Courses in engineering

As a graduate student in the Faculty of Engineering, you are required to take courses as a part of your program requirements. You can find detailed information about Faculty level requirements in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar. Additionally, the calendar includes the specific program requirements for each department and program in Engineering. 

If you fail a course, or your cumulative average falls below the minimum average requirement, you will automatically undergo a formal academic review by your department. Please review the department specific regulations for your program in the calendar.

In some cases, the result of an academic review is that you would be required to withdraw.

Courses in Engineering

Most graduate courses offered by the Faculty of Engineering are numbered as 600 or 700 series courses.  These courses typically have a weight of 0.5 credits and run the full 4 months of any term. These are referred to as half-credit courses. 

The 600-level series are typically regular lecture courses offered annually. Courses in the 700-level series are elective courses in specific research areas, or seminar courses. They are offered if there is sufficient interest among graduate students and an instructor is available.

At least half of the courses for the minimum degree requirements must normally be Faculty of Engineering Graduate Courses.

Some courses are assigned both undergraduate and graduate course numbers, with graduate versions normally requiring additional work.

Reading courses may be offered on occasion as well. The appropriateness of these courses for graduate credit will be established by your departmental Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.

Nanotechnology courses (NANO) and some Quantum Information (QI) courses are quarter-credit courses with a weight of .25, which means that they run for 8 weeks of term.

Maximum number of courses taken per term

There is a maximum number of courses in which students registered in the Faculty of Engineering may enroll each term. This maximum applies to both course- and thesis-based students, in both the Master's and PhD programs.

Full-time students may enroll in a maximum of 1.75 credits of courses (typical full term graduate courses have 0.5 credits, implying a maximum of three 0.5 weight courses) per term, except students in the MArch program within the School of Architecture who (due to differences in course weights), may enroll in a maximum of 3.0 credits of courses/term. Additionally, students enrolled in the MBET program within the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business will be exempt from the Faculty maximums due to differences in program structure and may only enroll in prescribed courses as per departmental procedure.

Part-time students may enroll in a maximum of 0.75 credits (e.g. one 0.5 weight course) per term. Similarly to full-time students, MArch and MBET candidates have alternative part-time maximums due to differences in program structure.

Departments may impose lower maximum values for specific programs. Program specific requirements can be found in the relevant sections of this calendar. It is the student's responsibility to become aware of requirements associated with their specific program.

In exceptional circumstance, full-time students may request to register in an additional course, but this must be approved by the course instructor, the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies using the Graduate studies course drop/add form.

Program-specific course requirements

For all thesis-based students, your course plan is established by yourself, your supervisor, and if deemed necessary, with your departmental Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.   

Master’s

Master’s students may be permitted to take a limited number of 500 series courses, where 500 series courses are senior undergraduate courses.

Two-thirds of the courses used for credit toward a Master’s degree must be taken from 600 and 700 series courses.

Doctoral

PhD candidates possessing a Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline are required to take a minimum of three courses at the 600 or 700 level. Departments may require students to take more than three courses.

Generally, candidates with a Master’s degree cannot complete a 500-level course towards their PhD degree requirements. The inclusion of a 500 level course for credit must be recommended by the candidate’s supervisor and the home department’s Associate Chair, Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in the course, and it must be approved by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies.

PhD candidates without a completed Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline are required to complete at least seven courses, five of which must be level 600 or 700.

Up to 2 500-level courses can be completed toward the candidate’s program requirements. The inclusion of additional 500 level course for credit must be recommended by the candidate’s supervisor and the home department’s Associate Chair, Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in the course, and it must be approved by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies.

In all cases, department may have more restrictive policies on the types of courses that may be used for credit toward a degree. 

Time limit for using courses toward a degree

Graduate courses must be completed within the last 5 years to be counted toward your degree. Courses taken more than 60 months before the completion of all of your degree requirements may not be counted for credit toward a degree. 

Departments may request a re-validation of courses beyond this time limit. In order for courses beyond 60 months to be used to satisfy degree requirements, the request must be approved by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies.

In most cases, where the student has made consistent progress and maintained full time registration (no more than 2 consecutive inactive terms), in-program courses 5 years and older will be permitted to count toward degree requirements.