FAQs

Calculating Your GPA

Your GPA is calculated by taking your Michigan Honor Points (MHP) and dividing that by your Michigan Semester Hours (MSH).  These totals are listed on your unofficial transcript.  Only graded courses taken at UM-Ann Arbor are calculated into your GPA.

The equation for GPA is: Total MHP / Total MSH = GPA

Here’s a full list of all grades and their numerical equivalent:

Letter Grade

Honor Points
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
E 0.0
Non-graded courses
e.g. P, F, CR, NC
0.0

An example of how you may calculate your GPA is below:

Course MSH (Credits) Grade MHP
Math 115 4 C (2.0) 8.0
Engr 100 4 B (3.0) 12.0
Chem 130 3 A- (3.7) 11.1
Chem 125 & 126 2 A (4.0) 8.0
Engr 110 2 A (4.0) 8.0

For this example, you would add up the MHP (total is 47.1) and divide by the the total MSH (15).  This students GPA is 3.14.

Chemistry FAQ
  • If I took a chemistry lab in high school, do I still have to take a lab class with Chemistry 130? My friends in LSA don’t.
    You are required to take the Chemistry 125/126 labs to fulfill the Engineering chemistry core requirement. The College of Engineering does not accept high school chemistry lab experience. The exception is if you receive a satisfactory score or grade in the Chemistry AP, A-Level, or IB Exams.
  • I placed into Chemistry 130, and plan to take Chemistry 210/211 in the Winter Term.  Do I also have to take Chemistry 125/126?
    No. You do not have to take the Chemistry 125/126 labs if you are planning to take Chemistry 210/211. Only one chemistry lab is required, and Chemistry 211, the concurrent lab with 210, will fulfill the requirement for the CoE.
  • I am taking Chemistry 210/211 in the Fall Term. Will this fulfill my chemistry lab requirement?
    Yes. Only one chemistry lab is required, and chemistry 211, the concurrent lab with 210, will fulfill your lab requirement for the CoE.
  • I placed into Chemistry 210 on the Chemistry Placement Exam. Will I receive credit for Chemistry 130?
    No. You do not receive college credit for the U-M Chemistry Placement Exam.
  • I placed into Chem 210/211, but it’s not required for my intended major. Do I still have to take this course?
    The Chemistry placement test is a suggestion, and not a hard rule. Chem 210/211 (Organic Chemistry) is only required for Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and pre-health. If you are not interested in pursuing any of these options and do not have AP/IB/A-Level chemistry credit, then you can take Chem 130/125/126 (General Chemistry) instead.
Drop/Add & Pass/Fail FAQ
  • I am taking an LSA class. Do the LSA drop/add deadlines apply?
    No, the LSA deadlines do not apply to Engineering students. The College of Engineering has its own drop/add and pass/fail deadlines that you will follow for all of your classes, regardless of the School or College offering the course. To see the deadlines for this term, you can check the CoE Bulletin.
  • When can I drop/add/edit a course? What shows up on my transcript when I do this?
    • During the first three weeks of class (before the third week Drop/Add deadline): Students are free to drop and add courses on Wolverine Access during this period. Any classes that are dropped will disappear entirely from the student’s transcript.
    • After the third week deadline through the ninth week of the term: During this period, students will need to submit a Late Drop/Add/Edit/Swap request through Wolverine Access. These requests must be approved by the instructor, the advisor, the CoE Registrar, and then the University Registrar. Courses dropped during this period will appear with a grade of “W” on the transcript.
    • After the ninth week deadline: During this period, courses must be added or edited using a paper Add/Drop form obtained from your academic advisor. Late Drops for individual classes must be petitioned through the Scholastic Standing Committee, and if approved, will appear with a grade of “W” on the transcript.

For more information about dropping/adding courses, please refer to the Add/Drop/Edit/Swap & Course Withdrawals Policies listed in the CoE Bulletin. For information about full-term withdrawals (dropping all classes at any point in the semester), refer to the Transfers, Withdrawals, Readmission FAQ Site in the CoE Bulletin.

