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Mechanical & Materials Engineering


Advising Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find my adviser?

Students are advised by members of the Mechanical & Materials Engineering faculty. If you are unsure of your adviser's name, look in your MYRED account or contact the staff in the Mechanical & Materials Engineering office, W342 NH. Take charge of your UNL career and meet with your adviser every semester. When you know your adviser’s name, you can find contact information on our Faculty-Staff site.

What are ACE electives?

ACE stands for Achievement Centered Education, which is the general education standard for all students entering the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2009 or later. In the Mechanical Engineering program you must take one course each from ACE areas 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to satisfy the ACE requirements; ACE areas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 are satisfied with required MECH courses. Transfer students need to check that their ACE areas are satisfied by the UNL transfer-equivalent of courses taken elsewhere, and they should check with their advisers. The university maintains a list of ACE Certified Courses at http://www.unl.edu/ous/ace/certifiedcourses.shtml.

What are minimum acceptable grades?

Mechanical Engineering majors must achieve a C or better in Math 106, 107, 208, and 221 to continue in the math sequence, as required by the course prerequisites set by the Math Department. In any other course, any passing (non-F) grade will apply to your degree if your GPA is acceptable. Both semester and cumulative GPA must be at least 2.500 for continued enrollment in the College of Engineering. If the cumulative GPA drops below 2.400, a student will be on "restricted" status, may be removed from the college, and cannot graduate from the college. To avoid being placed on probation and ultimately dismissed from the university, the GPA, both semester and cumulative, should stay above 2.00.

What courses can I take P/N (pass, no pass)?

Students in the College of Engineering must take ENGR 20, ENGR 30, and ENGR 400 with the grading option Pass/No Pass. In addition, students may take up to 12 credit hours of courses in the humanities and social sciences (ACE Electives 5-9) on a Pass/No Pass basis. Students in the College of Engineering may not take any other required courses or technical elective courses with the grading option of Pass/No Pass.

Which computer programming course should I take?

You must take either CSCE 155N or CSCE 155E to satisfy the computer programming requirement in Mechanical Engineering. Both courses cover problem solving with computers, however in course CSCE 155N examples are drawn from numerical applications and the language taught is either Matlab or Fortran (depending on the course section). In course CSCE 155E the examples are drawn from systems engineering and the language taught is C. If you take a course with any other designation (such as 155A or 155T) it will be taught with another programming language and will not satisfy the computer programming requirement of the Mechanical Engineering program.

What happens if I drop below full load?

As long as your hours remain at or above 12 hours, you are at full load. Going below MIGHT influence scholarships and loans so be sure to check with Scholarships and Financial Aid at 17 Canfield Administration Building. Housing is generally safe down to half load, but you may wish to verify at 1115 N. 16th St. (472-3561). International students may have difficulties with visas!

I have been academically dismissed. Help!

You have two semesters (including summer, possibly) to be away from UNL. During that time, work or take courses at a community college, -- in other words, anything to demonstrate your preparedness upon applying to return. If you wish to appeal, forms are available at the Dean's Office, 114 Othmer Hall, and your adviser can help with this.

How can I find my TA?

A list of TA offices and phone numbers is available in the MME Office, W342 NH.

How can I change my major?

  1. Talk to your adviser.
  2. Talk to an adviser in your dean’s office (or advising center) about a change of major form. For engineering students, this would be the Student Services Advising Team in the Dean’s Office, 114 Othmer Hall.
  3. Take the change of major documents to your new college Dean’s office (or advising center), and obtain that college’s approval signature and new adviser assignment. If your college remains the same, steps 2 and 3 can be combined.
  4. Talk to your new adviser.

What is the professional admission process for Mechanical Engineering?

Very briefly, there is a review of student records after about three semesters of study, to identify those students likely to succeed in our program. Those who are not admitted the first time are advised of the outcome and are automatically reviewed again at the end of that semester. If after two reviews a student is not admitted to the program, the student is advised of other majors, in engineering or elsewhere, in which they may be likely to find success. At the present time the requirement for professional admission to the Mechanical Engineering program is a major GPA of 2.7 (that is, not counting elective courses). In addition, a student must have no more than four withdrawals and no more than three repeated courses. The major GPA is given on your Degree Audit available through MyRed. Transfer students are not reviewed until completing 12 credits at UNL.

