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Thinking About a Different Major?

Don't worry! There are 15 different engineering fields and over 100 majors on campus to choose from! College is the time to explore your major and career options. Close to 40% of Illinois students change their majors at least once, so you're not alone! People change their careers on average between 3-7 times in their lifetimes. You do not need to know what you want to do with the rest of your life right now! Below, you will see a guide as to how you should go about changing departments within the College of Engineering, transferring out of Engineering completely, and transferring into the College of Engineering. Whatever you decide to do, good luck with your new endeavor! As always, stop by our office at 206 Engineering Hall if you have any questions!

Inter-Departmental Transfers

Students enrolled in the College of Engineering may petition for transfer to another department within the college at times prior to advanced enrollment and the beginning of a new term.

A petition form for departmental transfer is available in 206 Engineering Hall, at your department's Chief Advisors office, or you may click here and print one yourself. The petition consists of 3 parts which must be completed before submitting the petition for review and approval:

  1. Student Comments:
    This section is to be completed by the student and should contain the reasons for requesting a change.
  2. Current Department Comments and Recommendation:
    The student must visit with his current department and obtain the comments and recommendations along with a signature of the Chief Advisor.
  3. Prospective Department Comments, Recommendations, and Conditions:
    The student must visit with the prospective department and obtain the information indicated along with a signature of the Chief Advisor.

Once the 3 parts have been completed the student should submit the petition to 206 Engineering Hall for final review and approval. If you have any questions contact the College of Engineering Undergraduate Programs Office, 206 Engineering Hall, 333-2280.

Transferring to a Different College

First, congratulations! If you've decided that engineering is not right for you, that's a good productive step forward. Each individual brings a unique set of skills to the table. Your skills may be a better match for a different major and that's great! Our world needs great people in every field of study.

Please talk to the prospective department to which you plan to transfer. Come to 206 Engineering Hall afterwards and speak with an Advising Dean on getting started with the transfer procedure. The sooner you do this, the better, since course sequencing is important.

Transferring into the College of Engineering

Any student in good standing in a college outside of Engineering is eligible to seek a transfer into a curriculum offered by the College of Engineering.

The likelihood of success of an Inter-College Transfer (ICT) petition depends upon the qualifications of the student, primarily as evidenced by performance in courses at Illinois. The College of Engineering looks for a pattern of achievement that portends success in a highly technical curriculum. A student with a B average with demonstrated success (primarily A's and B's) in math, physics, and chemistry may be a good candidate for transfer. Students with grades below B in technical courses are not good candidates for transfer to Engineering, unless those low performances are amended by retaking the course and earning a higher grade.

Approval of a petition will depend upon the quality of the petitioner's academic record, the strength of the petition essay, and availability of space in the target curriculum. Each case will be considered individually on its own merits.

The student must see a Dean in the Undergraduate Programs Office in 206 Engineering Hall to initiate the process of transfering into the College of Engineering.

  1. Go to 206 Engineering Hall to get permission from a dean to pursue a transfer (i.e., a signed Inter-College Transfer form that is available only from a dean). The dean will perform an initial evaluation of your prospects for transfer and give general advice related to the transfer.
  2. If a dean allows you to officially pursue a transfer, write your personal statement (250-500 words in length) that should explain your reasons for requesting a transfer into an Engineering curriculum. You will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the course requirements and why you expect to excel in the prospective curriculum. You should also include what factors led you to your decision to make a career change, who you consulted for assistance in arriving at this conclusion, and whether course performance impacted your decision.
  3. Take a copy of your personal statement with you to visit the Chief Advisor of your target department to get advice on the transfer and to explore the possibility further. The departmental advisor can give you more detailed advice on the major, including course choices, requirements, estimated time to degree, and other information. The departmental advisor will provide input on the suitability of the transfer and indicate other suggestions or expectations on the ICT form to be conveyed back to the Undergraduate Programs Office. The transfer process cannot be completed without the signature of the department advisor. You may want to revise your personal statement after your discussion with the Chief Advisor.
  4. Return to the Undergraduate Programs Office in 206 Engineering Hall to complete the process. The final decision on the transfer will be made by the Associate Dean after all the information is complete.

The College of Engineering normally considers tansfer petitions throughout the year.  However, because of strong interest, petition deadlines may be introduced for certaing majors.  At this time, the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department has instituted single deadlines in Fall and Spring semesters to review as a whole transfer petitions for the Mechanial Engineering and Engineering Mechanics curricula.  For information, see:

Similar process may be initiated for other majors experiencing extraordinary demand.  Information will be posted on this page as it becomes available. 

ENG 101 EAI "Engineering at Illinois"

Engineering At Illinois is an introduction to undergraduate programs of study available in the College of Engineering and the potential careers of graduates of those programs. The course is aimed at students in the Division of General Studies who may be interested in an Engineering major or other students who wish to explore engineering careers. This is a 1-hour course. Please consult the Course Schedule for more details.

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