Welcome College of Engineering Bobcats! 

Learning to navigate a new environment is easier with a blueprint to guide the process. This General Engineering Advising Guide is meant to support your transition to MSU and the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering. Not sure what engineering means to you? No problem! There are many systems in place to help. The following are most helpful during your first year as you explore the majors in your college and learn how they align with your interests and career goals.


While not a degree plan, the "General Engineering" designation allows students an opportunity to build a relationship with faculty and staff in the College of Engineering as they explore majors and take classes which will keep them on track to graduate. General Engineering students work with their advisor, Jennifer Clark, who helps connect interests with potential majors. A key factor in exploring majors and careers is engagement and Jennifer encourages engagement with faculty, peers, and student organizations to get connected and explore opportunities.

"Get your degree in an Engineering or Computer Science discipline that interests you, and that you're good at, and then GO! Chances are that a few years after graduating, you will find yourself doing something you never imagined you would do; but, the skills, techniques, and problem solving abilities you learn from the College of Engineering will allow you to be successful in whatever it is you do. You can't go wrong with an engineering or computer science degree."
Dr. Jeff Heys
Chemical & Biological Engineering

You may not know what you want to do, but you know what you're interested in and what you're good at, so focus your efforts there and then work hard to learn the skills, techniques, and problem solving abilities that will open doors into those areas.

Here is how to start:

  1. Consider careers within engineering and computer science which interest you.
  2.  Rank NACOE majors in order of interest
    • Review major/curriculum for top 3.
    • Meet with faculty program leaders and ask them about the major(s) and career field
    • Join a student club, or two. This will help you make connections and apply what you are learning in foundational courses.
  3. Attend the Career & Internship Job Fairs held each Fall and Spring.
    • Explore the employers and what their companies do.
    • Which companies interest you the most? Why?
    • What majors lead to jobs at the companies that interested you?
    • Explore the websites of companies that interest you. 
    • What jobs or internships are available and are they looking for employees with particular academic experience?
    • Remember, engineering and computer science is about solving problems and making things better for society. There is a lot of cross over in the industry between majors. For example, Civil Engineering companies higher Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, too. 
  4. Attend the Senior Design Fair held at the end of each semester.
    • Look at the projects current students in their Senior year have completed.
    • Which projects were you most interested in and why?
    • Ask Senior Design Teams about jobs or internships they are going to after graduation. 
  5. Meet with a Career Coach in the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success.
    • Identify strategies for exploring careers
    • Attend Internship and Job fairs to become familiar with the companies within field(s) of interest

There are a lot of sites online to help with exploring what engineers and computer scientists do. Here are a few that my be useful, but this is not an exhaustive list. Be aware that some exploratory websites target K-12 audiences.

  1. TryEngineering
  2. TryComputing
  3. Futures in engineering
  4. DiscoverE
  5. EngineerGirl
  6. Exploring Computer Science



Phone Number 

Room Number 

General Engineering 

Jennifer Clark 


Asbjornson 237


Emily Mason


Gaines 130

Chemical or Biological Engineering 

Geraldine Govaerts

Jeff Heys 


Roberts 214 

Civil, Environmental, or ConstructionEngineering 


Craig Woolard 


Cobleigh 205 

GianforteSchool of Computing 


John Paxton 


Barnard 357 

Electrical or  Computer Engineering 

Todd Kaiser 


Cobleigh 610 

Mechanical  Engineering or Mechanical Engineering Technology 

Karen Steele

Dan Miller 


Roberts 220 

Industrial & Management Systems Eng. or

Financial Engineering

Durward Sobek


Asbjornson 253



 Other Course Advising Information 

Which Core Electives do I need? 

You will need one course from each of the 10 Core 2.0 subject areas. You meet your CS, IN, Q & R Core requirements through the Engineering program you select to pursue. In CE and CET, you may choose to direct your D and IS to complete a specific certificate. Therefore, the IA, US, W, and IH Core 

2.0 areas should be the focus for a student’s Freshman year.

 Do I take US Core or WRIT Core in the Fall? 

Last Name L-Z 

WRIT 101W 

IA or IH Core 

Last Name A-K 

US Core 

IH or IA Core 


Which US Core do I take? 

COMX 111US or CLS 101US, or HONR 201US 

 I am Writing Exempt. Do I need a W Core? 

Most departments in the College of Engineering require a credit-bearing, writing course. If you are transferring in AP, IB, or Dual Credit coursework that is assigned a “W” Core by the Admissions Office, this will fill your writing requirement. If you are writing exempt you will still need 3 credits that meet the “W” Core requirement in some Engineering degrees. It is best to check with your academic advisor to confirm this requirement is met for your major. 

MSU grants college credit for AP courses with scores of 3 or higher and IB courses with scores of 4 or higher. Please be sure you have requested all of your AP or IB coursework be sent to MSU. 