  • What will it mean if I take a “W” on my transcript?  Does this look bad?
    If you drop a class outside of the three-week Drop/Add period, you will receive a grade of “W” on your transcript. This means that you have withdrawn from the class, and it does not affect your GPA in any way. For classes that are required prerequisites or core/major requirements, these will need to be retaken for a grade at UM or elsewhere. 

    Sometimes, students worry that a “W” will “look bad” on their transcript. However, one W will not have much effect, especially if you are doing well in your other courses and successfully pass the withdrawn course later on. To get more information about how a “W” will affect internship/job applications, please visit the ECRC and/or your intended major advisor.

  • Which classes can I take pass/fail?
    Elective courses that you are using to fulfill the Intellectual Breadth or General Elective requirements are the only courses that can be taken pass/fail. This is limited to two classes per term (one course in a Spring/Summer half term), for an overall total of 14 pass/fail credits. For more information on the CoE’s pass/fail policy, refer to the College Bulletin and ask your advisor!
  • How do I change a class from graded to pass/fail?
    You can change a class to pass/fail in two ways:
    • While registering: In the process of putting a course into your backpack, you will see a dropdown menu on the right side of the “Enrollment Preferences” page (where you confirm the time you’re registering for, make sure that the class is open, etc.). “Graded” will automatically be selected, but if a class is also being offered pass/fail, then you will be able to select the “Optional Pass/Fail” option instead. Save your selections and proceed with registering for the class as normal.
    • After registering (until the 9th week deadline): To change a class from graded to pass/fail after you have already registered, you will need to use the Edit function on Wolverine Access (at the top of your Backpack, right after Add, Drop, and Swap). Select the course that you would like to update, and it will take you to the “Enrollment Preferences” page. Using the dropdown menu on the right-hand side of the page, change the class from “Graded” to “Optional Pass/Fail”. Save your selections, and the class will update in your schedule.  *Note: After the 3rd week of the term, you will be prompted to complete the “Late Edit” form, which will be directed to your advisor.
Engr 100 & Engr 101 FAQ
  • Do I have to take Engr 100 and 101 in my first year?
    Yes. Engr 100 and Engr 101/151 are required for all CoE students and must be taken in the first year. These courses are intended by CoE to be first-year courses similar to First Year Writing in LSA and first-year cohort courses in other Schools and Colleges on campus, therefore they are not as useful to you in your second year as they are in your first. Additionally, these courses often serve as enforced prerequisites for many introductory major courses!
  • Do I have to take Engr 100, even though I am considering transferring to LSA or a different School or College on campus?
    Engr 100 must be elected by all first-year Engineering students. If you are considering transferring out of Engineering, meet with an EAC advisor to discuss your options.
  • Should I enroll in Engr 101 or 151 to satisfy the engineering computing requirement?
    The engineering computing requirement can be satisfied through either Engr 101 or 151. Engr 151 covers the fundamentals and languages covered in Engr 101 plus additional topics in object-oriented programming and engineering analysis. Engr 151 moves at a much faster pace, but, like Engr 101, does not presume prior knowledge of programming language specifics. Engr 151 is often a good option for students who have previous programming experience!
  • I took AP/IB Computer Science in high school. What does this credit count for?
    If you received credit for AP Computer Science Principles or IB HL Computer Science, you will receive credit for EECS 101. This credit will count toward your general electives, and you will still need to take Engr 101 or 151 for credit.

    If you received a 5 on AP Computer Science A, you will receive credit for EECS 180. For most majors, EECS 180 will fulfill the Engr 101/151 requirement. Speak with your academic advisor to determine how EECS 180 meets the requirements for your major of interest.

  • I do not have credit for Engr 101 but would like to skip over this requirement to take EECS 280. How do I do this?

    Sometimes, students without credit for Engr 101/151 opt to take EECS 280 instead if they have extensive prior coding experience. Any student interested in this option must complete the EECS 280 diagnostic test found on the EECS website; the EECS department will then view the results and give overrides as necessary for the course.
Foreign Languages FAQ

CoE students do not have a language requirement, but you are encouraged to study a language, particularly if you are interested in advanced language courses, language-related minors such as the International Minor for Engineers, the Engineering Global Leadership program, study abroad, and other opportunities which require or recommend language proficiency.

