Academic Policies

*All MAE required courses (including CHEM, PHYS, MATH, MAE) must be taken for a letter grade unless stated otherwise by the department.


P/NP Policy Due to Covid

SP20 - Students are able to take all courses for major and minor as P/NP.

FA20- Students are able to take all courses for major and minor as P/NP.

WI21, SP21-

  • Students may use P grades earned in lower division courses to count towards their MAE degree requirements, and
  • Students may use one P grade in an upper division course per quarter (WI21 and SP21) towards their core major degree requirements. 
  • All courses taken to satisfy ME specialization requirements must be taken for a letter grade.
  • All courses taken to satisfy minor requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

Note: Even though the department will accept P grades in the scenarios described above as an exception to our normal policy, we strongly recommend that students take all required courses for letter grades. P/NP grades on transcripts may be viewed unfavorably by employers and/or graduate school admissions committees.


General Education / College Requirements

UCSD undergraduate students enroll in one of seven colleges: Revelle, John Muir, Thurgood Marshall, Earl Warren, Eleanor Roosevelt , Sixth or Seventh College. The colleges are distinguished by their particular educational philosophy and environment. The choice of college is independent of the choice of major; all colleges are open to all majors.

Each student must satisfy general education course requirements determined by the college, as well as the major requirements determined by the department. The seven colleges require widely different general education courses. The number of general education courses required by each college beyond the mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering courses included in the MAE major programs are listed and range from 9 courses in Earl Warren College to 13-17 courses in Revelle College.

The 4-year programs in mechanical and aerospace engineering allow for a maximum of 10 general education courses if a full schedule is taken each quarter. The non-accredited four-year engineering science program allows for a maximum of 13 general education courses with a full schedule. Depending on the number of Advanced Placement credits students enroll with, students from certain colleges may not be able to graduate in the four-year schedule presented in the MAE curriculum tables.

In the ABET accredited programs, students must take a total of at least twenty-four units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, not including subjects such as accounting, industrial management, finance, or personnel administration. This requirement is typically satisfied by the general education requirements of all colleges.

College Additional Courses
Earl Warren 9
Sixth College 9 - 13
Seventh College 14
Thurgood Marshall 10
John Muir 11-12
Eleanor Roosevelt 13-14
Revelle 13-17


MAE Major Program and Requirements

Specific course requirements for each major program are outlined in the approved 4-year or 3-year academic plans.

In addition to the required technical courses specifically indicated, a suggested scheduling of humanities and social science courses (HSS) are distributed in the curricula for students to use to meet college general-education requirements. 

To graduate, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0, and the department requires at least a D grade in each course required for the major. **All courses required for the major must be taken for a letter grade and students will not graduate with more than one D grade in any course within their major.** 

Deviations from the prescribed programs of study must be approved by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee prior to taking alternative courses. In addition, technical elective (TE) course selections must have departmental approval prior to taking the courses if they are not selected from the pre-approved list. A complete list of technical electives for each major is available here. In the accredited programs, TE courses are restricted to meet ABET standards. Courses such as MAE 195 and 197 are not allowed as technical electives in meeting the upper-division major requirements. MAE 198 and MAE 199 can be used as a technical elective only under special conditions. See here for more information.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete lower and upper-division courses in a timely fashion and in the sequences outlined. Deviation in scheduling of MAE upper-division courses is strongly discouraged. Lower-division courses are offered more than once each year to permit students some flexibility in their program scheduling. However, many MAE upper-division courses are taught only once per year, and the courses are scheduled to be consistent with the curricula as shown in the academic plans. Students taking upper-division courses in a different order than that shown in the academic plans may experience conflicts as the schedules of different courses may overlap. A list of course offerings is available from the department each spring for the following academic year.