Programs and Options

Engineering students

The Faculty of Engineering offers 15 undergraduate programs: 14 professional engineering degrees, and one world-renowned architecture degree. For more information about the different engineering disciplines available, take a look at our program pages or request a brochure download/mailed copy.

In addition to a degree in Engineering or Architecture, it is possible to earn Options, Specializations and Minors. The official rules related to these alternatives are provided in the undergraduate studies academic calendar. If you are a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) student, you are permitted to enrol in a Minor but normally not Options or Specializations. The requirements for the Minor have to be cleared with the department offering the Minor.

Also see Faculty of Engineering Academic Plans in the undergraduate calendar.


A program is a specific field of engineering study, selected by a student when he or she applies to Waterloo Engineering. At many institutions this is also referred to as a "major." All Waterloo Engineering programs are direct-entry. Our 15 undergraduate programs are:


Options are intended to provide you with a path to expand your degree. For example as a Mechanical Engineering student you may wish to add an Option in Management Sciences, or as an Electrical Engineering student you may wish to add an Option in Physics. Options often require taking extra courses beyond your degree's minimum requirements. ​An option is a specified combination of courses that provide a secondary emphasis in another subject or a career-oriented area. Options generally require 5-8 courses, and appear on graduates' university degrees. They are not available to Architecture students. 

Associated with each option is a co-ordinator who can assist you in determining how the courses may fit the best with your program. Options are available within the Faculty of Engineering only. An option is noted on your diploma.


A specialization is intended to formally recognize a focused selection of elective courses within your degree. Specialization offerings are unique to your engineering program and are formally noted on your diploma. Required and recommended courses for various specializations can be found on the specific undergraduate calendar page for your program. Currently, not all engineering programs offer specializations.

Complementary Studies

In addition to technical knowledge and skill, engineers need an understanding of society, its needs, and their role in its success. Engineers' ability to make educated judgements that encompass human, social, as well as technical values, is essential. The Complementary Studies component of our programs provides students with instruction in the humanities and social sciences, engineering economics, communication, and the impact of technology on society.

Complementary Studies enables students to develop broader intellectual outlooks; deepen understanding of moral, ethical, and social values; and improve communication skills and approaches.

Minors and Concurrent Degrees

Minors are similar to options. Engineering does not offer minors to students enrolled in engineering; however they are offered by the other faculties and are described in their sections of the undergraduate studies academic calendar. In the case of the Faculty of Arts there is a very wide range of minors available. Minors are noted on your diploma. A minor normally requires a minimum of 10 courses. This means Engineering students who take on minors must take extra courses. However, the courses in a minor can often be used to satisfy some technical elective or complimentary studies requirements.

It is also possible for Engineering students to complete the requirements for a concurrent Bachelor of Arts degree. This process will require a significant number of extra courses, and agreement from both Faculties. Interested students should consult their undergraduate advisor.

Program videos and PDF overviews

School of Architecture

Architectural Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Geological and Environmental Engineering

Management Engineering

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Nanotechnology Engineering

Software Engineering

Systems Design Engineering