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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Application is not made to the Program but to UNCW as any prospective student would. There are no additional requirements to enter the Program. For more information, visit the UNCW Freshman Admissions website. Select "Engineering" or the "Engineering 2+2" as your choice of "major" on your application for admission.

Application is not made to the Program but to UNCW as any prospective transfer student would. There are no additional requirements to enter the Program. For more information, visit the UNCW Transfer Admissions website.

Unless you have had calculus and remember the material, a good place to start is with algebra and then follow that with trigonometry. At UNCW these courses are MAT 111 and 112, or the combination course MAT 160. At a North Carolina community college, these courses are MAT 171 and 172. You will then be ready to start into the regular engineering curriculum. The rest of the courses will depend on your previous college course work.

In answering this question, it will be assumed that you need refresher courses in mathematics. With this in mind, the following is suggested at community college:

  • ENG 111 Expository Writing; and ENG 112, 113 or 114;
  • MAT 171 Pre-calculus Algebra; MAT 172 Pre-calculus Trigonometry;
  • CHM 151 General Chemistry I; CHM 152 General Chemistry II;
  • ECO 251 Principles of Microeconomics;
  • One of the following: HIS 121 Western Civilization I, HIS 122 Western Civilization II, HIS 131 American History I, or HIS 132 American History II;

OR one of the following:

  • PHI 215 Philosophical Issues
  • PHI 240 Introduction to Ethics
  • REL 110 World Religions
  • REL 221 Religion in America
  • MUS 110 Music Appreciation
  • MUS 112 Introduction to Jazz
  • DRA 111 Theatre Appreciation

OR one of the following:

  • PSY 150 General Psychology
  • SOC 210 Introduction to Sociology
  • HUM 110 Technology and Society

Not all community colleges offer all of these classes. Most, if not all, are offered at Cape Fear CC. Also, you may need preparatory math classes before taking MAT 171. Check the Cape Fear CC website for a schedule of course offerings.

Absolutely!!! The first math course scheduled to be taken in the fall of the freshman year is Calculus. At UNCW, this course is MAT 161.

UNCW freshman are given a placement test during freshman orientation. This test should be taken seriously. If you do not place into Calculus or at least trigonometry, MAT 112, you may get behind.

Be prepared for this test and be sure you take a math course in your senior year of high school to keep your mind fresh in mathematics. Take as many math courses as your high school offers.

Yes. There are no substitutions.

No. The first semester is the same. After that the course requirements diverge. The second semester is the same for most curriculums with the exception of chemistry and programming languages.

The following curriculums, regardless of engineering college, require the second semester of chemistry (CHM 102 at UNCW):

  • Biological & Agricultural
  • Biomedical & Health Sciences
  • Chemical
  • Environmental
  • Materials Science and Engineering

If you are accepted at one of the Colleges of Engineering and have visited the campus and like it, then you should go there. Our objective is not to compete with them. We serve instead as a conduit for students to the NC State College of Engineering. If you like a smaller campus that will most likely have smaller classes and perhaps a more student-friendly ambiance, then you might want to consider UNCW.

Being close to the beach is also a nice feature! Many students from this area start here because it is financially beneficial. Parents sometimes want their children to stay closer to home the first year or two of college. Many students come here because they were not admitted to the NC State College of Engineering.

There are some disadvantages. Like other colleges with smaller enrollments, classes are not offered as frequently so scheduling can sometimes be a problem. The few engineering courses are taught live via video conferencing technology. They are the same courses students at NC State take, but some students do not like this learning environment.

On the other hand, the classes are recorded and can be reviewed as often as one would like. Students have to enroll in these engineering courses through the NC State College of Engineering and not UNCW. This can result in added tuition costs or tuition savings depending on the number of credits taken at NC State and at UNCW. This also results in added paperwork for the student so that insurance and financial aid benefits are not lost. Most of it is taken care of by staff.

Possibly! Contact the Program Director for specific questions about Engineering courses taught at the Community College. See also the NC Community College Transfer Guide.

There are many explanations of this. The following is one such explanation. It should be noted that the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) sets guidelines for what defines engineering, engineering technology, and engineering technician educational degree programs. While it may seem elitist to distinguish engineering and engineering technology, there are technical and legal reasons for so doing.

Engineering normally involves detailed analysis and design that results in the creation of machines, structures, processes, materials, and information for the benefit of society. Engineers bear responsibility for their creations through professional registration which is regulated by each state. The first step in this registration process is to earn a bachelor of science degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited college of engineering, such as Nc State.

The curriculum includes courses in calculus, calculus-based physics, chemistry, English, humanities and social sciences as well as engineering courses required by the major (mechanical or civil engineering for example). A good description of engineering can be found at the American Society for Engineering Education.

Engineering technologists and technicians assist engineers in making their creations a reality. They sometimes serve as a liaison between a customer and a design engineer. They sometimes design equipment using off-the-shelf components. They also service equipment that is of a highly technical nature. Engineering technologists usually have a four-year degree in engineering technology from an accredited engineering technology program.

In North Carolina, there are three universities that offer four-year engineering technology degrees:

  • NC A&T State
  • UNC Charlotte
  • Western Carolina

Technologists take math, sciences, and other related courses but do not take the full calculus course sequence, nor science and engineering courses that are based on calculus. Technologists can become registered professional engineers but must have more work experience than engineers to do so.

Engineering technicians generally have a two-year Associates in Applied Science degree from a community college or technical school. Many community colleges in North Carolina offer various types of programs in engineering technology. For many students who may not be able to afford a four-year degree education, this is an inexpensive way to a rewarding and financially secure career.

In summary, in terms of academic challenge, expense, and career advancement potential, the career hierarchy is as follows, in general:

  • engineer
  • engineering technologist
  • engineering technician