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Undergraduate FAQs

General Questions

Civil Engineering is the technology of planning for, and safely designing, constructing, maintaining, and rehabilitating community infrastructure. Civil engineers design and construct many facilities that are critical to our society.

Civil Engineering addresses the interaction of people with the built and natural environment.  Engineers use establised theories, techniques, and emerging techologies to understand and solve complex problems.

Civil Engineering is comprised of the following specialty areas:

  • Construction Engineering & Management
  • Environmental & Water Resources Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering

For descriptions and more information about the specialty areas of Civil Engineering, click here!

Co-Op students in Civil Engineering have worked with a wide range of employers including Aecon Group, Toronto Hydro Corporation, McNally Construction, the Government of Ontario, Sobotec, and many more! 

For more information about McMaster Engineering's Co-Op and Career Services, check out the ECCS Website

All programs have limited enrollment, therefore the average required for acceptance changes every year and is dependent on the number of applicants.

All students in McMaster's Engineering Program complete a common Level 1 year before selecting their fields.

Please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for requirements to complete a degree in Civil Engineering.

Multi-term courses (such as CIVENG 4X06) run from September - April. Students must be enrolled in both Part A (Fall) and Part B (Winter) to fully enrol/complete the course.

When you enrol in Part A in the Fall term, Mosaic will automatically enrol you in Part B for the Winter term. 

A course is worth the number of units identified in the final digit of the course code. For example, CIVENG 2A03 is worth 3 units and CIVENG 4N04 is worth 4 units.

CIVENG 4X06 is worth 6 units and runs from September - April, with a weight of 3 units per term.

The Department of Civil Engineering endeavours to provide conflict-free options for students however, there are times when a conflict is unavoidable. 

If you are following the Undergraduate Calendar and cannot avoid a conflict with required courses, please contact the Undergraduate Administrative Assistant in the Department of Civil Engineering at 

Students who are out of Calendar may not be able to circumvent conflicts with courses from different levels. We often suggest that lower level courses are completed prior to continuing with the program. 

To continue enrolling in two courses that conflict, please submit a Course Conflict Form to the Civil Engineering Office. Be sure to indicate the specific sections that are in conflict and include in your submission:
- A copy of your transcript (you can print off your unofficial transcript from Mosaic)
- A letter stating the reason for your request
- Your academic plan (how you plan to be successful in both courses, as well as your future course plans)

You can request to waive the prerequisite for a course with an Engineering Permission Form

Be sure to fill out the top portion and the 'Prerequisite Waiver' box and submit to the Civil Engineering Office. Include with your form submission:
- A copy of your transcript (you can print off your unofficial transcript from Mosaic)
- A letter stating the reason for your request
- Your academic plan (how you plan to be succesful, as well as your future course plans)

Please note that approval of any request form is at the discretion of the instructor.

Due to the number of Technical Electives that are offered in the Department of Civil Engineering, we are unable to schedule all electives conflict free. 

That said, we do our very best to request that popular courses (based on the Technical Electives form submissions - due at the end of March in the previous Academic Year) and courses within specialty areas are scheduled without conflict. Unfortunately, there will be cases where courses conflict with one another. We suggest selecting different courses to fulfill the requirements of the course.

If you still wish to register in both courses in conflict, you can submit a Course Conflict request form (as outlined above).

Students may request to review their graded Final Examination up to one year after writing. 

Students may be granted permission only once and after completing the Exam Review Request Form. Please be sure to fill out the form in its entirety and submit to the Civil Engineering Office. 

Upon approval of the request, students will be contacted with an appointment date/time to review their exam in the Civil Engineering Office.

The McMaster Engineering Society has teamed up with the Student Success Centre to offer tutoring to students in Engineering.

To find out more about Tutoring services or becoming a Tutor with the MES, click here.

You can enrol using Mosaic. Learn more about the enrolment process at the registrar’s office web page.

You can view your exam schedule in Mosaic by selecting the My Exam Schedule title.

Please submit your Technical Elective Form online by April 1st, 2020.

Please note that this form DOES NOT automatically register you in any courses. It helps us gauge interest and try to ensure the most popular courses are conflict free, but you must still officially enrol through Mosaic when registration opens in the summer.

Please visit the registrat's office Dates and Deadlines web page for sessional dates, enrolment dates, convocation dates, aid & award dates, and fee dates.

For all undergraduate-related inquiries, email
For graduate-related questions, email

You can also ask questions using the Ask a Question section above.


You can find more information, resources and COVID-19-related FAQs on the McMaster COVID-19's Information for Students web page.

The registrar’s office has a COVID-19 information site that they update regularly. It deals with academic questions like due dates, deadlines, course withdrawal and other academic concerns, as well as admissions, exam schedules and registering for the spring/summer semester.

Please visit the Technology Resources for Students section above for a list of resources available to you.

McMaster University takes the academic success and the emotional health and well-being of students seriously, and we recognize that both feel at risk during these uncertain times. Please be assured that instructors have carefully considered the revised course plans for the Winter 2020 courses so that they are clear, equitable, and align with our shared academic expectations. The revisions were not created to disadvantage any students, but to provide the best possible learning outcome in these less than ideal circumstances.

The courses taken in the 2019 Fall Term were not subject to the circumstances that we now face and therefore, the grades will remain as they are. No modifications will be made.

Technology Resources for Students

As students transition to online coursework for the remainder of the term, there are two key technology support teams that are available to help them make the most of virtual tools and services. University Technology Services (UTS) and the MacPherson Institute are available to provide remote support for a range of tools and services that students may find themselves using within their virtual learning environment.

The MacPherson Institute provides technology resources for teaching and learning. Please see below the services that MacPherson supports and corresponding technical support contact information:

  • Avenue to Learn: For any issues, please submit a ticket at:
  • WebEx: For any issues, please reach out to WebEx 24/7 support at: 1-866-229-3239

University Technology Services (UTS) supports institution-wide productivity tools. Please contact for questions pertaining to any of the services below. For an overview of IT tools and services that enable you to work remotely, please visit:

Best practices for online coursework

For the above services and tools to work as efficiently as possible, please follow the tips below as you access courses online and take tests remotely: 

  • Turn off all unnecessary programs, especially Netflix, YouTube, games like Xbox or PS4, anything that might be downloading or streaming. 
  • If your house is shared, ask others to refrain from doing those activities during the test. 
  • If you can, connect to the internet via a wired connection. 
  • Move close to the Wi-Fi hub in your house. 
  • Restart your computer, 1-2 hours before the exam. A restart can be very helpful for several computer hiccups.

Please reach out to UTS at with any questions about the information above.

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