Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I transfer before completing the pre-engineering curriculum?

Yes. Anytime a school is accepting transfer applicants, you can apply. But depending on the school and number of transfer applicants, it may be easy or virtually impossible to transfer early. Schools like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the University of California pretty much require that you complete our pre-engineering curriculum.

What are my chances of being accepted as a transfer student to _______ ?

If your college GPA is below 2.0, you have little or no chance of being accepted as a transfer student anywhere. For schools with more applicants than they can accept (like a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), finishing our entire pre-engineering curriculum with a 3.0 GPA gives you a good chance of being accepted; with a 3.5 GPA you have a great chance. But odds are very hard to estimate because it varies so much depending on the school, field of engineering, and other factors.

I want to major in architecture, should I be in your pre-engineering program?

Architectural Engineering is a branch of Civil Engineering and everything in our program applies. Architecture is a very different animal, it is closer to an art major than it is engineering and far fewer math and science courses are required. CSUB does not have an architecture major so all the advice regarding transferring is applicable. The pre-engineering advisors do have experience advising architecture majors and you should meet with them as your regular advisors while at CSUB.

Should I try to finish all my general education courses before starting the core pre-engineering courses?

NO!!! Your primary focus in the pre-engineering program should be taking the math and science courses. Only three general education courses are required in order to transfer (usually English Composition, Logical Reasoning, and Speech), the rest of the general education courses can be taken after transferring (note that upper-division general education must be taken at the school where you will be graduating).

CSUB pre-engineering students normally take a math class every quarter along with one or two science courses, filling in any holes in the schedule with GE courses.

I got a D in calculus, what should I do?

First, figure out why the bad grade happened and be certain that it will not happen again. It doesn't take many D's and F's to bury you in a bad-GPA hole that you will never be able to dig out of. Then you should re-take the course, filling out the proper paperwork to have your previous grade replaced (note that grade replacements are allowed only a limited number of times).

I’m in the Hawk Honors program at CSUB, that’s a good thing, right?

Yes and no. Yes, because you will be taking great classes with top-notch instructors and bonus field trips. Also yes because being in honors classes may (slightly) improve your chances of being accepted as a transfer student. Yes, Honors students get priority registration.  No, because you will be transferring and dropping out of the honors program (it is just a CSUB program). Finally, no because the honors program often suggests courses that conflict with your engineering courses. Please talk to your advisor when this issue comes up.

Will taking summer classes allow me to transfer or graduate sooner?

Yes, although few or no math/science courses are offered at CSUB during the summer. General education courses are needed to graduate and can improve transfer chances.

Can I take classes at BC as well as CSUB?

Certainly, but beware that BC is on a semester system.

I’ve finished the entire pre-engineering curriculum but I’m still going to be at CSUB for another quarter, what classes should I take?

 First, take any lower-division general education that you still need.For most fields of engineering, additional math classes are often a good choice, such as

MATH 205 Differential Equation
MATH 206 Advanced Engineering Mathematics
MATH 330 Linear Algebra
MATH 402 Partial Differential Equations

Most engineers can also benefit from

ENGR 244 Properties of Materials
ENGR 270 Introduction to CAD in Engineering
ENGR 271 Intermediate CAD in Engineering

Electrical and computer engineers can benefit from additional computer science courses. Civil and petroleum engineers should consider geology courses. Chemical engineers chemistry classes. See your advisor for additional suggestions.

Note: Not every class is offered every quarter.

I would like to transfer to an out-of-state School of Engineering, is that possible?

Yes. Our pre-engineering curriculum parallels most other programs in the country, so it will help you to transfer out-of-state. You should contact the engineering school to see what course work they require.

I cannot transfer to any engineering schools because I cannot move away from Kern County. What alternatives do I have?

Many science graduates find rewarding engineering careers in industry. The first two years required for a B.S. degree in Physics are nearly identical to the pre-engineering curriculum.Depending on your choice of engineering major, here are some alternative ideas:


Engineering Major

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Bio-Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

CSUB Science Alternative

  • Engineering Sciences
  • Electrical Engineering at CSUB
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Geology or Biology
  • Biology
  • Math

How long will it take for me to complete my engineering degree?

Typically 2-3 years at CSUB and another 3 years after transferring, 5-6 years overall. Note that science degrees at CSUB typically take 4-5 years.

What’s the best school to transfer to if I want to major in _____ engineering?

I don't know, you can find rankings on-line. It is possible to transfer from CSUB to any school, even those ranked best in the country. But getting a degree in engineering is more important than where you get it. The prestige of the university shouldn't be your foremost criteria.