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Future Undergraduate Students

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at McMaster University!  

Information

Why McMaster?

  • Amongst the highest ranking universities in Canada by international reputation and for student satisfaction
  • Unique engineering program options
  • World-class education with a true “community” feel
  • Common first year of engineering allows students to discover their interests before committing to a specific engineering discipline
  • Beautiful campus bordering on the Royal Botanical Gardens

Why ECE?

Electrical and computer engineers work to solve grand challenges of the future:

  • Power systems, clean energy
  • Medical technologies
  • Communications
  • Robotics and manufacturing
  • Advanced electronics
  • Electric/hybrid/autonomous vehicles

McMaster’s ECE department consists of esteemed faculty who are the top experts in their fields. Many faculty members hold prestigious research awards and offer paid summer or part-time research positions to outstanding undergraduate students.

Presenting the ECE Department!

General information

The ECE Department offers three programs: Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering programs (which begin with Level One Engineering), and the Electrical & Biomedical Engineering program (which begins with the Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences program) . For further information please refer to https://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/ece/programs/degree-options .

Students entering the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster take a common Level I programme comprising of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering Design, Computation and a complementary studies elective. The specialized programs (such as our Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering programs) are entered at Level II. This process offers students the opportunity to become better informed on the various fields of Engineering.

To be considered for admission, you must satisfy the general requirements of the university and the specific subject requirements for the program to which you applied.

For more information please refer to the Faculty of Engineering page: https://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/future-students/future-undergraduate-students

The Undergrad admission process is handled through the Office Of The Registrar:  http://future.mcmaster.ca/

Admission to a second B.Eng. degree is not possible if your first degree is in Engineering.

Inquiries about Transfer Credits should be directed to thinkeng@mcmaster.ca

Level 1 Engineering

Info Sessions

The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department provides one-on-one help at information sessions each year.  Faculty members and current students, eager to help you understand what we offer, welcome you to come chat with us!

If you are a high school student who is considering a McMaster Engineering degree, you and your family are welcome to come chat with us at May @ Mac, and Fall Preview.  At McMaster, making a decision on what program to take is not necessary until nearing completion of the general Level 1 Engineering year, but all of the programs in the Faculty of Engineering are represented at these events so you get an idea of what we offer. 

If you are already in McMaster Engineering, either in Level 1 Engineering or Level 1 of the Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences Program (IBEHS), you have two opportunities to find out about the programs we offer in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. 

Find out the dates of these sessions on our News & Events page. 

The ECE Department also proudly welcomes you to ECE Expo!  This popular event is a great opportunity for everyone to see what can be achieved in our programs. One weekday in the last week of classes (early April) each year our final year students exhibit their group design projects for the community to see.  Come see the future!  /ece/event-series/ece-expo

Level One Information Fair - for students in Level 1

The Level One Information Fair is held each February. All departments within the Faculty of Engineering are represented, to provide information about their programs to the students in Level 1 Engineering and Level 1 of the Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences program (IBEHS).  Faculty members will be there to chat to, but this is also a great opportunity to pick up some printed information which you can then make further inquiries about at our ECE Department Information Session.

ECE Department Information Session - for students in Level 1

Following the Level One Information Fair, each department within the Faculty of Engineering hosts their own Information Session - in February or March. This event gives Level 1 Engineering & IBEHS students with all the information they need to determine which program they would like to take. We provide a general information presentation, followed by an informal gathering where Level 1 students get to speak with students currently in our programs, and faculty members. We also have our student groups/clubs/teams present to provide information on what activities are available to them - covering all aspects of student involvement from social activities, through groups that offer workshops, and teams.

May @ Mac - for students considering Engineering at McMaster

In early May each year, McMaster University hosts a full day (a Saturday) event where all faculties and departments present their programs. This very popular event attracts potential students and their families from all across Ontario.  ECE welcomes prospective students and their families to our department, where faculty members and current students are happy to chat about all things ECE (the programs, content, job prospects, the social life, and groups to get involved with for broader learning and opportunities).

Fall Preview - for students considering Engineering at McMaster

Fall Preview, offered on 2 Saturdays in October and November, is another event where each department in the Faculty of Engineering is represented.  ECE Faculty members and current students will be in the main engineering building (John Hodgins building), to chat with potential students and their families, answering all of your questions.

Testimonials

"I buy into the idea of experiential learning and applying what I've learnt in class to highly advanced and hands-on teams such as the McMaster Engineering EcoCAR 3 team."

