Houston Engineering Center FAQ

UT Tyler College of Engineering

If you take courses at a community college and then want to study engineering at a university, do you have to repeat many of the courses?

  • Not with appropriate planning. Several universities and community colleges have been working very hard since 2009 to align pre-engineering coursework across the state so that the courses you complete at a community college can be applied to an engineering degree program. In particular, if you satisfactorily complete the newly implemented Associate of Science in Engineering Science degree at a participating community college, you can be admitted to and pursue an engineering completion curriculum at one of the participating universities in Texas. The University of Texas at Tyler is a participating university in the Associate of Science in Engineering Science program.

Is it expensive to attend schools in the University of Texas System?

  • Not necessarily. The tuition that a student pays varies from one university to another, even in the same system. The tuition and fees at The University of Texas at Tyler are below the average for all public universities in Texas. That makes The University of Texas at Tyler one of the more affordable public universities in Texas.

How long does it take to complete an engineering degree when you start at a community college?

  • Students who attend a participating community college and complete the Texas Associate of Science in Engineering Science degree and then attend a participating university to complete an engineering degree can have the same time to graduation as a student who begins at the university as a freshman, approximately eight semesters. Of course, the number of semester credit hours you pursue in a semester will affect the time to graduation. The fewer semester credit hours you take in a semester, the longer will be the time to graduation.

Is this an on-line degree program?

  • No, this is not an on-line degree program. Most courses will be offered in a traditional classroom and laboratory setting. You may have the option of taking some courses on-line if they are available, but this is definitely not an on-line degree program. You will be interacting with UT Tyler faculty.

What schools offer ASES accepted by UT Tyler?

  • The University of Texas at Tyler currently accepts ASES from Houston Community College, San Jacinto College, TSTC-Harlingen and South Texas College.

Can I attend part time or must I be a full-time student?

  • Yes, you can earn an engineering degree as a part-time student. However, because of prerequisite requirements, you should be careful about what courses you take and talk to an advisor every semester so that you can earn the degree as quickly as possible. If you attend as a part-time student, please understand that you will take a significant time to complete your degree.

What if I am an international student?

  • You will need to coordinate with both your engineering college advisor to discuss recommended classes and your international advisor regarding your international documents. Any coursework you have taken in the US will be handled the same as for our domestic students. International coursework is more difficult to evaluate. Visit the Office of International Programs for more information on the international admissions process, important deadlines and other important information.

How do I apply for the UT Tyler program?

  • When you are within a semester or so of being able to complete the ASES curriculum, apply to UT Tyler at www.applytexas.org. You should also contact the UT Tyler offices on the Alief campus to let them know that you have applied for the degree program and intend to study in Houston so that they can be looking for your application and get you admitted, advised and registered quicker.

Must students obtain the ASES degree prior to enrolling in courses at UT Tyler?

  • Earning the ASES degree and then enrolling at UT Tyler is the preferred pathway to obtain an engineering baccalaureate degree when beginning academic study at a community college and these students will receive priority enrollment. However, other students who have completed the necessary prerequisite courses may be considered for admission into the engineering programs, if they have a C in all required courses and an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 on previous coursework. These students will be treated as traditional transfer students and will need to be advised by a UT Tyler advisor to evaluate their credits to determine the additional courses necessary to obtain a baccalaureate engineering degree from UT Tyler. Necessary lower division coursework can be completed at HCC or at any other community college in the region.

What is the difference between direct and ASES transfers?

  • An ASES degree holder has a slightly different curriculum than a direct transfer. The student has to finish a Texas Associates of Science in Engineering Science, presently only offered in the Houston area by HCC and San Jacinto, and by a few other Texas institutions not in the Houston area. (Not all degrees labeled as an ASES degree are the Texas ASES degree, and associate’s degrees that are not in  engineering science specifically generally do not have all necessary courses within them, such as a generic Associate of Science). When students have the Texas ASES degree they finish a very specific set of courses to complete their BS degree with us. They must have a 2.5 overall in the courses in the ASES degree, and no grade less than a C that applies to the ASES curriculum. A direct transfer is a student who did not complete the ASES degree which must be officially conferred by the community college—or has less than a 2.0 or D's in the program that are not retaken. Many second baccalaureate seekers, or students with courses from out of state or from a composite of other four year institutions and community colleges fall within that group.

