Engineering at College of San Mateo - Transfer Guidelines
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Transfer Guide
(updated August, 2013)

The engineering program at College of San Mateo prepares students to transfer with junior standing to bachelor's degree programs in engineering. At most schools, students will transfer into a specific engineering department (e.g., civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering). Engineering 100 (Introduction to Engineering) provides an overview of the different engineering majors. Additional information is available through:
  •, a web site showing transfer requirements
  • the websites of transfer schools
  • Engineering News, a monthly newsletter available in Building 19, Room 42 and in the News section of this site
  • Laura Demsetz, engineering instructor and advisor, at, or (650) 574-6617
The first two years of study in an engineering major, whether at CSM or at a four year school, consist of courses in five areas: mathematics, science, computer programming, engineering, and general education. The specific requirements vary among majors and transfer schools. However, the mathematics sequence is usually the longest. Students interested in engineering should take a math class every semester, even if they are still uncertain about specific major and transfer school.

Because requirements vary among majors and transfer schools, students should work closely with an advisor throughout their time at CSM and should check ASSIST (statewide transfer information, and the web site of the department and school to which they plan to transfer. The basic transfer requirements are described below. Students or advisors with questions about engineering should contact Laura Demsetz at (650) 574-6617,, or

This is longest sequence of courses for most engineering students. Engineering programs at four-year schools assume that students are prepared to take calculus in their freshman year. At CSM, students can take the full sequence of math leading up to Calculus. Of course, this means that the engineering transfer requirements will take longer than 2 years to complete.

MATH 110 (or 111 and 112) Elementary Algebra
MATH 115 Geometry (recommended, but not required)
MATH 120 (or 122 and 123) Intermediate Algebra
MATH 130 Trigonometry
MATH 222 Precalculus

Students who have difficulty in math courses prior to calculus should think carefully about their choice of engineering as a major.

MATH 251 Calculus/Analytic Geometry I (DO NOT TAKE Math 241/242)
MATH 252 Calculus/Analytic Geometry II
MATH 253 Calculus/Analytic Geometry III
MATH 270 Linear Algebra (required for most, but not all, transfer programs)
MATH 275 Differential Equations
Note: MATH 268 Discrete Mathematics is required for some computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering programs

PHYS 250 Physics with Calculus I (prerequisites: MATH251, PHYS150)
PHYS 260 Physics with Calculus II
PHYS 270 Physics with Calculus III (required for most programs)
CHEM 210 General Chemistry I
CHEM 220 General Chemistry II (required for some programs)

Computer Programming
The programming requirement varies by transfer school and by major and is subject to frequent changes. For most majors, it is satisfied by at least one of ENGR 215 (MATLAB), CIS 278 (C++), or CIS 255 (Java). CIS 278 and CIS 255 have CIS 254 as a prerequisite; ENGR 215 can serve as an equivalent to the prerequisite. Some schools and majors also require a data structures course, either CIS 279 (C++) or CIS 256 (Java).

ENGR 100 Introduction to Engineering (Fall and Summer at CSM; Spring at Cañada College)
ENGR 210 Engineering Graphics (Spring at CSM; Fall at Cañada College)
ENGR 215 Computational Methods (Fall at CSM; Spring at Cañada College)
ENGR 230 Engineering Statics (Fall at CSM; Spring at Cañada College)
ENGR 240  Engineering Dynamics (Fall at Cañada College)
ENGR 260 Circuits and Devices (Spring at both CSM and Cañada College)
ENGR 270 Materials Science (Spring at CSM; Fall at Cañada College)

There is a great deal of variation in the engineering course requirements among schools and majors. Most civil and mechanical engineering programs require ENGR 210, ENGR 230, and ENGR 270. Some civil engineering programs require ENGR 260; most mechanical engineering programs require ENGR 260. Most electrical engineering programs require ENGR 260 and ENGR 270; some also require ENGR 230; some also require ENGR 210. Consult for the requirements of specific schools and majors.

Some schools and majors have additional lower division engineering courses that are not offered at most community colleges (for example, a course in Environmental Engineering). These courses do not have to be completed prior to transfer, but will have to be taken at the four year school, in addition to the upper division courses.

General Education
Typically, engineering students transferring to a CSU must complete the Area A requirements (Oral Communication, Written Communication, and Critical Thinking).The remainder of the general education requirements may be completed at CSM or after transferring, but it's less expensive at CSM. Engineering students transferring to a UC should complete ENGL 100 and a second composition course (see IGETC, Area 1; for U.C. Berkeley, take ENGL 110, not ENGL 165). Additional general education courses should be taken so as to satisfy the requirements of the specific U.C. campus. Students should consult ASSIST (statewide transfer information, and the web site of the department and school to which they plan to transfer for more information.

Engineering Transfer Focus Group presentation