Freshman FAQ

Q) I am a CENG major. What classes should I register for during the First Pass? Are CENG majors guaranteed a spot in CENG classes?

A)  Incoming freshmen enrolling in their first quarter at UC San Diego have one pass to enroll in classes. These students are recommended to enroll in all specified core courses (CENG and NANO), and Chemistry, Physics, and Math courses*. Students enrolling in their second quarter or more (continuing students) are allotted two passes during the enrollment period. These students are recommended to enroll in any required Chemistry, Physics, and Math courses during their first pass, and their major core courses (CENG and NANO) in their second pass*.

*All students should contact their college advisor for General Education enrollment information.  

Q) Are CENG/NANO majors guaranteed a spot in CENG/NANO classes?

A) Major students have priority for enrolling in CENG/NANO core courses. Advisors will reserve a number of seats during the enrollment period to ensure a better chance of major students getting into necessary courses. We highly recommend students enroll as early as their enrollment period allows them. Reserved seats will be opened up to all students closer to the start date. Please note: there is no priority enrollment for students within the major for elective courses.  

Q) If I got AP credit for a lower division math or science course required for my major, do I have to retake the course?

A) No. If you have received AP credit for a course, and it appears on your Academic History/Degree Audit, you do not have to take the class over. We advise that you continue with the math and physics series as prescribed in your curriculum.

Q) When can I enroll in classes? How do I enroll in my classes?

A) Your enrollment time and date will be posted on your UC San Diego student portal. If you need help finding your registration time or need help with enrollment, please review the WebReg tutorial. The Department cannot change enrollment times or dates.

Q) Do I have to take all courses for letter grades?

A) Yes, except for CENG 4, CENG 199, NANO 4, and NANO 199, which you take for pass/no pass.

Q) TritonLink won’t let me enroll in a class. It says I don’t meet the prerequisites but I took it. What do I do?  

A)  Submit a Course Pre-authorization request so that an advisor can review your academic history and override the prerequisite hold if applicable. Please review the process of how to submit a request here.

Q) TritonLink says I need pre-approval to enroll in a course. What do I do?

A) If you meet the pre-requisite for the course, you must submit a Course Pre-authorization request, including the Section ID for which you are seeking approval. Please review the process of how to submit a request here.

Q) What if the class I want to add is full?

A) If a class you hope to add is full, add yourself to the wait list. The wait list sequence is first-come, first-serve. Be sure to enroll during your appointment time! An automated computer program will move eligible students off the wait lists and into classes as seats become available. It will run nightly through the end of the second week of the quarter.

If you are on a waitlist, we recommend that you stay on the waitlist. Keep in mind that classes fill up fast during the initial registration period. During the first week of the quarter, students will start to drop courses, as they readjust their schedules, opening spaces in the courses. Once space is available students will automatically be enrolled in the course. The department also contacts the Registrar’s Office and requests larger rooms to accommodate more students, if needed.

Please note that if you are on a waitlist for a class that has a section with available seats, you will not be moved off the waitlist and the expectation is that you enroll in the section that is available. 

Q) What are the G.E. courses on my four-year plan?

A) The general education (G.E.) courses listed on your major curriculum are there to help you plan your college general education courses accordingly. However, every college has different general education requirements. Please see a college advisor for more information regarding the number of required G.E. courses.

Q) Can I switch from my current college to another college?

A) Yes, but only after you have completed your college’s writing program and if you can demonstrate that switching to a different college will allow you to graduate in fewer academic quarters. In practice, the overwhelming majority of students are happy with their college assignment, even if it was not their first choice originally, and few students apply to switch. For more information, please contact your college.

Q) What is the difference between College and department advising?

A) Each undergraduate student at UC San Diego has academic advisors in their academic department, as well as in their college.

CENG and NANO Academic Advisors

The CENG and NANO Academic Advisors help students with major curriculum planning, petitions, regulations, degree checks, etc. The advisors can also refer students to faculty for advice on engineering specialization, technical electives, and career options.

College Advising

College Advisors help students with four-year curriculum planning and college-specific general education courses.

Q) How do I make an appointment to meet with a CENG or NANO Academic Advisor?

A) NanoEngineering Student Affairs does not schedule same-day appointments. To schedule an appointment, please contact an advisor through the Virtual Advising Center with dates and times that you are available to meet. An advisor will respond to your request within 1-3 business days. Please click here to see the hours of operation.  

Q) What computer/ laptop should I buy?

A) Computer choice for students is a moving target, with the rapid changes in technology. The university provides computers in the labs and libraries with all software needed already installed. But many students find benefits in having their own computers. Many students like the portability and long battery life of notebooks. These lower cost computers can run some engineering software such as Matlab, but they typically will not run Autodesk Inventor and ProE. One solution is to have both a notebook and a higher powered laptop or desktop at home. One can use an Apple computer, but with a partition to run Windows programs, such as Inventor, ProE, and Labview.

Q) What engineering organizations can I get involved in as an engineering student?

A) Our engineering student organizations help students develop their leadership skills and connect with the Jacobs School community. Activities range from professional development and career networking to project teams, design competitions and K-12 outreach. The student organization for chemical engineers is AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers). The student organization for nanoengineers is NETS (Nanoengineering and Technology Society). For a list of engineering student organizations that you can be involved in please visit JSOE’s website.

Q) Can I double major?

A) UC San Diego does allow students to double major, however, you cannot double major or major and minor in two engineering majors. For example, you can double major in Economics and Electrical Engineering but you cannot double major in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. To learn more about how to declare a double major once you are a current student at UC San Diego, please visit here to view the requirements.

Q) Can I retake a class at the community college, if I received a letter grade for it at UC San Diego?  

A) No. If you received a grade of D or below at UC San Diego, you must re-take the course at UC San Diego.

Q) Can I retake a class at UC San Diego if I already completed the class at the community college?  

A) No. If you retake the class at UC San Diego the grade will not factor in the GPA.  You will only receive units for it.