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Undergraduate Advising

 Advising and information to help you enroll and obtain your degree.

 

If you wish to speak to an Advisor regarding your Academic Advisement Report, or your status (level), or if you have graduation concerns, or enrollment problems that are not covered in the sections here, please contact the ECE Advisor, Sally Williams, in the Engineering Student Services office (3rd floor of the Gerald Hatch Centre) / willsal@mcmaster.ca

If you wish to speak to an Advisor regarding your program or courses, please contact your Program Advisor for an appointment:

Electrical Engineering program

Computer Engineering program Electrical & Biomedical Engineering program
Fall Term: Dr. Peter Smith , Dr. Terry Todd Fall Term: Dr. Ted Szymanski Fall Term: Dr. Aleksandar Jeremic
Winter Term: Dr. JK Zhang Winter Term: Dr. Sorina Dumitrescu WinterTerm: Dr. Aleksandar Jeremic

Program Layouts

Program Layouts summarize what courses are to be taken for credit towards each individual program

These Program Layouts are guidelines only - for the exact courses required for your degree, check your Academic Advisement Report (on your Mosaic Student Centre) and the Undergrad Calendar of the year you began your program.

Degree Requirements

To obtain the necessary credits to graduate, you must follow your Academic Advisement Report (in your Mosaic Student Centre under Academics), and the Undergraduate Calendar from the year you started your program (all Calendars can be found on the Office of the Registrar's website).

Help understanding your Academic Advisement Report can be found here.

Enrolling & Schedules

Please review the following to help you register as efficiently as possible.

Enroll early!!  In order to ensure you can register in the sections you want, make sure to enroll in June at your assigned appointment time. Leaving it late may mean you can't get into a course or section you want, which might result in having to deal with conflicts in your timetable.

Sections: Sometimes not all of the sections offered are visible on the first page! Look for all sections offered by clicking on the View All or Next Page / arrow buttons.  Finding all the sections of a course could eliminate any potential conflicts in your timetable.

"Create My Timetable": This is an excellent tool in Mosaic to help you come up with the best timetable!  It can be used prior to the system opening for enrollment.  If using it closer to the beginning of classes, uncheck "Closed Classes" to find only the available courses/sections. Warning - conflicts (a yellow warning shield) won't show on a course if there are only SOME sections conflicting - so refer to the normal timetable in Mosaic.

Closed course: If you find that a Required course is full, contact the ECE Department immediately.  If you are supposed to take it, then we will get you into it.  If an Elective course is full, choose another Elective - you can keep watch on the system to see if a seat becomes available.  We do not have Wait Lists.

Error Messages: If you receive an error message when registering you need to take care of it before Mosaic will accept your enrollment.  Every conflict requires a completed Conflict Request Form, and every permission (consent or prerequisite waiver) needs a completed Permission Form. (See the relative section for further information and forms.)

Requests: Sometimes more than one request has to be submitted at the same time.  For example, an Overload Request does not include either a permission or conflict approval, and a Conflict approval does not include a prerequisite waiver. Obtain all the authorizations that you need as soon as possible.

Processing Time: Requests pass through the hands of several people, some of whom may be at a conference or on vacation in the summer months, so please allow time for processing. Your request will be processed as soon as possible, and you will be notified of it's completion.

Changing sections OR courses:  "Swap" don't "Drop"!  If you wish to change either a course OR a section you are in, use the "Swap" feature in the Enroll function.  That will hold the section/course you intend to drop until you are enrolled in an alternate.  It will also hold any Permission you may have been granted, whereas that will be lost if you Drop the course and you will have to request that the Permission be re-applied.

Labs: Labs scheduled for Every Other Week may not appear on your schedule's "Weekly View", but they will show on the "Monthly View".  Do not enroll in more than 1 lab per day (do not choose labs that conflict even though they are alternating weeks, because instructors may change the schedule).  Look for the lab sections with the higher number - they are often less full, which gives you more hands-on time with the equipment and more help from instructors.

BioMed students: You must enroll in "HlthSci 1BS0" first, to be able to enroll in "HlthSci 2L03".

ElecEng 4OI6 & 4BI6 capstone course: enroll in the Fall Term first (ElecEng 4OI6A / 4BI6A), then it will automatically enroll you in the Winter Term (ElecEng 4OI6B / 4BI6B).

