Basic Program

The first year program is much the same for all professional curricula in the College of Engineering.  Each curriculum requires completion of the Basic Program as well as the curriculum designated requirements.

The Basic Program is a set of courses common to all engineering curricula, while the curriculum designated requirements are courses required by individual curricula. The student who desires to receive the bachelor’s degree in a minimum time will find it desirable to select a curriculum as soon as possible.

Basic Program Rule
Students enrolled in the College of Engineering must satisfy both of the following requirements before enrolling in the professional courses (200-level and above) offered by departments in the Engineering College:

  1. Completion of the basic program with a grade point average of 2.00 or better in the basic program courses.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better for all courses taken at Iowa State

Lib 160. Information Literacy

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.S.SS. Prereq: For students whose native language is not English: Completion of ENGL 101 requirement.
Eight-week course required for undergraduate degree. Provides a solid understanding of information literacy and the research process with emphases on finding, evaluating, and using scholarly information; the ethical and legal framework related to information use; and utilization of library discovery tools. To be taken as early as possible in the student’s undergraduate career. See course descriptions of ENGL 150 and ENGL 250 for requirements related to LIB 160. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

Chem 167. General Chemistry for Engineering Students.

(4-0) Cr. 4. F.S.  Prereq: Math 140 or the high school equivalent and one year of traditional college prep chemistry or Chem 50. Principles of chemistry and properties of matter explained in terms of modern chemical theory with emphasis on topics of general interest to the engineer.

This is an accelerated course designed for students with an excellent preparation in math and science and is a terminal course intended for engineering students who do not plan to take additional courses in chemistry. Credit may not be applied toward graduation for both 160 and another chemistry course. Only one of 163, 165, 167, and 177 may count toward graduation. Only one of 155, 163, 167, and 177 may count toward graduation.

Credit by examination (test-out exams) for 167 is available only to students who are not currently enrolled in the course.

Engr 101. Engineering Orientation.

(1-0) Cr. R. F.S. Introduction to the College of Engineering and the engineering profession. Considerations in choosing an engineering curriculum. Information concerning university and college policies, procedures, and resources. Opportunities to interact with departments.


Math 165. Calculus I.
(4-0) Cr. 4. F.S.SS. Prereq: Satisfactory performance on placement exam, 2 years of high school algebra, 1 year of geometry, 1 semester of trigonometry or enrollment in 141 or 142. Differential calculus, applications of the derivative, introduction to integral calculus. Only one of 151 or 160 or the sequence 165-166, or the sequence 181-182 may be counted towards graduation.
Math 166. Calculus II.
(4-0) Cr. 4. F.S.SS. Prereq: Grade of C- or better in 165, 165H, or high math placement scores. Integral calculus, applications of the integral, infinite series. Only one of 151, 160, the sequence 165-166, or the sequence 181-182 may be counted towards graduation.


You must average at least a C in these courses, with neither grade below a C.
Engl 150. Critical Thinking and Communication.
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS. Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in Lib 160. Application of critical reading and thinking abilities to topics of civic and cultural importance. Introduction of basic oral, visual, and electronic communication principles to support writing development. Initiation of communication portfolio.
Engl 250. Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition.
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS. Prereq: 150 or exemption from 150; sophomore classification or exemption from 150; credit for or concurrent enrollment in Lib 160. Analyzing, composing, and reflecting on written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) discourse within academic, civic, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on supporting a claim and using primary and secondary sources. Continued development of student portfolio.

Engr 160. Engineering Problems with Computer Applications Laboratory.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.  Prereq: Satisfactory scores on mathematics placement examinations; credit or enrollment in Math 142, 165. Solving engineering problems and presenting solutions through technical reports. Significant figures. Use of SI units. Graphing and curve-fitting. Flowcharting. Introduction to material balance, mechanics, electrical circuits, statistics and engineering economics. Use of spreadsheet programs to solve and present engineering problems. Solution of engineering problems using computer programming languages.

Phys 221. Introduction to Classical Physics

I. (4.5-1) Cr. 5. F.S.SS. Prereq: Credit or enrollment in Math 166. For engineering and science majors. 3 hours of lecture each week plus 3 recitations and 1 laboratory every 2 weeks. Elementary mechanics including kinematics and dynamics of particles, work and energy, linear and angular momentum, conservation laws, rotational motion, oscillations, gravitation. Electric forces and fields. Electrical currents; DC circuits.