Incoming Engineering students are encouraged to take language placement exams prior to Orientation (or as early as possible) to qualify for more advanced language courses, or to demonstrate proficiency for language-related opportunities. 

Please consult the Credit for Foreign Language policy and the CoE Language Placement Exam FAQs for detailed information on this topic. 

Intellectual Breadth & General Elective FAQ
  • What is the difference between Intellectual Breadth and General Elective?
    Intellectual Breadth and General Elective are two forms of electives that you will need to take for your Engineering degree. All students are required to take 16 credits of Intellectual Breadth (humanities, social sciences, and liberal arts courses) through LSA. At least 3 of these 16 credits must be HU specifically, and at least 3 of the 16 credits must be at the 300-level or higher; often, students will complete both of these requirements at once with a 300- or 400-level HU course, leaving the rest of their Intellectual Breadth courses more flexible.

    Each Engineering student is required to take 9-16 General Elective credits; the exact number will vary based on the student’s major. You can view General Electives as the “leftover” credits (of the 128 to graduate) that are not taken up by common or major requirements. These courses can be from any department/discipline on campus; additional Intellectual Breadth courses, courses taken in the major past the mandated requirements, courses in other Engineering fields, and elective courses taken in LSA or other Colleges can all count toward General Elective.

  • Can I count courses toward both Intellectual Breadth and General Elective?
    No. Certain courses have the potential to fulfill both requirements, but will only ever be counted for one. For example, Econ 101 is a SS course, and thus will count toward Intellectual Breadth. If all 16 credits of Intellectual Breadth have been completed, then the course will count toward General Elective instead. If there are still Intellectual Breadth courses left to complete, Econ 101 will automatically count for that requirement instead of General Elective.
  • Can HU/SS courses required for my LSA minor also count toward the Intellectual Breadth requirement?
    Yes, as long as the courses are marked HU or SS, and are not marked BS, NS, QR/1, or QR/2 in the LSA Course Guide. Courses taken for any minor will automatically double-count for Intellectual Breadth or General Elective. Make sure to consult your academic advisor to make sure you are fulfilling your requirements!
  • Can I count any of my AP credits as Intellectual Breadth or General Elective?
    Yes, test credit (e.g., AP/IB/A-Level/language placement) can be used to satisfy any of the common elective requirements except for the 3 credit HU requirement. Please note that the type of credit you receive will depend on whether the subject is a HU/SS or not (e.g., statistics, biology, environmental science will count toward General Elective, while English, history, and political science will count toward General Elective).
Math FAQ
  • Is there a recommended calculator for Math classes?
    A graphing calculator is required for Math 105, Math 115, and Math 116. The TI-84 is strongly recommended and Math instructors will use this model for all in-class examples. Students who buy a different calculator will be responsible for downloading their own programs. Calculators with letter keyboards are not allowed.
  • I took Calculus I in high school. Can I start in Calculus II my first term at U-M?
    You will need to start in Calculus I unless you have Math AP, IB or A-Level credit, or have transfer credit from another institution.
  • Who should take Honors Math courses?
    Students who are strong in Math and have taken AP Math classes in high school, and have a strong desire for deeper understanding should consider taking the Honors Math sequence.
  • What are the Honors Math sequences?
    There are two Honors Math sequences: The theoretical sequence: Math 185, 186, 285, and 286, is equivalent to Math 115, 116, 215, and 216. The applied Honors course: Math 156 is equivalent to Math 116.
Physics FAQ
  • I prefer Physics rather than Chemistry. Can I elect Physics 140/141 in the Fall Term?
    Math 115 is an advisory prerequisite for Physics 140/141. Therefore, you should only elect Physics in the Fall Term if you have AP, IB, A-level, or transfer credit for Math 115.
  • Am I required to take Physics 140 and Physics 141 in the same term?
    Physics 140 and 141 are not required to be taken at the same time, but it is recommended. 
  • Should I consider an Honors Physics course?
