FAQs - Undergraduate

How do I design my academic plan?

Students can design their academic plan with their academic advisor (recommended) or with the CEE Undergraduate Director. Students can use any of the roadmaps as a guide for the B.S. requirement for Civil Engineering. 

What are Major Approved Electives?

Major Approved Electives are upper level courses chosen from the list in your CEE handbook. Students need 2 major approved electives. Students may also petition the department to use an upper level technical course in another department. The course needs to be a technical course with a technical prerequisite beyond the common curriculum or have an advanced standing (4000 level or higher and is limited to juniors or above).

What are Capstone Design and Design Courses?

These are upper level courses with a strong design component. Students may choose from a list of courses provided in the CE handbook. The Capstone design courses have an * and are in bold print; other design courses just have an * before the course. Students are required to take one capstone design and two design electives. It is okay for students to take more than one capstone design. It is very difficult to petition for a course not currently on the list to count as a design elective.

Can a Design Course be used as a Major Approved Elective?

Yes, you can use a design course to count as a major approved elective. But students cannot use a major approved elective to count as a design course.

What is an Advisor Approved Elective?

You are required to take 6 credits of advisor approved elective. This is usually a course that will help develop and broaden a student’s skills. These do not have to be technical courses. The student needs to discuss the advisor approved elective with his academic advisor and get their approval. The advisor or the student needs to inform the Undergraduate Coordinator of their decision via email. No course below 1100 can be used as advisor approved elective.

Can an ROTC course count as an Advisor Approved Elective?

Yes, you can use up to 6 credits of ROTC courses at or above the 3000 level. You would still need your advisor’s approval.

Which courses can I use to fulfill my Technical Communication requirement?

You can use ENGRC 3350, ENGRC 3500, BEE 4730, BEE 4890, ENGRD 2640 or MAE 4272. You can also arrange with the technical communication department to use your coop/internship to fulfill this requirement.

How do I know which courses can count as liberal studies?

There are two places you can check to see if a course counts as liberal studies. You can look at the Engineering College list of liberal studies courses that were petitioned and approved or denied or you can check the Courses of Study for the liberal studies designation after the course title.

How many credits are required to remain in good standing with CEE?

You must take at least 12 credits per semester to remain in good standing. However, in your final semester you may take less than 12 credits. You just need to make sure that dropping below 12 credits does not affect your student insurance, financial aid or scholarships, NCAA athletic status, or your student visa. Students need first investigate with the appropriate offices how this could impact them.

How do I calculate my major GPA?

Your major GPA is already calculated on your progress report. It is called your technical GPA. It consists of the Engineering Distribution courses, Core Courses, and Design and Major approved elective courses. 

What are the requirements for Dean’s List?

You must take 12 letter credits and have a GPA of at least 3.5.

How can I get a copy of my official transcript?

You can get a free copy of your transcript by going to University Registrar in B07 Day Hall or ordering it online.

Where can I find the college forms (for example, petitions, transfer credit application, etc)?

Registrar forms

Can I transfer a course from another university/college to Cornell?

Yes, you can transfer up to 18 credits as a matriculated student from another institution. You would need to complete the transfer credit application and attach a copy of the description or syllabus for the course and submit to the appropriate offices. (It is best to do this before taking the course.) If it’s a liberal studies, it would be submitted to Engineering Advising, if it’s a major course it would be submitted to the CEE department, if it’s part of the common curriculum (math, physics, chem., etc.), it needs to go to the appropriate department for approval prior to submission to Engineering Advising.

Can I use AP Statistic towards the Business minor?

Yes, Engineering does not normally accept AP statistics, but will for students pursuing the Business minor. You just need to contact the Engineering Registrar and have them add it to your transcript.

How do I find out about available research projects within CEE and elsewhere?

You can find information about research projects that faculty is working on by visiting the faculty website and emailing them about opportunities to help with their research.Further information on research opportunities can be found at the following sites:
Cornell Research
Undergraduate Engineering Research

How do I find out about available scholarships?

As we receive scholarship information, we will post items on CEE's website and distribute information to students.

Can I take coop courses during the summer, if I am not a coop student?

Yes, you can take any of the courses we offer during the summer. You can find out what’s being offered at the summer session website.

Can I change my faculty advisor?

Yes, you can change your faculty advisor by completing a change of advisor form. Have the new advisor sign the form and submit to the Undergraduate Coordinator.

How can I get information on graduate school and Early M.Eng.?

You can visit the College of Engineering Graduate Admissions page or contact the Graduate Coordinator in HLS 219.

What is ASCE?

ASCE is the Cornell Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The chapter gets involved in a large variety of professional and social activities. They organize community service projects, a fall picnic for the CEE community, and they participate in the ASCE National Conference which includes the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe competition. They also interact with the ASCE Ithaca Section. CEE students are encouraged to join and participate in ASCE.

What is AAEE?

AAEE is the Cornell chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. This is a newly formed organization on campus. The American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) Student Chapter brings environmental engineers and engineers in related fields together to share experiences and passions. Students can network with peers, faculty and professionals; participate in social events such as bowling, Farmer's Market trips, and community service. We will also provide feedback to the University about the newly accredited program.

Who employs your students?

Here are a few companies that have hired our students: ARUP, Clark Construction, Malcolm Pirnie, Parson and Brinckerhoff, Robert Silman Associates, SGH, Skanska, Stantec, Sterns & Wheeler, Thornton & Tomasetti, Turner Construction and Weidlinger, just to name a few.

If you do not find an answer you are looking for, we are here to help. Contact Laura Ricciuti, our undergraduate programs coordinator, and we will get back to you shortly.