4th year individual research project courses (4OH4/4OJ4/4OK4): These courses count as undirected ECE Technical Electives (chosen from the list of eligible courses published on our website).  If you wish to take an individual research project course please submit a Permission request form along with your transcript to the instructor of your choice. The two of you are to discuss the nature of the project and the goals for the course. Once a plan is in place, the instructor will complete the request process. If you meet the eligibility requirements, your request will be fully authorized by the instructor, and submitted to the UG Admin Assistant for uploading. If you are not on the Dean's Honour List, the instructor would need to seek approval from the Associate Chair of the Department before giving Permission.  The Fall Term course code is ElecEng or CompEng 4OJ4.  The Winter Term course code is ElecEng or CompEng 4OK4 if it's your first project course, or 4OH4 if you took 4OJ4 in the Fall Term.

Schedule Problems: We schedule courses according to each program path / layout.  With the large number of courses that we offer and the limited number of timeslots in a week, this means that if a student takes an alternate path, including failing a course, there will likely be some schedule conflict (and possibly exam schedule conflict), and it may mean that an extra term is required to catch up.  You are welcome to submit a Conflict Request if you choose to accept the responsibility of managing the conflicting schedule.

Other help: If you meet the requirements for a course but you can't enroll in it (and it's not a Closed course), or if you have any concerns about credits towards your degree, please contact the ECE Advisor in the Engineering Student Services office (Sally Williams - willsal@mcmaster.ca).  Make sure you include your full name and student number whenever communicating with us.  Please note that we have specific Program Advisors to help you with program or course concerns (refer to the Advising section of our website).

 For any other questions, contact the ECE UG Administrative Assistant - ugadmin@mail.ece.mcmaster.ca

 

Prerequisites & Permissions

Prerequisites: If you do not have a prerequisite for a course, you may request Permission to take the course without the prerequisite (waive the prerequisite). You must justify why you should be allowed to take that course without the required prior knowledge. Your academic history will be considered.  Your request may or may not be approved.

Permission: When registering for a course, if you see an Error Message saying that you need permission, it could be because you don't have the prerequisite course/s, or that the course is restricted to students in a certain program and/or level. When permission is required to enroll in a course outside of your own department, you must submit your request to the department that offers the course (please refer to their website for their process).

When requesting Permission/Waiver to take a course offered by the ECE Department, please complete & follow the ECE Permission form (below).

 

ECE Permission Form

To obtain Permission for a prerequisite to be waived or consent to take a course. Use one form per course. Request form must be accompanied by your unofficial transcript. Instructions on how to make the request are on the top of the form.

Conflicts

If you encounter a conflict in your schedule, first check the possibility of getting into a different section to eliminate the conflict. Make sure you are viewing all of the possible sections in Mosaic by clicking on View All or Next Page.

If you have a schedule conflict with two required courses, please contact the ECE Department.

If you have a conflict that involves an elective, find an elective that fits into your schedule.

If you have a conflict that cannot be resolved by the above, complete the ECE Conflict form and follow the ECE process.

Course Conflict form

Carefully complete the top section, making sure to indicate the specific conflicting components (Core/Lab/Tutorial).

After completing your portion of the form, obtain authorization from both instructors involved. (This can be done in person, or by emailing the form to the instructors, and requesting that it be returned to the student.)  

Once complete, submit the request form (with authorization email if the instructor didn't actually sign the form) to the ECE Office (ITB-A111) for processing.  Submitting this in person will be faster than email.

After the department processes the request, it is forwarded to the Engineering Student Services office for final processing.  They will email you as soon as the request process is complete.

Overloads

If you wish to take more than the maximum number of units in a term (refer to your Academic Advisement Report, it is usually 21), you may request an overload. This involves two forms (the ECE Overload Form and the Engineering Permission Form) and two supporting documents (an Unofficial Transcript and an Academic Advising Report). Because our programs are very demanding, overloading is not always allowed - it may be denied if it is not in your best interest. Generally, for students with a GPA of 9.4 or lower, overload requests of more than 2 units are not normally granted.

Overload Request Form

This form is to be completed in addition to the Engineering Permission Form (below) when requesting an overload. Both forms must be completed and submitted along with copies of your Unofficial Transcript and Academic Advisement Report to the ECE Department Office ITB-A111 (both of these documents can be found in you Student Centre, Academics section).

Missed Work & Other Forms

If you miss an assignment/quiz/midterm, fill out the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) online, and explicitly follow its instructions. It is your responsibility to follow-up with your instructor.

