Author: Dr. Morrison

I am a transfer student; do I have to take the first-year engineering courses?

The first-year engineering courses are required for graduation with a B.S. in chemical engineering.  If you have not yet transferred to Michigan Tech, we recommend that you take courses at your home institution that transfer as ENG 1101 and ENG 1102.  The transfer equivalent for ENG 1101 is a computer programming class using an objected-oriented programming language, such as Java or C++.  The transfer equivalent for ENG 1102 is a 3-D solid modeling class using software, such as Solid Works, Unigraphics, or 3-D Autocad.

For transfer students who have not transferred in ENG 1101 and ENG 1102, you may take ENG 1101 and ENG 1102 at Michigan Tech or it is sometimes preferable to substitute courses more appropriate to your experience and educational level.  For more information on this see the policy for when substitutions are allowed for ENG 1101, and ENG 1102.

CM 1000 is not required for graduation (per Departmental vote 10Feb2016) but it is recommended for first-year students, and it counts as a core engineering technical elective.  If you do not take CM 1000 then you must take an additional credit of core engineering technical elective.


Dow Chemical and MIT ACCESS program: Encouraging graduate study

This looks like a cool program; and we have an alum of this program in the Michigan Tech Chem Eng graduate program!  Spread the word.

Overview of program

The mission of the ACCESS program is to increase the diversity of qualified applicants to PHD programs in chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science throughout the United States. ACCESS is a weekend of educational and informative events that will introduce talented sophomores, juniors and seniors to the benefits of a graduate education in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science. The goal of ACCESS is not to prepare students for graduate school at MIT specifically, but rather to introduce them to the advantages of choosing a graduate career path at an institution that best meets each participant’s individual needs.

The weekend-long program offers students an overview of graduate education through seminars, faculty talks, and interactive sessions, all designed to give a greater understanding of the application process and an insight into the doors a graduate career can open.

ACCESS will give participants:

A broad exposure to the opportunities that can be gained from a graduate education in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science;

  • An introduction to the various career paths that can result from a graduate education in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science;
  • An opportunity to hear directly from faculty and students their reasons for choosing a graduate career;
  • An explanation of the funding structure for graduate education and information on graduate fellowships;
  • A chance to meet and socialize with fellow undergraduates from around the nation who are pursuing similar goals;
  • And a fun Cambridge/Boston experience!

Contact Info:

For more information about the ACCESS program, email mit-access@mit.edu.


How can I prepare for registration?

Registration is always right around the corner, and before it arrives, it’s best to get prepared. Those of you who have tried to make an appointment with Katie near registration time know that her schedule fills up. She has “walk-in” office hours weeks 9-11, so you will not need an appointment, but you may face some lines. With this post I reach out to you with some advice to ensure that you have a good registration season.

Katie’s walk-in office hours schedule is posted here: blogs.mtu.edu/chem-eng-undergrad/

If you are uncertain what classes you need to take, please take a look at our video on Planning your Schedule.

Planning your schedule begins with the planning handout at this link (http://www.chem.mtu.edu/~fmorriso/advising/2015MoreAdvisingInfoHandout4SemPlanFAM.pdf), which shows a 4-year plan of how the Chemical Engineering curriculum maps out. I have indicated the classes that cause a bottleneck–these are the classes that are only offered one time per year. Up until the spring of junior year you have flexibility in when you can take classes. The three spring junior classes, however, (transport 2, kinetics, controls) are only offered in the spring. The senior chemical engineering classes (unit and plant operations, plant design, safety and the environment) are only offered once per year as well. This means that you need to be ready for those spring junior classes during the spring that you plan to take them.

The pre-requisites for our classes are summarized on this handout:  www.mtu.edu/chemical/undergraduate/advising/pdfs/prerequisite-map.pdf

To plan out your schedule you should map out which semester you intend to take the fixed classes (spring junior classes, senior classes) and then back-calculate when you will take the pre-requisites for those courses.

On the planning handout I have also indicated when classes are offered on-line, and I’ve highlighted some General Education (GenEd) rules that you should be mindful of as you plan out your GenEd choices.

