Why am I getting a “Major Restriction” error when I try to enroll in University Chemistry II lab/recitation?

In the spring semester there is one section of CH 1161 University Chemistry Lab II and one section of CH 1163 University Chemistry Recitation II that is reserved for only chemistry majors, which is not us.  This section is indicated under “course comments” when you click on the CRN for any of the lab or recitation sections.

You will need to choose a different section of CH 1161 and/or CH 1163.

Note that CH 1163 U Chem II recitation is recommended because of positive feedback we’ve received from students who have taken it.  They tell us that it is even more helpful than U Chem I recitation because U Chem II is more new material and less review of high school chemistry topics than U Chem I.  If you choose to take U Chem II recitation then it can count towards your free elective requirement.


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.


I transfered to Tech, but the rules have changed! Can anything be done?

The rules that apply to determine if any student has met graduation requirements are enshrined in what is called the “catalog year.”  If you are a traditional student who enrolls directly after high school in the fall, your catalog year is yyyy08, where yyyy is the year that you started at Michigan Tech.  Your catalog year is listed in Banweb when you look at your unofficial transcript.  You need to know your catalog year when you look up the general education rules and the rules for your major.

A transfer student who looks up Michigan Tech’s requirements but then transfers two years later may have some difficulty in matching up the courses taken to the rules in force when he/she arrives at Tech–the rules may have changed.

In April 2016, the Michigan Tech University Senate amended the catalog policy to allow for some leeway for such students and for students who leave Tech for a year or more before returning.  The complete policy is in the current catalog and also archived as Senate Proposal 26-16.

Please see the current catalog for the most up-to-date phrasing.  The basics of the policy are here:

  • The University catalog expires after seven years. Students may not graduate using a catalog that is more than seven years old.
  • Students maintaining continuous enrollment at Michigan Tech may expect to graduate under the degree requirements in effect at the time that they became a degree-seeking student at Michigan Tech.
  • Students changing majors will follow the degree requirements in effect at the time of the change of major.
  • Students adding a major or minor will follow the requirements for the additional curriculum in effect at the time it is added.
  • Students who have been absent from the University for three or more consecutive semesters (including summer) will follow the degree requirements in effect at the time of re-enrollment.
  • With approval from the academic department, students may follow the degree requirements from an earlier catalog. The catalog selected must be within seven years prior to the student’s graduation or the first term the student was enrolled as a degree-seeking student at a regionally accredited institution, whichever is shortest.

The final bullet provides flexibility for transfer students.  If you graduate from high school and enroll at a regionally accredited institution as a degree-seeking student, you may petition your academic department at Tech to request to be placed on the catalog year that corresponds to the semester you started at your transfer institution.  Note that you must obtain departmental permission for this change in catalog year (it is not automatic).  Note also that students who are dual enrolled or doing a “13th year” are not eligible for this flexibility, since they would not be enrolled as degree seeking during their dual/13th year status.


I got “major restriction” when I tried to register for organic lab; why is that?

For organic lab CH 2411 you will need to choose a lab section that is not L07 or L09. These two sections are reserved for chemistry major (not chemical engineering). Any seats available in these classes will open up after the initial registration period is over, so if there are still seats, you can try later to register for those restricted sections.


How do I plan out my chemical engineering degree at Michigan Tech?

The CM degree at Michigan Tech requires 131 credits plus 3 credits of co-curricular classes (physical education).  What classes are required for you depends on when you started at Michigan Tech, known as your catalog year.  The requirements are all posted on our advising webpages, and we made a video walking you through the process for planning out your degree.

Here’s the basic process.

  1. Go to our advising webpage and select Undergraduate — Advising — Plan Your Schedule
  2. Print out the course requirements (4 year plan or 5 year plan), the General Education Requirements, the co-curricular requirements, and the Technical Elective requirements that go with your catalog year.
  3. On your 4 (0r 5) year plan, cross off any courses for which you already have credit.
  4. Print out a blank Academic Plan worksheet.
  5. Fill in the Academic Plan worksheet with all the remaining courses.

There is a great deal that goes into that step “5” up there, and we’ve made some videos to help you find your way through the process.  Once you have a good rough plan, you may wish to make an appointment with a CM advisor to make sure that you’ve got all the details right.

That’s it!  Welcome to Michigan Tech Chemical Engineering–We’re glad you’re here.


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.


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.


How do I register for ENT 4950?

The ENT 4950 and ENT 4960 courses are reserved for students who are using an Enterprise project for their senior design project.

You will be allowed to register for ENT 4950 during the regular fall registration period that opens in March.  You will need department permission from the advising office before enrolling and must have started in the Enterprise no later than spring of your junior year.  You will also need to have already completed or be concurrently enrolled in CM 4855 .  Subsequently, during early fall semester you will need to submit an abstract detailing your project to have your project approved for senior design.  You must complete both ENT 4950 and ENT 4960  for the project to qualify for the senior design substitution.

Both CM 4855 CM Process Analysis & Design I (fall) and CM 4860 CM Process Analysis & Design 2 (spring) are required for all chemical engineering students. For approved projects, one credit from ENT 4960 substitutes for CM 4861.  The additional three credits that you earn from ENT 4950 and ENT 4960 can be used towards your technical electives or free electives.  If your project is not approved at the abstract stage, then you will need to take CM 4861 CM Design Laboratory 2 in the spring semester.

To receive departmental permission complete the Google form Declaration of intent to complete alternative senior design project.  You will be notified via email when you’ve been given permission to enroll in ENT 4950.

See related:  How do I get a project approved for senior design?


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.