If you do not see the forms you are looking for here, please check out the Faculty of Engineering forms.  Forms and information are also available at the Engineering Student Services office (3rd floor of the Hatch Centre).

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

Faculty of Engineering Forms

Failed Courses

If you fail a course that is a prerequisite for an upper year course, you might still be able to take the upper year course by having the prerequisite waived (using a Permission form) - the instructor will assess your transcript to determine your academic suitability for his/her course.

If you fail a required course you have to obtain that credit. You may be able to take it the following year, but it may create Conflicts in your timetable and examinations. In this case you can submit a Conflict request form, if you feel you can manage the conflict. If you would rather take the course elsewhere, perhaps in the Summer Term, you can look at universities such as University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Carleton University or other well-known universities. Their course must have at least 75% of the content that our course has. If you find such a course, obtain the Course Outline and contact the Engineering Student Services office (3rd floor of the Hatch Centre).

Final Exam Review

Any student can request to see his/her final exam. Viewing it is free of charge, and is to be arranged between the student & instructor. If you want your exam to be re-marked:

  • Be aware that the grade could go either up or down
  • Go to the Engineering Student Services office (3rd floor of the Hatch Centre)
  • Complete an "Examination Re-Read" form
  • Take it to the Registrar's Office (GH-108) and pay $50
  • Take the receipt back to the Engineering Student Services office
  • The Engineering Student Services office then sends the request to the department, and we have a couple of weeks to re-grade and respond
  • If the grade increases by 3% or more, the $50 fee is refunded to the student

Taking Courses at a Different University

To obtain Course Equivalency or a Letter of Permission, please see the Engineering Student Services office (3rd floor of the Hatch Centre). Please note that McMaster's Engineering programs are accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), and we do not usually allow courses from an un-accredited institution to replace our own courses.

Program Transfer

You can apply to switch programs by visiting the Engineering Student Services office (3rd floor of the Hatch Centre). You will need to provide a letter stating why you want to make the switch. Your transcript is also required, to assess whether your academic ability is strong enough for the desired program. Please note that Transfer Requests are not assessed until June, once grades have been finalized.

Reinstatements and Withdrawals

The Re-instatement application process is handled by the Engineering Student Services office. The policy is as follows:

  • FIRST WITHDRAWAL: A student who has been withdrawn once may be be reinstated once, by writing a convincing letter stating how the student has taken special steps to improve their performance in the future. Special steps may include consulting with the Center for Student Development and Learning, terminating any part-time job, consulting with a student counsellor, taking summer courses, etc. It is expected that by taking these special steps, the student's performance will improve significantly.
  • SECOND WITHDRAWAL: A student who has been withdrawn twice will not be reinstated a second time based upon a convincing letter. The reason is that the first withdrawal and reinstatement did not have the desired effect, as the student was subsequently withdrawn a second time.
  • If a student has been withdrawn twice, the student will now need to 'prove' conclusively that they deserve other chance. For example, a student can enroll in a community college engineering program, and get a near A average, and then re-apply to McMaster. Alternatively, a student can consult with a UG-Advisor, identify and take 3 challenging technical courses (i.e. Math, Science, Physics) at some university, and get a C- average or higher, and then re-apply to McMaster. The student is not guaranteed reinstatement, but at least the student can supply some conclusive evidence that they have overcome their difficulties. A capable student can meet the latter requirement in one term, enrolling as a special student in a university, and the latter requirement is not an onerous task. Basically, if a student has been withdrawn twice, the student needs to do much more than write a letter to get reinstated.

If you seek more information, please contact the Engineering Student Services office on the 3rd floor of the new Gerald Hatch Centre.

Still Have Questions?

If your question is not answered on this page, please direct your inquiry to ECE's UG Administrative Assistant. Email is the most efficient method of service.

Please provide:

Your Full Name
Your Student/Person ID number
Your Level and Program (include "CoOp", "Mgmt" or "Society" if applicable)
Relative Subject Line (i.e. "Conflict between * and * "), along with your name
Details of your question (oftentimes a problem is the result of a failed course, so please inform us if that is the case).
Attaching a copy of your Academic Advisement Report or Unofficial Transcript will assist a quick answer.

And use the complete course code (CompEng 3DR4 or ElecEng 2EI5...).

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar provides a number of services to students in addition to being the primary information source on enrolment, convocation ceremonies and important dates and events throughout the year.