Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Undergraduate Students


General Questions

  • What is Senior Design?
  • The Senior Design Experience is a large-scale group project taken consecutively in the final Winter and Spring quarters at UC Davis. Under faculty supervision, students are put into groups and lead through the process of brainstorming and designing an engineering project in one area of specialization of their choice. Students have the opportunity to present their project at the end of the year at the Senior Design Showcase, a public event held on campus.
  • Are engineering students able to study abroad?
  • Yes! The easiest way to fit studying abroad in your schedule is to go during the summer, but going during the school year is also an option. With careful planning, you can enjoy being abroad at the same time as fulfilling your major requirements. Find out about programs that may be of greater interest to Civil Engineering students on our Studying Abroad page. You can also visit the Study Abroad Center for a full list of programs.
  • How do I change my major to Civil Engineering or declare a double major in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering?
  • For all students who matriculated to UC Davis as first year students:
    ♦   Be a registered student and have completed at least one quarter (minimum of 12 units) at UC Davis
    ♦   Have completed not more than 135 cumulative units (excluding AP units)
    ♦   Be in good academic standing and meet minimum progress requirements
    ♦   Have received a letter grade for all courses that satisfy Engineering degree requirements
    ♦   Have completed at least the following five courses: MAT 21A,B,C; PHY 9A; and CHE 2A
    ♦   Have a GPA of 2.000 (2.800 for Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering) or better in all completed MAT, PHY, BIS, and CHE courses required for your intended major, and have received a C- or better in each of these courses
    ♦   Have no grade lower than a C- in any completed engineering course required for your intended major(s) taken at UC Davis
    ♦   Have a 2.000 (2.800 for Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering) UC GPA in completed engineering courses.

    For all students who matriculated to UC Davis as transfer students:

    ♦   Be a registered student and have completed at least one quarter (minimum of 12 units) at UC Davis
    ♦   Have completed not more than 135 cumulative units (excluding AP units)
    ♦   Be in good academic standing and meet minimum progress requirements
    ♦   Have received a letter grade for all courses that satisfy Engineering degree requirements
    ♦   Have completed all transfer admission coursework and met GPA requirement (3.2 GPA from previous institution(s) for specific coursework). See specific coursework. A list of specific courses can also be found in our curriculum. For students who have not completed all transfer admission requirements at their previous institution, they must earn a 2.0 GPA or higher in these remaining courses at UC Davis, and receive a C- or better in each of these courses.
    ♦   Have no grade lower than a C- in any completed engineering course required for your intended major(s) taken at UC Davis
    ♦   Have a 2.000 (2.800 for Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering)  UC GPA in completed engineering courses.

    Once you have fulfilled the Change of Major requirements, you must complete a Change of Major webform. To have your change of major request reviewed, please meet with an CEE program advisor either during drop-in hours or by appointment. Change of majors forms will not be approved automatically (we need to meet with you first).
  • Can I double-major in Civil and Environmental Engineering? What's the difference?
  • Students may choose to declare both majors under the department. However, students must acknowledge that it may take more than the typical four years to complete both major requirements, and must be prepared to take on the additional workload. Students who double-major can expect to take a few extra summer sessions, an extra fall quarter, or a full fifth year at UC Davis.

    If you wish to double-major in both programs, it is highly recommended you meet with an advisor to create a graduation plan that meets all requirements. As both curriculums are constantly evolving to meet ABET requirements, it is essential for double-majoring students to stay on top of their course planning to prevent a delay in graduation.
  • How can I look up my engineering GPA? What engineering GPA do I need for graduation?
  • Log in to OASIS at Then select GPA Charts and Tools -> What If GPA -> By Subject tab. Select all  Engineering courses. Then hover over the Selected GPA. In order to graduate, you must have a 2.0 GPA in Engineering Coursework that was completed at a UC.
  • During my advising hold meeting, my advisor and I saved an academic plan online. How do I get back to that form?
  • Log in to OASIS at Then select Forms & Petitions -> Active Forms -> Academic Plan -> View Form.
  • I am interested in applying to graduate school. How do I get started?
  • General information on the graduate school application process is available through Student Academic Success Center Pre-Graduate Advising. The College of Engineering offers a 1 unit seminar every Winter Quarter titled “Gearing Up for Graduate School.” Admission requirements and application procedures for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis can be found here.

