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Your First Year in Engineering

During your first year in the engineering curriculum, you will enroll in important foundational math, science and engineering coursework. This coursework will include: calculus, physics, chemistry (for some majors), and the Fundamentals of Engineering course sequence.


You will be able to choose from a variety of calculus courses, depending on your preparation, your interest in additional curricular programs (e.g. double majors or minors) and your intended major in the College of Engineering. You should plan to take a math course each semester until you have completed your calculus requirements for your major, as it is foundational to your program and must be taken in sequence.

You can find more information about recommended math courses for your major on each major curriculum sheet, or via the resources below. When in doubt, ask your academic advisor!


All engineering students are required to take Physics 1250, the first calculus-based physics. Beyond that, the science courses you should take will depend on your intended engineering major. Most programs will require additional physics and/or chemistry coursework, depending on the foundational principles involved within that discipline. For more information, review your intended major's curriculum sheet. If you would like to take a science course sequence different than the sequence listed on your major's curriculum sheet, ask your academic advisor to learn about alternate options!

Fundamentals of Engineering

The Fundamentals of Engineering coursework allows you to explore the profession of engineering at the very start of your college experience! This multiple-course sequence will pursue these learning goals:

  • introduce you to a variety of engineering disciplines,
  • explore potential majors,
  • build your teamwork skills with hands-on lab experiences, and
  • strengthen your communication skills through reports and in-class presentations.

The Fundamentals of Engineering coursework can be completed through a variety of sequences. The specific sequence you will complete will depend on your previous credit and participation within co-curricular programs such as Green Engineering Scholars, Humanitarian Engineering Scholars, or Honors. However, all versions of the Fundamentals of Engineering sequences will meet the goals listed above.

Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)

ENGR 1181.01 - ENGR 1182.01

The FE sequence is the traditional version the majority of first year students in Engineering complete. ENGR 1181.01 covers content in EXCEL, MATLAB, and weekly hands-on lab experiences. ENGR 1182.01 involves a long-term design-build project, such as the advanced energy vehicle (AEV) or nanotechnology.

Fundamentals of Engineering for Scholars (FES)

ENGR 1181.02 - ENGR 1182.02

The FES sequence is a clustered version for students enrolled in the Green Engineering Scholars or Humanitarian Engineering Scholars program. The content is the same as the FE version but students are grouped within their living-learning community.

Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors (FEH)

ENGR 1281.0XH - ENGR 1282.0XH

The FEH sequence is a clustered version for students enrolled in the University Honors program. ENGR 1281.0XH includes EXCEL, MATLAB and an additional programming component of either C/C++ or LabView. ENGR 1282.0XH involves a long-term design build project, such as robotics, nanotechnology, or infrastructure. Students in the FEH sequence will also be clustered into mathematics and science courses for a highly integrated curricular experience.

Fundamentals of Engineering for Transfer Students (FET)

ENGR 1186 - ENGR 1187 - ENGR 1188

The FET sequence is an alternate version of the course sequence designed for transfer students who completed coursework similar to the Fundamentals of Engineering sequence at a previous institution. The content in FET is the same as FE. However, the topics in each class are arranged in a slightly different way. This allows transfer students to receive credit more closely aligned with the content they have completed previously and enroll in courses for the remaining components they need to complete.

Transfer students who have not previously taken coursework in MATLAB, SolidWorks, or a hands-on design-build engineering projects should complete the FE, FES, or FEH sequence.