Skip to Main Content

Prospective Freshman FAQ

Photos of freshmen walking on campus, the library, and freshmen sitting in class

What do I need to do to get accepted into an Engineering or Computer Science program at UMBC?

Students are accepted to the University without regard for their declared major. If you are accepted to UMBC you will be able to pursue Engineering or Computer Science. Students who express an interest in Engineering or Computer Science at the time of application or change their major to an Engineering discipline or Computer Science will be designated as a Pre-Major. Your major will be Pre-Mechanical Engineering, Pre-Computer Engineering, Pre-Chemical Engineering, or Pre-Computer Science. Students may also chose Pre-Engineering if they are undecided about which Engineering discipline they want to pursue.

 

How can I move from the Pre-Major to the Major?

Once you start taking classes you will need to earn certain grades in identified classes in order to continue in the program. We refer to these courses as Gateway Courses. Once you pass the Gateway you will move from Pre-Major to Major. You can read the gateway requirements for each of our majors here:

Chemical Engineering (including Traditional, Biotechnology/Bioengineering, and Environmental Engineering & Sustainability Track)
Computer Engineering (including the Systems Architecture & Communications Track)
Computer Science
Mechanical Engineering

 

How long will I be a Pre-Major?

Students who are eligible to take major courses their first semester at UMBC, based on math placement, generally finish their Gateway and are moved to Major designation within the first two years at UMBC.

 

What Engineering Programs do you Offer at UMBC?
Mechanical Engineering
Chemical Engineering (including Traditional, Biotechnology/Bioengineering, and Environmental Engineering & Sustainability Track)
Computer Engineering (including the Systems Architecture & Communications Track)

 

What if I am interested in Biomedical Engineering? Electrical Engineering? Civil Engineering? Aerospace Engineering?

At this time we do not offer any of those majors. We do offer Mechanical, Chemical, and Computer Engineering.

 

What is a Track?

Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science offer tracks. These are particular requirements in the major that focus on a particular aspect of the field. Chemical Engineering and Computer Engineering have four year plan outlines for each track. You can contact the advising office to find out more information about the Computer Science Game Development Track.

 

I have a lot of AP credit, will I be able to graduate in less than four years?

It is rare for a student to take less than four years to graduate; all of our programs have a large number of required courses and many must be taken in a particular sequence.

 

What can I do to  prepare myself for an Engineering or Computer Science Major?

The most important thing you can do is have a strong math background and do well on the math placement test. You will only be able to start taking major classes once you are enrolled in  Calculus I (MATH 151). If your math placement exam places you into MATH 151 you can start taking major classes your first semester and generally follow the four year plans outlined above. If you place into a lower math class you will only be able to take general education courses until you reach the Calculus I level.

 

Will attending an Engineering or Technology Magnet Program increase my chances of being accepted into the Engineering or Computer Science Program at UMBC?

Students are accepted to the University without regard to major. All students accepted to the University can pursue an Engineering or Computer Science Major as long as they meet our Gateway Requirements. Please consult the Office of Undergraduate Admissions about acceptance to the University.

 

Any other tips?

Students who successfully complete level four of a foreign language in high school will have met  the foreign language requirement at UMBC.