Frequently asked questions – Faculty of Engineering

Frequently asked questions

General inquiries

We have 4 programs offered under the Faculty of Engineering:

  1. Combined Degree/Diploma Bachelor of Technology Programs
    This program rewards graduating students with a Bachelor of Technology from McMaster University, an Advanced Diploma and a Business Certificate from Mohawk College. Offered in three streams:
    • Automation Engineering Technology
    • Automotive and Vehicle Engineering Technology
    • Biotechnology
  2. Computer Science
    This program rewards graduating students with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences.
  3. Engineering 1
    This program rewards graduating students with a Bachelor of Engineering. Students go through a general first year and choose their second year stream of interest at the end of their first year. The second year streams are listed in the question below.
  4. Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences
    This program rewards graduating students with a Bachelor of Engineering and a specialization in Biomedical Engineering or Bachelor of Health Sciences and a specialization in Entrepreneurship. Similar to Engineering I, students go through a general first year and choose their second year stream of interest at the end of their first year.
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical and Bioengineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechatronics Engineering
  • Software Engineering

With the exception of Chemical and Bioengineering, any of these programs can also be combined with the Society or Management options.

iBioMed students cannot select Chemical and Bioengineering, Computer Engineering, or the Society or Management options.

BTech students enter directly into one of three interdisciplinary streams:

  • Automation Engineering Technology
  • Automotive and Vehicle Engineering Technology
  • Biotechnology

In-person Mac Eng Tours are currently scheduled on Fridays at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

If you are a large group (e.g. a high school group), please contact us directly to arrange a private tour for your group.

Please visit the BTech DCP page for more information.

Admissions

We are here to support you with any admission-related questions you may have! Please reach out to thinkeng@mcmaster.ca if you are experiencing any difficulties.

Shortly after you apply on OUAC, you should receive an email with information regarding your Mac ID, student number, and activation instructions.

If you have not received this email, please email us by filling out this form with your full name, registered email, and OUAC reference number. We will then look into this for you!

  • Whether you select your Mac Eng program of interest (CompSci, Eng or iBioMed) with Co-op or without co-op on the OUAC application – they are the same program. There is no advantage of applying to one over the other.
  •  If you select the co-op option when applying on OUAC, you will simply be enrolled in the co-op program automatically once a student at McMaster. But if you didn’t select it, you can still opt-in to the co-op program once you start as a student in the fall by contacting your Academic Advisor in August/early September. All our students have access to the co-op option, but because it is optional, we need to have different codes for applications on OUAC (non-co-op vs co-op codes are still the same program)
  • Do not apply to both co-op and non co-op for the program you are interested in, as you will be losing a spot for another program you may be interested in applying to!
  • BTech only has 1 code for each program, as co-op is mandatory for BTech students.

Nope, it does not matter! We do not factor your OUAC program choice into our admissions decisions.

The supplementary application is a mandatory part of the admissions process for students applying to any of our Faculty of Engineering programs, which includes Bachelor of Technology, Computer Science, Engineering 1 and/or Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed), including all 2nd-degree applicants. Only one application is required if you are applying to more than one of these programs.

For more information on the supplementary application process, deadlines, advice and commonly asked questions, review the full supplementary application details here.

I have not received the email with the login information. What do I do?

Please wait 10 business days for the email to be sent to you. If it has been more than 10 business days, please email us by filling out this form with the issue and your McMaster Student number.

I am having technical problems with my KIRA application. How do I get help?

Please email KIRA directly at support@kiratalent.com

Please visit the admissions site for the most up-to-date information regarding admission requirements.

Along with your admissions average, we also take your performance on the mandatory supplementary application into account.

You can review your application status and requirements on your undergraduate applicant portal.

  • Engineering and iBioMed applicants may receive “Free Choice” which is a guaranteed choice of discipline in second year and beyond, dependent on the successful completion of their first-year.
  • If you receive Free Choice in your offer letter, you do not lose it. However, if you do not receive Free Choice in your offer letter you may still be eligible to receive it during our last round of offers made in May. After the last round of offers, you may still be eligible to receive Free Choice if your final average (based on the 6 courses) meets the cut-off. Students who meet the Free Choice average after June 30th will be contacted in the late summer by email with an update that they have achieved Free Choice.
  • The average needed to receive Free Choice changes each year based on the cohort applying. Free Choice for 2024 admissions will be available as of March 2024. For reference, the cut-off for Free Choice for the Fall 2023 intake was Engineering 96% and iBioMed 98%.
  • Engineering students with Free Choice would be selecting their upper-level discipline at the end of their first year. Free Choice cannot be used towards Chemical & Bioengineering, & Management, or & Society option. iBioMed students with Free Choice can select both their second-year degree (Heath, Engineering Science and Entrepreneurship OR Biomedical Engineering) and their second-year engineering discipline, if choosing Biomedical Engineering.