I have a problem with a TA or faculty member. What do I do?

In nearly all cases other than abuse, students should recognize that they paid for and are entitled to the educational services promised by the university and the department. You have the right and responsibility to contact the individual in question regarding the problem without fear of retribution. If this meeting does not resolve the problem, the Department Chair should be contacted. You could also contact your adviser or a trusted faculty member for help.

Can I skip a prerequisite to course MECH***?

Prerequisites have been carefully established over the years and generally should be followed. There are very limited exceptions. Students whose course histories may not fully reflect their preparation for a course may inquire with the professor for permission to enter a course. Instructors have the right to require withdrawal of students who do not meet the prerequisites.

What must be done to prepare for graduation?

  • File for a Senior Check during the second-to-last semester, and after you have registered for classes for your last semester prior to graduation. The form is available at the Mechanical & Materials Engineering office, W342 NH.
  • Early in the semester of graduation, submit an “application for degree” form. The form is available online at http://www.unl.edu/regrec/graduation-application. This requires a $25 non-refundable fee. Watch carefully for the deadline!
  • Make certain all fines, fees, and other expenses are paid.

What is the Senior Check?

The senior check is a piece of paper showing all the classes you have taken and plan to take to satisfy your degree requirements. When signed by all parties, it is a guarantee that successful completion of the courses listed on the form will lead to the degree. This should be done during the second-to-last semester, while there is still time to make adjustments in classes if needed. You can pick up the form from the Mechanical & Materials Engineering office, W342 NH. Fill it out, sign it, and turn it in to your adviser along with a print-out of your Degree Audit that is completely satisfied.

What is the Degree Audit, and how can I get one?

The Degree Audit is a computer-generated document outlining your undergraduate academic progress. This record uses your UNL coursework, transfer coursework, and courses in progress in order to determine your progress toward degree completion. For more information, go to the Registration and Records website at: http://www.unl.edu/regrec/my-degree-audit-dars. You have access to DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) through your MYRED account.

How can I fix an error in my Degree Audit?

If you have an error in your degree audit, assemble your proof of the error (transcripts, course grades, letter from instructor, etc.) and discuss it with your adviser. If you adviser agrees there is an error in your degree audit, your adviser should send an email to the college's associate dean for undergraduate programs outlining the problem and asking that the error be corrected.

Can internships be taken for credit?

Generally internships are NOT for credit. While they provide invaluable on-the-job experience, they usually do not include material of an academic nature, nor can it be easily monitored. In rare cases you may find a professor who will agree to coordinate with the job supervisor and verify that college credit is appropriate. In these instances a contract must be prepared and agreed to by all parties, with all requirements decided beforehand. A written report must be submitted to the supervising faculty member describing the contract, the work planned, and the work actually carried out. To count as college credit, this activity would have to be formalized under course number MECH 498. You will need your adviser's permission for such a special course to apply to your senior elective.

When are the deadlines and finals this semester?

A complete university academic calendar can be found on the UNL home page http://www.unl.edu or specifically through the office of Registration and Records at http://www.unl.edu/regrec/.

Can Mechanical Engineering students get minors?

Yes, though minors generally involve additional hours of coursework before graduating. The Undergraduate Bulletin has a list of approved minors for engineering students with their requirements. Applicants should fill out a form available in the College Dean's Office, 114 Othmer Hall.

How can I get a math minor?

Briefly, the math minor involves taking 12 hours of math beyond course MATH 208 at the 300- or 400-level (but not MATH 350, 450 and 460). The complete requirements for the math minor, and other approved minors, are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

I'm interested in graduate school at UNL.

Great choice! Make sure you have at least a 3.00 GPA. You will need letters of recommendation, so talk to your adviser or a trusted instructor for advice. Check with the Mechanical & Materials Engineering Department for admission information and description of options, or go to UNL Graduate Studies.

