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Engineering 1

Your First Year

It starts right from day one.

We’re ranked #1 in Canada for student satisfaction with a community-based project in 1st year (National Survey of Student Engagement 2017).

We are taking this a step further by revamping our popular client-focused design course and integrating it throughout one-third of your entire first-year curriculum. With a focus on experiential, collaborative and project-based learning, students take real problems in society and learn the technical and teamwork skills to solve them.

In the first year, you’ll gain broad exposure to engineering before choosing a specialization for the second year and beyond.

Your first year

What you'll take:

3 unit(s)

An introduction to chemical principles for Engineering students, including reactivity, bonding, structure, energetics and electrochemistry.
Three lectures, one lab (two and one half hours) every other week; one term

MATH 1ZA3 – Engineering Mathematics I

3 unit(s)

Functions: limits, continuity, derivatives, optimization, curve sketching. Antiderivative, definite integral, techniques of integration, with applications.
Three lectures, one tutorial, one lab; one term

MATH 1ZB3 – Engineering Mathematics II-A

3 unit(s)

Techniques of integration, applications of definite integrals, differential equations, polar coordinates, parametrized curves. Sequences, infinite series, power series. Partial derivatives.
Three lectures, one tutorial, one lab; one term

MATH 1ZC3 – Engineering Mathematics II-B

3 unit(s)

Vector spaces given by solutions to linear systems. Linear independence, dimension. Determinants. Eigenvalues, eigenvectors and diagonalisation. Complex numbers.
Three lectures, one tutorial, one lab; one term

3 unit(s)

A course for engineering students. Oscillations and waves, interference; electrostatics, electric potential, circuit elements; magnetic fields.
Three lectures, one lab (three hours) every other week; one term

3 unit(s)

A course for engineering students. Principles of mechanics of particles and rigid bodies, including Newton’s Laws, rotational kinematics and dynamics, torque, energy, momentum, angular momentum, and simple harmonic motion.
Three lectures, one lab (three hours) every other week; one term

13 unit(s)

Project-based integrated learning course that introduces a range of foundational (i.e., cornerstone) topics in engineering, including engineering design and communication, computation, graphic design, materials and the engineering profession. These topics are applied through a series of integrated team-based design projects in simulated workplace environments

Three lectures, one tutorial (two hours), two labs (three hours each); both terms


Visit the 1P13 course website now! 

Learn more about the Story of the Pivot

Benefits of the Common First Year

Faiza, Electrical Engineering - Level 3

“McMaster Engineering is my dream program and I’m so thankful for having chosen it! The general first-year option is so helpful when deciding what stream you want to apply for. It can be difficult to know right out of high school exactly what you want and the ability to explore a little bit of everything is a unique one that lets you get an idea of what’s out there.”


Maryam, Mechanical Engineering - Level 2

“The best part of MacEng is that there is a lot of flexibility when choosing your degree especially since the first year of engineering is general! After first year, students have the opportunity to create their degree to fit them; along with the different streams of engineering, you can add in management, society, or a minor. This allows you to pursue engineering along with any other interests you have.”


Rebecca, Computer Engineering - Level 3

“I think the main advantage that stands out to me about McMaster Engineering is that first year will allow you to try every stream. Going into engineering, I was almost certain that I wanted to be a mechanical engineer. However, McMaster introduced me to computer programming, and my entire mindset of my future changed.”


Mohammad, Electrical Engineering - Level 2

“McMaster lets you enroll in a general 1st year engineering program, which allows students to gain a further and better understanding of the various engineering fields. It allows one to get a better grip and really understand and narrow down what their interests are to end up a program where they truly feel they belong to. This helped me a lot, as I went in thinking I would specialize in a totally different field from the one I eventually picked!”

Beyond First Year

With a year of broad-based engineering study under your belt, you’ll be well positioned to select an area of specialization for your degree. Students are selected for spots in 2nd year disciplines based on their year 1 GPA.* 

*Free Choice: Students with a minimum admission average of mid to high 90s may qualify for a guaranteed choice of discipline in second year and beyond, dependent on successful completion of first-year Engineering. This does not apply to Chemical Engineering & Bioengineering or Management and Society five-year program options.

Discover our Departments here

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87% of 1st year students choose the co-op option.

Students can work anywhere in the world, including for US employers such as Google, Microsoft, & Tesla