Author: Katie Torrey

If I get a CD or D in my math class, do I have to retake it?

We recommend retaking any math classes in which you’ve earned less than a C because these are important for your junior and senior engineering classes. However, you are not required to take it again because it meets our minimum prerequisite requirement.  

Be aware that you will start utilizing what you’ve learned in your math, chemistry, and physics classes in your ChE classes and applying it to solve various engineering problems.  In particular, the application of math to solve engineering problems intensifies in the junior year classes. Students usually struggle with this, even if they have previously done well in their math classes because it’s using math in an entirely different context.  It looks different, the terminology is sometimes different, and you’re being asked to recall concepts that you learned a year (or longer!) ago.  

In general it is probably worth your time to brush up on calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations prior to starting the junior year ChE classes.  Retaking classes you did poorly in, reviewing course topics and note from your math classes (even ones you did well in), and/or utilizing online resources, like Khan Academy, are all a good idea.

See also: What happens if I retake a class? and How can I succeed in ChE at Michigan Tech?


Where can I find my final grade for a course?

Grades that you see in Canvas are not final grades. Final grades, which are used to calculate your GPA, are posted on Banweb.

It’s really important that you check your final grades at the end of every semester because final grades are not always the same as what you see in Canvas.  Many times your final grade in Banweb will match what you see in Canvas, but not always. Some instructors will adjust the grading scale down (or up!), sometimes a mistake is made, and in certain situations the instructor may give you a temporary grade (P, I, or X grade), which means you have limited time to complete something before receiving a final grade. All of this is important to know so that you can follow up promptly with your instructor if you have questions.

You can see your final grades by logging into Banweb.  Go to the Students tab, then Student Records, and then Final Grades or Academic Transcript (unofficial).  Either place will give you access to your final recorded course grades that are used to calculate your GPA. If you see something that you don’t understand then check out the definition of the grade codes in the Undergraduate Catalog under Grade Policies.


What do I need to know to plan out a mineral processing minor?

If you are interested in adding the mineral processing minor to your record then you’ll need to email your list of planned classes for completing the minor, along with the semester in which you plan to take the courses, to the chemical engineering advisor. We require this to ensure that you’ll be able to complete the minor in the time frame that you need. Then you will need to request the addition of the minor from your MyMichiganTech webpage. Directions for how to do this are on the minor page of the Registrar’s Office, Degree Services webpage.

When planning your minor courses, make sure you have a listing of the most current requirements for the minor. You can get this on the Registrar’s Office, Degree Services webpage. The listing of requirements that you are looking for is called the “minor audit”.

You will need to plan ahead because many of the minor classes have prerequisites that you need to complete first. The prerequisites can be found in the course descriptions or on the minor audit. Course descriptions are in Michigan Tech’s Undergraduate Catalog

Finally, once you’ve figured out the classes that you’ll be taking to complete the minor, you should meet with your major advisor to determine if any (or all!) of the classes for your minor can also be counted towards your major requirements. 

Here is some additional information that may help you with planning this minor. The typical schedule for when classes are offered is listed below, but this can change from year-to-year. The schedule of classes for the following academic year is published in February and so you’ll want to check it once it’s available.

For the required courses:

  • CM 2200 Intro to Minerals and Materials is usually offered every fall semester.
  • CM 3830 Mineral Processing and Extraction Lab is usually offered every spring semester.
  • GE 2300 Mineral Science is usually offered every fall semester. This course includes a lecture and laboratory.

For the thermodynamics courses, check with the department offering the course for the expected planned schedule.

For the elective courses:

  • CM 3825 Sampling, Statistics, and Instrumentation is usually offered every other spring during odd years, such as Spring ’23, Spring ’25, etc.
  • CM 4020 Undergrad Research in Mineral Processing Engineering is offered on demand. If you are interested in doing undergraduate research then you will need to talk to the faculty who are doing research in the mineral processing area to see if they have a project that you can work on with them. The faculty currently doing research in this area is Dr. Eisele and Dr. Pan.
  • CM 4505 Particle Technology is usually offered every other spring during even years, such as Spring ’22, Spring ’24, etc.
  • CM 4510 Interfacial Engineering is usually offered every other spring during odd years, such as Spring ’23, Spring ’25, etc.
  • CM/MSE 4740 Hydrometallurgy/Pyrometallurgy is usually offered every spring.
  • EC 4630 Mineral Industry Economics is usually offered every other spring semester and requires principles of economics as a prereq. However it hasn’t been offered recently and so you’ll need to check with the College of Business to see when it will be available next.
  • ENT XXXX Enterprise Project Work. If you are doing work in Enterprise that is in the mineral processing area then up to three credits of Enterprise may be approved to use towards the minor. Email a brief description of your project for each of the semesters that you wish to be considered for approval to the chemical engineering advisor.
  • GE 3400 Drilling and Blasting is usually offered every fall and requires additional prerequisites. However, if you have already completed both PH 2100 University Physics I and CM 2200 Intro to Minerals and Materials, then you might be able to get permission to enroll in the class. Contact the instructor of the course for consideration.
  • GE 4360 Bulk Material Dynamics and Engineering is usually offered every spring and requires additional prerequisites. However, if you are a chemical engineering student who has already completed both PH 2100 University Physics I and CM 3110 Transport & Unit Operations I, then you might be able to get permission to enroll in the class. Contact the instructor of the course for consideration.
  • MSE 2121 Materials Characterization I and MSE 2122 Materials Characterization I Lab are offered every spring and require additional prerequisites and so you’ll need to plan ahead.


