Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014

College of Engineering

Location: ENB 118



The mission of the USF College of Engineering (COE) is to improve the quality of life in our community by:

  • Providing a high-quality education for USF's Engineering and technology students and practicing professionals;
  • Creating new knowledge and solving real world problems via innovative research;
  • Engaging in effective community service and outreach.


Utilizing the expertise of its individual and collective faculty, the College is dedicated to the development of new fundamental knowledge and processes or procedures, which will benefit humanity. The College promotes multi-disciplinary approaches, commitment to life-long learning and awareness of societal issues, which are requisite for meeting technological challenges.

The College provides technical assistance and technology transfer to the region, state and nation. In all facets of teaching, research and service, the College emphasizes close liaisons with industry and government to provide students and faculty with the skills and perspectives needed to ensure effective technological leadership and to achieve and sustain national recognition in focused areas of research.

The College of Engineering's faculty and staff value and promote a student-centric environment, innovation, collaboration, collegiality, commitment to continuous improvement, service to humanity and diversity. Through the College's support and emphasis of these values, COE leads by example and passes these attributes on to the students, empowering them to be creative and innovative engineering professionals in the 21st century as their work influences and impacts humanity.


The College of Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate programs to prepare students for a broad spectrum of professional careers in engineering. Laboratory experiences, as well as real-world participation in technological problem solving, are key aspects of a professional engineer's education. The laboratory and research facilities of the College of Engineering, close collaboration with engineering professional societies and the many industries in the metropolitan Tampa Bay area provide a wide range of experiential learning opportunities for engineering students at the University of South Florida. The College of Engineering offers undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology. In addition, the College offers minors in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science. The engineering programs of the College have been developed with an emphasis on three broad aspects of engineering activity: design, research, and the operation of complex technological systems. The undergraduate degree programs provide a strong, broad-based, fundamental engineering education as preparation for careers in industry and government, or as preparation for advanced studies in professional schools of engineering, science, law, business and medicine. 

At the graduate level, students work in close collaboration with faculty, pursuing advanced topics within their disciplines which will result in advancements in their fields and society at large. Students who are interested in advanced design or research should pursue a traditional or accelerated program leading to a Master of Science degree in the designated discipline. The supervision of the academic programs is the function of the administrative departments together with several coordinators. Each department is responsible for specific professional programs, faculty, laboratories, and student advising.

The Departments and Programs section that follows contains descriptions of the baccalaureate degrees offered by the College. Students interested in particular programs offered by the College of Engineering should direct their inquiries to the College of Engineering's Office of Student Services. Information is also available on the College's website: http://www.eng.usf.edu/.

Engineering today and tomorrow

The College of Engineering recognizes that modern engineering solutions draw on knowledge of several branches of engineering. It also recognizes that future technological and societal developments will lead to shifting the relative emphasis on various branches of engineering, triggered by new needs or a reassessment of national goals. For this reason the College's programs include a strong engineering foundation, designed to equip the graduating engineer with a broad base of fundamental technical knowledge and specialization course work in sufficient depth to embark upon a successful professional career.

The Bachelor of Science degrees offered in the various engineering disciplines provide the student a broad education with sufficient technical background to contribute effectively in many phases of engineering not requiring the depth of knowledge needed for advanced design or research. The baccalaureate degree is considered the minimum educational credential in the engineering profession. Students interested in design and in research are strongly encouraged to pursue advanced work beyond the baccalaureate at this or other institutions. Today's engineering and technology professionals value and participate in post baccalaureate study to obtain the information and training necessary to effectively meet tomorrow's technological challenges. In order to keep abreast of evolving technologies continuing education is available through formal graduate study, seminars, special institutes, memberships in professional organizations and other structured educational opportunities.

Professional Registration

Students who have attained senior status, and are in good academic standing in an ABET accredited engineering program, are eligible to register for examinations leading to licensure as a professional engineer. The first examination, called the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam, is offered by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers and is usually taken the semester prior to graduation. In addition to the knowledge acquired through the engineering curriculum, many students take advantage of review courses offered in the College of Engineering to prepare for the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination. Registering for the FE exam during the senior year is strongly encouraged.

Engineering Students in the University Honors College

Engineering students participating in the University Honors Program are able to complete their Engineering Bachelor's degree in four years. Many enter the Accelerated program in the fourth year to pursue the combined Bachelor's and Master's programs in Engineering. Students who qualify for the Honors Program at USF should contact the Honors College or Engineering Student Services to learn about the benefits of this prestigious program.