"I really wanted to understand how modern technolgy works, and Electrical Engineering provided me the technical knowledge to learn and understand the technology."

After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Blake Stacy went on to be a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, doing research that combines Power over Ethernet technology with Visible Light Communications.

 "I came to McMaster In 2007 for the beautiful campus, the extracurricular atmosphere and the reputable engineering program. In ECE alone there are 7 Canada Research Chairs, representing their fields as the Go-to expert for all of Canada.

 My path to graduate studies was a result of 3 important factors. The faculty provided opportunities for students to perform real research during the academic term and as summer students. The faculty members themselves helped encourage and support me in my career goals. Lastly I felt like a real engineer in my final year capstone project where we went through the entire engineering design process. 

I moved out to Vancouver for my Masters degree because my undergraduate research project was so cutting edge that a professor at UBC wanted me to continue my work with him!

I had the privilege to work with Dr. Steve Hranilovic for my research project, and with his mentorship and some degree of hard work doors opened for me!

My advice to any student considering McMaster ECE..... Do it!  and get involved in the limitless facets of the University life on campus. Anything is possible here, from all the school clubs and teams to the opportunities for co-op positions and research. The only limit is how involved you chose to be!"

Through the CoOp program "I found myself down in San Francisco, CA working for a small start-up electric vehicle company named Kleenspeed Technologies Inc. on the NASA Ames Research Centre. The main goal of this company is to develop proprietary electric vehicle propulsion and control systems. To some, this may sound like a couple a engineers locked in a laboratory, striving to produce cutting-edge technology for the rapidly-growing EV market (and there are some weeks where this can be true), but the other equally-rewarding reality of R&D involves testing your new products. We had two 'mobile-labs' which accomplished this for the company; a Mazda Miata which we had converted to have a fully-electric propulsion system, and a prize-winning completely electric racecar. Both of these vehicles allow the company to analyze the lower, middle and absolute maximum workloads that EVs will have to endure for the mass-consumption market.

The McMaster ECE department provides a learning environment where excellence in education provides students with the upper-hand in the workplace. The courses that I have taken thus far at Mac have covered the basic and advanced knowledge that is required to solve complex electrical problems. Knowledgeable professors and well-structured courses have given me confidence when it comes to stepping outside of the box and challenging myself. I would not have felt comfortable working for a demanding company without having the proper preparation beforehand. Many of the professors at ECE encourage you to attack problems as if your future boss had just handed you a task and expected it to be complete by lunchtime. The style of their lectures mirror conference presentations and technical meetings. This is all done to train you to be insightful and productive; two traits which will help you to distinguish yourself in the workplace.

Electrical and computer engineering are two unique fields in that we are able to take our circuits and programs home with us and continue to learn and innovate long after classes have ended. A chemical engineer may not be able to bring home a distillation tower and run some after hours tests, but we have the advantage of working on assignments and then building the circuits in our own rooms as a proof of concept. We are a tightly-knit community of hard working students who still take some time to partake in the many social activities offered by the ECES and MacEng. The department is host to numerous Canada Research Chairs and dozens of lifelong members and contributors to the IEEE and The Profession as a whole."

Caroline Youssef started to work for Honeywell Aerospace as an Advanced Manufacturing Value Engineer right after graduating.

"I liked the fact that I can choose courses from both the electrical and computer stream and uniquely shape what I learn in my fourth year based on the electives of my choice. I also liked the co-op program which enabled me to choose how I can complete my co-op terms in any combination I wanted. I chose to complete my 12 months pre graduation experience in three different positions during my summer terms.

The exposure to current technologies that are used in the industry gave me an edge over other applicants. My exposure was not limited to only one single field ie electrical or computer, but how the two fields interact together.

At McMaster, I have learned how to manage my time effectively, which is a necessary skill in my current job, where I have to meet deadlines.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it. The engineering ring is worth it."

 

Nathan Cox graduated from McMaster with a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering in 2011. He started at Hydro One immediately after graduation, working in the Generation Connections Department (GCD), responsible for performing technical assessments on renewable energy projects that wish to connect to the Hydro One grid.

"There are a number of factors that drew me to the McMaster Engineering department. First of all, McMaster has a common first year for all engineers. This really helped me to be confident in my decision to go into the ECE department as well as have a good understanding of what other streams of engineering are like. The ECE department was the most interesting to me because there are so many different kinds of jobs associated with the field and there are opportunities to be involved with cutting edge projects and companies. Another thing that drew me to McMaster was the support for extracurricular activities. Being a member of the varsity swimming team for 5 years really made my experience at McMaster complete. I feel like the McMaster community really supports its students both in and out of the classroom and allows them to develop in more ways that just academically.

