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New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog 2015–2017 School of Engineering Programs of Study Summary of Academic Programs Electives  


All engineering curricula provide an opportunity for students to select from a wide range of elective courses to meet their individual needs. The following types of electives are used in the programs outlined in this chapter.

Departmental Electives.  Departmental electives must be selected from among the course offerings of the department whose subject code is indicated. For example, "14:650:___ departmental elective" indicates a course offered by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. For the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, these electives are referred to as "electrical electives."

Engineering Electives.  An engineering elective refers to courses offered by the School of Engineering. (This elective occurs only in the applied sciences in engineering curriculum.)

General Electives.  The general electives shown in all engineering curricula may be chosen from any subject area other than individual and team activities in exercise science and sport studies (377). A student who wishes to carry more credits of general electives than are shown may add these credits to the normal curriculum. All credits taken in excess of degree requirements will be counted in the university cumulative grade-point average. Normally, general electives may be scheduled at any time as long as the load for any given semester does not exceed 21 credits. General elective credit is not allowed for remedial courses such as precalculus and other courses offered at a level below that of required courses.

Humanities/Social Sciences Electives.  Each four-year curriculum must contain a minimum of 18 credits (or equivalent) of humanities/social sciences electives, which are chosen with the advice and approval of the appropriate faculty adviser. These electives must include an expository writing course, such as 01:355:101 or its equivalent, 01:220:102, Introduction to Microeconomics,  and a minimum of 6 credits of upper-level courses. Upper level refers to courses with numbers in the 300s or 400s.

The humanities/social sciences electives must meet generally accepted definitions. Humanities are the branches of knowledge concerned with people and their cultures, while social sciences study individual relationships in and to society. Subjects such as accounting, industrial management, finance, personnel administration, introductory modern language courses, and ROTC studies normally do not fulfill the objectives of this elective. Skills courses are acceptable only if a substantial amount of material relating to cultural values is involved, as opposed to routine exercises that enhance the student's performance. An extensive listing of acceptable courses offered by the various units of Rutgers is available from the Office of Academic Affairs ( Normally, these electives may be scheduled at any time as long as the load for any given semester does not exceed 21 credits. The faculty of the School of Engineering views this requirement as an important and integral part of the overall curriculum.

Technical Electives.  Technical electives are courses in engineering or related areas as determined by the department and are chosen with the approval of the appropriate faculty adviser. Lists of acceptable technical electives are available at department websites at In electrical and computer engineering, a subcategory of computer electives is included in the computer option.

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