Category: Succeeding in ChE

How do I figure out which classes to take next semester?

You need two items to figure this out:

  • Your transcript. Go to Banweb to see your unofficial transcript.  It is extremely important to look at it and know exactly what classes are on it.
  • A flowchart or sample schedule for your catalog year.  All of our advising handouts are available on the Degree Requirements page, sorted by catalog year.

Start by crossing off the classes that you have completed and are currently enrolled in. Run your online degree audit on Banweb to see if it matches. If you see anything that doesn’t match then see your academic advisor to find out why.

Choose classes that are next on the flowchart/sample schedule. It’s usually useful to plan for several semesters out. Review your plan with your academic advisor. It really helps to have a second set of eyes look at your plan.

Are there any upcoming peer mentoring workshops?

Yes! Here’s the current schedule for this semester. These are informal chats. Leave early, come late as your schedule permits.

Fall 2022

*Subscribe to the ChE advising events calendar for the most current date/time/location information.

Topic Date* Time* Location*
Student Organizations: Learn about how and why to involved in student orgs. Wednesday, September 7th 6:30 pm Chem Sci 215
Resumes: Bring your resume, even if it’s just a draft. Wednesday, September 14th 6:30 pm Chem Sci 215
Co-ops/Internships: What it’s like to do a co-op/internships and interview tips. Monday, September19th 7:00 pm Chem Sci 215
Preparing for Exams: Learn about campus resources to help you prepare for mid-terms. Tuesday, September 27th 6:30 pm Chem Sci 215
Enterprise: What it’s like to be on an Enterprise team. Wednesday, October 5th 5:00 pm Chem Sci 310
Registration: Start preparing for spring registration with tips on how to plan your schedule. Wednesday, October 12th 6:30 pm Chem Sci 215
Minors: Minor options and how to fit it in with your major requirements. Wednesday, October 19th 6:30 pm Chem Sci 215
Junior ChE Courses: If you’ll be taking junior-level ChE classes next semester then stop by for help planning your classes. Tuesday, October 25th 5:00 pm Chem Sci 310
Sophomore ChE Courses: If you’ll be taking sophomore-level ChE classes next semester then stop by for help planning your classes. Wednesday, October 26th 5:00 pm Chem Sci 310
First-year Courses: If you’ll be taking first-year classes next semester then stop by for help planning your classes. Tuesday, November 1st 5:00 pm Chem Sci 310
Research: What it’s like to do undergraduate research with a faculty member and how to find a research mentor. Tuesday, November 29th 6:30 pm Chem Sci 215
First-Semester Recap: How did your first semester go? Tell us about it. Tuesday, December 6th 5:00 pm Chem Sci 310

What happens if I retake a class?

Important Information on Retaking Classes

You may retake any class.  However we recommend only repeating courses in which you receive a CD, D, or F because a C is good enough.  Before choosing to retake a class, be aware of the following:

The second grade always replaces the first grade.  If you retake a class and receive a better grade, this will improve both your semester and overall GPAs.  However, you can retake a class and get a worse grade.   For example, if you have a D (a passing grade) and retake a course and receive an F (a failing grade), you now have a failing grade in the course and will have to take the class for a third time.

You may only take a class three times.  You must receive permission from the Dean of Students Office and your academic advisor to register for a class the third time.  If the class that you are retaking is a required class for your program, and you do not pass the class during the third attempt, then you may no longer continue in the program.  Below is the link to Michigan Tech’s policy on retaking classes. www.mtu.edu/registrar/students/registration/policies/repeat-course/

Retaking classes you have previously passed may impact your financial aid.  Contact the Student Financial Services Center (www.mtu.edu/finaid/) for an evaluation of your situation.

You may retake a class at another school and transfer in the credit. Only a grade of C or better will transfer. A C- or below does not transfer. It is the credit that transfers, not the grade, and so when you transfer in the course it will remove the previous grade from your Michigan Tech GPA calculation.

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

No, you don’t have to retake it. However we recommend that you do because these topics are important for your junior and senior engineering classes.

You will be using math, chemistry, and physics in your ChE classes to solve various engineering problems.  In particular, using math to solve engineering problems intensifies in the junior year. Students usually struggle with this, even if they have previously done well in their math classes because the problems look different, the terminology is sometimes different, and you’re being asked to recall concepts that you learned a year ago (or longer!).  

To prepare for junior year ChE classes, review topics from calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations. Review your notes from math classes, retake classes you did poorly in, and/or utilize online resources, like Khan Academy.

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

How important are co-ops to getting a job? (and other career questions)

Steve Patchin, Michigan Tech Director of Career Services, is very knowledgeable on this subject.  He recently co-wrote a posting for NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers in which he cites the data.  Here are the questions (and answers) they address:

  • Company conversion rate co-op/intern to full-time employee: 61 percent (median – 80 percent )
  • Will your company be increasing the number of internships it offers?  77 percent – YES!
  • What does co-op/internship experience mean to companies? (read the posting)
  • What do students see as their value? (read the posting)
  • What do recruiters value most? Co-op or GPA?  Co-op/Internship Experience – 51 percent | GPA – 13 percent | Both – 36 percent
  • Will you make room for top talent? 88 percent – YES!

Check out the article!

How can I do better in my classes?

To help students who hope to do better in their academics, there are resources available at Michigan Tech through the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success, located on the first floor of the Administration building.

One option is to set up a regular appointment with a student peer success coach. This is coordinated through the Wahtera Center.  We have  had several students participate in thisprogram throughout the years and they had pretty good things to say about it. Mainly the coach served to help them find ways to stay on track.  For more information see the Wahtera Center’s website.



Do you have any videos for ChemE Advising?

Yes!  We are working on making videos to make it convenient for you to obtain the advice you need to plan your degree.  Here’s what we have so far:

If you have any suggestions for more videos, email your ideas to cmadvise@mtu.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

Can I take PH 2200 and CM 3110 at the same time?

We recommend that you complete all the first and second year courses, including PH 2200, before beginning your junior chemical engineering courses, especially CM 3110.

Although we recommend that you complete PH 2200 before taking CM 3110, you are permitted to take them at the same time or to defer PH 2200 to a later semester.    In Fall 2014, 44% of the students taking PH 2200 and CM 3110 at the same time failed CM 3110 or earned a D in CM 3110.  Note, also, that PH 2200 is a prerequisite for CM 3310 Process Controls, which is only offered in the spring semester.

If you are not following the standard sequence, please reflect on your capabilities and your academic strengths and weaknesses as  you plan your schedule.  You may wish to discuss your situation with your advisor.  If you are a strong student, you can succeed in CM 3110 even without having completed all your second-year physics.  Even strong students, however, will get more out of CM 3110 if they approach it with the full preparation of all the first and second year courses having been completed with a C or better.