How do I prepare to pursue an engineering degree?

Before you Apply to a Kent State Engineering/Engineering Technology Program 

In an effort to give you the best chance of success, we can provide the following guidance for those considering a future degree in engineering or engineering technology from Kent State's College of Aeronautics and Engineering. 

Focus on mathematics in high school!  

Regardless of your specific engineering/engineering technology major, mathematics will be an important part of your college coursework.  Ensuring that you are prepared for that math is very important!  If you know exactly what degree you would like to pursue, you may wish to look up the program on the catalog page (Find Your Program < Kent State University).  

  • Navigate to your desired program's Roadmap tab and find your first mathematics course.  This is usually in semester 1 or 2.
  • If the first math course in your roadmap is MATH 12002 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I, you should ensure that you take trigonometry, pre-calculus, or even calculus in high school.  
  • If the first math course in your program is MATH 11022 Trigonometry, you should ensure that you have a sound foundation in algebra and geometry.  Additionally, make sure you read through the "After you are accepted" section below.

Consider taking physics if it's available at your high school.  

Engineering is applied physics at its core and all engineering/engineering technology students will be required to take physics in college regardless of their chosen discipline.  Why not get a jump on it?  You will likely still have to take the courses in college, but seeing something for a second time should be easier than the first, right?  It's not a requirement, but it's something to consider.

Don't skip math in your senior year!   

High school graduation requirements vary from state to state.  Some do not require 4 full years of high school mathematics.  We do not recommend that students wishing to pursue engineering or engineering technology opt out of math in their senior year.

Consider College Credit Plus (CCP) courses (College Credit Plus | Kent State University).  

CCP is a great way to get some college credit courses under your belt prior to graduating from high school.  We have seen a drastic increase in the number of students starting their freshman year with CCP credits.  Here's what you should know:

  • Sometimes students come in with 30-60 credits already completed!  While this is amazing, please be advised that starting your freshman year with 60 credits of CCP does not generally translate into being able to graduate in 2 years.  
  • The best way to use CCP credits to give you the greatest chance of shortening the time spent in college is to check your intended roadmap prior to taking courses.  You should focus on the following:
    • Complete your general education requirements (Kent State calls this the "Kent Core");
    • Complete the math and science courses listed in the first few semesters of your Roadmap.   Most of the upper division engineering courses have math and physics courses as prerequisites;
    • Make sure that you are taking the right courses.  For example, the fundamental engineering programs (aerospace, mechatronics, and cybersecurity engineering) require that you take PHY 23101 General University Physics.  Students that take CCP credits transferring as PHY 13001 General College Physics will not be given credit towards their graduation requirement and will therefore still be required to complete PHY 23101.  Taking the "right" course is important!

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering cannot guarantee that students who arrive with CCP credits will be able to shorten their time in school!  However, following the above advice will increase your chances of being able to do so!

After you are Accepted to a Kent State Engineering/Engineering Technology Program 

Once accepted into your program, you will have to take a math placement exam called the ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment.  Information on this exam can be found on the Mathematical Sciences Website (Before Taking Placement Assessment | Kent State University).  This is how Kent State determines what math courses you are prepared for.  

Here are some things you should know and understand prior to taking the exam:

  1. The exam is important.  Make sure you give it your due diligence!
  2. Cheating could result in you being incorrectly placed. Placing outside of your scope of knowledge on this assessment could result in you taking math courses you are not prepared adequately for, resulting in a failure. This would require you to take additional courses, which could add additional time to complete your degree.
  3. Understand your score.  Use the following site to determine what course your score places you into:  What does my score mean? | Kent State University
  4. Take the assessment as early as you can!  If you do not obtain the score required to place into the first math course on your roadmap, you have an opportunity to take the ALEKS Learning Modules and reassess prior to starting the fall semester.  You can find more information about the ALEKS Reassessment here: ALEKS Math Reassessment | Kent State University