    Honors Physics courses (Physics 160/161 and/or 260/261) can be a great fit for many engineering students. They are especially suitable for students who have taken Honors or AP Physics in high school and feel ready to study concepts in a challenging new way. Students learn how to apply physics concepts when solving problems, which is an important skill for advanced engineering coursework.
  • I passed the Physics B AP Exam. Is there any way I can skip Physics 140/141? I already know the material.
    No. The College of Engineering only accepts credit for the AP Physics C Exam. You will need to take Physics 140/141 and 240/241. Both courses are calculus-based and will prepare you well for your engineering coursework.
Pre-College Credit & Class Standing FAQ
  • I took AP and/or IB Exams in high school. Will I get credit for them?
    To see if your AP/IB scores qualify for credit, check the Office of Undergraduate Admissions AP/IB guidelines! For certain math/science courses, make sure to check specifically under “College of Engineering”, as some credits might transfer differently based on the College.  In addition, you may use this Incoming Credit and Degree Progress Sheet to see what scores qualify for credit in the College of Engineering.
  • I took A-Levels or exams for a different form of International Advanced Standing. How do I know what credit I will receive?
    Some countries have different exams or forms of evaluation for advanced credit. Please refer to the International Advanced Standing Credit guidelines presented by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • I dual enrolled or took classes at a community college or other university during high school. Can I get credit for them?
    In order to potentially receive credit for dual enrollment or college courses taken in high school, students must have an official transcript sent to:
    • University of Michigan
      Office of Undergraduate Admissions
      1220 Student Activities Building
      515 E. Jefferson Street
      Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316
      Email: transcripts@umich.edu
    • Note: Please allow 4-6 weeks for your credit to be evaluated and posted, especially during peak times (beginning and end of the semester, during summer orientation, etc.). Note that you will only receive credit if the course was taken directly through a college or university; college-level courses taught within the high school curriculum (outside of AP/IB/A-Levels) will not count.
  • My AP/IB/A-Level/dual enrollment/transfer credit is not showing up on my transcript. How do I make sure credits are posted to my UM record?
    Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to verify that you sent your scores to the University. If you did not request to have AP or IB scores sent to U-M, please do so through the testing agency’s website. For A-Levels and courses taken at other colleges or universities, you will need to have an official transcript sent (directly from the college/university) to:
    • University of Michigan
      Office of Undergraduate Admissions
      1220 Student Activities Building
      515 E. Jefferson Street
      Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316
      Email: transcripts@umich.edu
  • I am a currently-enrolled student who took AP/IB courses in high school but never took the exams. Can I take the exams now to receive college credit?
    No, once you have started classes at UM, you will not be able to take AP/IB exams for credit. Credit for these tests will only be accepted for incoming first-year students.
  • I am a first-year student coming in with credit from AP/IB/A-Level/dual enrollment credit. Does this mean I am technically a sophomore?
    Class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.) is dependent on how many credits a student has at a given time. The CoE Bulletin lays out the breakdown of class standing by number of credits.
  • Will my tuition increase once I reach a certain amount of credits? How do I avoid this?
    Tuition rates for undergraduate students are differentiated by “lower division” and “upper division” credit levels. Having 55+ credits (junior standing) will incur an increase in tuition. If you would like to temporarily avoid this increase in tuition within your first and second years, you are able to drop any number of transfer credits that you brought in (AP/IB, etc.). 

    To drop credits, first consult with your academic advisor about which credits would make sense for you to remove based on your intended degree plans. Afterwards, you’ll need to email engincredit@umich.edu and let them know the specific credits (as shown on your transcript) that you would like dropped. You’ll also need to include a note that you understand that this is permanent; once you remove credits from your transcript, you won’t be able to add them back at any time.

