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Undergraduate Advising

Degree Requirements

To obtain the necessary credits to graduate, you must follow your academic Advisement Report (found in your Mosaic Student Centre under Academics), which matches the Undergraduate Calendar from the year you entered Level 2  (all Calendars can be found on the Office of the Registrar's website).  Help understanding your Academic Advisement Report can be found here.

Electives and Program Layouts information can be found here.

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 (https://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/programs/academic-advising#Get-In-Touch-With-Us).

If you have any concerns about your degree requirements, please contact the ECE Advisor in the Engineering Student Services office, Sally Williams (willsal@mcmaster.ca).

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 must match: Always enroll in a matching pair of Lecture and Tutorial sections - i.e. C01 with T01, or C02 with T02. 

Sections:  There may be additional sections not showing on the first page you see, so always click "Next Page" or "View All" in Mosaic to see all of the offerings.  Keep in mind that not everyone will look at those higher numbered sections, so you may find a lab that isn't crowded, therefore giving you more hands-on time and attention!

"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.

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, permission and overload needs a request form to be submitted. 

Course Full: 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.  

Reserved Capacity:  An Elective course for you might be a Required course for a different program.  In order for the students who require the course to get in it, these courses often have Reserved Capacities.  You can keep watching the enrollment of the course throughout the summer to see if any seats have opened up due to a release, or due to students dropping the course.  Students can make changes to their enrollment up until an official date in mid September each year, as per the Office of the Registrar's Sessional Dates.  Even if you get Permission to take the course, you will have to wait for a seat to become available.  If the course is offered by a department other than your own you will need Permission to take it, so request the Permission from that department early so that it is on Mosaic for you when a seat becomes available for you to enroll.

Requests: Sometimes more than one request has to be submitted in order for you to enroll.  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, starting with Permission! The Conflict request should be the LAST request you submit, because nothing can be done with it until you have any necessary authorizations already in place such as Permission or Overload.

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 is one of hundreds, and it will be processed as soon as possible.

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.

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.

ElecEng 4OI6 capstone course: enroll in the Fall Term first (ElecEng 4OI6A), then it will automatically enroll you in the Winter Term (ElecEng 4OI6B).  Do not concern yourself with choosing the same section as someone you want to be in the same project group as, because everyone combines to form project groups.

4th year individual research project courses (4OH4 and 4OJ4): Please refer to the page for Final Year Students

Experiencial Learning courses:  Experiential Learning | Faculty of Engineering (mcmaster.ca)

Other help: 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 always include your full name and student number whenever communicating with us.  Please note that the ECE Department has specific Program Advisors to help you with program or course concerns (refer to the "Advisors" tab).

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

 

Advising

 When communicating with university staff and instructors ALWAYS provide:

Your Full Name
Your McMaster Student ID number
Your Level and Program (include "CoOp", "Mgmt" or "Society" if applicable)
A Subject Line that describes your inquiry
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.

Always use the complete course code, which includes the prefix letters (i.e. CompEng 3DR4 or ElecEng 2EI5...).

Always use your McMaster email account for corresponding with faculty and staff at the university.

ADVISORS:

To help you through your degree, there are 2 types of Advisors - Program Advisors and the Academic Advisor:

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

 - If you wish to discuss your PROGRAM OR COURSES, please contact a Program Advisor for an appointment:

Electrical Engineering program Computer Engineering program Electrical & Biomedical Engineering program
Dr. Jennifer Bauman Dr. Nicola Nicolici  Dr. Aleksandar Jeremic
Dr. James Chen Dr. Dongmei Zhao  
Dr. Tom Doyle    

If you still have questions, please direct your inquiry to ECE's UG Administrative Assistant.  

Engineering Student Services

Please contact the Engineering Student Services office for concerns with:

- Your Academic Advisement Report or your Status (program, level).

- Inquiries about CoOp.

- Inquiries about the specialized streams such as Management and Society.

- Missed work or examinations - 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.

- To obtain Course Equivalency or a Letter of Permission to take courses at other universities (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).

- Inquiries about transferring/switching programs. 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.

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. 