Finally, once things get close to graduation, every requirement must be met and this can get confusing sometimes. For checking or auditing your compliance with your degree requirements Michigan Tech uses DARS: Degree Audit Reporting System. Go to your Banweb account, log in, and look for Degree audit. You can run your own degree audit. It takes a minute or two for the computer to slot all your courses into the various bins or “buckets” where they satisfy requirements. When it’s finished, you can take a look. Green is good; red is bad. You will see all kinds of lists and requirements that are checked. It is a computer program and online, so hopefully you can poke around a bit and figure out how it’s working. If you are a transfer student or if you transferred in courses, it is very helpful for sorting out what credits count for what.

Please take a look at your DARS and see how your credits earned are stacking up towards getting your CM degree. If you look over the attached sheet, consult the pre-req map, look at your degree audit, and make use of the handouts for minors and technical electives that are on the Advising web page, you will see that registration is a snap.

Thanks for your patience during registration season. We will endeavor to answer all your questions and hopefully we can find a solution that will lead to a smooth path towards your BS in chemical engineering.

More helpful links:

best wishes,

Dr. Morrison


Are the rules for minors changing?

In Fall 2016, the rules for all minors will be changing. Students will be able to double count all minor classes with major classes (no more “6 credits must not double count, etc. etc.), but you will no longer be able to use the same classes for multiple minors.  Some departments may choose to change the courses required for their  minor because of these rule changes.

If you are planning to pursue a minor in any department then it is very important that you add the minor *this* year. Students who have added a minor by the end of this year will be able to use the existing rules.

We will be allowed to move you to the newer rules if the new rules benefit you, but after next fall we will *not* be allowed to move you back to the older rules.


I want to change my major to Chem Eng; what are the requirements for such an internal transfer?

If you are currently enrolled in the College of Engineering, you meet the entry requirements to Chemical Engineering.  If your current major is not in the College of Engineering, you need to have a C or better in key math and science classes in order to have your internal transfer approved; see a CM advisor for details.

For any change of major, you must fill out the blue Add-Drop Curriculum form, available on the Registrar’s website.  You will also need an appointment with a CM advisor to get that form approved.


I am an incoming transfer student; how do I register?

Per the Registrar’s office on 18March2015, students with more than 30 transfer credits can register themselves through Banweb. Visit the Chemical Engineering 24/7 Advising page (blog) and the ChemE Advising Handout page to see Chemical Engineering degree requirements and suggested schedules.  Once you have taken a crack at sorting out a schedule, email the ChemE advisor at  cmadvise@mtu.edu to receive additional advice.

Students with fewer than 30 transfer credits will be registered by the Registrar’s office in July as part of the incoming first-year registration process that puts first-year students into “cohorts”.   See the website for the website for the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success (Scheduling Information for Engineering Majors) for more information about cohorts and first-year student scheduling.  Some first-year classes are added during orientation and cannot be added ahead of time.


What are the changes to GenEd for Fall 2015?

The Michigan Tech General Education program is changing as of Fall 2015.  All student starting or transferring to Tech as of Fall 2015 must follow the new General Education rules.  For chemical engineering students, this impacts mostly what courses count as HASS electives.  The program will soon be outlined on the Registrar’s General Education page; that’s the definitive page for determining the rules.  We do have an advanced copy of the rules/HASS list posted on the we that you can access at this link:  www.chem.mtu.edu/~fmorriso/curriculum/HASS2015RegistrarList.pdf.


Can I take graduate courses towards a graduate degree while still an undergrad?

Michigan Tech does allow this under Senior Rule (see the Registrar’s web page for up-to-date details).

As of 2015, these were the rules:

While finishing an undergraduate degree, students are allowed to take courses which could apply to a graduate degree. However, a course cannot be applied to both a graduate and an undergraduate degree.

A Senior Rule form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by Wednesday of week 2 for the course semester. Upon submission, the student’s academic record will be changed to show graduate status for the course designated. Once the academic record has been changed to show graduate status for a particular course, it cannot be changed back to count toward an undergraduate degree.

Senior Rule Guidelines

  • A student so enrolled and carrying 6 credits or more in 5000 or 6000 level courses may carry no more than 16 credits of course work per semester.
  • The total number of Senior Rule credits may not exceed one-third of the required non-research course credits.
  • Courses taken under senior rule are not eligible for undergraduate Federal aid.
  • See Financial Aid enrollment requirements for additional requirements.

Note that the School of Business has set 6 credits as a maximum of Senior Rule credits that may be applied to the MBA (per Sonya Goltz, 2007).