Frequently Asked Questions

Courses and Prerequisites

  • What are common minors that Mechanical and Aerospace students pursue?
  • Here are some minors that can complement your Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering major:

    The Technology Management minor, offered through the School of Management, is the most popular minor for engineering students. This minor will give you the opportunity to complement your studies with courses in business and management.

    The Materials Science minor is offered by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. This minor complements our majors very well, providing further knowledge and experience in understanding the behavior of a vast array of materials from which products are made.

    The Biomedical Engineering minor, offered by the Department of Biomedical Engineering provides additional training to help make students more attractive to employers in the medical device industry.

    Other minors worth considering are the Energy Science and Technology minor, the Energy Policy minor (both offered by the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering) and the Sustainability in the Built Environment minor (offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering).

  • What happens if I can’t get into a class during Pass 1?
  • You can add yourself to the waiting list during Pass 2. However, being on the waiting list does not guarantee that you will get into the class. Make sure to register in an alternate open course as a backup. You can drop the alternate course if you are admitted to the course from the waiting list.
  • What are my chances of getting into a class if I’m on the waitlist?
  • A: You will be added to the course after students drop the course, so it will depend on how many students choose to drop the class. After the first day of class, you should get a good idea of whether or not you will be able to enroll in the course. Be sure to enroll in alternate open courses in case you cannot get into a class. You can drop these courses once you have been admitted to the course from the waiting list.
  • How can I drop a course after the drop deadline?
  • You may petition for a late drop if you can fully document that unforeseen circumstances beyond your control have affected your academic performance. Please visit the College of Engineering Undergraduate Advising Office in 1050 Kemper Hall. Late drops will not be approved for poor academic performance, academic difficulties, change of interest in a course or lack of midterm results.
  • Can I take a course even though I don’t meet the prerequisites?
  • Engineering is a discipline that requires mastery of prerequisite coursework to be successful in more advanced curriculum, so prerequisites are enforced in all College of Engineering courses. If you enroll in a course without having completed the prerequisites, the instructor is authorized to drop you. Any student who re-adds a course after being dropped by the instructor may be referred to Student Judicial Affairs. Check out our course prerequisite page for more information.
  • Can I take a course as pass/no pass?
  • Students in the College of Engineering may exercise pass/no pass (P/NP) grading for General Education (GE) courses or unrestricted electives taken outside of the College of Engineering, up to 16 units. Please see specific pass/no pass guidelines on the College of Engineering website. Students who wish to submit a P/NP petition may do so on OASIS using the “Optional P/NP Grading Mode Change” found under the Forms & Petitions tab.


  • As an engineering student, is it still possible to study abroad?
  • Yes. The easiest way to fit studying abroad in your schedule is to go during the summer, but going during the school year is also an option! With careful planning, you can enjoy being abroad at the same time as fulfilling your major requirements. Your first step to studying abroad is to visit the Study Abroad Center.

    The Study Abroad Center maintains pages of recommended programs for students in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, which you can find below:

    Study Abroad in Aerospace Science Engineering.
    Study Abroad in Mechanical Engineering.
  • How can I find out about internship opportunities?
  • Finding an internship takes time: beginning in fall quarter, we recommend spending an hour EACH week to search and apply for internships. Use your resources on campus but also branch out to companies that don’t recruit directly from UC Davis. Networking is the key to finding an internship.

    For more tips, check out our Internships and Careers webpage. The Internship and Career Center, located in South Hall, has a great network of internship opportunities, including a job database (Handshake) and Listserv. They also offer workshops on resume building, interviewing skills, finding internships, and much more. Be sure to also participate in the quarterly Internship and Career Fairs where many employers are looking for interns. You will find that the optimum time to do an internship is the summer after your junior year, as most companies seek students that have completed core engineering coursework.
  • I’d like to do research in a professor’s lab. How do I start this process?
  • You can visit the Undergraduate Research Center for help with finding a research opportunity. We also recommend that you meet with a faculty member whose research interests you. Please see our website for a list of faculty and their research areas. Sometimes you need to be persistent to receive a position, so be prepared to email a few faculty members and follow up with them in person.

Miscellaneous (ABET, FE Exam)

  • Q: What is ABET?
  • ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental accrediting agency for programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology and is recognized as an accreditor by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
    ABET accreditation provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates.

    Graduation from an ABET-accredited program is a prerequisite for many licensing and certifying bodies and agencies.

    By receiving an accredited degree, you are eligible to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. You can find out more about accreditation by visiting the ABET website.
  • Is it important for me to take the FE Exam? If so, when should I take it?
  • The FE exam is a computer-based test designed for recent graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. Those who pass the FE may apply for Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certification through the State of California. Certification as an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) is the first step required under California law towards becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). Professional licensure protects the public by enforcing the standards of engineers and can sometimes allow you to rise to management positions more quickly or earn a higher salary than your colleagues.

    For more information, please visit: and