To determine how your AP credits transfer for Core Electives refer to your Orientation, Student Information Packet or view this webpage: www.montana.edu/admissions/ap/ap.pdf 

To determine how your IB credits transfer for Core Electives ask your Orientation Leader, or view this webpage: www.montana.edu/admissions/ib/ib.pdf 

It is recommended that a score of 5 on the AP Calculus test or a 7 on the IB Calculus test be earned to move on to M 172 or M 273. 

Students scoring a 3 or 4 on the AP Calculus test, or a 4, 5, or 6 on the IB Calculus test are strongly advised to take M 171Q. A strong background in Calculus I and Calculus II is needed for all continuing Engineering coursework. 

Students should check with the programs they are considering as a major to determine if AP, IB, or Dual Enrollment scores are at recommended levels for success in Engineering coursework. 

If students are transferring in 2 or more AP, IB, or Dual Enrollment courses, please see an Academic Advisor from your Department. Itwill be important to adjust your schedule so that you have enough credits to take the following semester. 

Dual Enrollment classes are those which qualify for both high school and college credit at the same time. Concurrent Enrollment is a type of dual enrollment that is taught in the high school during standard school hours but qualifies for college credit for students that choose to opt in. These courses are connected to a nereby community college which the student is also enrolled.

The MSU Admissions Office processes Dual Enrollment courses as transfer of college credit and this can take the place of an AP or IB score. For example, a student who scores a "2" on the AP Calculcus AB test, which would not meet the standard for college credit. If the same student also took a Dual Enrollment, M 171Q - Calculus I course, and earned a passing grade, the course would transfer as college credit for M 171Q - Calculus I and the student would then be eligible to register for the next math course in the sequence for their major.

It is recommended that students earning lower than a "B" in a math or science dual enrollment course either spend significant time reviewing the course material; identify and consistently use academic support resources from the beginning of the semester; or consider retaking the course to strengthen their knowledge of math and science concepts. 

If students are transferring in 2 or more AP, IB, or Dual Enrollment courses, please see an Academic Advisor from your Department. Itwill be important to adjust your schedule so that you have enough credits to take the following semester. 

If a student chooses to change their schedule after completing registration and returning home, they may do so by following these steps: 

  1. Log into your Secure Area 

  1. Select “StudentServices” 

  1. Select “Registration” 

  1. Select “Add/Drop Classes” 

  1. Select term from drop down menu 

  1. Find the course you wish to drop and select “Drop on the Web” from the drop down menu under “Action” 

  1. Select “Submit Changes” at the bottom left corner 

  1. Then enter “CatCourse Scheduler” and register for desired course 

MSU uses AP/SAT scores to place students into the level of Math appropriate for them based on these scores. Some students choose to participate in the EdReadyprogram, or another math prep course for the purpose of changing their math level and the course planned for Fall. Once the student has demonstrated their ability to function at a higher math level they may change their math course by MyInfoandCatCourseScheduler by following these directions: 

  1. Log into your Secure Area 

  1. Select “Student Services” 

  1. Select “Registration” 

  1. Select “Add/Drop Classes” 

  1. Select term from drop down menu 

  1. Find the Math course you wish to drop, select “Drop on the Web” from the drop down menu under “Action” 

  1. Select “Submit Changes” at the bottom leftcorner 

  1. Then enter “CatCourse Scheduler” and register for desired Math course based on the level of qualification (i.e.: M 151Q [Level 4], M 171Q [Level5]) 

Chemical or Biological Engineering

ECHM 100 – Intro to Chemical Engineering (2 Credits - Fall)

COREQUISITE: M 151Q or above. An introduction to engineering measurements, computations, problem solving, and experimental design. Discussion of the breadth of opportunities in chemical and biological engineering. 

EBIO 100 – Intro to Biological Engineering (2 Credits - Fall)

COREQUISITE: M 151Q or above. An introduction to engineering measurements, computations, problem solving, and experimental design. Discussion of the breadth of opportunities in chemical and biological engineering. 

Civil Engineering

ECIV 101 – Intro to Civil Engineering (1 Credit - Fall) Freshman only 

PREREQUISITE: Must be taken within your freshman year. This course is optional for students entering civil engineering but is encouraged for freshmen wanting to learn about the breadth of the discipline. Students choosing to take the course will be introduced to civil engineering, including department programs and areas of specialty, civil engineering career options, professionalism, history, and ethics. 

Computer Science

CSCI 107 – Joy and Beauty of Computing (3 Credits - Fall)

Examines the computing field and how it impacts the human condition. Introduces exciting ideas and influential people. Provides a gentle introduction to computational thinking using the Python programming language. 

