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School of Science & Engineering

Success in Engineering

Readiness for Success in Engineering

Engineering is a rigorous and demanding major.  It is also leads to successful careers and the skills required for our society’s technological advancement.  Engineering majors require more than the minimum number of credits to graduate from Merrimack College, which makes for a very structured program.  Curriculum maps can be found here for Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.  

Our engineering curriculum is based on students testing into Calculus I or higher when they begin their first semester.  
If a student places into Pre-Calculus (or even MTH 1000), the road to an engineering degree may be longer – summer class(es) can help a student to stay on track for a 4-year degree plan.  

Our standard engineering program takes 4-years to complete.  This is the path we encourage for all students.  However, some students take 4-1/2 or 5 years to complete the program, and a few students will complete the program in less than 4-years (usually no sooner than 3-1/2 years), because of AP credits earned.

Any course which is a pre-requisite for another course, such as Physics I is a pre-requisite for Physics II, requires a grade of a C- or better to proceed in the course sequence.  
This is true for Calculus, Physics, and Mechanics sequences.  If the student gets below a C- on a pre-requisite course, they must re-take the course if they plan to remain an engineering major.  

There are a few “milestone” courses, which are good indicators for success in an engineering program.
These courses are generally taken in the first year or two of their program. If a student receives a C or better (ideally, a B- or better) in these courses, there is a good chance of success with an engineering degree program.  

These courses are:

  • Calculus I
  • Physics I
  • Mechanics I (ME or CE)
  • Digital Fundamentals (EE or CompE)

 

What to do when a student is struggling academically?
The iTEC Program and the Tutoring and Math Center are here to help! The iTEC program has a cadre of peer mentors and tutors, as well as study space in the dorm and a support network of other students to help you through.  The Tutoring and Math Center has math tutors in McQuade Library and a network of tutors across campus to help you in almost any subject.  

Here is a suggested checklist for self-responsibility:

Are you:

  • Going to all your classes?
  • Turning in all assignments?
  • Seeing your Professors for extra help during office hours?
  • Going for tutoring help?
  • Talking to an iTEC Peer Mentor or Academic Success Coach

Changing majors.  
Just because a student has difficulty in an engineering curriculum does not mean they cannot be successful in other majors at Merrimack.  Students who struggle in the first year or two of an engineering curriculum, may decide to find another major more suited to their strengths.  Many student leave engineering for majors in Business, Criminology, or Graphic Design. Your academic advisor can help you through this process.