Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Requirements and Electives

Composition Requirement (one required)

The purpose of this class is to teach you how to write. The list of courses that satisfy the composition course requirement is as follows:

  • ENGCMP 0400, Written Professional Communication 
  • ENGCMP 0410, Writing in the Legal Profession
  • ENGCMP 0420, Writing for the Public
  • ENGCMP 0440, Critical Writing 
  • ENGCMP 0450, Research Writing 

(Note: ENGCMP 0200 IS NOT accepted because Freshman are required to either take ENGR 0012 or ENGR 0015 plus ENGCMP 0200) Although these courses are W courses; a single ENGCOMP course cannot be used to satisfy both the composition requirement and “W” requirement described below NOR can the composition course be used to satisfy one of the six HUM/SS courses. The composition requirement is different from and in addition to the writing requirement and the six HUM/SS requirement.

“W” Requirement (one required)

The purpose of this class is to allow you to practice writing in some external context. As such, this is not a specific required class, but instead a required property of one of your other courses. In other words, a course that satisfies your W requirement may be counted toward one of your other graduation requirements (except the composition requirement), but does not need to be. One writing intensive (W) course must be completed prior to graduation.
• Any W section of any course taken at the University of Pittsburgh can satisfy this requirement. The course can be technical or non-technical.
Note: A course MAY be offered as a W, but it may NOT. It depends on the content of the course when offered. The W will appear in the schedule of classes if it is a W section. A list of W classes can be found at http://www.courses.as.pitt.edu/ where you will use the "General Education" pulldown menu on the right.
• An advanced standing course (AS) from another university or college that was a W section can satisfy this requirement. You may be required to obtain a memo from the instructor as supporting documentation.
• Englit advanced placement (AP) from high school does not satisfy this requirement.
Commonly, the "W" course is a Humanities/Social Science course from the approved list indicated by a "W" in the schedule of classes.
A professional elective that concentrates on writing (ENGCMP 0400 - Written Professional Communication) can satisfy this requirement, however no single course can satisfy both the “W” requirement and the composition requirement. Thus, ENGCMP 0400 can only satisfy this requirement if some other class is used to satisfy the "composition" requirement (see above).


Chemical/Petroleum Engineering Elective (one required)

These electives are offered by the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, either as ChE or PetE designated courses. (Required core courses may not be used to satisfy this requirement.)
Co-op can also be used to satisfy this requirement. ENGR 1933 can be used to satisfy this requirement. 

Engineering Elective (one required)

The engineering elective must be a technical class offered by any engineering department other than Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. Any of the suggested classes are satisfactory as are many upper-level classes taken toward a minor, concentration, or certificate program in another engineering discipline (excluding ENGR 0715, IE 1010, IE 1040, and any of the "short term" international courses offered by the Swanson School; see: Study Abroad).
Note: questions regarding which classes are considered non-technical should be directed to the Undergraduate Coordinator.
Co-op can also be used to satisfy this requirement.

Advanced Science Elective (one required)

The advanced science elective may be one of the suggested courses listed on the Degree Programs page or any upper-level class offered from the following departments (the lowest accepted course level number is indicated):
• Astronomy-0100
• Biological Sciences-1170 (0150 and 0160 are also allowed)
• Chemistry-1130 (0250 is also allowed, Chemistry 1720 is NOT allowed)
• Computer Science-401    
• Geology-1000 -1299 and 1400-1960
• Physics-0477

Professional Elective (one* required)

The professional elective is aimed at advancing your professional abilities. As such, we will accept a wide variety of courses including any of the International Engineering courses offered by the Swanson School (see Study Abroad). Also acceptable are any courses that would qualify as a CHE/PETE elective, an Engineering elective, or an Advanced Science elective, as well as MATH 0280 or any class from the Mathematics department with course number 0400 or higher.  Additionally, many, but not all, Communications courses (e.g. ENGR 1010, COMMRC 0520 are acceptable) or courses from a professional school such as Business, Legal Studies, Library and Information Sciences, or Public and International Affairs are acceptable.  You are responsible for getting special permission, if required, to take the class from the department offering the course.

Co-op can also be used to satisfy this requirement.

Any course that is not explicitly covered by this description must be approved by the Undergraduate Coordinator/Vice Chair for Education.

Advanced Laboratory (two required)

The advanced laboratory requirement may be satisfied by taking two total credits from the suggested courses listed on the Degree Programs page. Note that the 2 credit Organic Chemistry lab (CHEM 345) will satisfy both required lab credits. Also, we will count any lab taken as a complement to the advanced science elective toward one of these requirements (even if the lab course is not explicitly on the list).

Humanities and Social Sciences Electives (six required)

Students must complete six humanities/social sciences electives from the approved list in order to graduate. A full list of rules that govern these electives can be found on the Swanson School site. 

In addition to the SSOE rules governing humanities/social sciences electives the following rules pertain to all ChE students: (1) a minimum of one humanities and one social science class is required; (2) a maximum of one course that does not have a "Pitt equivalent" (i.e., one course that is designated as 0000, such as ENGLIT 0000) can be used -- such a course must be from a department that is already represented on the approved list and, for the purposes of fulfilling the depth requirement, any 0000 course will be considered an "introductory level" course.

  If you wish to take a class to satisfy either a humanities or social science and it is not on the approved list of electives, you will need permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In order to obtain this permission, first you must discuss the course with the Vice Chair for Undergraduate Education. If the Vice Chair agrees with your request, you then fill out a request form and include a copy of the description of the class (both available in the main office-940 Benedum), and take it to the Associate Dean's Office for consideration.  In general, independent projects and introductory courses are not accepted nor are courses that might be considered "skill" versus "knowledge/theory" courses.  Please do not request any class from a department which is not on the approved list (e.g., Administration of Justice).