For the Fall 2023 intake, the cut-offs for Free Choice are:

  • Engineering 1 – 96%
  • iBioMed 1 – 98%
  • After completing this common first year, students are selected for spots in our upper-year disciplines based on Year 1 GPA. You would rank your choices at the end of first year as instructed by the Faculty. Students in Engineering 1 and iBioMed 1 must maintain a 4.0 GPA average to move into Level II. This is a 4.0 on the McMaster 12 point GPA scale equivalent to 60-62%. But it is highly encouraged to of course do your best of course. Competitiveness in each stream really depends on the cohort year – so it depends on what your peers are also interested in pursuing.
  • There is no true cut-off for each of these programs as it will depend on the averages of the students who are applying for those programs. Spots will be filled starting with students who have received free choice, followed by those who have not received free choice and will be filled from highest grades to lowest until spots are filled.
  • Even without free choice, the majority of our students are selected into their preferred choice of discipline.

You will not be at a disadvantage if you take a required course in the summer, night class or online. We will only consider the grades you’ve received for required courses.

Please note that your high school diploma and all required courses must be completed by June 30 to maintain your offer of admission. You can’t take any high school courses over the summer after Grade 12 before your September enrolment to change any admission decisions. 

No, you will not be at a disadvantage.

If you have repeated up to two courses, the highest reported mark will be used to calculate your admission average. If you repeat more than two courses, or an individual course three or more times, you may be asked to provide a letter explaining the need for the retakes. This information may be considered when determining admission.  
 
Courses completed after June 30 (immediately prior to the Fall intake) will not be included in your admission average calculation.

Please visit the admissions page to review acceptable language tests & minimum scores. http://future.mcmaster.ca/admission/language/.

Offers of admission for BTech, CompSci, Engineering and iBioMed are sent out in two main rounds: early to mid-March, and early to mid-May. We do not offer early admissions prior to March.

Each program that you apply to will be reviewed as a separate application. If you are interested in more than one program at McMaster, you should apply to them individually to express your interest as we do not send alternative offers.

Please refer to the McMaster requirements page for specific international admissions requirements. Input “Attending a Secondary School outside Canada” and your country.

Please visit the admissions documents page for instructions on submitting international transcripts. Please see the section titled “Official Transcripts” for details.

Additionally, please visit the admissions language page for McMaster English Language proficiency (including required documentation and deadlines).

When you submit your transcripts, please include a school profile which includes the grade scale. The Admissions Office would need to review that information when they assess your application.

Academics

Lectures are the primary method for teaching and learning, where the professor explains various concepts for (usually) an hour. Labs and tutorials are more hands-on and have fewer students, which allows you to apply concepts learned in lecture and learn by asking more specific questions.

Each lab is approximately 3 hours long and tutorials are 1 or 2 hours long. Depending on the class, they will either be weekly or biweekly.

The average lecture size varies depending on the program you are in. Engineering students can expect an average lecture size of 250 – 400 students in their first year. Tutorials and labs range from 25 – 50 students depending on the course. Class sizes will decrease significantly as you progress through the program.

BTech students can expect lectures to be no more than 90 students, with the average size being closer to 60-80 students. Lab sizes will not exceed 20 students throughout all levels of the program.

Every Faculty of Engineering program has a dedicated Academic Advisor and a team of administrative staff that are more than happy to assist you.

Professors and teaching assistants host weekly office hours where you can visit them to ask for help with homework problems, assignments, and for further explanation of challenging concepts. Additionally, many subjects have “drop-in centres” that usually take place more than once a week. There are multiple teaching assistants available here to answer any questions you may have about the course material.

In addition to being a resource for professional development, the Student Success Centre offers workshops throughout the year on how to study more effectively, take better notes, and do well on tests. 

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides academic accommodations and support to students with disabilities.

Please review this page about Supporting our Students. Some things that are outlined are Academic Resources, Tutoring Services, Co-op Office, Student Accessibility Services, etc.

During Winter term, first year engineering students will be able to access the program selection system on Mosaic. This is where you’ll need to rank the 12 program choices. You will receive communication of the program you’ve received been assigned to over the summer.

To help you make an informed decision, the different engineering departments will be hosting information sessions in the Winter term where you will have the opportunity to meet faculty and upper-year students in that program, as well as learn about the courses you would take and potential career opportunities.

Programming experience is not necessary for admission to the BTech, CompSci, Eng or iBioMed program. First year students take introductory computing courses that teach you the foundations, assuming you have no experience in this area yet. If you would like to get some practice in advance or are curious about coding, check out Codecademy, a site that teaches you how to code (for free!) in a variety of languages.

Get a head start on your university career through our flexible, optional pre-University program designed to suit your needs.

