The engineering degree programs within the Whitacre College of Engineering consist of a first-year student foundational curriculum followed by an upper-division program that includes courses taken in the sophomore, junior, and senior years. Upon completion of the foundational curriculum, a student must apply and be successfully admitted to a Whitacre College upper-division degree program. Students who are not successfully admitted to an upper-division degree program must transfer out of the college.
First-Year Student Admission to the Whitacre College Foundational Curriculum
Beginning Fall 2020, the Whitacre College of Engineering began a common engineering core (CEC) for all engineers and computer scientists. This block of courses is designed to introduce students to concepts and fundamentals that will be necessary in upper division courses. The CEC comprises the foundational curriculum that all students must complete before taking upper division (junior – 3000 level and senior – 4000 level) courses. The CEC includes ENGR 1110 (Engineering Seminar), ENGR 1320 (Bio-Inspired Design for Engineers), ENGR 1330 (Computational Thinking with Data Science), ENGR 2392 (Engineering Ethics and Its Impact on Society), CHEM 1307/1107 (Principles of Chemistry I AND the lab), PHYS 1408 (Principles of Physics I), ENGL 1301 (Essentials of College Rhetoric), ENGL 1302 (Advanced College Rhetoric), MATH 1451 (Calculus 1 with Applications), and MATH 1451 (Calculus 1 with Applications).
For a first-year student entering prior to January 2013, the criterion for admission to the Whitacre College Foundational Curriculum requires that the student must have the academic preparation necessary to begin an engineering degree program. Specifically, a student must be qualified to enroll in MATH 1451 (Calculus I) or higher.
Effective January 2013 and later, the criterion for admission to the Whitacre College Foundational Curriculum requires that a first-year student or transfer student with fewer than 12 hours of transfer credit must be accepted to the university with assured admission status. Students who are assured admit and not TSI compliant will be admitted to Texas Tech as a University ExploreSTEM student. The criteria used to determine assured admission status are SAT/ACT scores and class rank as shown in the undergraduate admission section of this catalog and summarized below.
|Minimum Test Scores for
|Top Ten Percent
(other than top 10 percent)
Students who do not meet the assured admissions requirements may enter the ExploreSTEM Program and then work to qualify as a Foundational Curriculum Engineering Student. Students who are assured admit and not TSI compliant will be admitted to Texas Tech as a ExploreSTEM student. Upon completion of the Foundational Curriculum, a student must apply and be successfully admitted to a Whitacre College of Engineering upper-division degree program. Students who are not successfully admitted to an upper-division degree program must transfer out of the college.
The Whitacre College of Engineering has partnered with Texas Tech University Advising to create the TTU ExploreSTEM Program, a student retention and success initiative that provides intense academic advising and support as students build the requisite math skills to be successful in an engineering degree program. While in ExploreSTEM, students will enroll in normal university core curriculum and foundational math courses.
Engineering presents an extremely challenging course of study. For students who determine that engineering is not an appropriate choice, the advisors in University Advising have the specialized training and are equipped with the tools necessary to assist students in finding a course of study that is best suited to their unique talents and interests. The ultimate priority is for every student to graduate successfully from a best-fit major.
Admission to a Whitacre College of Engineering Degree Program
All new admissions to the Whitacre College initially work to complete a foundational curriculum consisting of English I, English II, Calculus I, and Calculus II plus two science courses and a first engineering course that vary among the engineering degree programs. The foundational curriculum is supplemented with courses from the university core curriculum and first general engineering courses (statics, thermodynamics, circuits, and materials science) to provide the opportunity for full course loads and scheduling flexibility.
When the foundational curriculum has been completed, students apply for admission to the upper division of their degree program. The acceptance criterion is based exclusively on a Texas Tech cumulative GPA that includes a minimum of 12 hours of coursework from the foundational curriculum. The specific GPA standard varies among the degree programs and may change from one academic year to the next as necessary to align enrollments with the educational resources.
Students must be prepared to make an alternate choice of major if their foundational curriculum GPA does not qualify them for their preferred major. Students who are not successfully admitted to an upper-division degree program are not allowed to enroll in engineering courses and must transfer out of the Whitacre College.
For more information on transfer admissions, visit the Transfer Students page.
Math Placement Exam (MPE)
Placement in entry-level mathematics courses (0301-2322) is based on:
- Appropriate previous prerequisite collegiate mathematics credit, or
- Results of the departmentally administered MPE at Texas Tech
The exam can be taken on the math website at www.math.ttu.edu/placement and can also be retaken.
Students without appropriate prerequisite collegiate mathematics credit will be placed into entry-level courses based on the results of the MPE. More information on the Math Placement Exam, including a sample exam, is available at www.math.ttu.edu/placement
Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE)
Any student required to take CHEM 1307 (Principles of Chemistry I) must take the Texas Tech University Chemistry Placement Examination (CPE). Options available based upon the CPE score are discussed on the CHEM 1307 Assessment Results webpage.
More information on the Chemistry Placement Exam is available at www.depts.ttu.edu/chemistry/departmental/cpex.php
Choosing High School Courses
What courses do I take in high school if I want to be an engineer?
Engineering coursework at Texas Tech University builds on a strong academic foundation of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and other disciplines in high schools. View this guide, Preparing for a Degree in Engineering: Suggested Courses for High School Students to get advice on a suggested course flow that will help you to build a strong academic foundation in high school and prepare you for your time at Texas Tech as a Red Raider!
Transfer students represent a key component of the Whitacre College of Engineering's student population. That's why we teamed up with community colleges throughout Texas to make it easier for students to transfer their work to Texas Tech University through our 2+2 programs. These programs allow students to complete key lower-division course a community college and through distance education. In this way, when students arrive, previous work will transfer smoothly and it is easier to begin upper-level courses. To find out more details about the program, please speak to your local community college advisors.