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Frequently Asked Questions
ECE Major and Courses
- How do I apply to the major?
- How do I apply for graduation?
- What is Senior Petition?
- Would a BS/MS be an option for me?
- Where is the ECE Student Lounge and the HKN Tutor Room?
- What is Independent Study or Undergraduate Research?
- How do I register for Independent Study or Undergraduate Research?
Enrollment & Scheduling Questions
- What is the Financial Responsibility Statement and why is it important to complete it each term?
- When is the best time to transfer into the ECE program?
- I'm taking/have taken classes at another institution. What is the process for determining if my credits transfer?
- How do I enroll in a CSE course? I’m getting an error message that I don’t understand.
- How do I enroll in a business course? I'm having trouble.
- How do I get into a closed math course or different math section if the semester has started?
- My residency is not correct, how do I make changes to it?
- Can my advisor accept e-mails from an instructor giving me permission to add a class?
- How do I resolve a hold on my account?
- When are deadline dates for withdrawing from classes?
- What if I’m an international student and have to drop below full-time status?
- How can I find out when I can start scheduling for classes?
- My e-mail account is not working properly. Who can I contact for help?
Grading & Class Attendance Questions
- Do I have to retake a course I received a “D” in?
- What is Freshman Forgiveness and does it apply to me?
- What should I know about getting a w in my class?
- What if I can’t make it to a class for the final?
- I’m scheduled to take three finals in one day. Can this be changed?
- What if I’m unable to attend classes during the first week of the semester?
- How to I find instructor’s contact information?
Scholarships, Co-ops, Internships and Career Questions
- How do I apply for ECE Scholarships?
- Where do I find out about co-ops and internships?
- What is the FE exam?
- Are there scholarships for international students?
- I freeze up on tests and finals, can somebody help me with test anxiety?
- I need help with my math class, what can I do?
- There is such an abundance of OSU information and it can be confusing. Is there a resource that has this information in one place?
- Do you require that students own their own computer or purchase a particular type of computer while in the program?
- Why do I need to use my OSU BuckeyeMail account?
- Where can I get more information about ECE's computer resources?
- Are there any great smartphone apps that can help me be a better student?
See the academic advisors page for more information on getting help from an ECE advisor.
ECE Major and Courses
All students in the College of Engineering start as pre-majors. A student becomes eligible to apply to the ECE major during the semester in which they are completing the pre-major requirements. The ECE Major Application is available online and is accepted no later than the third Friday of each semester.
Visit the Graduation Information page for complete details on applying for graduation.
An undergraduate may submit a senior petition to receive graduate credit provided that:
- The student is a senior
- The credit for the course is not used to meet baccalaureate degree requirements
- The student’s cumulative point-hour ratio is 3.3 or above in all undergraduate work
- The student secures permission by the end of the first day of classes from: (1) The instructor in charge of the course, (2) The secretary of the student’s college or school, and (3) The Graduate School
- The course is offered for graduate credit.
These courses may not be counted toward a graduate degree until the student has been admitted to the Graduate School and until the Graduate Studies Committee accepts them and notifies the Graduate School. If approved, the hours are counted in the student’s graduate earned and cumulative credit hours, and the grades are counted in the student’s graduate cumulative point- hour ratio. No more than 9 graduate credit hours may be completed under Senior Petition. For more information visit http://gradsch.osu.edu/Depo/PDF/SeniorPetitionForm.pdf. Source: The Graduate School Handbook.
The combined BS/MS program allows a select group of undergraduate students to earn course credits that can be applied toward satisfaction of the degree requirements of both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering simultaneously. Thus, outstanding students are given the opportunity to reduce the total time required to obtain both the BS and MS degrees. To be admitted to the combined BS/MS program, the applicant must submit documentation that demonstrates satisfactory fulfillment of the following admission criteria: (1) current registration in the department, (2) Rank of senior at time of combined program initiation; and a (3) Minimum of 3.5 cumulative point hour ratio in all previous undergraduate work. Ordinarily, it is expected that students will have a minimum major GPA of 3.7. Get complete details on the BS/MS program here.
The ECE Student Lounge is located at 271 Caldwell Lab (just across the bridge from Dreese Labs). The HKN Tutor Room is located in Caldwell Lab 267. Tutoring is offered there for ECE 2020, 2050, 2060, 2000, 2100, 2300, 2560, 3010, 3020, 3030, 3040, 3050 and some higher level ECE courses.
Individual studies or undergraduate research courses in other engineering disciplines, math, statistics, and physical or biological sciences typically may also be used as directed electives toward the BSECE degree. Students should consult with their advisors to verify that such courses in a particular discipline will count, prior to taking the course.
A total maximum of 6 credit hours of individual studies and undergraduate research may be used toward the BSECE degree.
There is an additional limit on ECE 2193, 4193, 2998.02 and 4998.02, and similar courses taken as directed electives. A total maximum of 3 credit hours of these S/U graded individual studies or undergraduate research courses may be used toward the BSECE degree.