EMBER (Engineering Mentorship & Bridging Education Resources) prepares students who are entering their first year of Engineering, the Bachelor of Technology program, Computer Science, and Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences (iBioMed) for academic and social success. Mix and match courses and other opportunities to create your own unique, customized EMBER experience. This program is offered at no additional cost to students.

Co-op

The Engineering Co-op Program provides students with an incredible opportunity to apply academic knowledge outside the classroom, enhance their academic experience through paid employment and give them a competitive edge for the workforce. We are proud to offer co-op terms that are incredibly flexible and work best for each student!

Co-op is only mandatory for the Bachelor of Technology Program.

It is optional for CompSci, Engineering and iBioMed programs. However, in order to achieve the co-op designation on your degree, you are required to complete at least 12 months of co-op experience.

For the Bachelor of Technology Program, you are required to complete a 4 month co-op term after the summer of your second year and an 8 month co-op term during your 3rd year.

For our other three programs, it has a flexible structure which enables students to design their own work-study sequences. You can complete a 4, 8, 12, 16 month co-op placement depending on your preference at any time during your undergraduate career.

The Engineering Co-op and Career Services (ECCS) offers a wide variety of resources such as mock interviews, networking events, resume critiquing, etc. to help students in their search for a co-op placement.

To view a list of top employers and a sample of job titles by program, please visit this page.

It is the student’s responsibility to apply and interview for co-op positions, but there are many supports available for you through the Engineering Co-op and Career Services office – including LinkedIn and resume workshops, networking events, 1:1 meetings, employer events, and much, much more!  

Want to learn how to land that dream job? Check out Engineering Co-op and Career Services and learn how they can help you every step of the way. 

Co-op work experience gives you a competitive advantage over all other new graduates. You have the ability to stay you already have a minimum of 1 year or more total paid work experience in your field. You can also count this co-op experience towards your PEO certification, if you meet the qualifications. 

The most obvious distinction is that you will graduate with a co-op designation on your degree and all the work you have done (even if you do not meet the 12-months of co-op requirement) will be recorded on your transcript. However, there are many other benefits to doing co-op. 

With a co-op degree, you will gain valuable work experience and technical skills that can boost your resume, which will aid your future career development. Your experiences will also create a job network that will be useful once you are looking for full-time permanent positions in the future. 

Anywhere! Both domestic and international students can complete co-op placements locally or internationally.  

Financial aid and scholarships

McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering has over $1,000,000 in entrance awards available!

Only one application is required to be considered for all the awards for which you are eligible.

Additionally, every incoming student is automatically considered for the McMaster Entrance Awards. These entrance awards do not require a separate application. Scholarship values are based on a student’s final admission average to the program.

Regarding scholarship decisions for Fall 2024, typically, decisions will be made and winners will be notified around mid-March, although decisions could continue to be released after this on a rolling basis. Scholarship winners will see their award on Mosaic and will be communicated with by email. In addition, some winners may also receive their scholarships on their offer letter, but this is not always the case.

Please visit the Registrar’s aid and awards page for information on Scholarships, Bursaries, the Work Program, Loans (OSAP) and more!

International applicants can visit the future students: international page for more information.

Student life

Our Faculty is very proud to provide our students with a plethora of opportunities to get involved within the community, create meaningful relationships and foster the growth of various skills that will help prepare students for the real-world.

The McMaster Engineering Society (MES) is essentially the engineering student government. Some of the things they do include improving student life by planning social events, increasing academic resources, and funding clubs and teams.

McMaster Engineering has many engineering clubs, teams and societies you can join to enhance your practical knowledge and soft skills, provide support, or give you the chance to explore new activities. Clubs are an enjoyable way to enrich your student life and contribute to your social development and academic success.

A gym membership is included with your student fees. This gives you access to indoor and outdoor running tracks, a swimming pool, and a cardio & weight facility.

For organized team sports, McMaster has multiple varsity teams and sports clubs (more information is available on the Future Students website). There are also intramural sports offered throughout the year and at various levels of competition.

Fun fact: the McMaster Engineering Society (MES) will fund your intramural team if it is 80% engineering students (including BTech., Computer Science, and iBioMed) or more!

One of the Living Learning Communities offered through McMaster’s Residence Life Office in partnership with the Faculty of Engineering is specifically dedicated to first year Engineering students that offers a community focused on Innovation & Society. Students in this community will have access to programming aimed at building critical thinking, creativity and communication skills.

First-year engineers in the Innovation and Society LLC will learn a variety of practical skills essential to engineering. Through workshops, guest speakers, and competitions, students will become better problem solvers, critical thinkers, and effective communicators. At the same time, you will live in a community that will foster interdisciplinary relationships and multicultural views to help you thrive.

You are encouraged to explore our Supporting our Students webpage to learn all about the various resources and supports that exist at McMaster Engineering & McMaster University!