Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The First-Year Engineering Program (FEP) is designed to nurture the academic success, professional development, and individual growth of first-year engineering students by establishing the foundation for their excellence in the study of engineering. FEP strives to accomplish this mission by providing first-year engineering students with engaging and high-quality instruction in coursework that is relevant to the modern engineering student and is appropriate based on their individual K-12 preparation, the essential and motivating information about the engineering disciplines so that they make an informed choice about their engineering major, and proactive and high-quality academic advising, professional development opportunities, and peer mentoring.

All incoming first-year engineering students have their majors set to “Engineering First Year Student”. In the first-year engineering courses, students learn about the nine engineering disciplines offered at the University of Arkansas so they can make an informed decision about their major. Students will declare their major in March during a Decision Day celebration. After Decision Day, students enrolled in Calculus I or higher will be advised by their new department. Students taking Precalculus in the spring will continue with the First-Year Engineering Program until they complete Calculus I.

You are automatically part of the First-Year Engineering program once you enter the University of Arkansas as an Engineering student!

Peer mentors are engineering students just like you. They are here to answer questions and to provide you with information that will help you be successful in your first year. They have been in your shoes and understand the path on which you are about to embark on as a first-year engineering student. They will share the lessons they have learned and answer any questions you may have about academics, extracurricular activities, balancing school and fun, and anything else you may want to ask.

The college of engineering requires that entering first year students have a laptop computer and strongly recommends that entering students obtain a computer that meets or exceeds the college’s requirements. The most up to date engineering specifications for laptops can be found on our IT Services website. The minimum requirements for the entering fall class are updated annually in the spring. The College recommends that you wait until the summer to purchase a new computer to get the most up to date system.

An adjustment to your financial aid for the purchase of a computer may be available by completing a Budget Adjustment Form through the University Financial Aid Office.

Scores for AP credit, SAT/ACT scores, and transfer credit are submitted to the Registrar’s office.

Math placement is determined by the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Math is key in the First-Year Engineering Program as it determines the science and engineering courses new students will enroll in.

There are four ways to determine math placement:

  1. ACT or SAT scores.
  2. College credit for a prerequisite course.
  3. AP, IB or CLEP credit.
  4. Taking the math placement test.

If you ever feel like you are having a hard time processing information in a specific class, it is highly encouraged that you begin to check out the various resources the campus provides to assist. One of those resources is tutoring. Campus tutoring resources include Class+ for various subjects and the Math Resource and Teaching Center for math specific help. Some departments may also have specific tutors for hire available upon request.

While not tutoring, we encourage students to make use of their instructor’s office hours, any course that offers Supplemental Instruction (CHEM 1103’s SI is required part of the course), and the Physics Library as means of helping when you reach academic roadblocks or just wish to better refine your knowledge.

The University of Arkansas College of Engineering offers resources to help every student meet their academic goals. Click here to learn about available resources.

Visit to learn more about the options for studying abroad.

All 2020 entering freshmen are encouraged to apply for New Freshman Scholarships through the Academic Scholarship Office. The College of Engineering does not offer college wide scholarships for the freshman year.

Engineering first-year students who are in the Honors College, enrolled in a MATH course of Calculus II or higher, and are looking to gain experience above and beyond what is covered in the typical Introduction to Engineering I and II sequence may elect to participate in an FEP Honors Experience. This is a four-credit hour, two-semester honors experience with two tracks to choose from:

  1. Honors Research Experience - During the Honors Research Colloquium in the fall semester, students attend weekly research seminars delivered by University of Arkansas faculty and learn to utilize library resources to conduct background research on engineering topics. About halfway through the fall semester, students begin working in teams of two on undergraduate research projects defined and mentored by a member of the College of Engineering faculty.
  2. Honors Innovation Experience - During the Honors Innovation Colloquium in the fall semester, students explore topics in innovation and entrepreneurship including lean start-ups, intellectual property, venture capital, product costs and marketing channels via seminars presented by industry professionals. Instead of conducting research with a faculty mentor, they have faculty mentors to help them with innovative design projects.  In addition to presenting their design, these students will also consider product market and business development plans in their symposium materials.  The students should conclude whether it is worth continuing to invest in their product.

In April, students participate in the Honors Engineering Symposium. For the symposium, each team of students prepares a technical paper, participates in a poster session, and delivers a 20-minute technical presentation. All symposium activities are judged by a panel comprised of former symposium participants.

Books can be purchased online or in-store at the University of Arkansas Bookstore.