All of the engineering related jobs that I had throughout my undergrad, I was able to secure at least partially because of the reputation of McMaster Engineering. McMaster is known throughout Canada (and globally) as one of the top schools for engineering. Many companies in both the private and public sector recognize this and look specifically for McMaster graduates.

In my time at McMaster I realized that being good at only one thing can only get you so far. There are so many different things to learn and so many skills and abilities that are important to develop. McMaster really helps to develop students that are about more than just purely academics. The environment not only encourages academics but also things like innovation, problem solving, leadership, and passion. At McMaster I learned the academic concepts that I need to succeed but also a skill-set that is valuable to all employers.

McMaster is a forward thinking school that develops leaders and innovators. The faculty at McMaster is not afraid to adapt to new trends in education. McMaster also has a well established reputation for producing quality graduates. I think that it is one of the few schools in Canada that balances these two qualities so well. McMaster is a great place for students who are passionate about learning and want a quality degree."

"I chose to take Computer Engineering at McMaster based mostly on the environment. The people and the facilities at McMaster University are fantastic. McMaster campus in general is just a great place to be. The ECE department can be very challenging but those challenges changed who I was as a student as well as a person and I take those lessons with me for the rest of my life. Though I am not directly applying the subjects I studied in school, the work ethic and organizational skills needed to survive as a student have carried over from my work life."

"I choose the ECE program at Mac mostly because of the flexibility the program offered. After my first year of general engineering, I still wasn't too sure what I wanted to do. I found the ECE program gave me a broad insight into the different options in Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering, allowing me to test out the waters before deciding on what I should go into.

I liked the broad spectrum of courses offered in the program. It allowed me to explore my interests in Biomed, as well as giving me a solid background in Electrical Engineering.

I did a summer internship with Microsoft after I finished third year. I enjoyed the work atmosphere, and it was cool to see the amount of impact I could make. After my internship, I was offered a full time position, and I couldn't be happier to return.

Overall, I found the professors to be very helpful and caring about the success of the students.

I think the most important concept I learned was problem solving. I've come to realize there are many new concepts in the workplace that weren't taught in school. Through my academic experience, it has taught me how to approach the challenge, be resourceful, and know who/when to ask for help.

From my own experiences, the ECE program at McMaster really exposes students to an array of different engineering options. Take the time to explore different courses, and be proactive about summer research/industry opportunities."

"I chose McMaster’s Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program because of the versatility the degree offered. This distinct degree program offered at McMaster is very well established and provides students a very unique opportunity to take a combination of electrical and computer engineering courses, medical science courses and biomedical engineering courses that intertwine these disciplines.  I chose to pursue this degree since it provides a wide variety of opportunities post graduation, allowing one to go into either biomedical or electrical engineering fields, as well as provides the necessary prerequisites for other professional programs such as medicine. 

The Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program at McMaster provides students with a very diverse bank of knowledge. The strong electrical engineering program has given me an excellent background in electronics and computer programming, while the science and anatomy courses provided me with a strong physiological background. Both these elements were important in allowing me to pursue research in the field of rehabilitation engineering, where medical devices are developed for people and interact with their biological systems.

 During the summer following my third year, I held an NSERC USRA student summership working for Dr. Hubert deBruin, participating in a clinically-oriented project in the area of rehabilitation engineering.  Through this experience, I was able to apply the skills I learned in the class room to a practical and meaningful application, and it sparked my interest in continuing in research in the future. Also, my fourth year design project was in the area of rehabilitation engineering with a specific concentration on paediatric rehabilitation. Not only did it allow me to learn a great deal and really strengthen my practical skills, it allowed me to personally explore this area of engineering I was interested in and solidified my desire in pursuing a masters in this area.

The most important thing I took away from McMaster was the ability to learn and problem solve.  When faced with a new challenge, I was taught how to look at the problem, how to apply the situation to my background and how to explore possible solutions to expand my bank of knowledge and solve the problem. My four years at McMaster taught me how to learn on my own so I can face any challenges with confidence.

Whichever stream of engineering you choose to study, whether it’s Electrical, Computer, or Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, it’s not going to be easy. These programs are challenging, but the amount you learn is well worth the time and effort.  The best thing to do is establish a good support network of friends and classmates in your program that you can turn to for help with work and assignments, share notes with, and study with. This will help make the workload more manageable and your time at McMaster more enjoyable."

