Mathematics & Natural Sciences Requirements
All undergraduate engineering students are required to complete a minimum of 16 credits of coursework in mathematics and 16 credits of coursework in the natural sciences. Specific requirements in each of these subject areas are described below:
The following four courses in college calculus are required:
CAS MA 123 | Calculus I
CAS MA 124 | Calculus II
CAS MA 225 | Multivariate Calculus
CAS MA 226 | Differential Equations
Students in their first semester of study typically enroll in CAS MA 123, Calculus I, unless they have advanced placement examination credit or transfer credit in calculus.
Students with advanced placement examination credit or transfer credit for Calculus I may use it to satisfy the requirement for CAS MA 123. Such students typically enroll in CAS MA 124, then CAS MA 225, followed by CAS MA 226. Students with advanced placement examination credit or transfer credit for Calculus I and II may use it to satisfy the requirement for CAS MA 123 and CAS MA 124, and can enroll in MA 225, followed by MA 226. Such students may opt to first enroll in CAS MA 127 Calculus Review, then CAS MA 225, followed by CAS MA 226. Please note that students cannot receive credit for both MA124 and MA127.
Students who have previous experience in calculus, but do not receive advanced placement credit or transfer credit, are advised to first enroll in CAS MA 123. In exceptional circumstances, and with approval of their faculty advisor, such students may instead begin in CAS MA 124 or CAS MA 127. These students must still satisfy the 16-credit math requirement. An advanced mathematics course taken to fulfill the requirements of a major can be used to meet this requirement. Students who do not have credit for CAS MA 123 may find that they have fewer credits than necessary to graduate without completing an additional course.
Honors-level courses in Calculus and Differential Equations (CAS MA 129, CAS MA 230, CAS MA 231) are acceptable substitutions for CAS MA 127, CAS MA 225 and CAS MA 226, respectively.
Every engineering student is required to take a minimum of three natural science courses: an introductory chemistry course, CAS CH 131 (or CAS CH 101), and two physics courses, CAS PY 211 and CAS PY 212. Students in some majors are required to take additional natural science courses. See specific curricula for each program.
Students who wish to have a more in-depth foundation in chemistry may substitute one of the following 2-course sequences in place of the CH 101/CH 102 sequence: CAS CH 101 or CAS CH 109 and CAS CH 110, CAS CH 111 and CAS CH 108, or CAS CH 111 and CAS CH 112
Students who wish to have a more in-depth foundation in physics may substitute the 2-course sequence CAS PY 251 and CAS PY 252 in place of the PY 211/PY 212 sequence, and CAS PY 351 or CAS PY 352 in place of CAS PY 313.
Students who are undecided but are considering biomedical engineering as a major should take CAS CH 101 instead of CAS CH 131.
Common Engineering Requirements
The six common engineering courses required in all engineering programs cover basic engineering sciences:
ENG EK 102 | Introduction to Linear Algebra (2 cr)
ENG EK 127/EK128 | Engineering Computation (4 cr)
ENG EK 131/132 | Introduction to Engineering (2 cr)
ENG EK 210 | Introduction to Engineering Design (2 cr)
ENG EK 301 | Engineering Mechanics I (4 cr)
ENG EK 307 | Electric Circuits (4 cr)
These courses are taken by all engineering majors in the freshman and sophomore years.
General Education Requirements
The College of Engineering General Education Requirement is intended to enhance the ability of engineering students to communicate effectively, and to better understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and/or societal context. All College of Engineering undergraduates are required to take a minimum of 24 credits of general education courses: a two-course writing sequence, distribution in humanities and social sciences (three courses, at least one in social science and at least one in humanities); and a general education elective (at least one course).
The general education requirements are as follows:
|Writing Requirement||8 credits|
|Social Science/Humanities Distribution||12 credits|
|General Education Elective||4 credits|
CAS Core Curriculum: The CAS Core Curriculum is an alternative path to completing the General Education Requirements. More information about this alternative is available at the Undergraduate Programs Office.
All College of Engineering undergraduate students are required to satisfy the writing requirement by successfully completing CAS WR 100 and CAS WR 150.
The Social Sciences/Humanities Distribution Requirement
All College of Engineering undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits (3 courses) in the humanities and social sciences, at least one in social science and at least one in humanities.
Social Sciences: The Social Sciences are the study of individual relationships in and with society. Students must take at least one course in the social sciences. Courses that fulfill this requirement must be chosen from the approved list of SS courses.
Humanities: The humanities are the branches of knowledge concerned with individuals and their culture. Students must take at least one course in the humanities. Courses that fulfill this requirement must be chosen from an approved list of HU courses.
Students must take at least one additional four-credit course in either social sciences or humanities.
General Education Elective
The general education elective allows students to be exposed to fields of study beyond social sciences and humanities in order to further broaden their education. This 4-credit elective can be satisfied by appropriate combinations of 1-4 credit courses that include additional writing, social sciences, humanities, languages, fine arts, among others. Courses that can be used to satisfy this requirement are listed here.
Please note: non-native English speakers may not use a language course in their native language to fulfill this requirement. Students who are bilingual or fluent in a language other than English may not use a conversation course in that language to fulfill this requirement If they are unable to read or write in their second language, they may use a grammar or composition course for this requirement.