Research and Internships

  • I am interested in getting involved with research. How do I start this process?
  • You can visit the Undergraduate Research Center for help with finding a research opportunity. It is recommended that you meet with a faculty member whose research interests you. Please see our list of faculty and their research area. Sometimes persistence is needed to receive a position, so be prepared to email a few faculty members and follow-up with them in person.
  • Can I receive research or internship credit toward my degree?
  • Civil Engineering majors who participate in faculty sponsored group study or undergraduate research may use up to 6 units of ECI 198 (group study) and/or ECI 199 (research) to count toward the Civil and Environmental Engineering elective requirement. Students must have upper division standing (have completed more than 90 quarter units) to enroll in these units. An ECI 198/199 form must be completed (including the portion filled in and signed by the professor) and returned by the student to the advisor to receive a CRN#. Civil Engineering majors cannot apply ECI 192 (internship) credit towards their degree.

  • How can I find out about internship opportunities?
  • The Internship & Career Center, located in South Hall, has a great network of internship opportunities, including a job database Aggie Job Link and an engineering and physical science list serve. They also offer workshops on resume building, interviewing skills, finding internships, and much more. Be sure to also participate in the quarterly Internship and Career Fairs where many employers are looking for interns. You will find that that optimum time to do an internship is the summer after your junior year, as most companies seek students that have completed core engineering coursework. You can find a list of some companies and organizations that recruit students from our department here. Use your resources on campus, but also branch out to companies that don’t recruit directly from UC Davis. Networking is the key to finding an internship.

Advising Holds

  • What is the College of Engineering mandatory advising hold?
  • Annual advising is one component of the College of Engineering’s mandatory advising system to help students stay on track towards graduation. Every academic year, you will be required to meet with one of the department academic advisors to review progress towards graduation requirements. Because degree requirements are dynamic, meeting with advisors at least once a year is important to student success.

    The quarter in which you will have a hold to clear is determined by your year at UC Davis

    ♦   First year students/transfers and graduating seniors: By February 3, 2023.
    ♦   Sophomore students: By March 24, 2023.
    ♦  Junior students: By May 31, 2023.

  • How do I release my advising hold?
  • In order to have an annual advising hold released, students must create a draft academic plan for the next three (3) quarters. The academic plan should be created as a draft in OASIS (Online Advising Student Information System).

    Go to and then click Forms & Petitions -> Submit a New Form -> Academic Plan. Enter draft plan for the next  three quarters and save as a draft (do NOT submit). ALL HOLDS MUST BE CLEARED BY APPOINTMENT. All current Civil Engineering students may schedule an appointment through the appointment system. Non-Civil Engineering students should email to request access to the appointment system.

  • Will I get dropped from classes if I don’t clear my hold by the deadline?
  • You will not get dropped from classes if you do not clear your hold by the deadline. However, you will not be able to adjust your schedule or get into classes via wait list until your hold is cleared.

  • I have a Fall Quarter advising hold. Can I register for Winter Quarter courses if I haven’t cleared my hold by my pass times?
  • Yes, you can register for courses for the upcoming quarter. Fall Quarter advising holds do not affect registration until February 3. Winter Quarter advising holds do not affect registration until March 24. Spring Quarter advising holds do not affect registration until May 31.

Course Registration and Degree Requirements

  • What are my chances of getting into a class from the wait list?
  • Your chance of getting into a class from the wait list depends on what number you are on the wait list and how many students choose to drop the class. If you are still on the wait list the first day of class, you should attend lecture and get an idea of whether you will be able to enroll in the class. Please enroll in alternate open courses in case you cannot get into a class. You can drop these alternate courses once you have been admitted to the course from the wait list.
  • Can I take a course if I do not have the prerequisites?
  • Engineering is a discipline that requires mastery of prerequisite coursework to be successful in more advanced curriculum, so prerequisites are enforced in all College of Engineering courses.  If you enroll in a course without having completed the prerequisites, the instructor is authorized to drop you. Any student who re-adds a course after being dropped by the instructor may be referred to Student Judicial Affairs.

  • I am currently taking the prerequisite for a course that I just registered for next quarter. Will I be dropped?
  • No, if you are enrolled in the prerequisite course, and you receive the required prerequisite grade in the course, you will not be dropped. Students should plan to repeat any required course in which a grade of C- or better is not earned.

  • Can I take a course as Pass/No Pass?
  • Students in the College of Engineering may not take courses as Pass/No Pass (P/NP) if the coursework will be used for major requirements. Additionally, no courses offered in the College of Engineering can be taken as P/NP.

  • How can I drop a course after the drop deadline?
  • You may petition for a late drop if you can fully document that unforeseen circumstances beyond your control have affected your academic performance. Late drops will not be approved for poor academic performance, academic difficulties, change of interest in a course, or lack of midterm results. Please meet with a College of Engineering Academic Advisor to get more information: Academic Advising | College of Engineering (

  • Can I repeat a course more than once?
  • You are allowed to repeat a course one time for credit in which you received a D+, D, D-, or F.If you wish to repeat a course for a second time you must submit a Petition for Multiple Repeat of a Course. If your petition is approved, you will be allowed to repeat the course another time. If you are unsure whether you should repeat a course for a second time, please consult with your program advisor.