"When I saw the fireball presentation it got me interested McMaster's Engineering program. I went on various campus tours but McMaster stood out the most. Talking to older students in my first year help me decide to go with computer engineering since it was something that I could see it as a hobby as well a career.

Having a firm understanding of the concepts learned in class along with the co-op program helped me better understand where I wanted to go with my career. Courses helped with learning the basics of how electrical and computer systems work. Implementing something on your own is so much more involved and gave me the confidence to work with other projects. The final year project was another way for me to learn new things that I was always interested in. It gave me the opportunity to build something from scratch and to use the knowledge that I had learned from school and my co-op.

Through my sixteen month internship, I gained an understanding of embedded systems development. Through networking, I understood what I courses I needed to take to be qualified for my current position. Before my internship it was difficult to pay attention in class since the application of the material wasn't clear or seemed irrelevant. In a co-op you are exposed to real life problems and solutions, and part of those solutions were things I had learned in class. Returning to my studies from co-op I paid more attention in class because I was interested in the material and knew what I wanted to learn. Aside from the knowledge required for the job, I also enjoyed working at my co-op. The environment was friendly and creativity was welcomed. This atmosphere gave me the opportunities to gain confidence and knowledge to get me to where I am now.

I apply hardware optimizations and software tricks that I have learned from labs and in class lectures all the time at work.

If you're not familiar with engineering, McMaster has a very good curriculum that will gradually expose you to what it has to offer as a career. When you're in the engineering program, you develop close working relationships with other students. This, coupled with the knowledge that engineering is a worthwhile pursuit pushes you to succeed, despite the heavier workload."

"My primary reason for selecting McMaster was the Engineering and Management undergraduate program (E&M), the only University at the time offering it. Another reason for my choice is the program’s reputation; it was, and still is, known for their strong education/innovation/research program.

The E&M program equipped me with a set of skills that is useful for the rest of my life. In addition to that, the ECE program pushed me to work beyond my comfort zone every year, and the combination is what helped me get to where I am today.

Without the support of the faculty, staff and colleagues, my teams’ accomplishments in the final year project (3D camera), would not have been achievable and recognized.

The ECE department strives in research and innovation, and I strongly believed it would lead into a future of success and growth, history can prove it.

After graduating from a British educational system, I started University in 2004. Eager to get relevant work experience, I was offered a research assistant job with Dr. Bakr in summer 2007, who was working on analyzing the effect of electromagnetic waves radiating from cell phone antennas to the human eye. In summer 2008, after completing four out of five years of academia, I was offered 16-month internship positions from several companies and decided to go with Sigma Designs as a system engineer. After experiencing the industry force, more specifically in the semiconductor field, I enjoyed it and wanted to build my career in that.

My final year of University in 2009-2010, was a major milestone, our design project was ranked 3rd in North America by Altera Design Competition, and without a solid foundation, it would not have been possible.

During my final year, looking for a job position that would combine both engineering and business aspect was challenging but I was fortunate to have come across a TI flyer that offered what I wanted. Typically, they hire only one Technical Sales Associate in Canada every two years, and quoting from two managers at TI who interviewed me and graduated from McMaster E&M and ECE program - “We fish in the right pool” and I’m glad to have been in that pool.

Every staff and faculty member I came across in the department helped me in one-way or another, but what helped the most was my first job, the research position I was offered by Dr. Mohamed Bakr. Without that, I would not have been able to prove my capabilities and build my reputation and confidence level off. Coincidently, he was also one of my supervisors for the final year project and his support throughout the project was priceless.

After a certain period of time through academia, I started to realize each term as being a repetition of a “routine”. Some of the most valuable skills I learned from that “routine” was time management, collaboration, quality work, consistency, dedication, teamwork, confidence, initiation and use of resources effectively. Those skills are what I am able to apply in my current job.

If you are looking for a program that would –

  • Encourage to go above and beyond one’s capabilities,
  • Give you the resources to help you build your career,
  • Establish a strong foundation,
  • Help in every way possible to see you succeed,
  • Make you shine in front of others through publicity,
  • Take into consideration your feedbacks,
  • Equip you with a skill set that is transferable to any field,
  • Offer friendly and helpful staff and faculty members around you,
  • Provide you with the opportunity to expand your network reach,
  • Lead you the way to success,

Mac ECE is the right choice!

If I went back in time and had to decide again which University to pick, it would be Mac again."

