Frequently Asked Questions

uc davis materials science engineering undergraduate faq

Answers to Any Question You May Have


  • What is ABET accreditation?
  • ABET accreditation assures that a program has met quality standards set by the engineering profession. Some companies, especially governmental agencies, require graduation from an accredited program as a minimum qualification. By receiving an accredited degree, you are eligible to take the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) exam. More information can be found by visiting the ABET website.

  • Can I complete my degree in 4 years?
  • Yes, it is definitely possible to complete the degree requirements for your major, general education (GE), college and university in four years. Be sure to plan appropriately and make use of the advisors available to you.
  • How do I submit coursework I’ve taken over the summer at a community college for course credit?
  • Once you have completed your courses at a community college and the grades are final, you can request that the institution send your official and sealed transcript to:

    Undergraduate Admissions
    University of California, Davis
    One Shields Ave.
    Davis, CA 95616-8507

    Once Undergraduate Admissions has received your transcript, the courses that are transferable will appear on your academic record. Grades from community colleges will not count towards your overall UC Davis GPA, but grades from courses taken at a different UC will.
  • Is it possible to study abroad as an engineering student?
  • Yes. The easiest way to fit studying abroad in your schedule is to go during the summer, but going during the school year is also an option. With careful planning, you can enjoy being abroad while fulfilling your major requirements. Your first step should be visiting the Global Learning Hub.

Course Registration

  • What happens if I can't get into a class during Pass 1? 
  • You can add yourself to the waitlist during your Pass 1 or Pass 2 registration appointment (depending on the course and any restrictions). However, being on a waitlist does not guarantee that you will be enrolled in the class. We recommend that you enroll in alternate open courses to be safe. You can drop these classes before the designated drop deadline (10 or 20 days after the quarter has begun) once you have been admitted to the course from the waitlist.
  • What are my chances of getting into a class if I am on the waitlist?
  • You will be added to the course if students ahead of you on the waitlist drop the course. After the first few days of class, you should have a good idea of whether you will be able to enroll in the course. You will receive an email if you get off the waitlist and are enrolled in the class. Please note that being on a waitlist does not guarantee that you will be enrolled in the class.  You should fully attend any waitlisted courses and complete any coursework if you remain on the waitlist. 
  • How can I drop a course after the 10 or 20-day drop deadline?
  • You may petition for a late drop if you can fully document that unforeseen circumstances beyond your control have affected your academic performance. Please visit the Engineering Undergraduate Office in 1050 Kemper Hall for more information on required documentation and allowable extenuating circumstances. Late drops will not be approved for poor academic performance, academic difficulties, change of interest in a course or undesirable midterm results.
  • Can I take a course even though I do not meet prerequisites?
  • Engineering is a discipline that builds on content and concepts from prerequisite coursework, so mastery of this coursework is crucial to success in more advanced curriculum. To emphasize this, the College of Engineering enforces prerequisites. If you enroll in a course without having completed the prerequisites, the instructor can drop you. Any student who re-adds a course after being dropped by the instructor may be referred to Student Judicial Affairs. Read our prerequisites page to learn more.

Pass/No Pass

  • Can I take a course pass/no pass (P/NP)?
  • Yes, students may exercise the pass/no pass grading for up to 16 units of GE courses or unrestricted electives taken outside of the College of Engineering.  Students make the grade mode selection in Schedule Builder.
  • What are the guidelines for pass/no pass?
  • -- Students who want to take a GE course pass/no pass must be in good standing qualitatively (GPA).
    -- P/NP grading option is only allowed for up to 16 units of GE courses or unrestricted electives taken outside of the College of Engineering.
    -- The deadline to opt P/NP grading is the 40th day of instruction (as of Fall 2023) during the academic year. Check the Summer Sessions calendar for summer deadlines.
    -- Courses taken prior to Summer Session 1 2017 on a P/NP basis cannot be used toward GE requirements.
  • Are there any restrictions on courses I can take pass/no pass?
  • Yes, students may not exercise P/NP grading for:
    -- Coursework offered by the College of Engineering (BIM, EAE, EBS, ECH, ECI, ECM, ECS, EEC, EME, EMS, ENG).
    -- Coursework used to satisfy course requirements toward their degree (e.g. technical electives, any course required for the major).
    -- Courses offered on only a P/NP basis (i.e. cannot be taken for a letter grade). Though they are acceptable for specific program area degree requirements (for example: ENG 199’s), they cannot be used to satisfy GE requirements (for example: EDU 181, GEL 81, MUS 141).

Mandatory Advising

  • What is the College of Engineering mandatory advising program?
  • The College of Engineering has mandatory advising for all undergraduate engineering students. As a materials science and engineering major, you must meet these advising requirements once a year, during a specific quarter. You will be contacted by advising staff when you should schedule your Mandatory Advising appointment. If you do not meet with an advisor, then a registration hold will be placed on your record. Find out more information via the College of Engineering.
  • How do I release an academic advising hold?
  • To remove an advising hold, you must:
    1. Go to and then click Forms & Petitions ⇒  Submit a New Form ⇒ Academic Plan.
    Create a draft of a three-quarter academic plan.  You do not need to submit it.  The plan will be reviewed with your advisor.
    3. Make an appointment with an undergraduate program advisor using the online appointment system.
  • What do I do about Mandatory Advising if I am planning to change my major?
  • If you plan to change to another major within the College of Engineering, please meet with an advisor from your intended major and inform Materials Science and Engineering advisors at

    If you plan to change to a major outside of the College of Engineering, please obtain an academic plan approved by an advisor from your intended major to a materials science and engineering undergraduate advisor at
  • Will I be dropped from my courses if I have an active registration hold?
  • No, you will not be dropped from your courses if you do not clear a registration hold. However, you will be unable to make any schedule adjustments (i.e. adding/dropping courses, getting added from the waitlist, etc.) until the hold is cleared.


  • How do I get involved with undergraduate research?
  • The first thing you should do is research some research topics that interest you. Please see our list of faculty and their research to learn more. The Undergraduate Research Center is also a great resource if you are interested in learning more about how to approach a professor and other ways to get involved.
  • How do I find internship opportunities?
  • The Internship & Career Center, located in South Hall, has a great network of internship opportunities, including a job database and Listserv. They also offer workshops on resume building, interviewing skills, networking, finding internships and much more. Be sure to also participate in the quarterly Internship and Career Fairs, where employers come to campus looking for interns. The optimal time to do an internship is the summer after your junior year, as most companies seek students who have completed core engineering coursework.

    Finding an internship takes time. Beginning in fall quarter, we recommend spending an hour each week searching and applying for internships. Use your resources on campus, but also reach out to companies that don’t recruit directly from UC Davis. Networking is the key to finding an internship. For individual guides on finding internships and planning your career, visit the ICC's undergrad resources page.