Permissions and Pre-requisites

When trying to enroll in a course, if you get an Error Message saying that you do not meet the pre-requisite/s for the course, or you need Permission of the Instructor or Department consent, this could be because

1) you don't meet the pre-requisite/s, or

2) the course is restricted to students in a certain program and/or level.

Permission must be requested through the formal process of the department that offers the course.  For courses offered by the ECE Department, the form is at the bottom of this page.  For courses offered by other departments, check their website for their procedure (all Engineering departments can be found through this page: https://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/programs/departments-schools-programs ). 

Permission approval is not guaranteed!  The instructor will review your transcript to determine if you would be able to handle the course without the prior knowledge expected for the course.  If you are granted Permission (i.e. the pre-requisite gets waived) then it is your responsibility to keep up with the class.

If the course is an Elective for you, even if Permission is granted it does not mean that you will get a seat in the course, it means that you have permission to enroll if there is a seat available.  The seats in the course may be reserved for students who require the course, and any remaining seats would be available to students wishing to take it as an Elective.  If you find that the course is full when you go to enroll, keep an eye on the enrollment in case a seat becomes available - students often change their minds, so seats could become available until the last day to make changes to enrollment (which is usually into the second week of term).

Permissions must be processed before a Conflict with it can be processed!  If you are wanting to enroll in a course that is handled by a department other than the ECE Department,  request Permission from that department before requesting Conflict resolution.  

If you are in Level 4 or 5, and are interested in taking an Individual Research Project course as an ECE Technical Elective, please refer to the Final Year Student Information page.

If you need authorization for a Permission or a Conflict for the Level 2 project course CompEng 2DX3 / 2DX4, please submit your request to Dr. Doyle (doylet@mcmaster.ca).

If you need Permission to take one of the Experiential Learning courses (Engineer 3CX3 and Engineer 4EX3) please refer to this page:  Experiential Learning | Faculty of Engineering (mcmaster.ca)

After submitting the form, and the instructor has approved your request, please wait patiently for an email telling you when the Permission has been uploaded to Mosaic (if the instructor has denied permission, the processing of the request stops at that point).  This process could take a week or so.

Completion and handling:

This form is to request Permission for a pre-requisite to be waived or to obtain Permission of the Instructor or Department Consent to take an ECE course.

This form plus your unofficial transcript is required. Your unofficial transcript can be found in the Academics section of your Mosaic Student Centre.

Use 1 form per course.  Follow the instructions on the form.  Watch for the reply email from the instructor.  If your request is approved, wait for another email saying your request has completed processing.

Conflicts

The Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering programs are challenging, so we strongly recommend that students avoid taking courses that are scheduled at the same time!  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.  See if you can change sections of other courses to find a conflict-free schedule.

If you have a schedule conflict with 2 required courses that are on the normal path of the program, contact the department office right away.  If the courses are in your Program Layout for different years (i.e. you are not taking the normal path), please try to find a conflict-free schedule before requesting a conflict resolution. 

If you have a conflict that involves an elective, we strongly encourage you to find an elective that fits into your schedule without conflict.

If you have a conflict with the capstone course (ElecEng 4OI6), choose a section that fits your schedule.  You do not have to be in the same section as students who you wish to be in your group, because students in both courses and all sections merge into one pool to form groups.  If you cannot avoid a conflict, enroll in the course that is not the capstone course, to ensure that you get a seat in it (we will ensure you get a seat in the capstone course).

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

BEFORE submitting a Conflict request form:

1) if the conflict involves a course offered by a different Department than ECE (i.e. anything other than a "CompEng" or "ElecEng" course), enroll in THAT course!  If you cannot enroll in the course, obtain Permission for it by following the procedure of the Department that offers the course (this enables us to enroll you in it when we do the final processing of your conflict request)

2) obtain Permission for any course that you do not have all the pre-requisites for (i.e. you are missing a pre-requisite course, or are not in the Level required due to a failed course) by submitting a Permission request form as per the website of the Department that offers the course

3) submit an Overload request if enrolling in the conflicted courses would take you over the 21 unit maximum per term (6 unit courses count as 3 per term)

When you are clear to enroll in the courses in conflict, submit the Conflict request form.  