Individual studies and undergraduate research credits taken above these limits show up on the transcript but do not count toward BSECE degree requirements.
- Locate the correct course and class numbers for your professor via BuckeyeLink’s Class Search.
- When you select the department, you will also need to enter the course number.
- De-select the Show Open Classes only Box.
- Click on the light green bar “Additional Search Criteria.” Enter the instructor’s last name and select Search
Enrollment & Scheduling Questions
ECE 2020, ECE 2050, and ECE 2060 (lecture and lab, 3 credits each) OR
ECE 2000 and ECE 2100 (lecture and lab, 4 credits each), OR
- ECE 2010 and ECE 2110 (lectures, 3 credits each) and ECE 2017 and ECE 2137 (labs, 1 credit each)
OSU Admissions will issue a transfer credit report indicating courses that are awarded for credit.
New incoming transfer students, or prospective transfer students looking for information on the procedure for evaluating undergraduate transfer credit for electrical and computer engineering should visit the transfer credit page for complete details.
The CSE department gives scheduling priority for their classes to CSE and CIS majors. ECE students in the Computer Engineering Program of Study have special consideration to enroll only for CSE 2321, 2231, 2451, and 2431, but you must be on the waitlist for this to occur. Students need to add themselves to the waitlist for these courses. The CSE advisors will move students into these courses from the waitlist. If possible, put yourself on the waitlist for all sections that could fit your schedule without a time conflict to maximize your opportunity for getting in. For all other CSE courses (such as 3241, 3461, 5361, 5242, 5441 and other technical electives), students will be pulled off the waitlist into the CSE courses after the CSE/CIS majors have had a reasonable opportunity to schedule. The best thing to do is to plan ahead, schedule when your appointment window opens, have a back-up plan in case you cannot get into the course, and be patient. If you are not off the waitlist when classes start, go to the course section you want, as some spaces may open up from students dropping through the first Friday of the term. After the first Friday, CSE professors often sign course enrollment permission forms for a limited number of waitlisted students if registered students have not attended prior to the first Friday of the term. ECE advisors cannot place you into full CSE courses without a signed permission slip or an email from the professor.
First, click on the course section number. In this example it is 0010-LEC (4255). This number is usually in blue.
The course information will open up further.
In order to find out if you can be enrolled in the course, start by looking at the requisites. If you do not meet the requisites, contact the course instructor to seek that the requisite be waived. This can be done by email. Print a Course Enrollment Permission Form, or pick up a copy from Dreese Labs 205. Fill it in, submit it to the course instructor for signature, and forward the form to your ECE advisor. You will not be able to register for the course or to elect to go on the waitlist until this has been done.
You want to look for the section numbers of the courses. For most business courses, you will see class notes with one of these messages:
Available seats are reserved for Business students until the end of spring term. If you have any questions, please contact your academic advisor.
In business courses with several sections, you may see no class notes for one or two of the class sections. In these sections, business students are not given preference; so, you are more likely to get in.
Visit the math advising page for information on switching sections, getting into a closed math course, math placement information and other helpful information about math. Please note that math course changes are not completed by ECE advisors; they are handled through the Math Course Office, 113 Math Building. Questions regarding math prerequisites should be directed to the Math Advisors, 250 Math Building.
Buckeye Link will provide your enrollment appointment under enrollment dates. Enrollment appointments are determined by honors, athletic, disability status and class rank. If a student has been away from campus for more than one semester (excluding summer), enrollment appointments may not appear. If you do not have an enrollment appointment or have questions regarding scheduling times, contact the Student Service Center at 614-292-0300, toll-Free at 500-678-6440, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any changes in your residency can be taken care of through the Student Service Center on the first floor of the Student Academic Services Building, 281 W. Lane Avenue.
Yes, ECE advisors will accept e-mails from instructors giving students permission to add a course. Make sure the e-mail contains the class section, course number, times for the course and if the instructor is over-riding prerequisites or over-riding a filled class. Be sure to copy your ECE advisor on this e-mail and include your phone number in case we have questions.
Holds on student accounts will prevent a student from adding classes, dropping classes, receiving a transcript or even graduating so it’s important to find out what type of hold it is and what to do to resolve it. If you’re unable to register for classes or pay fees, look at your Student Center in Buckeye Link and see if there is this symbol of a red circle with a line through it. Click on the red circle to find out what you need to do to resolve the hold on your account. Note that your ECE advisor cannot resolve holds; you need to contact the appropriate office directly.
The fourth Friday of a semester is the deadline for dropping a class without a W on your transcript. The tenth Friday of a semester is the deadline for dropping a class and a W will appear on your transcript. Dropping a class after the tenth week takes special circumstances. It is best to see your advisor during the eighth or ninth week if you are wondering if you should drop a class or not.
