Web form. Once a syllabus has been submitted, it may take up to four weeks to be reviewed before a student receives a decision. Contact your academic advisor for more information.

  • For courses that would fall under the School of Natural Sciences (BIO, CHEM, ESS, MATH, PHYS), you will need to complete the School of Natural Sciences Course Approval form online. For courses offered in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA), you will need to complete the SSHA Course Approval form online.

Undergraduate Graduation Application

Residency Requirement - A minimum of 24 of the last 36 units in academic residence is required prior to the award of the bachelor’s degree. Under certain circumstances, the appropriate dean or Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education may grant exceptions, such as when a student attends classes at another UC campus as an approved visitor or participates in one of the following: UC Education Abroad, UC Washington Center Program or UC Sacramento Center.

Scholarship Requirement - To receive a bachelor’s degree, a candidate must have a cumulative 2.0 grade point average for all courses attempted in the University.

Degree Check - The Office of the Registrar will check all pertinent records to ensure that the student has completed a minimum of 120 units and appropriate institutional requirements. The student’s School will check for the fulfillment of major and School requirements.

Enrollment in Excess Units

  • Students must apply for enrollment in excess units each semester. Approval for enrollment in more than 18 units is conditional and determined by the student’s academic advisor.
  • Students must have a previous term and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for enrollment in more than 18 units in a single semester. GPA requirements might be higher for first-year students.

    Complete the School of Engineering General Petition to request enrollment in over 18 units.