It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the University of Florida Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. The Engineering Advising Center is privileged to provide opportunities and services that promote development of the whole student academically, socially, emotionally, and
Our First Year Advising Team has put together this Family Guide to Student Excellence to further engage and enlighten you about your student’s experience, available resources, and ways you may support them during their first year in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.
We are dedicated to excellence and continual improvement of this guide. Please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any suggestions. Again, welcome, and I wish you and your family an enjoyable year and college experience.
Curtis Taylor, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida
Engineering students should be prepared to declare a major by the end of their third semester at the university. It is not unusual for students to change majors in their first year, whether they choose to pursue a different engineering discipline or change to an entirely different field of study. It can take time to discover your interests, passions and aptitudes. Academic advisors and college life coaches work with each student to help them identify their goals.
Resources for exploring engineering majors
EGS1006 Introduction to Engineering: This 1-credit seminar style class is offered in summer B, fall and spring. It takes students through each of the engineering majors offered at UF and provides information on the kinds of research and industry opportunities available to graduates.
Review the course plans: Understanding the curriculum can go a long way to helping students choose a major. Visit the departmental web sites, too, for an overview of what each engineering discipline does. Keep in mind that engineering is interdisciplinary, so there is always overlap among programs.
Competition teams and student organizations: Getting involved in engineering related organizations can provide hands-one experience and industry contacts. Students can attend the New Student Welcome in the fall to see all of our student organizations and their activities. More information, including meeting times, is listed on the Benton Engineering Council site.
Research: Conducting research under the supervision of a university faculty member provides insights into cutting edge applications of classroom concepts. Research opportunities are available to students at all levels, including freshmen. The Center for Undergraduate Research offers assistance in finding research projects. Students can also conduct their own research projects through the University Scholars Program.
Career Connections Center: The Career Connections Center offers multiple resources for exploring a wide range of majors, including a career interest inventory called CHOMP.
Peer Advisors: Engineering Peer Advisors are happy to talk with you about their experiences in engineering majors, their goals, and how they determined the best fit major for them.
Students who enter the university as freshmen are allowed two drops in their first 60 hours at UF, and two drops after 60 hours. AA degree transfer students are allowed two drops.
Students should meet with their academic advisor if they are considering dropping a class. While dropping a class can be the right decision, students should be aware of options and possible consequences.
Students who are thinking of dropping a class due to grades may benefit from restructuring study time, joining a study group, or taking advantage of tutoring resources.
Students can request a drop via Student Self Service, but they must speak to an advisor so that the request can be approved.
Gatorlink email is a primary means of communication with students. Encourage your student to check his or her Gatorlink account regularly. We cannot communicate via outside email accounts.
All First Year students are also added to the First Year Engineering Advising course, which they will find on their Canvas link. This uses the same format as other UF classes. Announcements, critical dates, forms for academic planning, and other information are posted on Canvas.This is a mandatory course for all first year engineering students. There is no tuition cost associated with this course.
If a student does not see “First Year Engineering Advising” on the list of Canvas courses, then he/she should come to 204 Weil to be added.
FALL SEMESTER email notifications
- Week 1 — Advisor assignment notification and Canvas information
- Week 3 — Developing a 5 semester pan and scheduling an advising meeting
- Week 6 — Quick check, registration info
- Week 9 — Registration preparation follow-up, drop/withdraw deadlines, mid-term evaluation
- Week 11 — Preparing for finals
- Other messages and announcements will be sent during the term and posted to the Canvas site
Although we rely heavily on email to help us get information to students, email is not the most effective means of communicating if an issue is urgent or requires immediate response. Students are encouraged to come to the Center for Student Excellence in 204 Weil or to call us at 352-392-0944.
We do our best to respond to email messages within 48 hours, not including weekends and holidays. During peak periods, the response time may be longer.
Critical dates and deadlines are published by the university for each academic term.
Encourage your student to pay close attention to:
- Drop/add (A period for adjusting schedules. After the deadline, students are fee liable for all courses on their schedules. Note that the summer drop/add period is two days, so pay close attention to making schedule changes during the summer terms.)
- Fee payment
- Drop/withdraw by college petition
Students can come to 204 Weil Hall, the Center for Student Excellence, with questions.
Critical tracking (CT) courses provide the foundation for success in upper division engineering courses. CT courses include calculus, physics and chemistry for all engineering majors. Some majors have additional CT courses. CT courses are identified in boldface type in the University of Florida catalog.
To remain in good standing in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 in CT courses. Some majors have higher critical tracking GPA requirements. Students are also expected to complete the CT course work within 5 semesters (not counting summer terms for regular students or not counting fall terms for Innovation Academy students).
Students are allowed two attempts at CT courses. If a course is repeated, the college will use the higher grade in calculating the CT GPA. However, a student who needs to repeat multiple CT courses will need to work closely with an academic advisor to develop a plan for moving forward, whether in engineering or in another program of study. Students who must repeat critical tracking courses will be placed on probation. Students who need to repeat more than two critical tracking courses may not be allowed to continue in an engineering major.
Our team of dedicated professional advisors is supported by 20+ certified College Peer Advisors, who staff our office Monday through Friday. They are available to provide information, support and resources to all engineering students. They also host information sessions for prospective Gator Engineers.
Students who have completed their first year of engineering course work can apply to become Peer Advisors where they will gain leadership, communication, and service skills.
Many freshmen excelled in high school with relative ease. As a result, they may expect that the study habits that they used In high school will allow them to succeed in college. In fact, they may need to make significant adjustments to studying in order to succeed in university level courses.
Engineering students should expect to spend 10-12 hours per week outside the classroom on each math, science, and engineering course. Students are encouraged to treat their academic programs like a full time job. With planning, there is plenty of time for studying, involvement, and fun. Study skills workshops are offered each semester to assist students in developing an effective study plan.
Time management is a key factor in mastering concepts and recognizing how to apply them both in exams and in projects. It is important to study in a way that allows the student to fully grasp underlying concepts, rather than cramming before exams. Last minute studying does does not promote retention of learning which can cause problems later in courses where success depends upon mastery of material in foundation classes. Grades matter, but mastery matters more.
The State of Florida requires that undergraduate students complete 9 hours of summer credit at a Florida state university. Summer hours at a state or community college do not count toward this requirement. Please review the official university policy in the catalog.
Engineering students who complete a full-time engineering summer internship, summer research, or 6 credit hours of summer study abroad can petition to waive the 9 credit hour requirement once they have completed at least 76 credit hours. Documentation is required.
The summer requirement can also be waived for military obligations, financial hardship, or other extenuating circumstances.
Students should see their academic advisors for a supporting statement prior to submitting the petition.