How do I get permission to enroll in graduate-level courses?

If you are an undergraduate student, then you will need permission to enroll in chemical engineering graduate courses. You will need to have earned a C or better at the undergraduate-level for permission to enroll in the graduate-level course. Contact the academic advisor to request permission.

  • CM 5100 (Grad Math): C or better in MA 3160 (Multivariable Calc) and MA 3520 or MA 3521 (Diff Eq)
  • CM 5200 (Grad Thermo): C or better in CM 3230 (Thermo)
  • CM 5300 (Grad Transport): C or better in CM 3120 (Transport & UO II) and a B or better in CM 5100 (Grad Math)
  • CM 5400 (Grad Kinetics): C or better in CM 3510 (ChE Rxn Engineering)

The following classes are typically available only to graduate students.

  • CM 5310 (Lab Safety): Requires special permission
  • CM 5500 (Theory and Methods of Research): Requires special permission


How does doing Enterprise for senior design work?

If you are involved in Enterprise, you may choose to use your Enterprise experience towards your senior design requirement, pending departmental approval of your project. Students choosing this option will take the following design classes senior year:

Fall semester – CM 4855 ChE Process Analysis and Design I. 3 credits. All ChE students take this course.

Fall semester – ENT 4950 Enterprise Project Work V Capstone. 2 credits. You will need departmental permission to enroll in this class. This course can count towards your technical electives or free electives, if needed.

Spring semester – CM 4860 ChE Process Analysis and Design II. 2 credits. All ChE students take this course.

Spring semester – ENT 4960 Enterprise Project Work VI Capstone. 2 credits. This course will substitute for CM 4861 (1 credit) on your online degree audit. The additional credit from this course can count towards your technical or free electives, if needed.


What should I do to prepare for the FE exam?

You may purchase an FE exam review book to help you prepare. The department also has several review books available to borrow. Go to the department office to check these out.

There is also a lot of information available online to help you prepare. The University of Colorado Boulder has a very comprehensive review site for ChE’s taking the FE exam.


How will the curriculum changes affect me?

Anyone in sophomore, junior, or senior ChE classes will be affected by these changes.

Seniors graduating in Spring ’22: For Fall ’21, you need to enroll in both CM 4320 Process Safety (2 credits) and CM 3980 Sustainable Chemical Engineering (1 credit).  These classes are replacing the old CM 4310 Process Safety/Environment (3 cr) course and are only planned to be offered in the fall next year (2021).

Students taking third-year ChE class: For Fall ’21, you should enroll in CM 3230 Thermo for ChE along with the other usual CM classes and take Pchem in either fall or spring semesters of junior year.  Pchem lecture, CH 3510, is still required for graduation, but will no longer need to be taken before thermo.  You should take thermo in the fall because this will spread out your junior ChE classes more evenly between fall and spring semesters and will allow room for the sophomores to take thermo in the spring.  Be aware that the last time CM 2120 is being offered is Summer ’21.

Students taking second-year ChE classes: For Fall ’21, you should enroll in all the classes on your flowchart.  However, be aware that the title for CM 2110 has been changed to Material and Energy Balances.  Then in the spring you will be taking CM 3230 Thermo for ChE.  If you are done with your math by spring semester then you will also be able to start taking some of the other third-year level ChE classes, if you wish.  During third-year you will be taking a 3000-level separations course that is replacing the old CM 2120 course.  

If you have completed CM 2120 fundamentals of ChE II then you may stay on your current catalog year.  However, if you would like to take advantage of the new technical elective rules and/or pchem lab no longer being a requirement,  then next fall you will need to let me know that you’d like to be moved to the new catalog year.  The required classes that you’ve already taken will work with any of the catalog years.  

Spring 2022 will be the last semester that students will be allowed to take CM 3230 thermo concurrently with the spring third-year ChE classes, CM 3120 transport/UO II, CM 3310 process control, and CM 3510 chemical reaction engineering.


How do I sign up to take the FE exam?

The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a Pearson VUE test and so you will need to register for it on the Pearson VUE webpage. Once you have paid for the exam you will be able to choose your testing site. The Michigan Tech testing center will be one option. If none of the Michigan Tech testing center dates work for you then contact the testing center directly and ask if other dates could be made available.

The Chemical Engineering department will help you pay for a portion of the test if you request the reimbursement prior to graduating. Drop off or email your receipt to the department office to request reimbursement.


Should I take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam?

Yes, you should take the FE exam because working towards getting your professional engineering license is a multi-year process and the best time to start it is when you are finishing your bachelors degree. 

The licensure requirements vary from state to state, but they usually involve the following steps:
1.  Earn an engineering degree from an accredited program.  Our program is ABET accredited. 
2.  Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
3.  Obtain professional work experience
4.  Pass the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

You are already working on step one.  The next step is to pass the FE exam.  You may take the FE exam when you are close to finishing your degree.  The department will also help pay for a portion of the exam if you choose to schedule it during your last year at Michigan Tech.  

Not everyone will end up getting or needing a professional engineering license but whether you will need or want it is difficult to know early in your career.  Taking the FE exam now requires less preparation because the information covered on the test is fresh in your mind.  Your FE exam results do not expire.

See also: How do I sign up to take the FE exam? and What should I do to prepare for the FE exam?