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Options and minors

Selecting options

An option is a collection of courses that you can take that allows the text "Option in ..." to appear on your degree.  For information about a particular Option, select the appropriate Option from the left-hand menu. The only restriction is that Computer Engineering students may not take the Computer Engineering Option.  In 2013, 57 out of approximately 300 of our students had completed options upon graduation.  If you have any questions concerning an option in engineering, you should talk to the specific Option Coordinator.  The Faculty of Science is currently maintaining a complete list of available Options.

If you are selecting an Option, you should be aware that this may constrain your freedom of choice for Technical Electives (TEs), Natural Science Electives (NSEs), and Complementary Studies Electives (CSEs). Most Options require you to take more courses than is required by regular degree.  These extra courses may be taken as a sixth course during terms 2B through 4B or during Co-op Work Terms.

You must formally declare your Option by filling out a Plan Modification Form.

Combining options

Certain options are CSE heavy, while other options are TE heavy.  Conseqeuntly, it is often possible to complete two or more options.  For example:

  • Electrical Engineering students to combine the Computer Engineering Option and the Mechatronics Option, or
  • Computer Engineering students to combine the Software Engineering Option and the Management Science Option.

See the appropriate link in the left-hand menu.

Selecting minors

Electrical and Computer Engineering students are welcome to take minors from other departments as listed in the Undergraduate Calendar, although you should be aware that minors tend to require significantly more effort than an Option (usually eight (8) courses). In 2013, nine out of approximately 300 of our students had completed a minor on graduation including Economics, Pure Mathematics, French, German, and Philosophy.

The process for starting a minor is to contact the Program Advisor for the program associated with the minor.  If no such person exists, contact the Undergraduate Office of the faculty associated with the minor to determine to whom you should speak.  When you meet with this advisor, you should discuss how to plan to complete the requirements, including determining which courses you can "double count", meaning, which courses can you count both toward the minor as well as Complementary Studies, Natural Science or Technical Electives.  Many minors require that no more than half the courses can be double counted, but each program may differ in its requirements.  Once you have determined that you wish to go ahead with the minor, prepare a Plan Modification Form including the minor in your proposed program and have the advisor associated with the minor complete the form with you and he or she will then sign it.  You will then bring this form to your Undergraduate Program Advisor/Co-ordinator.

Tracking your progress

You can track your progress in an Option by down-loading and printing the Options and Minors Requirements Summary. If you successfully complete an Option, you will be required to submit this form together with your Intention to Graduate Form.

Substituting courses within an option

Due to the scheduling of Electrical and Computer Engineering courses, it may not be possible to take the required courses for a particular Option. In this case, you may be able to request that the Option Co-ordinator approve a replacement course for the one which you are unable to take. Download and print the Option Course Substitution Approval Form (PDF), get the Option Co-ordinator to sign the form and submit the form to the Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator. In almost all cases, approval from the Option Co-ordinator will result in the substitution being approved by this Department.

Adding or removing options and minors

To add or remove an Option from your program, submit a Plan Modification Form to your Academic Advisor. If you are adding a Minor, you must also fill in a Minor/Double Degree Completion Proposal. If you are off campus, you may submit this form through either fax or e-mail to the Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator. Your fax should have Attn: UG Advisor/Coordinator and state your program at the top. Options and Minors may be added at any point during your undergraduate career before you submit an Intention to Graduate Form, though some restrictions may apply. To add a Minor to your degree, because of the extra effort required, you will be required to submit a Minor Completion Proposal as well as the Plan Modification Form and schedule a meeting with your Academic Advisor. Once your plan has been approved by the ECE Department, you will also have to get a signature from the department offering the Minor before you finally submit both forms to the Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator.

If, after submitting your Intention to Graduate Form, it is determined that you did not satisfy the requirements for an Option or Minor, you will be informed of this by e-mail, however, this will not affect your graduation; you simply will graduate with your B.A.Sc. without your Option or Minor.

Completing options and minors

You must complete an Option or Minor before you convocate. It is not possible to graduate and then return for one non-degree Academic Term to complete an Option or Minor. You may, however, choose to delay your graduation by one or two terms to complete your Option or Minor, if you so choose.

Justification for formally adding options and minors

There are two reasons for formally adding an Option or Minor earlier rather than later:

  • Your degree or transcript will not list the Option or Minor unless you have declared it, and
  • Some courses cannot be registered for unless you are in a relevant Option or Minor.