Programs of study are well defined and structured. Although there is some latitude in the choice of electives, students must plan their schedules carefully to meet departmental, college, and university graduation requirements. Advising sessions focus on planning the sequence in which a student takes courses rather than selecting which courses are to be taken. The sequence is controlled largely by prerequisites. Due to the well-defined curricular patterns and limited choice of electives, advising sessions are typically brief. Some sessions may take longer due to more general discussions about careers and the overall university experience. Students are encouraged to make additional appointments for that purpose.
Students are required to meet with an academic advisor at least once per year, with some majors requiring an advising appointment each term before registration for the following term. The student's progress toward a degree and standing in the program are reviewed. Both student and advisor agree on a schedule of courses for the coming academic year or term as appropriate. A personal identification number (PIN) is provided to the student to allow completion of web registration.
Students are expected to assume an active role in this process by preparing for the advising session. With curriculum guides provided by the department, they should track their progress and plan their course work before the advising session. Students who anticipate problems in scheduling courses should plan a special meeting with their advisor before the regular advising session.
Upon admission to the university, engineering students are placed in the pre-engineering program. On a competitive basis, students who successfully complete a set of required lower division courses advance to the professional program. The major difference between the two programs is that students in the pre-engineering program may not take upper division courses offered within the College of Engineering.
New engineering students complete advising in the same manner as students who have been enrolled previously at OSU, with special attention to placement in the appropriate level of mathematics. Most students begin mathematics with the study of calculus. However, students who have completed high school without adequate preparation for calculus, or students with low mathematic scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, are advised to study college algebra, or calculus preparation.
All students should attend an orientation program before the start of their first term. These sessions are designed to provide information necessary for a smooth transition to OSU, to the College of Engineering, and to the School offering the major. During these orientation sessions, students meet with an engineering advisor and register for classes for their first term. Most new students begin with Fall term and attend the summer advising and registration program (START) that is offered several times, normally during June and July. Newly admitted students are notified of orientation dates by the Office of New Student Programs and Family Outreach.
Students who are not sure about a particular engineering major may enroll in the General Engineering program. This program's orientation course includes information about all engineering majors offered at OSU. Anytime during this first year program, students may transfer to the engineering major of their choice.
Students transferring to OSU have transcripts of previous work sent to the Office of Admissions, which issues an Advanced Standing Report. This report shows which of the student's completed courses are acceptable for transfer credit. Students then meet with an advisor from their School to find which of the acceptable credits satisfy requirements for their specific degree.
For students from other engineering schools or Oregon community colleges, the evaluation is relatively easy. For students from out-of-state colleges, non-engineering schools or other countries, transferring credits correctly can be a difficult experience. To minimize the difficulty, students should bring descriptive material (preferably their previous college catalog) to the advising session. Students should schedule an additional meeting with an advisor for transfer course articulation.
Transfer students who are admitted late may not have an Advanced Standing Report in time for advising and registration for their first term (START). In such cases, courses are scheduled for the coming term without the benefit of past performance records. Because this increases the possibility of scheduling students into inappropriate courses, every effort should be made to provide all required application materials to the Office of Admissions as early as possible.
There are two types of electives, free and restricted. For free electives, students may complete any course at OSU or any transferable course offered by another institution. The purpose of free electives is to bring a student's total completed credits to the minimum required for the degree.
Restricted electives are courses that must be taken to satisfy specific requirements. They are selected from a restricted set of possibilities. Schools provide information regarding restricted electives in their degree specific advising information.
Each student who receives a degree at OSU must complete a general education requirement known as the Baccalaureate Core. Baccalaureate Core requirements are described in the OSU General Catalog and in the Schedule of Classes.
Schools may further restrict selection of courses used to meet the Baccalaureate Core. Students should review School advising materials before selecting courses to meet this degree requirement.