First-Year Advising

Students will meet with an academic advisor during New Student Registration to plan classes and register for their first semester at Illinois.  It is important to continue to meet with an academic advisor at least once each semester before registration for the following term to stay on track toward graduation.  Students should meet with Departmental Academic Advisors for specific curricular information and advice about their majors.  

Tutorials to help students register for courses:

Students may have registered for courses during New Student Registration with anticipated AP, IB, or A-level scores. After receiving their Math, Chemistry and Physics exam results, please see the information below to adjust schedule when the advising hold is lifted to have a successful start!  Academic advisor may have additional guidance regarding course registration based on prior performance and placement exams.

*Caution - some courses have different placements for Grainger Engineering Students. Please ensure that you read the website information below carefully. If you have any questions, please reach out to your department or college advising.

The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL) has information regarding: 

  1. AP: Advanced Placement
  2. IB: International Baccalaureate
  3. A-level: Advanced Level courses (international students)

AP, IB, A-Level Credits: Course Selection Strategy Advice

  1. Our main concern for students who have earned credit in prerequisite courses:  Are students ready for next course?

  2. Students should be aware that having earned credit does not require them to advance to the next level. Students may prefer or benefit from repeating a level.

  3. If student does not have perfect test scores, but did earn credit:

    1. In courses foundational for engineering, less than perfect scores in AP, IB, or Advanced Levels may not be sufficient for next level of coursework. 

    2. Students may take a proficiency exam to help them decide on whether to advance to the next level.

The Grainger Engineering First-year Experience (GFX) is an interdisciplinary program designed to enhance the learning experience of every first-year student in The Grainger College of Engineering.

Before registering for their first semester, students will discuss appropriate fall courses with an department or college advisor. A typical first-semester schedule would consist of the courses below. Remember that 15 hours credit feels like having a full-time job (about 50 hours per week, studying, going to class, doing homework) for 99% of students.

Course Hours Placement Notes
ENG 100 (Engineering Orientation) 1   Required course for all Grainger Engineering students  
ENG 101 1   Required ONLY for Engineering Undeclared students 
Science course 2-4 hours  
Math course 3-5 hours Math placement

Want to retake the placement test? Try a refresher first.

General Education or Foreign Language course 3-4 hours Foreign Language/LOTE placement
Department Orientation/ Introductory course 0-2 hours   Department Intro courses
Composition and/or Department Intro course 3-4 hours Department Intro courses
TOTAL 14-16 HOURS    
  • Students in majors without a designated Introductory course will take an additional General Education course.
  • Remember that 15 hours credit feels like having a full-time job (about 50 hours per week, studying, going to class, doing homework) for 99% of students.

Major FALL Course with ODD UIN FALL Introductory Course(s) Notes
Aerospace Engineering
AE 100 (1hr)
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
SE 101 (3hr)
ABE 100 (1hr)
BIOE 100 (1hr)
Non-majors interested in BIOE should take BIOE 120 in the fall semester and contact Bioengineering regarding transfer or minor.  
Chemical Engineering
Students interested in Chemical Engineering should take CHEM 202/203 and 204/205 in place of CHEM 102/103 and 104/105
Civil Engineering
SE 101 (3hr)
CEE 190 (4hr)
CEE majors taking SE 101 should register for either the AL or AO section for lecture.
Computer Science
CS 100 (1hr)
and CS 124 (3hr)
Take CS 124 as soon as possible.  CS 101 or CS 105 are preparatory courses (no graduation credit).
Electrical & Computer Engineering
ECE 110 (3hr)
or ECE 120 (4hr)
Computer Engineering students aren't required to take CHEM 102/103. If they do, it will count as technical elective.
Engineering Undeclared
Any gateway course
Any gateway course
Some courses will have special sections for undeclared students.
Engineering Mechanics
ME 170 (3hr)
TAM 195 (1hr)
Engineering Physics
PHYS 110 (0hr)
PHYS 225 to be taken at the same time as PHYS 212.
Industrial Engineering and Systems Engineering
SE 101 (3hr)
SE 100 (0hr)
ISE majors (SE and IE) with RHET 105 credit should petition to take SE 101 in the Fall semester. Lab monitors can contact ISE directly for overrides.
Materials Science and Engineering
MSE 182 (2hr)
Mechanical Engineering
ME 170 (3hr)
Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering
NPRE 100 (1hr)


  • Proficiency exams can give you credit for courses. If you think you know the material for a course, feel free to attempt the proficiency test - it's free. Just Google the test you want to take, e.g. "math proficiency uiuc".  Be sure to note the date, time, and location of the exam, how, and when to register, and what you need to bring to the exam. Some exams are on move-in day!
  • Dynamic and Static Curriculum Maps (click on your major, scroll down, and click on Curriculum Map). These show the pre and post requisite courses, as well as a sample sequence. Always consult an adviser before you register for classes!
  • Course Explorer for Fall Courses.
  • College Resources in Engineering: students talk about opportunities available to all engineering students.

  • What was I really given credit for? Am I missing anything? Do I need to adjust my schedule? On the Friday before classes start, your New Student Hold will be taken off so you can adjust classes as necessary. A few days before the semester starts, generate YOUR degree progress report ("u.achieve" is the Degree Audit Reporting System used at Illinois) to guide adjustments to make. 
  • Participate in GFX Launch! Quest (August 19, 2022; 12 - 5 pm)
  • Watch the Grainger Student Portal for upcoming events and information!