How do I find Honor's project ideas?

Talk to the professors and explore their web pages to discover research interests and active work. Then, talk to the professors whose interests match yours.

When is ENGR 400 Ethics offered?

ENGR 400 is offered in both the fall and spring semesters. In the fall, there is one online section. In the spring, there are two lectures and one online section. Students are not to enroll until their final semester, or spring semester prior to summer graduation. To enroll for the online sections either semester contact the Dean’s Office, 114 Othmer Hall, for a permission code.

What are the Design and Technical Electives?

Design and Technical electives must be chosen from a list of approved 400-level Mechanical Engineering courses. A complete list is available from the Mechanical & Materials Engineering office or from your adviser.

What is the Senior Elective?

The Senior Elective may be an additional design or technical elective, or with prior adviser approval, may be chosen from a list of approved science, engineering or math courses. Consult your adviser.

How do I get credit for the math classes I skipped because of the UNL Math Placement Exam?

If you take MATH 107 as your first math class at UNL and earn a C or better, you will be given five credits for MATH 106 at no cost. The credit will be added to your transcript after you file the appropriate paperwork with the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, 203 Avery Hall. Should you take MATH 208 as your first math class at UNL and earn a C or better, you will receive 10 credits for MATH 106 and 107 at no cost. The credit will be added to your transcript after you file the appropriate paperwork with the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, 203 Avery Hall.

What are the requirements for graduation with distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction?

The requirements for graduation with distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction are set on a year-by-year basis by a College of Engineering committee. There are no forms to fill out. The MME Department will see that you receive appropriate credit.

Can I substitute three credits of English Composition for JGEN 200?

No, you must take six credits of English composition as a substitute for JGEN 200 (technical communication).

Where can I find out what courses taken elsewhere will transfer to UNL?

For nearby colleges, UNL maintains a website listing course equivalencies.If you are a transfer student, when you apply to UNL the Admissions Office will determine which of your courses will transfer as part of the admissions process. If you are a current MECH student, you can contact the Transfer Credit Coordinator in the Dean’s Office, 114 Othmer.

Are scholarships awarded by the department?

Yes, there are a limited number of scholarships awarded within the department; however, most are for currently enrolled junior or senior students. Contact the chair of the Scholarship and Honors Committee (Dr. Wieslaw Szydlowski ) or the Department Office for more information.

What college grade point average (GPA) is needed for transfer into UNL?

For admittance to the UNL College of Engineering for a Nebraska resident, the required GPA is 2.5/4.0. Nonresidents must have a GPA of 3.0/4.0 unless the student is transferring from an accredited engineering program, in which case a GPA of 2.5/4.0 is acceptable.

Where is the Mechanical & Materials Engineering Computer lab, and how do I get in?

The Mechanical & Materials Engineering undergraduate computer lab is room W181 Nebraska Hall (north side of first floor). You should have received an email containing your five-digit access number at the email account you gave the university. You need to use your own personal access code (press * then your five-digit number, then # ) . If you cannot find this email, contact the staff in the Mechanical & Materials Engineering office to request an access code.

How can I get involved with research as an undergraduate?

Research activity in Mechanical & Materials Engineering is directed and funded by individual faculty members. First, you should learn about ongoing research projects from faculty websites and from talking to other students doing research. Then talk to the faculty member whose work interests you to ask if you can get involved. If you plan ahead, you may be able to get support from UCARE.

What is UCARE?

UCARE (Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences) is a university program that provides salary support for undergraduate students doing research. The annual deadline for submittal of requests for UCARE funding is in February. You must identify a faculty member, prepare a plan, and together with a faculty member, request funds from UCARE for a specific research project. You have to plan far in advance, but Mechanical and Materials Engineering has a good record of success with this program. See the UCARE website for more information at http://www.unl.edu/ucare/

My question isn’t answered here. Where do I go next?

Talk to your adviser or go to the Office of Student Affairs: 106 Canfield Administration Building, (402) 472-3755, http://stuafs.unl.edu/sa_services.shtml