Army, Air Force and Naval R.O.T.C. for Engineering Students

The academic and technological knowledge an engineering degree provides a distinct advantage to individuals interested in a military appointment or career. This is especially true for those participating in one of the ROTC programs at USF.

Preparation for Engineering

The high school student anticipating a career in engineering should present a strong academic record including four years of advanced high school mathematics and science including chemistry and physics. Prospective students who lack sufficient preparation in high school may need additional preparatory coursework at the University of South Florida.

Disruption of Academic Process and Academic Dishonesty

The College of Engineering will maintain an environment that encourages all to study and conduct engineering research free from undue disruption. Disruption of the Academic Process is a matter the College is obliged to report to Student Judicial Services. Academic dishonesty, in any form, is taken very seriously by the College of Engineering and will result in sanctions. The most serious penalty is dismissal from the University. (See University policies regarding academic dishonesty.)

Grievance Procedure

Students should make themselves fully aware of the University's grievance procedures. (See University policies regarding grievance procedures.)

Preliminary Coursework for Engineering Students

The College of Engineering Bachelor of Science programs are founded on a set of coursework that is designed to give each student a thorough foundation of knowledge on which specialization studies and a professional career can be based. Emphasis is placed on three key elements; development of communication skills, familiarity with the social sciences and humanities and a solid base in science and mathematics. Students selecting Engineering major should be aware of specific requirements. Students may consult the College's Advising Office for detailed information.


The USF Bachelor of Science degree programs in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The Bachelor of Science degree program in Computer Science is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET www.abet.org.

Admissions Requirements

Admission Requirements for First Time in College Students
(excludes Admission Requirements for the Information Technology Major – see below)

First time in college students and lower division students with 30 credit hours, who meet the criteria below, are granted direct entry into the College of Engineering:

  1. Admitted to the University of South Florida as a degree seeking student;
  2. Test Scores:
    • SATM-a minimum quantitative score of 550 or
    • ACTM-a minimum score of 24 or
    • Completed College Algebra with a grade of C or better (not C-) or
    • Take College Algebra at USF before the first fall semester and get a grade of C or better (not C-).

Those students who do not meet the above criteria are classified as "Pre-Engineering" students. Pre-Engineering students are admitted to the College after satisfactorily completing Calculus I and II and Physics I with lab, all with a minimum grade of C or better (no C-) in no more than two (2) attempts per course while at USF. Two attempts includes withdrawal from a course.

Additional requirements must be met prior to admission to specific degree programs, as noted below under the section entitled, "Required Prerequisites for Entering Engineering Programs."

Admission Requirements for Transfer Students

(excludes Admission Requirements for the Information Technology Major – see below)
  1. Admitted to the University of South Florida as a degree-seeking student.
  2. Transfer students must complete all of the following courses with a grade of C or better (no C-) in each course (maximum two {2} attempts allowed to earn required grade and a withdrawal is considered an attempt):
    • Calculus I (MAC X281 or MAC X311 or equivalent)
    • Calculus II (MAC X282 or MAC X312 or equivalent), and
    • Calculus-based Physics I plus lab (PHY X048L or PHY X045L)

    If a student does not meet these College of Engineering admissions requirements, the student can attempt to meet College of Engineering transfer admission requirements in no more than two (2) attempts per course while at USF. If a grade of C is not attained in each of these courses in two or less attempts, the student will be redirected to another major.

    For the specific state mandated common prerequisite courses for each major within the College of Engineering, please see the section entitled, "Prerequisites (State Mandated Common Prerequisites) for Students...Institution" located in each department's section of the catalog.

  3. Florida College System transfer students who have met the minimum criteria above and have completed the courses shown under the section below entitled, "Required Prerequisites for Engineering Programs/Majors" with the minimum grades and GPA required by the academic department are accepted directly into the College of Engineering and into the specific program/major.

College Requirements

Minimum Performance and Graduation Requirements

Minimum Requirements

All undergraduate students with a student classification of engineering and students who have been admitted to any academic program in the College of Engineering must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in each of the following categories:

  1. Overall Undergraduate GPA
  2. USF GPA
  3. Math and Science courses (best attempt)
  4. Engineering Courses
  5. Prerequisite courses for the major
  6. Courses within the major

Note: In no case will the minimum GPA for a category be less than 2.0.

