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Advanced Credits: AP, IB, A-Level

First-Year Engineering Undeclared Program

Grainger Engineering First-year Experience (GFX)

Typical First Semester Schedule

**Back to Main Undergraduate Advising Home Page

Advanced Credits: AP, IB, A-Level

The Office of Admissions' website has a listing of Early Credit students may bring:

  1. AP: Advanced Placement
  2. IB: International Baccalaureate
  3. A-level: Advanced Level courses (international students)

AP, IB, A-Level Credits: Course Selection Strategy Advice:

  1. Credit in prerequisite courses:  Are students ready for next course?
  2. Students should be aware that having earned credit does not require them to advance to the next level.
  3. If student does not have perfect scores:
    1. In prerequisite courses, less than perfect scores in AP, IB, or Advanced Levels may not be sufficient for next level of coursework.  Discuss with students to determine their confidence and sense of accountability for college-level work.
    2. Students may take a proficiency exam to help them decide on whether to advance to the next level.

First-Year Engineering Undeclared Program

Approximately 100 incoming freshman join the First-Year Undeclared Engineering (FYEU) program each year. They are in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Grainger College of Engineering, but with no set major. These students spend the fall semester and part of the spring semester exploring engineering majors. By the beginning of March, students indicate their top three major choices and are assigned a home department in time for fall pre-registration. They officially join their new departments the fall semester of their second college year.

Program Components:

  • Access to introductory courses in all engineering majors
  • Designated sections of ENG 100 (Engineering Orientation) with trained student-instructors
  • Required enrollment in a special ENG 101 (Engineering at Illinois) section to explore majors
  • Opportunities to engage with engineering departments
  • Opportunity to shadow fellow engineering students already in a major
  • Major/minor fair to explore options and ask questions
  • Encouraged to attend Engineering Career Services Career Fairs (fall and spring)
  • Advising by Grainger Engineering staff, including a main FYEU advisor
  • Streamlined, priority assignment process into their new home departments

In the past, approximately 90% of Grainger Engineering undeclared freshman received their first-choice major. These students were guided in their course selections, so that they would be able to explore majors, yet not be behind in the major they would eventually declare. Grade-wise, to be assigned to their first-choice major, students are expected to perform comparably to students already in that major. Expectations for those interested in high-demand majors (e.g., bioengineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, and computer engineering) may be somewhat higher. While the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is not administratively in The Grainger College of Engineering, we work with them to streamline the transfer process for undeclared students wishing to join that department.

Example fall semester course schedule with credit hours (varies based on majors of interest and AP credits):

  • ENG 100 (0)
  • ENG 101 (1)
  • Math (3-4)
  • Chemistry or Physics (4)
  • Department-specific course (3-4)
  • General Education course, free elective, or Rhet 105 (3-4)

Approximate TOTAL credit hours: 14-17

Grainger Engineering First-year Experience (GFX)

The Grainger Engineering First-year Experience (GFX) is an interdisciplinary program designed to enhance the learning experience of every first-year student in The Grainger College of Engineering. For more information, visit

Typical First Semester Schedule

Before registering, you will discuss appropriate fall courses with an advisor. Your first-semester schedule should consist of the courses below:






ENG 100 (Engineering Orientation)


(Engr Undeclared students also take ENG 101)


Department Orientation / Introductory Course(*)

Department Intro courses



Math placement

Want to retake the placement test? Try a refresher first.




Composition and/or Department Intro course

Department Intro courses


Foreign Language, Exploration course or liberal education

Foreign Language/LOTE placement


Enrichment course / Freshman elective

14-16 hrs (**)


(*) Students in majors without a designated Introductory course will take an additional General Education course.
(**) Remember that 15 hours credit feels like having a job and half (about 60 hours per week, studying, going to class, etc) for 99% of students.

Departmental Intro Courses


FALL Course with ODD UIN

FALL Introductory Course(s)


Aerospace Engineering

AE 100 (1hr)

AE 100 Section: AD- Aircraft Design
            SD- Spacecraft Design

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

SE 101 (3hr)

ABE 100 (1hr)


BIOE 100 (1hr)

Section 120 for non-BioE majors.  Students should contact Bioengineering regarding transfer or minor.  

Chemical Engineering

Students interested in Chemical Engineering should take CHEM 202/203 and 204/205 in place of CHEM 102/103 and 104/105

Civil Engineering

SE 101 (3hr)

CEE 195 (1hr)

CEE majors taking SE 101 should register for section AL1

Computer Science

CS 100 (1hr)
and CS 125 (4hr)

Take CS 125 as soon as possible.  CS 103 or 105 are prep- courses (no graduation credit)

Electrical & Computer Engineering

ECE 110 (3hr)
or ECE 120 (4hr)

Engineering UndeclaredAny gateway course
Any gateway course
SE 101, section AL1 is reserved for Engineering Undeclared students.

Engineering Mechanics

ME 170 (3hr)

TAM 195 (1hr)

Engineering Physics

PHYS 110 (0hr)

PHYS 225 to be taken at the same time as PHYS 212.

Systems or Industrial Engineering

SE 101 (3hr)

SE 100 (0hr)

ISE majors (SE and IE) with RHET 105 credit should petition to take SE 101 in the Fall semester. Lab monitors can contact ISE directly.

Materials Science and Engineering

MSE 182 (2hr)

Mechanical Engineering

ME 170 (3hr)

Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering

NPRE 100 (1hr)

Useful Information

  • Registration tips. Common problems when registering and troubleshooting.
  • Proficiency exams can give you credit for courses. If you think you know the material for a course, feel free to attempt the proficiency test - it's free. Just Google the test you want to take, e.g. "math proficiency uiuc" or "cs 125 proficiency uiuc."
  • Dynamic and Static Curriculum Maps (click on your major, scroll down, and click on Curriculum Map). These show the pre and post requisite courses, as well as suggested sequence. Always consult an adviser before you register for classes!
  • Course Explorer for Fall Courses.
  • College Resources in Engineering: students talk about opportunities available to all engineering students.

Things to Do When you Come to Campus in the Fall

  • What was I really given credit for? Am I missing anything? Do I need to adjust my schedule? on the Friday before classes start, your New Student Hold will be taken off so you can adjust classes as necessary. A few days before the semester start, generate YOUR degree progress report ("u.achieve" is the Degree Audit Reporting System used at Illinois) to guide adjustments to make.
  • REQUIRED: Come to GFX Launch (Noon-2pm, Saturday before classes start)
  • OPTIONAL: Come to campus Quad Day (Noon-4pm, Sunday before classes start)
  • Online Advisees will need to get their i-card when coming in August (on-campus advised students can get i-card while here for summer registration). Simply visit the university i-card center.

Please contact The Grainger College of Engineering Undergraduate Programs Office at if you have questions.

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