BME/CpE/EE First Year Advising
Student in their first year in engineering take many of the same courses whether they are BME/CpE/EE/ME majors. This document explains the first year courses and gives the terms in which they are offered:
Other common questions from first year students are answered here:
BME/CpE/EE Advising Guides
These guides outline the courses required for each major in a number of different formats. They also include the typical course offerings and their schedules as well as a sample schedule. If you find errors or need clarifications, please consult with your advisor.
ECBE Courses Offered 2021-22 & 2022-23
General Advising Information
Many advising questions are common across majors and are answered through the Union Advising pages. These are linked below and please check these first:
Study Abroad for ECBE Students
What study abroad opportunities are open to me as a BME/CpE/EE major?
About 60% of BME/CpE/EE students participate in study abroad through with a mini-term or full term abroad. More details on the different opportunities available are detailed at Study Abroad and BME/CpE/EE students have gone on all these programs through the years.
Students should consult with their advisors as early as possible so that they can work out a program of study that includes their chosen study abroad plans.
What degree requirements are satisfied through study abroad?
A student who completes a mini-term typically fulfills 1 of the 2 LCC course requirements of the Common Curriculum.
A student who completes a full term abroad that deals with a cultural tradition outside of the US will satisfy the 2 LCC course requirements in the Common Curriculum. The exact number of credits that are transferred will depend on the term abroad and the number of courses taken. More information can be found on the Common Curriculum Advising Guide and Worksheet.
Students should consult with the term abroad director and/or the International Programs office for questions about specific programs.
When can I go on a Full Term Abroad?
The curricula for EE, CpE, BME allow for a term abroad in Fall of Junior Year and this is typically when most students study abroad. However, it is possible to go abroad in a different term but this requires more planning by the student and academic advisor (beginning early in the sophomore year) so that the major requirements can be satisfied in the four years.
Is it possible to satisfy an engineering requirement for the BME/CpE/EE major on a term abroad?
BME Students cannot receive credit for required core (non-elective) courses on a term abroad. BME Students may be able to receive a BME Elective Credit as part of their coursework on a Term Abroad. To receive this credit, students must provide the syllabus for the engineering course to the BME Program Director and have this approved as a full BME Elective Credit prior to taking the course. This approval must be obtained over email by each student for the particular course that they take and which they wish to count for a BME Elective Credit. The level of the course that is transferred in (whether less than or greater than 300 level) will be determined by the BME Program Director based on the syllabus and the course credit hours.
EE/CpE Students cannot receive credit for required core (non-elective) courses on a term abroad. EE/CpE Students may be able receive ECE/CSC 3xx Elective Credit as part of their coursework on a Term Abroad. Students must provide the syllabus for the course to the ECBE Chair and have this approved as ECE/CSC 3xx Elective Credit prior to taking the course. This approval must be obtained over email by each student for the particular course that they take and which they wish to count for a EE/CpE Elective Credit. The level of the course that is transferred in (whether less than or greater than 300 level) will be determined by the ECBE Chair or CS Chair based on the syllabus and the course credit hours.
Additional Advising FAQ for ECBE Students
What courses do I take as a First Year Engineering student interested in BME/CpE/EE?
The first year requires all engineering students to take a core of Calculus and Physics courses along with 1-2 courses that are introductory courses to your Engineering Major. The courses offered in each term are detailed in this First Year Engineering Advising Guide
- How do I petition for courses?
How do I take a fourth course?
Engineers need to take 40 courses over 4 years and so end up (normally) taking a 4 course term in each year although other options are possible. The policy for engineers is outlined fully on the Union Academic Advising Page. Please see the information under the question "How do fourth courses work for engineers?" under the College Advising & Registration FAQs
How do I make changes to a major or minor?
This is covered here on the Union College Advising website. You need to print out the form and get the required signatures. The administrative assistants in the engineering departments also have copies of this form.
The Organizing Theme Major proposal requires the approval of the chosen Organizing Theme advisor(s) and then a faculty committee established by the Dean of Studies. More information is available here.
What courses are required to fulfill my BME/CpE/EE major requirements?
Please consult the advising guides for each of the majors that are linked at the top of this page. Each advising guide has a check-sheet with course requirements along with other information including course prerequisites and terms in which courses are typically offered.
What ECBE courses are offered for my BME/CpE/EE major and when are they offered?
The schedule of courses offered for the current academic year are linked at the top of this webpage.
What are the Common Curriculum requirements for the BME/CpE/EE major?
Please consult the advising guides for each of the majors that are linked at the top of this page. Each advising guide has a check-sheet which gives additional information on the requirements, some of which are automatically satisfied through taking your engineering degree program (e.g., QMR & SET). Students should work closely with their advisor in figuring out their common curriculum coursework so that they can fit in study abroad plans or other academic goals such as Minor(s).
More details on the Common Curriculum can be found here: Common Curriculum Advising Guide and Worksheet
What courses count as a Science Elective for the EE/CpE major?
These courses count as a Science Elective towards the EE or CpE degree:
- Any course at level 100 or higher in Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Biology or Geology
- ENS100 Introduction to Environmental Science
- Any course at level 100 or higher in Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Biology or Geology
What are the BIO requirements for the BME major? Is BIO103 required for the BME major?
For BME graduates in 2021 and beyond, the BIO requirements are BIO104, BIO205, BIO206, and a BIO elective course. Here are some notes on the BIO requirements; students should work closely with their advisor to fulfill these requirements in a timely manner.
- AP BIO is counted as a non-majors biology class (BIO 050) and not towards BIO103 or BIO104. This course can be used as a Free Elective towards graduation.
- BIO205 & BIO206 can be taken in any order.
- The BIO elective course must be at a level > 300, i.e., BIO3xx and there is no requirement that it have an associated lab.
- BIO103 may appear as a requirement for some of the courses in the BIO curriculum (e.g., BIO205 and some BIO3xx courses); this requirement is waived for BME students.
How do I graduate with honors in BME/CpE/EE?
Requirements for Honors in Electrical or Computer Engineering:
In addition to meeting all of the general college requirements for departmental honors, candidates for honors in electrical or computer engineering must present their senior project at the Steinmetz Symposium. Note any format of presentation (oral or poster) is allowed.
Requirements for Honors in Biomedical Engineering:
The criteria for graduating with honors in Biomedical Engineering are: (1) a cumulative index of at least 3.3; (2) a cumulative index in major courses of at least 3.3, with an A or A- in at least three of those courses; (3) a cumulative index of at least 3.5 in the two courses of capstone design; (4) final six terms of courses at Union. The major courses are listed above under “Foundation and core courses for Biomedical Engineering,” “Biomedical Engineering electives” and “Capstone design”.
How do I sign up for ECE497 or ECE498 which is a 0.5 Credit Course?
You must submit a 4th course form for ECE497 or ECE498 because it puts you over the normal 3 courses per term. Please see the information above on the 4th course form.
In the most common situation, as long as you have only overloaded three times prior to this term in enrollments then you will not be charged. There may be other situations that apply that allow you to take more courses in a term (e.g., Scholars, GPA, etc.) -- these details are given on the 4th course form.
How does the Senior Project work for ECE/CpE : ECE497/498/499?
Each of ECE497 (Junior Spring term) and ECE498 (Senior Fall term) are 0.5 credit courses so students typically take 3.5 course credits typically in these terms. Therefore, typically students take 10.5 credits in Junior Year and 9.5 credits in the Senior Year.
However, there is some flexibility in this arrangement and students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor to figure out their schedules for Senior Project if it will deviate from this normal schedule.