Once I complete the ASES, do I need to complete a separate admission application to UT Tyler?

  • When you are ready to transfer to UT Tyler, you will need to complete an application for admission. Students with previous academic credit and degrees can visit UT Tyler admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Does being admitted to UT Tyler mean I am ready to start at the Houston Engineering Center?

  • Not necessarily. You can be admitted to UT Tyler and not be quite ready to start at the Houston Engineering Center. Our Tyler campus, which you can attend starting at any point in the degree program, offers coursework from freshman to senior year. The Houston Engineering Center only offers junior and senior level engineering and math courses. You basically have to have completed course content equivalent to those in the Texas statewide ASES degree to start with us, especially the fundamental calculus, physics and early engineering courses. If you have not, you will need to take some additional courses at a community college or another four year institution to be able to start at the HEC. Please contact our advisor to review your courses to see if you are ready to start with us, or need to complete additional work elsewhere first.

Do I need to submit official transcripts from HCC to UT Tyler to study on the campus in Alief once I'm ready to attend UT Tyler?

  • Yes, official transcripts from all previously attended colleges need to be submitted to UT Tyler. They may be submitted to UT Tyler at the Alief campus, or directly to the main campus in Tyler.

What if I have a 1st baccalaureate degree in another area?

  • We will evaluate your courses on a case by case basis for transfer. Generally, many elements of your general studies (“Texas core curriculum”) can be accepted.  However, if you did not take Hist 1301, 1302 and Pols 2305 and 2306 or their equivalents you must take them for degree completion. Depending on what undergraduate degree you completed, you may have to take community college coursework to prepare to start with us. You will need something very close in content to the Texas ASES degree curriculum offered at Houston Community College to be ready to start at the Houston Engineering Center.

Can I get a second B.S. from UT Tyler if I already have a first B.S. in that discipline from another institution, either foreign or domestic?

  • No, you cannot get a degree in the same discipline, although you can in another. For example, a BS in Mechanical Engineering cannot get another BSME from us, but can get a BS in Civil Engineering. A person with a degree in technology can get an engineering degree, but may need community college work. Also, depending on your transferable courses, you may need leveling courses from a community college if you have an engineering degree in another discipline. Please discuss with an advisor.

If I'm receiving financial aid at my current college, do I need to complete another financial aid application for UT Tyler?

  • You need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. The FAFSA application for the upcoming academic year becomes available in January each year. If you have already completed a FAFSA for the academic year that you plan attendance at UT Tyler, you will not need to complete another one. You will, however, need to add UT Tyler's school code to that FAFSA so that UT Tyler can receive it electronically and process aid for your attendance there. You can make corrections to your existing financial aid application by adding UT Tyler's school code (011163) and resubmitting it online. Your PIN will be required when adding a new school code. You may need to cancel funds with your other college depending on when the transfer to UT Tyler is done. If this is needed, contact their financial aid representative.

What programs of study does UT Tyler offer on the campus in Alief ?

  • UT Tyler offers upper division coursework in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering on the campus in Alief that culminates in the award of a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering or a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The upper-division coursework in all programs builds on the lower-division coursework completed at participating community colleges.

When are UT Tyler classes offered?

  • Classes are scheduled to accommodate the needs of as many students as possible considering the resources available.

Are all classes offered in Houston, or will we have to commute to Tyler for some?

  • All classes in the completion curriculum in engineering BS degree are offered in Houston.  A few may be offered online. Some general studies can be taken online or at a local community college if not needed for prerequisites in engineering studies, such as Phil 2306, Ethics.

Are minors available? 

  • No, because most minors require courses with content from classes outside those in the engineering degree programs. Other colleges within UT Tyler generally do not offer the courses in Houston you need to take to complete a minor, such as mathematics, physics, etc. We do have an option in some degree programs such as controls engineering within the BS in Mechanical Engineering.

Will the textbooks needed when attending UT Tyler on the campus in Alief be available at an HCC bookstore?

  • Yes, all of the needed textbooks will be available in the bookstore on the Alief campus.

Who do I contact for more information?

  • For more information about The University of Texas at Tyler engineering programs in Houston, please contact:

Molly Crespo
Assistant Director

Christine Smith
HEC Administrative Assistant

Tyler Armstrong
Engineering Advisor 
College of Engineering
The University of Texas at Tyler
Phone: 903.566.7441