  • I took a course at community college/another institution over the summer and need to transfer the credit. How do I do that?
  • Contact the college or institution and request that your official transcript is sent to:

    Undergraduate Admissions
    University of California, Davis
    One Shields Avenue
    Davis, CA 95616-8507

    Be sure that your final grade is posted to your record before ordering the transcript.

  • What class should I take to fulfill the Upper Division English Composition requirement?
  • There are six UWP classes that you can choose from to fulfill the Upper Division English Composition requirement, each of which focuses on a different type of writing. The class UWP 101 is general advanced composition, the classes in the UWP 102 series focus on writing done in specific academic disciplines, and the classes in the UWP 104 series focus on writing done in distinct professions. These six classes are listed below and linked to their expanded course descriptions:

    ♦   UWP 101 – Advanced Composition
    ♦   UWP 102E – Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering
    ♦   UWP 102G – Writing in the Disciplines: Environmental Writing
    ♦   UWP 104A – Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
    ♦   UWP 104E – Writing in the Professions: Science
    ♦   UWP 104T – Writing in the Professions: Technical Writing

  • Can I take a test instead of a class to fulfill the Upper Division English Composition Requirement?
  • If you pass the Upper Division Composition Exam, you do not have to take a course in Upper Division Composition. However, it is strongly recommended that you take the course because it gives you valuable skills and experience that you will not receive from taking the exam. Also, the pass rate from the exam is usually below 50%. The exam is given the 4th Saturday of each quarter and you have no more than 2 chances to pass the exam.

  • Can I receive a PTA number to register for a course?

  • PTA numbers will not be distributed during pass one registration. We will only consider issuing PTAs to students during pass two registration in the following situations:

    ♦   You are a graduating student, meet all prerequisites, and must take this specific ECI course this quarter (and there are no alternative available options) otherwise your graduation will be delayed. You must provide email documentation from your academic advisor confirming you have no other options and must take this course now to graduate on time. Even if documentation is provided, the department may still deny the PTA request if the course cannot accommodate additional students.
    ♦   You were dropped from the course due to non-payment.
    ♦  You were dropped from the course due to an administrative (University) error.
    ♦  You meet all the prerequisites, there is room in the course, it is after the 12th day of instruction, and your instructor has approved your PTA request (e.g. you are adding a 198 or 199 later in the quarter).
    ♦  Your pre-requisite petition was denied, but you have proof of meeting the pre-requisites. 

    Please see our Enrollment Policies page to view more information about receiving PTA numbers. 


Exams, Accreditation and the Profession

  • What is the FE? What is an EIT?
  • The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a computer based test designed for recent graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. Those who pass the FE may apply for Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certification through the State of California. Certification as an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) is the first step required under California law towards becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) (see below). For more information, please visit: and
  • What is a PE?
  • A Professional Engineer (PE) is someone who has obtained a license to practice engineering from their state’s licensure board. Professional licensure protects the public by enforcing the standards of engineers. Becoming a licensed Professional Engineer can sometimes allow you to rise to management positions more quickly or earn a higher salary than your colleagues. There are several steps to becoming a PE, including earning EIT certification, graduating from an ABET accredited engineering program (see below), and passing the national Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam, passing any state-specific exams, and obtaining state-specific qualifying experience.

    For more information, please visit:

  • What is ABET accreditation?
  • ABET accreditation assures that a program has met quality standards set by the profession. Graduating from an ABET accredited program is one of several steps toward earning a Professional Engineer License (PE). Some companies, especially governmental agencies, only hire employees who have graduated from an accredited program. Learn more about accreditation by visiting the ABET website.

  • What types of companies and organizations hire graduates from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering?
  • You can find a list of some companies and organizations that recruit students from our department here. You may be able to find internship and job opportunities by contacting these organizations directly. Additional data on what Civil Engineering students can do are posted on the Internship and Career Center website.

  • Does UC Davis have an architecture program?
  • UC Davis does not currently have an undergraduate program in general architecture. However, the university does offer three architecture-related majors: Landscape Architecture (LDA), Sustainable Environmental Design (SED), and Art History (AHI) with an emphasis in Architectural History. Read more.

  • I am interested in architecture. What are my options since UC Davis doesn’t have a program?
  • Do not fret! You can finish your undergraduate program here at Davis and continue onto a Master’s program in architecture. You do not need to necessarily take LDA, SED, or AHI at Davis; graduate programs see people apply from many different disciplines. Take the quick quiz to find a good graduate program for you. That website is also a great portal to help you explore the different architecture schools and programs around the country.

If you still have questions after reading through the FAQs, please visit the undergraduate advising staff during drop-in advising or email