Students who transfer credit from another institution to satisfy any of their General Education requirements may incur a credit deficiency if any of these transferred courses are less than 4 credits. Students are responsible for making up any credit deficiencies in their General Education courses in order to complete the 24 required credits.
Undergraduate Program Planning Sheets
Each degree program offered by the College of Engineering has an undergraduate Program PlanningSheet that shows the sequence of courses required for that degree and includes checklists that note additional program requirements. The program planning sheet has been designed to assist the student and the faculty advisor in planning an academic program that satisfies the degree requirements for the student’s program.
Minors, Concentrations & Special Programs
To request a waiver of an academic regulation or requirement, a Petition must be submitted. The petition must clearly state what is being requested and the reason(s) for the request. Petitions should be discussed with the student's faculty advisor and require the advisor's recommendation and signature. Completed petitions must be submitted to the Undergraduate Records Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Submitted petitions are reviewed by both the department and the Associate Dean. Students are notified of the outcome, usually within three weeks. Unusual requests may take longer. Petition forms are available online here:
College of Engineering students may receive advanced placement credit by earning a qualifying score on the appropriate advanced placement examination administered by the College Board (see Advanced Credit Guide). Students may also receive International Baccalaureate credit by earning a qualifying score on the appropriate subject-matter examination (see IB Course Equivalence). In all cases, AP or IB examinations must be taken prior to matriculation at Boston University.
Students who have taken the advanced placement examinations must have the official CEEB score reports submitted to the Admissions Office in order to determine eligibility for advanced placement credit. In the event that credit is awarded, students should confirm the posting of credit to their student record via the Student Link. Please note: if a student chooses to enroll in the same or equivalent course for which AP credit has been awarded, the duplicate credits cannot be applied to the degree. Courses taken at Boston University take precedence over AP credit. Freshmen must resolve all advanced placement credit issues within 6 months of initial registration at Boston University.
When a student has fulfilled all course and curricular requirements for a degree program with fewer credits than required for the degree (e.g., due to transferred courses from another school), the student must make up the credit deficiency in one of the following ways:
- Academic courses taken at Boston University or transferred from another institution that are not being used to satisfy College of Engineering degree program requirements. Pass/fail courses, multiple enrollments in the same or equivalent course, and courses below the minimum level required for an engineering degree (e.g. PY 106, MA 122, etc.) may not be used for this purpose.
- Extra credits earned when a 4-credit course is used to satisfy a 2-credit course requirement (e.g. MA 242 for MA 142)
- Extra credits earned when more than 4 credits are used to fulfill a 4-credit course requirement.
- Advanced Placement (AP) credit for courses not applied to the College of Engineering degree program, provided the course is not below the minimum level required for an engineering degree (e.g. AP credit for BI 107 is acceptable; AP credit for PY 105 and/or PY 106 is not acceptable). Note that if a student chooses to enroll in the same or equivalent course for which AP credit has been awarded, the duplicate credits cannot be used to fulfill a credit deficiency (e.g. AP credit for MA 123 and enrolls in MA 123; AP credit for MA 123, MA 124 and enrolls in MA 123, MA 124; AP credit for MA 123, MA 124 and enrolls in MA 127 – credit for MA 124 is forfeited; AP credit for PY 211 and enrolls in PY 251).
- Courses applied to a minor in excess of the minimum credits required for the degree (i.e. 12 credits more than credits required for the major program), excluding any courses counted toward both the major and the minor programs (maximum of 8 credits).
Students who are interested in applying to medical school after earning their engineering degree need to be aware of the minimum requirements for admission to most medical schools. As early as possible in your undergraduate career, premedical engineering students should visit the Pre-professional Advising Office, 100 Bay State Road, 4th floor. Pre-medical students may also be interested in the ENGMEDIC program.
Pre-medical students should note that Advanced Placement (AP) credit in a core science course usually will not satisfy pre-medical requirements, since medical schools prefer that you take your science requirements while you are in college. If you do utilize Advanced Placement credit for one of these courses, be sure to take another course at a higher level in the same discipline.
The minimum requirements for most medical programs are: one year of biology with laboratory; one year of general chemistry with laboratory; one year of organic chemistry with laboratory; one year of physics with laboratory; one year of mathematics. The College of Engineering social science and humanities requirements usually satisfy medical school requirements in these areas. Many medical schools require one year of English at the college level—composition or literature or a combination of both. For more information, contact the Pre-professional Advising Office, 100 Bay State Road, 4th floor, 617 353-4866.
In order to graduate, students must complete all of the degree requirements for their respective degree programs. Additionally, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.
All students must also satisfy the General Education, Math, Natural Science and Residency requirements as described above.
Degree requirement: at least 48 credits of coursework taken at Boston University in the upper division of the student’s engineering degree program. A student’s upper division program consists of the program requirements and/or program electives required for the student’s major as listed on the program planning sheet for the junior and senior years. A credit deficiency in engineering credits must be satisfied by an engineering course. General Education courses do not count toward the residency requirement. The residency requirement must be completed within the five years preceding the student’s official date of graduation, with the exception of military service.
No more than 12 credits with a grade of D may be applied toward an engineering degree. This requirement applies only to the set of courses presented for graduation and not to all courses that may appear on the transcript. If a course is repeated to meet this requirement, both courses are included in computing the cumulative GPA.
Students who have transferred courses from another college or university and have satisfied all course requirements but are deficient in the number of credits required to graduate must make up the credit deficiency
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