Undergraduate Electives Defined

Effective Date Mar 29, 2018


The following definitions of electives pertain to all degree programs at Florida Tech. The student should consult these definitions when selecting appropriate courses to satisfy the electives listed under program requirements. The counsel and consent of the student’s academic program chair or advisor is important in the final selection.

Engineering Design Elective

Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision-making process, often iterative, in which the basic sciences, mathematics and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing and evaluation. Central to the process are the essential and complementary roles of synthesis and analysis. Each engineering design course includes some of the following features: development of student creativity, use of open-ended problems, formulation of design-problem statements and specifications, consideration of alternative solutions, feasibility considerations, detailed system descriptions and a variety of realistic constraints, such as economic factors, safety, reliability, aesthetics, ethics and social impact. A list of approved engineering design electives is normally available in each engineering department office.

Engineering Science Elective

Engineering sciences have their roots in mathematics and basic sciences but carry knowledge further toward a creative application. These studies provide bridges between mathematics, basic science and engineering practice. A list of approved engineering science electives is normally available in each engineering department office.

Flight Training

Flight training is available to any Melbourne campus student and may be used as elective credit in many degree programs with program chair or advisor approval. FAA Private Pilot Certificate training requires only two courses totaling five semester hours of credit.

Foreign Languages

Students who have had less than two years of foreign-language study at the secondary level may enroll in elementary language courses at Florida Tech. Students who have had two or more years of foreign-language study at the secondary level and students who transfer one year of foreign-language study to Florida Tech from another college or university must enroll in intermediate courses. Native or multilingual speakers of foreign languages may not enroll in elementary or intermediate courses; they may, however, enroll in advanced-level courses. The head of the School of Arts Communication will make final decisions regarding the placement of students in foreign-language courses.

Free Elective

Free electives may be any courses 1000-level or above taken at Florida Tech, or courses taken elsewhere if transfer credit is awarded by Florida Tech. Courses can be combined to satisfy the specified free elective credits (e.g., three 1-credit courses can satisfy one 3-credit listing in a degree program) or vice versa (one 3-credit course for three 1-credit courses). No more than a total of four credit hours of free elective credits earned for physical education activities and/or health education can be applied toward meeting degree requirements.

Humanities Elective

Courses concerned with human culture including literature, history, philosophy, religion, linguistics, professional ethics and foreign languages other than a student’s home language meet the requirements for humanities electives. Courses in art, music and drama, other than performance courses, also meet these requirements. These courses are designated as humanities (HU) or humanities/social science (HU/SS) electives in the Course Descriptions section of the online catalog.

A foreign language is considered to be the student’s home language if it is the formal or commonly used language of the student’s country or community, or if it was the language used as the medium of interaction in all or part of the student’s pre-university education.

Humanities elective credits may not be granted by equivalency examinations.

Liberal Arts Elective

A liberal arts elective is any course offered by the School of Arts and Communication (HUM, COM, LNG, MUS) or any psychology course (PSY). Certain BUS and EDS courses may also be considered liberal arts electives as determined by the student’s academic unit.

Restricted Elective

A restricted elective is an elective selected from a specified academic discipline. The academic discipline is included in the specification of the elective, e.g., Restricted Elective (Chemistry) or Restricted Elective (CHM). The level of the elective may also be specified by the academic unit.

Social Science Elective

Studies of society and of the relationship of the individual to society including anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, political science, history, linguistics and social responsibility meet the requirements for social science electives. These courses are designated as SS or HU/SS electives in the Course Descriptions section of the online catalog.

Social science elective credits may not be granted by equivalency examinations.

Technical Elective

A technical elective is a course in any field of science or engineering, subject to department or program approval. Courses classified as mathematics, basic science, applied science, engineering science, engineering design or some combination of these satisfies the requirement. These courses should be at a level appropriate to the level at which they appear in the program.