General Advising Information for New Students

Rationale

Unlike most majors where the normal procedure is to take "University Studies" courses early while you decide on your major, technical students must take specific courses from the first semester. Without careful planning, you will find yourself behind with no way to graduate in the normal four-year period. The reason is that many of the courses are sequential, making it impossible to double-up. For example, the 300 level physics courses require completion of two sophomore physics courses which require completion of certain mathematics courses. The general philosophy is to enroll in as many technical courses as you can handle and then "fill in" with University Studies courses to complete your load. The following "rules of thumb" will be helpful.
  • The courses needed for first year of  Physics, Applied Physics, and Transfer Engineering programs are nearly identical. It is possible to change your mind after the first year with no loss of time or credit.

First Priority  (more information on where to start)

Mathematics is the gateway to many of the technical courses. Until you have completed Calculus III, your first course selection each semester should be the most advanced math course you are ready to take. If you intend to transfer to another university it is important that you complete the entire calculus sequence on this campus.

Second Priority

Enrolling in a physics course for which you are prepared is the second priority. Success in the first few physics courses is the best way to find out if you are really interested in engineering or physics. If you have taken trigonometry or pre-calculus then you are ready for the 132 electronics course. If you have calculus tools (ask what this means) then you are ready for physics 211–mechanics and heat.

Third Priority

All of the technical programs require chemistry and computer science courses. These courses will also provide background helpful for your other classes. It is a good idea to take Chem 111, 112 and CSCI 151 early in your career. Applied Physics and engineering programs require computer-aided drafting, CAD. The transfer engineering CAD courses on this campus are ENGR 111 and ENGR 112.

University Studies Courses

All degree programs in the state of Texas require two freshman composition courses, two political science courses, and two history courses. Beyond these six courses, if you transfer to another university there is some danger that some US courses might not apply toward your degree. You are safe taking Eng 101, 102: PSci 220, 221: Hist 121, 122.