Pre-Engineering Program

What is the Pre-Engineering Program (PREP)?

PREP is intended to provide an opportunity for highly qualified students who were not admitted directly to the College of Engineering due to space limitations to prepare themselves for possible transfer into the College of Engineering. Students in PREP will reside in DGS while they complete the prescribed PREP curriculum and prepare for possible Intercollege Transfer (ICT) to the College of Engineering.

The Pre-Engineering program will start in Fall 2017. If you are a current Illinois student you will follow the current Engineering ICT process

Who is admitted to PREP?

Students who apply directly to the College of Engineering as freshmen will be considered for admission to PREP. Students considered for PREP have ACT scores and high school grades that suggest they will be placed directly into MATH 220/221 (Calculus) or higher. Students’ exposure to and success with both Chemistry and Physics are highly desirable.

Am I guaranteed admission to Engineering if I start in PREP?

Since demand for and capacity in various Engineering majors differ greatly, the guaranteed admission criteria vary accordingly. Demand for Engineering majors fluctuates over time due to a number of economic and technological trends, so space availability in the various curricula is subject to change. PREP students who have completed the prescribed coursework after their first year of college and at least one semester in PREP will be guaranteed admission to the College of Engineering based on the following criteria:

Restricted Capacity Majors

Minimum 3.75 overall and technical GPAs with competitive review based on space available

  • Bioengineering
  • Computer Science
  • Mechanical Engineering

Limited Capacity Majors

3.5 overall and technical GPAs

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering

Moderate Capacity Majors

3.25 overall and technical GPAs

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering

Open Capacity Majors

3.0 overall and technical GPAs

  • Agricultural & Biological Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Materials Science & Engineering
  • Nuclear, Plasma & Radiological Engineering
  • Systems Engineering & Design (formerly General Engineering)

What classes would I take in my first year?

In order to be competitive for transfer, students should progress as much as possible in the curriculum of interest by taking a number of core technical courses, showing aptitude and proficiency for the desired field of study. While individual Engineering majors have specific requirements, students in PREP need to show progress in technical courses including:

  • Mathematics
    • Calculus I – MATH 220/221
    • Calculus II – MATH 231
    • Calculus III – MATH 241
    • Differential Equations – MATH 285 or MATH 286 (ECE; not required for CS)
    • Matrix Theory – MATH 225 (recommended if required by major)
  • Chemistry
    • General Chemistry I – CHEM 102/CHEM 103
    • General Chemistry II – CHEM 104/CHEM 105 (if required by major)
  • Physics
    • Physics – PHYS 100 (if placed in the course; credits do not apply toward graduation)
    • Mechanics – PHYS 211
    • Electricity & Magnetism – PHYS 212
    • Thermal Physics – PHYS 213 (if required by major)
    • Quantum Physics – PHYS 214 (if required by major)
  • Biology
    • Molecular & Cellular Basis of Life – MCB 150 (for Bioengineering)

A student’s specific schedule will be determined based on potential AP/IB/Dual Enrollment credit and placement test information.

Do I have access to Engineering courses?

Yes, PREP students will have access to introductory classes during their first year such as:

  • Engineering at Illinois – ENG 101
  • Introduction to Aerospace Engineering – AE 100
  • Agricultural & Biological Engineering – ABE 100
  • Introduction to Bioengineering – BIOE 120
  • Chemical & Biological Engineering Profession – CHBE Profession
  • About Civil Engineering – CEE 195
  • Freshman Orientation in CS – CS 100
  • Mechanics in the Modern World – TAM 195 (Engineering Mechanics)
  • Introduction to ISE – GE 100 (General Engineering, Industrial Engineering)
  • Introduction to Materials Science & Engineering – MSE 182
  • Orientation to Nuclear, Plasma & Radiological Engineering – NPRE 100

PREP students will also have access to more advanced courses as needed to make progress toward a given major. For example:

  • Computer Science – CS 101, CS 125, CS 173, CS 225
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering - ECE 110, ECE 120, ECE 210, ECE 220
  • General Engineering – GE 101
  • Mechanical Engineering – ME 170
  • Theoretical & Applied Mechanics – TAM 210/211, TAM 212, TAM 251

Students will work closely with PREP advisors for course scheduling in a way that respects appropriate prerequisites and provides the best possible path toward transfer into Engineering. DGS will collaborate closely with the College of Engineering to foster student success and provide additional academic resources available to all Engineering students.

Does it cost anything extra to be in PREP?

PREP students will be assessed the full College of Engineering differential while in the program. This differential is intended to offset the higher costs of instructional delivery in the College of Engineering and will give PREP students access to:

  • A designated Engineering academic advisor in DGS
  • Access to PREP curriculum courses
  • For first-semester freshmen, access to Engineering introductory courses
  • Guaranteed transfer into an open capacity major in the College of Engineering if minimum performance requirements are met. Transfer into highly requested majors has more stringent requirements as detailed above and is subject to competitive review based on space available in restricted majors.

I was not directly admitted to PREP nor currently in PREP but want to declare a major in the College of Engineering. How do I transfer?

Current Illinois students who wish to transfer into the College of Engineering must apply to PREP in April of their freshman year. Students must spend at least one semester in PREP before they will be considered for a major in the College of Engineering.

Sophomores, juniors, seniors, and previous off-campus transfer students will not be considered for admission into PREP due to space limitations.

Requirements for transferring into PREP include:

  • Completion of MATH 220/221 with a grade of B or higher
  • Completion of CHEM 102/103 with a grade of B or higher
  • Completion of PHYS 100 or higher with a grade of B or higher
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Technical GPA of 3.0 or higher

Students who do not place in at least MATH 115 – Pre-Calculus will not be eligible for the College of Engineering.

Students who already have credits for introductory courses listed above are expected to take the next-level courses with a grade of B or higher for transfer consideration. The PREP advisor will guide students on appropriate course selection.

How to apply to Pre-Engineering

I was admitted to PREP but am no longer interested in pursuing an Engineering degree. Can I be changed to my second-choice major?

Yes, this is possible. Submit a Program Change Request Form found at the bottom of your myIllini admitted checklist.