Undergraduate Advisement: FAQ&A
(Frequently Asked Questions and Answers)

My very esteemed colleague, Dr. Lee Lowery, has posted an incredible wealth of information for current and prospective students at http://lowery.tamu.edu. Scroll to the bottom of the page for major headers; then, use Ctrl+F to find specific topics on following pages.

This list of questions and answers is mostly redundant with Dr. Lowery’s site, but I still get the questions often enough to merit some quick answers…


I am interested in transferring to Civil Engineering at Texas A&M from another college/university. What do I need to do, and can you tell me if I will be accepted?
See http://www.civil.tamu.edu/downloads/UgradInfo/TransferStudentPolicy.pdf. The major issue for review of applications to transfer into our program is performance in Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) courses – i.e., calculus, chemistry, physics, etc. Please read the information in the link above very carefully to understand minimum expectations for these courses. I am sorry, but I can not give any kind of opinion or hint about your likelihood of acceptance until I have an official application in hand.

Does the Civil Engineering Department have scholarships for incoming freshman?
See https://www.civil.tamu.edu/prospectivestudents/financial.html. That page discusses the Benson Scholarships, which are the only current department scholarships for incoming freshman. Once a student is enrolled in our program, there is an annual scholarship program for current students that awards (as of 2012-2013) over $600,000 to CVEN and OCEN students. These scholarships are made possible by the amazing generosity of our former students and industry supporters.
University-level information on scholarships and financial aid can be found at https://financialaid.tamu.edu/Default.aspx.



I received a letter from you over semester break saying that I have to repeat a course because I made a D or F. Do I have to take the course this semester?
Yes, you are expected to take the course in the very next semester in which you are enrolled. There are 3 good reasons for this requirement. (1) The best time to take a course in which you struggled is immediately after your last attempt so that the material is fresh in your mind. (2) You minimize potential pre-requisite course issues by passing the course sooner, rather than later. (3) If you are on Scholastic Warning (SW) or Scholastic Probation (SP), passing the course is an expectation (for SW) or requirement (for SP) for you this semester. Failure to take the course will lead to increased academic sanctions that may include dismissal from the program.

What courses will be offered this summer?
Unfortunately, summer course offerings currently are funded in a complicated way that makes it difficult to know what will be offered far in the future. However, the CVEN department has for several years attempted to offer a fairly predictable set of summer courses. Review past summer semester offerings in Howdy to see what typically is offered. But, please understand that there are no guarantees.
We have no control nor any knowledge about other departments’ offerings. Again, look at Howdy to see past summer offerings.

I’d really like to take CVEN 4xx, but I don’t have the pre-requisite course CVEN 3xx. Is it ok to go ahead and take the higher-level course?
No, it’s almost never a good idea to skip pre-requisites. You can always ask the professor for the higher-level course for a specific opinion that accounts for your past academic performance and classes taken. One thing to keep in mind is that courses in the department are scheduled to avoid conflicts among courses typically taken together. Thus, by skipping ahead you may potentially create problems for yourself later.