Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I find the Undergraduate Calendar and Timetable?
  2. When is the drop and add dates?  Will I get a refund for the course?
  3. Where can I buy/sell used text books?
  4. Are there any engineering bursaries or scholarships available?
  5. How can I sign up for an international student exchange?
  6. How does the 12 pt. grading scale work at McMaster?  How do I calculate my cumulative average?
  7. What were last year’s averages to be accepted into each discipline?
  8. How can I sign up for the co-op program?
  9. Where can I find out more information about the different disciplines in engineering?
  10. Are there any courses available to take in the summer?
  11. Where is The Drain?
  12. How do I choose my discipline for second year?
  13. How can I find out if I have free choice for year 2?
  14. How should I go about looking for a tutor for a certain subject?
  15. How do I get a parking pass?
  16. How can I apply to be a TA?
  17. What kind of computer will I need for first year?
  18. Can I use a Mac or Linux machine?

1.  Where can I find the Undergraduate Calendar and Timetable?

The undergraduate calendar will provide you with a list and description of the course material: http://academiccalendars.romcmaster.ca/index.php

2.  When is the drop and add dates?  Will I get a refund for the course?

There are 2 important dates when it comes to dropping classes.  The first is the last day to drop or add classes without financial penalty, and the second is the drop / add deadline to drop a course without academic penalty (ie. Course listed on your transcript) http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/category/dates/sessional/

3.  Where can I buy/sell used text books?

You can buy and sell textbooks either through Titles book store, or online through http://icbb.sellmytextbooks.org/members/17/index.cfm?index=CLASSIFIEDS

4.  Are there any engineering bursaries or scholarships available?

There are general bursaries available to all students through McMaster General Bursaries: http://sfas.mcmaster.ca/bursary/macbur.html#under

You only need to apply to the bursary once.  The program will automatically apply to those which you are eligible for. 

There are also scholarships available through: http://sfas.mcmaster.ca/incourse.html

5.  How can I sign up for an international student exchange?

For more information on exchange see your undergraduate calendar.

You can also visit the following website for a list of the countries you can visit.
http://www.mcmaster.ca/oia/programs.htm

Exchanges happen in 3rd year and you need to keep a cumulative average of 7.0.

6.  How does the 12 pt. grading scale work at McMaster?  How do I calculate my cumulative average?

The 12 pt scale is broken down on the following webpage:
http://academiccalendars.romcmaster.ca/content.php?catoid=7&navoid=559#Grading_System

To calculate your grade point average calculate the sum of your mark times the number of units for the course and divide that by the sum of the units.

For example:

Course Units for course McMaster Grade Grade x Units
Chemistry 4 8 32
Calculus 3 6 18
Algebra 4 10 40
Eng 1D04 4 8 32
Total 15   122
Average = 122/15 = 8.13


7.  What were last year’s averages to be accepted into each discipline?

This information isn’t released due to the fact that the averages changes from year to year.  Information sessions for each discipline will be held in February during which more information on this topic will be disbursed.

8.  How can I sign up for the co-op program?

Before signing up for the co-op program you have to complete an introductory course to make sure that you’re prepared to represent McMaster in a co-op position.  For more information visit http://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/ecs/

9.   Where can I find out more information about the different disciplines in engineering?

Information about each of the disciplines can be found at http://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/departments.html
There are also information sessions for first year students in second semester.  There sessions will be announced in your classes.

 10.  Are there any courses available to take in the summer?

You may only take 6 units per summer term (there are 2 summer terms).  An overload of 1 unit is allowed each term.   You can check if the desired course is available in the summer by looking at the spring summer timetable which is released in March of each year.
http://academiccalendars.romcmaster.ca/index.php

11.  Where is The Drain?

The drain is attached to the engineering lounge.  These rooms are located off of the lobby in JHE.  Walk straight through the lobby and through a set of double doors.  The drain and lounge are in the first door on your right.  For more information check out
https://www.facebook.com/The.MES.Drain

12.  How do I choose my discipline for second year?

Information about picking your engineering discipline is found on the McMaster engineering society website.
http://macengsociety.ca/

13.   How can I find out if I have free choice for year 2?

Free choice is awarded based on your high school marks.  You are offered free choice in your university acceptance letter.  If you no longer have your acceptance letter see Sally Williams for inquiries.

14.  How should I go about looking for a tutor for a certain subject?

Departments usually have a list of upper year students who are interested in tutoring.  You can ask the department head about such a list or ask your instructor if he or she is aware of anyone.

15.  How do I get a parking pass?

Parking permit information can be found at http://parking.mcmaster.ca

16.  How can I apply to be a TA?

TAs are hired for terms 1 and 2.  Postings for the positions go up in the fall and spring. Please watch the following link for information: http://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/eng1/teaching.html

17.  What kind of computer will I need for first year?

The system requirements below are based on the requirements to run AutoDesk Inventor, as Inventor is representative of the most computationally intensive application you are likely to run in Engineering.

For Windows Users
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate/Enterprise, or Microsoft Windows Vista (SP2) (32-bit or 64-bit) Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate, or Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP3) or Professional x64 Edition (SP2)
  • Intel Pentium 4, 2 GHz or faster, Intel Xeon, Intel Core, AMD Athlon 64, or AMD Opteron, or later
  • 2 GB RAM or more
  • Microsoft Direct3D 10 or Direct3D 9 capable graphics card
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device
  • Internet connection for web downloads
  • Adobe Flash Player 10
For Macintosh Users that wish to run Windows using Boot Camp
  • Mac OS X 10.5.x
  • Boot Camp V 2.0 or higher
  • Intel-based Mac (64-bit Windows Vista requires an Intel Core 2 duo or Xeon processor)
  • 3 GB RAM (Recommend 4 GB for 32-bit Windows OS, 8 GB or more for 64-bit Windows OS)
  • 20 GB disk space for Apple OS partition or Windows OS partition
For Macintosh Users that wish to run a virtual Windows Desktop
  • Mac OS X 10.6.x
  • Parallels Desktop 5.0 (5.0.9344 or higher) or VMWare Fusion or other virtualization software
  • Intel based Mac (64-bit Windows Vista requires an Intel Core 2 duo or Xeon processor)
  • Minimum 4 GB RAM (6 GB system memory for 32-bit Windows OS, 8 GB or more for 64-bit Windows OS recommended)
  • Minimum 40 GB available disk space (100 GB recommended)

19.  Can I use a Mac or Linux machine?

At McMaster it is possible to use Windows, Mac or Linux machines for everyday use. At present, the easiest computer to use will be any Windows machine with Windows XP or newer, but Macs and Linux machines are growing in popularity.

If you wish to use a Mac or Linux there is usually Windows equivalent software, with the exception of Inventor for solid modeling (Inventor is used in ENGINEER 1C03). If you wish to install Inventor on your Mac or Linux computer, you will either need a separate Windows partition on your hard drive or a virtual installation of Windows using a product such as Parallels or VMWare Fusion. Another option is to use the McMaster computer labs, which use the Windows operating system, when it is necessary to run a Windows application.