CSCI 127 – Joy and Beauty of Data (4 Credits - Fall or Spring) 

COREQUISITE: M 151Q. Provides a gentle introduction to the exciting world of big data and data science. Students expand their ability to solve problems with Python by learning to deploy lists, files, dictionaries and object-oriented programming. Data science libraries are introduced that enable data to be manipulated and displayed. To succeed in this course, either basic computer literacy or CSCI 107 is recommended.

Electrical or Computer Engineering

EELE 101 – Intro to Electrical Fundamentals (3 Credits - Fall or Spring)

PREREQUISITE: M 151 or equivalent. Lecture/laboratory introduction to electrical fundamentals including Kirchhoff's and Ohm's Laws, using meters and oscilloscopes, time-varying signals in electric circuits, inductors and capacitors, series and parallel circuits, introduction to digital circuits, problem solving including computer applications, technical communications, team work. 

Financial Engineering

EFIN 101. Introduction to Financial Engineering. 1 Credit. (1 Lec - Spring)

A seminar course surveying the financial engineering profession. Topics include an overview of career opportunities, problem solving processes, and an introduction to the basic financial engineering processes, professionalism, and ethics.

General Engineering

(An overview of Computer Science and Engineering)

EGEN 105 – Intro to General Engineering (2 Credits - Fall or Spring) 

Provides students an opportunity to explore the fields of engineering, engineering technology, and computer science. Other topics include engineering design, career opportunities, professionalism, and ethics. 

Industrial & Management Systems Engineering

EIND 101 – Intro to Industrial & Management Systems (1 Credit - Fall) 

PREREQUISITE: Must be taken the first year enrolled in IE program. Overview of the industrial engineering profession. Lectures will concentrate on tools and methods of industrial and management system engineering, and their application in manufacturing and service industries. 

Mechanical Engineering

EMEC 100 – Intro to Mechanical Engineering (1 Credit - Fall)

COREQUISITE: M 151Q. The mechanical engineering profession, logical process of problem solving and design, professionalism, ethics. 

Mechanical Engineering Technology

ETME 100. Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Technology. 1 Credit. (1 Credit - Fall)

A seminar course surveying the mechanical engineering technology profession. Topics include an overview of career opportunities, problem solving processes, an introduction to the basic engineering design process, professionalism, professional registration, and ethics.

A.  Become familiar with DegreeWorks as your electronic curriculum guide which shows the university requirements and college/department requirements for your chosenmajor. 

B. There are 10 University Core (General) course requirements. Note that these 6University Core courses are already designated in the majorflowsheets: 

  1. W Core – WRIT 101W 

  1. US Core – CLS 101US, COMX 111US, US101US 

  1. Q Core – M 171Q, M 172Q,etc. 

  1. CS Core – satisfied by multiple, high level, science courses already inflowsheet 

  1. IN Core – satisfied by multiple, high level, science courses already inflowsheet 

  1. R Core – satisfied in a Capstone course toward the end of program noted onflowsheet 

 C.Note that these 4 University Core courses will be selected from University Core course sheets provided by Orientation Leaders AND may be reviewed throughDegreeWorks aswell. 

  1. IA Core – Inquiry of Arts (Art, Music, Theatre, Photography,Architecture) 

  1. IH Core – Inquiry of Humanities (History, WorldLiterature) 

  1. D Core – Diversity (if considering Civil Engineering major, wait on thisone) 

  1. IS Core – Inquiry of Social Science (if considering Civil Engineering major, wait on this one) 

 D. Using Transfer Equivalency information from the Office of Admissions, on page 8 of this booklet, list the completed courses with the number of credits and note those that satisfy University Core requirements. 

  1. AP Credit Courses (See page 19 of Student InformationPacket) 

  1. IB Credit Courses 

  1. Dual Enrollment, College Credit Courses 

 E.Using ACT/SAT test scores, note Math and Writinglevels 

  1. See Student Information Packet for Mathlevel 

  1. See flowchart on page 6 for Writinglevel 

  1. English CourseDescriptions: 

  • ENGL 121W College Writing I (MSU - 3 credits) -Studies in the discovery and written expression of ideas, stressing organization, support, audience awareness, clarity, and persuasive presentation. Taught around a particular topic or theme varying with each offering.  This is a Core 2.0 course. 


  • ENGL 121W College Writing I, TRiO Section (MSU - 3 credits) -This section’s enrollment is limited to provide the advantage of more interaction with the instructor and fellow students.  Students spend one additional hour per week working in small groups with the instructor in the Writing Center computer lab (2-185 Wilson Hall). This unique, small-group lab gives students a chance to work on assignments with the help of the instructor.  Entry is restricted, so students must contact the TRiO office to register (994- 4541, or Room 146 SUB).  This is a Core 2.0 course. 

  • ENGL 221 College Writing II (MSU - 3 credits – prerequisite: ENGL121) -Study and practice of strategies and devices of expository and argumentative prose. Builds upon writing skills learned in ENGL 121.