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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Road from General to Discipline Engineering

The Dwight Look College of Engineering enrolls all freshmen as general engineering majors until the end of their spring semester when they are given a specific discipline. 
Photo by Graphic by Rachel Grant

The Dwight Look College of Engineering enrolls all freshmen as general engineering majors until the end of their spring semester when they are given a specific discipline. 

Unlike most engineering colleges, the Dwight Look College of Engineering enrolls all freshmen as general engineering majors, not giving a specific discipline until the end of their spring semester. This is known as the entry into a major process.
Throughout this process, all engineering freshmen are required to take a set of classes that include two science, two math, two engineering and other core classes. They are then assigned a discipline at the end of the spring semester based on their grades and availability of spots. The students submit their top three choices in the spring and those with a 3.5 GPA or higher automatically get their first choice.
In 2016-2017, 86 percent received their first choice, 6 percent received their second choice and 5 percent received their third choice.
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Executive Director for the Halliburton Global Engineering Program Mark Weichold said this process exposes students to all the different disciplines available to them, giving them a fair chance to choose.
“I think that it is very important that during their freshman year students are exposed to all the different majors in engineering,” Weichold said. “They can learn about mechanical engineering and how it differs from civil and so forth. This allows them to make a more informed decision.”
To apply for the entry into a major process, all students have to fulfill the core requirements. Failing to do so leaves a student as a general engineering major for another semester.
Industrial distribution senior Trey Schooley was one such freshman involved in the program, and said that although he did not appreciate the process when he was first introduced to it, he soon realized how beneficial it was to the students.
“I didn’t really like it initially, but as far as to the population, I think it’s beneficial because some kids get into college not knowing what they want to do, so I think it would be beneficial for them not to jump into a specific major,” Schooley said.
Mechanical engineering sophomore Brianna Pratt, who just went through the entry into a major process, said while the process helps students decide, the waiting can be difficult.
“I think that it helps because you have the first year to decide what major that you want, but it is kind of difficult not knowing for a year and not being able to fully commit yourself to anything for that year,” Pratt said.

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