Changing degrees, streams and majors

This page is for the information of current University of Sydney students.

Degrees, streams and majors - what are they?

For students commencing their BE single or combined degrees before 1 January 2016, it was compulsory to do a stream/specialisation. Examples of streams included Civil Engineering; Civil Engineering (Geotechnical); Electrical; Electrical (Power); Mechanical; Mechanical (Space).

For students commencing their BE single or combined degrees after 1 January 2016, we have simplified the structure through a reduced number of compulsory streams/specialisations and the introduction of majors. A student might now do a Bachelor of Engineering in the stream of Mechanical Engineering and majoring in Space Engineering, instead of a Bachelor of Engineering in the stream of Mechanical Engineering (Space).

We have expanded the choice available, but packaged them in slightly different ways.

Changing degrees

BE to BPM, BE to BCST, BIT to BIT/BCom, BE/BA to BE/BSc, BE/BDesArch to BE are all examples of changing your degree.

Moving within a degree (eg from BE(Civil) to BE(Electrical); of BE(Mechanical)/BSc to BE(Aeronautical)/BSc) are not examples for changing your degree.

There are two options for changing your degree:

  1. If you are a combined degree student who wishes to drop one of his/her existing degrees and keep the other degree (eg BE/BDesArch to BE), this is always permitted under your degree resolutions. This is known as an allowable course transfer.
  2. All other cases when you change degrees within Usyd, this is called an "Internal Course Application", you apply directly to the University's Admission Office - you no longer have to apply to UAC.
  • Visit the Change your course page for instructions for both methods.
  • Non-University of Sydney students should follow the alternate instructions on the relevant page.

Changing streams

Moving within a degree (eg from BE(Civil) to BE(Electrical); from BE(Mechanical)/BSc to BE(Aeronautical)/BSc, or from BPM (Civil Engineering Science) to BPM (Built Environment)) are examples of changing your stream.

Please refer to the Faculty of Engineering and IT Faculty Handbook for the specific resolutions concerning the requirements of each stream.

Students wishing to change their stream will be assessed internally by the Faculty on a WAM required.

To apply to change your stream - please use our stream change request form.

BE (Flexible first year students) - please use our Flexible first year declaration of discipline form

Changing majors (BE only - students commencing after 1 January 2016)

This only applies to students who commenced their Bachelor of Engineering degree after 1 January 2016.

We introduced a system of majors within the BE degree. An example of a major is Structural Engineering which is usually done as a set of units of study within the stream of Civil Engineering, or Space Engineering usually taken with the streams of Mechanical, Aeronautical or Mechatronic Engineering.

It is not compulsory to undertake a major within the BE degree. It is also possible to do more than one major within the BE degree. Note that undertaking a major within a combined degree, or trying to undertake more than one major usually requires the completion of more than 192 or 240 credit points for single or combined degrees respectively. You may need to apply for special permission to allow you to enrol beyond the usual credit point limit for the degree.

The majors available are:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechatronic Engineering
  • Power Engineering
  • Space Engineering*
  • Structures
  • Telecommunications Engineering
  • Transport Engineering

Please refer to the Faculty of Engineering and IT Faculty Handbook for the specific resolutions concerning the requirements of each major.

[[b|Space major:]] Students are eligible to attempt the Space Engineering major based on either a separate and specific admission pathway or on application at the end of any calendar year having achieved an AAM approved by the Dean or nominee. This is currently set at AAM = 75. [[Please use the stream change selection form if you wish to apply to upgrade to the space major

All other majors:There are no restrictions on students attempting majors other than the Space Engineering major.

Find out about selecting and changing your major in the Introduction to selecting units of study