Students who do not meet the required minimum GPA in each category are ineligible for further registration in the College unless individually designed academic plans to correct their GPA deficiencies are recommended by their academic advisors. Approved plans must include a strategy to eliminate the deficiency in two semesters or less by meeting specific goals. Students who are afforded this opportunity will be closely monitored. Those who, for any reason, fail to meet the terms of their academic plans will be ineligible to declare or continue to declare a major, or intended major, in the College of Engineering and will be ineligible to register for courses that are restricted to  College of Engineering students. All undergraduate students with student classifications of engineering or pre-engineering and students who have been admitted to any academic department in the College must earn the required grade in math, science and engineering courses in no more than three registered attempts. Grades of W, I, IF, U, R, and M are considered attempts. Those who, for any reason, fail to meet this requirement will be ineligible to declare or continue to declare a major, or intended major, in the College of Engineering and will be ineligible to register for courses that are restricted to engineering students. However, for the purpose of admission and continuation in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, attempts in CDA 3103 and COP 3514 are limited to two. See "Entrance Requirements for the Academic Majors".

Students who are ineligible for further registration in the College of Engineering will be provided with a wide range of services to assist them in selecting a new career path. Students who have been academically dismissed from the University of South Florida, or leave on probation, may choose to attend another institution of higher learning and reapply to USF after improving their overall GPA. These returning students will be considered for readmission to the College if they meet the minimum College of Engineering admission requirements for transfer students and the program entrance requirements for their intended major as published in the University of South Florida Undergraduate Catalog in effect during the term of return.

Residency Requirement

Transfer students must complete a minimum number of approved specialization courses in the USF degree granting department. The minimum number of USF specialization credit hours required is established by the respective academic department. In no case will this be less than 18 hours for each bachelor's degree. The University residency requirement for each bachelor's degree must also be met. General engineering courses are not considered specialization courses.

A dual degree student must meet the requirements of each degree program and have a minimum of 18 approved specialization hours taken in the degree granting department beyond those specialization hours required for the first degree.

Years to Degree

The College of Engineering requires that a student complete the baccalaureate degree within five years after beginning engineering specialization courses. Specialization courses taken more than five years prior to graduation will not be counted toward the degree. Exceptions may be granted by the academic department.

University, College and Program Requirements

The College requirements described in the section above are in addition to requirements set forth in the University policy and procedures section and the departmental sections of this catalog. It is the student's responsibility to complete all university, college, program and curricular requirements prior to graduation.

Student Laptop Computer Requirement

All students entering the College of Engineering are required to have a laptop computer that they can use in their engineering classes and labs. The laptop computer must be capable of connecting to the internet via wireless. The minimum computer requirements can be found on the College of Engineering website.

Graduation Application Procedures and Deadlines

Each College of Engineering student is required to complete an application for graduation and graduation check list. Students should meet with their program advisor to review graduation qualifications and obtain approval well in advance of the College graduation application deadline. The graduation application deadline for the college is set prior to the university deadline and is posted on the College of Engineering Student Services website.

Note: Applications are generally due before the beginning of the graduating term. Individual academic departments may have a graduation application deadline that precedes the college one.

Grade Requirement

Grading Policies

1. S/U Grading Policy

Students pursuing College of Engineering degree programs are expected to take their courses on a graded basis. Please refer to the grading system in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. S/U grading option must be requested during the first week of classes. Courses taken on an S/U basis are not applicable to the College's degree programs. Exceptions require written approval of the department advisor prior to registration.

2. I Grade Policy

The criteria for requesting and time limit for completing a grade of "I" (incomplete) are detailed in the Academic Policies and Procedures portion of this Catalog. A written agreement detailing the specific requirements and time limit for completion is required.

Full tuition must be paid and an audit form must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the end of the first week of classes if a student wishes to attend the course again to review the material. If a student registers for the course but does not request to audit the course, a grade will be submitted for the subsequent registration and an I grade will remain on the transcript. 

3. Minimum Acceptable Grade in Required Courses

The minimum acceptable grade in math and science prerequisites is a C (C- is insufficient).The minimum acceptable grade in engineering courses is determined by the academic department. Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the math/science GPA required for admission to the intended engineering department as well as the minimum grade required in engineering courses. Grades higher than the minimum of C may be indicated.