"Being a recent McMaster University graduate, I can truly say my undergrad was one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my life. Deciding to select McMaster’s ECE program gave me an opportunity to grow as an individual, meet incredible people, and share my passion for electronics and power related fields.

The first few years of the ECE program gave me a strong electrical foundation, while the last few years of the ECE program gave me the opportunity to apply this knowledge in practical design applications. All of which I was able to carry forward to my current employment as an Electrical Department Project Lead (DPE) at Praxair. The ECE program gave me the strength and confidence to design single lines, build motor control centres, negotiate with contractors and design the electrical layout to power a Praxair Plant.

My advice to all those undergrads in ECE is to get involved with extracurriculars, talk to your professors and meet as many people as you can, this will make your time as an undergraduate not only enjoyable, but more meaningful and memorable."

"McMaster University is where I had my most enjoyable years of study. The university campus with the surrounding student houses forms a small lively town and a big international community where I found so many close friends. This university is among the top prestigious academic places in the world where students can have many useful hands-on experiences. In the ECE department I gained a lot of useful practical experience beside theoretical knowledge mainly in the field of robotics. Despite the current recession and job freezing, my graduate experience in McMaster facilitated my road to several job offers and my excellent job position where I put all my learnings in practice. Not only could I improve my academic skills in my favorite university but also I had the chance of working with famous scientists, attending many scientific and professional seminars, and doing many social/sport activities with wonderful people. The only sad part about McMaster is when the graduate studies are over and one is leaving this friendly academic environment to a new world. I still miss my professors, the kind and helpful academic staff, and even the classrooms and gym facilities in McMaster."

"I made full use of the opportunities available to me through the ECE department, and the engineering school in general. 

I was one of the lead designers of the electrical systems on the McMaster Solar Car Project, and I got to work on Fireball II and on Pheonix (both solar cars) during my years there. This gave me much experience seeing how a large interdisciplinary project combining mechanical design, electronics, aerodynamics, and physics, comes together to form a finished product."

Dr. Laura Stover is a graduate of the Electrical Engineering and Management program. After working as an engineer for Ontario Hydro she completed a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. A graduate of McMaster University Medical School, she went on to become the Chief Resident of the Anesthesia Residency Training Program at McMaster.

“Although sometimes it feels as though I have been a student all my life, if I could do it all again I would not alter my choice of undergrad (engineering) program nor my decision to enter medicine. My training in engineering at Mac has been entirely complementary to my training in medicine in general, and a great asset in my preparation as an anesthesiologist in particular. McMaster’s Engineering and Management Program has stood me in good stead as an undergrad and ever since, opening many doors along the way. I’ll always be proud to say that I’m a Mac Eng graduate.”

"One of the reasons I chose McMaster University was because the engineering program seemed to encourage student involvement in extra-curricular activities. During my years at Mac, I have been a dedicated student, but I have also played on basketball and soccer teams, I was in the McMaster Concert Band and I have performed in the McMaster Engineering Musical for three years. I wanted my post secondary education to be a rounded experience, and at McMaster I have had that."

"Being originally from Hamilton, I took for granted that a world-class university was right nearby. In researching post-secondary education options, it became clear that McMaster University was the place to go. First of all, most of my friends from high school were staying in Hamilton to go to McMaster. Secondly, it was going to be cheap, since I wouldn't have to move out. In hindsight, though, I realize that beyong these reasons, McMaster was the right choice. Most importantly, the industrial internship program placed me in a position where, upon graduation, I already had a job waiting for me, even when the employment situation was quite difficult for most new graduates. And much of the coursework itself was of a sufficiently practical nature to help me directly with the work I undertook during my internship, and afterwards. The years I have spent at McMaster have been very rewarding and enjoyable, and I could not be happier about my choice to come here."

International Students

McMaster University welcomes applications from international students. For information on applying to McMaster, please refer to:  https://iss.mcmaster.ca/about-us/apply-to-mcmaster/

Applicants must arrange for official matriculation certificates to be sent well in advance of the session to which they are applying. The equivalent of first-class standing may be required for some limited enrolment programmes. Clear notarized photocopies of certificates in a language other than English should be accompanied by notarized English translations. Clear photocopies of English language certificates must be notarized.

If you require IELTS testing, please visit the website of the IELTS Program at Mohawk College, Hamilton.

Applicants are considered for admission on an individual basis. You are strongly advised not to come to the University until you have been informed of your acceptance.

For more information contact the Engineering Outreach Office: thinkeng@mcmaster.ca

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