Students who are not in the ECE Department must follow the Conflict procedure of their own department.

Note that Conflict requests do not include Permission to take the course, nor do they guarantee that you get a seat in the course.  They are simply to permit the scheduling conflict be overridden.

Completion and handling of the request form:

BEFORE submitting your conflict request form, sumit any Permission or Overload requests if necessary to enroll in the conflicting courses!  Conflict requests cannot be processed if you don't meet the pre-requisite requirements or the conflicting courses would cause you to have more than 21 units in that term, so if you submit a conflict request that we cannot process that means your request will be delayed and you may not get a seat in the course.

Complete all information on the form.  Make sure to indicate the specific components (Core/Lab/Tutorial) that are actually conflicting, as this is necessary information!

We will enroll you as per the conflict request form - providing their are seats available, all permissions are obtained and there is room in your course load.  If you decide to change your chosen section numbers for any reason, immediately notify "ugadmin@mail.ece.mcmaster.ca" with full details.

After the instructors provide their decisions, and the department signs off on the request, it is forwarded to the Engineering Student Services office for final processing / uploading to Mosaic.  Check your timetable on Mosaic to see the enrollment.  You will not be contacted unless there is a problem with your request.  Please be patient, as during the busy enrollment period this final stage of processing could take more than a week.

Overloads

If you wish to take more than 21 units in a term , you need to request an overload. To request an overload you must submit an ECE Overload request form along with your unofficial Transcript and Advising Report. Our programs are very demanding, so 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 per term are assessed with great consideration. Whatever the GPA, students are welcome to submit a request for overload.

ElecEng 4OI6 counts as 3 units PER TERM.

Please follow the instructions on the form.

Exams, Grades & Missed Work

Missed Academic Work  (https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guideline...)

Relief for missed academic work worth less than 25% of the final grade resulting from medical or personal situations lasting up to three calendar days:

1. use the MSAF (McMaster Student Absence Form) on-line self-reporting tool (no further documentation is required)

2. students may submit requests for relief using the MSAF once per term

3. an automated email will be sent to the course instructor, who will determine the appropriate relief.  Students must immediately follow up with their instructors. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief

4. the MSAF cannot be used to meet a religious obligation or to celebrate an important religious holiday

5. the MSAF cannot be used for academic work that has already been completed or attempted.  Attempting online work INCLUDES opening a test/quiz on Avenue to Learn or other platform.

6. students experiencing technical difficulties at the time of the test should contact their instructor or designate and should not submit an MSAF

7. an MSAF applies only to work that is due within the period for which the MSAF applies, i.e. the 3-day period that is specified in the MSAF;
however, all work due in that period can be covered by one MSAF

8. the MSAF cannot be used to apply for relief for any final examination or its equivalent.  See Petitions for Special Consideration in the Undergraduate Calendar

 

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

 

Office of the Registrar's information on Exams and Grades:

https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/exams-grades/

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.

For more information, please contact the Engineering Student Services office.

General information & FAQs

Follow your program plan: The ECE Department is huge!  We offer a lot of courses in our 3 programs!  That means that scheduling them all in the week is difficult.  We can not possibly schedule everything without conflicting with something else.  But we do schedule the required courses conflict-free for each program and level.  If you veer off the normal program path (by failing a course or don't take a course when you should for some reason), you may experience conflicts in the scheduling of the course, and the scheduling of their exams.  

Program Advisors: The ECE Department has a Program Advisor for each individual program.  You are welcome to email your Program Advisor to set up a meeting with them to discuss your program or course concerns. 

Be familiar with our department website - it covers so much information you'll need from Level 2 through to graduation.

Always provide your McMaster Student ID number in all correspondence within the university.  We can't fully understand your situation without looking at your record, and we can't look that up without your ID number.  

Always use your McMaster email account for communications within the university.  We respect that your education is private and confidential, so we can not give information to a personal email address.

Like us on Facebook so you keep connected with our exciting department and the clubs/teams that you can get involved with, and find some inspiration to start the week each Monday morning!  @ecemcmaster

Please make sure that emails from "ugadmin@mail.ece.mcmaster.ca" are not going to your Spam folder, as lots of important information and opportunities are sent out by email.