Scheduling, Registration, and Wolverine Access FAQ
  • How do I. . . ? View the videos below for a refresher on some scheduling and registration processes!
  • What should I do if I cannot get into a course?
    First, you need to exhaust all of the options available. Try all scheduling combinations you can – remember, for first-year Engineering students, Engr 100 and 101, math, and science courses are priorities. Build your schedule around these courses. If you still find that the classes you need to take are full or conflicting, you can do the following:
    • Add yourself to the waitlist if the option is available on Wolverine Access. Then, go to the first day of class and speak with the instructors about being added into the course. 
    • Note: To join the waitlist, you’ll need to go through the process of putting a section of the class into your backpack, making sure that you check the box next to “waitlist if class is full” on the class options page. Then, you would register for it the same way you registered for other classes and it will add you to the waitlist.
  • I am on the waitlist for a class. What are my chances of getting in?
    If you are among the first few on the waitlist, chances are good you will get a spot. Always be sure to attend the first day of class and speak with the instructor about getting in. You should always have a backup class in case you cannot get into your preferred course. Remember that you can add and drop classes in the first three weeks of the Fall or Winter Term without consequence.
Transferring Credit FAQ
  • Can I take courses in the summer after my first year at U-M?
    Yes. Refer to the Undergraduate Admissions database to see if certain courses have already been approved to transfer. For courses that you do not find or that have expired, you will need to get them evaluated by submitting the Transfer Credit Approval Form.
  • How can I take courses on campus at UM over the summer?
    To take classes on campus during the 7-week Spring (May-June) and/or Summer (July-August) half terms, you will register for classes as normal, at the same time that you register for the following Fall term’s courses. If you hope to receive financial aid over the summer, you will need to make sure that you have a FAFSA on file and that you have filled out the Spring/Summer Aid Application (available Feb 1).
  • How can I take courses at another college over the summer?
    To take classes at other colleges over the summer, you’ll need to register as a Guest or Visiting Student at that school, make sure the credit can transfer back to UM, and take the class for a grade (NOT pass/fail!). Refer to the OUA Transfer Credit Database (for Domestic courses) or the CoE Transfer Credit Database (for International courses) first to see if certain courses have already been approved to transfer. For courses that you do not find on either database or that have expired, you will need to get them evaluated by submitting the Transfer Credit Approval Form. Please allow 2-4 weeks to hear back about the course!

    After you finish the class, you will need to have the transcript sent to CoE in order to receive credit. Official transcripts should be sent to:

    U-M Michigan Engineering
    Recruitment and Admissions
    153 Chrysler Center
    2121 Bonisteel Boulevard
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2092
    engincredit@umich.edu

  • Does the College of Engineering accept transfer credit for online courses?

    Yes. It is possible to receive credit for online coursework. Online course credit is limited to a maximum of 12 credit hours per student. A CoE student seeking to take an online course must submit a Transfer Credit Approval Form prior to enrolling in the course. Please note that online MATH, CHEM, ECON, EECS, MECHENG, Physics, and Spanish courses do not transfer.

  • If I take a course at a different college and transfer it for credit, will that grade be calculated in my GPA?
    No, as long as you pass the course with a C or better, you will receive the credit. No grades will be recorded on your U-M transcript.
Miscellaneous FAQ
  • I want to transfer to LSA. What should I do?
    • Talk with your EAC advisor about your plans.
    • Attend a Cross-Campus Transfer Information Session
    • Meet with an LSA advisor to discuss your new career path and officially apply. To make an appointment call: 734-764-0332.
    • Note: You must complete your first year in the College of Engineering with a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to transfer. However, you can start the above steps during your first year in order to prepare and plan effectively!
  • How many hours should I plan for study time each week?
    As an engineering student, you will have a challenging course load. For each hour you spend in class, you should expect to study at least 2-4 hours outside of class. It is not unusual for students to study for 35+ hours a week. Study time includes homework, reading, going to office hours and academic resource labs, working with peers, etc.
  • I may want to take a term off.  Is that possible?
    Yes.  You can simply not enroll in a future term if you wish to take that term off.  In that case, you will need to contact our Office of the Registrar for an enrollment date before the next early registration period.  If you have already enrolled in classes, you will need to drop them before the first day of the term to avoid tuition charges.  We strongly encourage you to work with your advisor to create a plan for your overall curriculum, and to let them know of this decision.  In addition, if you plan to take more than 12 months off from the College of Engineering, you will need to fill out a “Readmission” form for the Office of Recruitment and Admissions.  Again, please reach out to your EAC advisor to develop a plan for this absence.  *Note that you may not enroll in another institution as a degree-seeking student (and if so, you would then be considered a transfer student to be readmitted here at UM in the CoE).*