Depending on your visa status, you may or may not be able to drop below 12 credit hours (full-time status). Start by visiting the Office of International Affairs (100 Oxley Hall) to make an appointment to meet with an international student advisor who can give you more information about your student status.
Contact 8help or 614-688-HELP for assistance. The IT Service Desk handles questions, problem reports, service requests, and inquiries from faculty, staff, and students regarding computer hardware and software, Internet connectivity, and related topics. There are also walk-in IT service desks in 025 Central Classroom Building and BuckeyeBar at 60A Thompson Library (in the West Wing).
Grading & Class Attendance Questions
Some courses need a C- or better to proceed into the next course. For instance, this rule applies for Math 1151, 1152 and 1172. Some courses do not need to be re-taken. Some questions to ask yourself when faced with the question of retaking a course would be: For what other courses does this course serve as a prerequisite? What courses build on the content of this course? What does your professor or TA suggest? What about the suggestions of the professor of the courses that follow this course? Does retaking this course qualify for Freshman Forgiveness? Would it be a wise choice to sit in the course again during the weeks in which the material didn’t come together for you? Would the professor allow this?
Grade Forgiveness allows a student to submit a petition to complete a second attempt of a course and apply grade forgiveness to the first attempt. Grade Forgiveness allows the first grade to be automatically excluded from the calculation of the student's cumulative point-hour ratio and deficiency points, but the original grade will remain on the student's official permanent record.
A W means a student has withdrawn from a course between the fourth week and tenth week of the semester. Receiving a W in a class means that there will not be a grade calculated in the student’s cumulative or semester grade point average. Sometimes a W is unavoidable, such as when sickness or a family emergency happens and the student needs to miss a lot of classes and the content is too difficult to make up. Students also withdraw from classes because their course load is too heavy or not as expected. In any case, it is wise to check with your advisor if you’re questioning whether to withdraw from a class or if there is the possibility of too many Ws on your record.
The best thing to do in this case is ask your professors if there is any way you can take a final on a different day.
Always notify all of your instructors and copy your advisor. Go to the ECE directory for contact information for ECE faculty and staff. Use OSU's find people tool to locate e-mail addresses of faculty in other departments.
Scholarships, Co-ops, Internships and Careers
Academic scholarships for students in the College of Engineering are available each year for currently enrolled students, including international students. The ECE department and the College of Engineering have one application to simplify the application process and the application has a February 15 deadline each year. Please begin the process for application early as there is a personal statement (4000 character limit) in the application. Visit the Financial Aid & Scholarships page for more information.
The Engineering Career Services Office (199 Hitchcock Hall) contains a plethora of resources regarding job shadowing, internships and co-ops, resume writing, and the job search. In addition, the ECE Jobline often includes current available opportunities.
The Fundamentals of Engineering exam is an exam that leads to professional certification as a Professional Engineer and can be taken during your last year in college or soon after.
International students are eligible to apply for engineering scholarships (both departmental and College), as most of our funds are available to all engineering majors and pre-majors regardless of nationality. Instructions on applying for scholarships are available here. Students should also consult the Office of International Affairs.
The Younkin Success Center has resources and services designed to help students succeed. Some of their services include physics and chemistry tutoring, help overcoming procrastination, career counseling, and personal appointments with a learning specialist to help students be successful and productive. Younkin Success Center is also the home of Counseling & Consultation Services where students can make individual appointments with licensed counselors to discuss personal issues in a professional and confidential environment.
Math tutoring is available through the Math and Statistics Learning Center with locations in the Science and Engineering Library, Cockins Hall, the Math Building, and Younkin Success Center. Keep in mind that it is very busy near mid-terms and finals so plan ahead and start early seeking out tutoring times and availability for your particular course.
Visit the University's current student page. You were also given a Student Resource Guide notebook at orientation which has a lot of helpful information in it as well.
No, the ECE department does not require students to have their own personal computer. The department provides several computer labs strictly for ECE students to support you in completing assignments. Some suggested features for those seeking guidelines include:
- Operating System: Windows is recommended
- Processor: A midline i5 processor, something around 2.5 GHz like the i5-2520M
- Screen Size: 15 inch display is recommended because of the need for screen space with some engineering applications.
- Graphics: Embedded graphics cards are sufficient for most needs, but for higher end engineering applications a dedicated video card such as a NVidia NVS 4200 can be advantageous.
- Memory: 4 GB minimum
- Hard Drive with 300 GB if storing files locally
- Wireless Card: An 802.11 B/G/N card is highly recommended.
Ohio State students are eligible to purchase select software, including Microsoft Office and other Microsoft products, at reduced pricing. Visit Wired Out’s website for more information
Students need to get into the habit of using their BuckeyeMail account to make sure they are identified correctly as OSU students and to help avoid e-mail delivery problems.
As a matter of fact, yes. Here's a link for apps for cloud storage, note-taking, math, science, literature, news, student life and more!