Computer Engineering

Why choose? Develop software savvy and hardware know-how.

Want to design a brain stimulator to combat symptoms of Parkinson's disease? Develop software to protect companies from cyber attacks? Create the next groundbreaking gaming platform?

Between labs and lectures, you'll gain experience with all aspects of computers, from chips and wiring to software, networks, and communications. Meanwhile, your co-op terms will give you 2 years of paid work experience.

You’ll graduate ready for a career as a software developer, hardware engineer, IT specialist, systems designer, and more.

Study in a high-tech hub

Waterloo Region is home to more than 1,000 technology companies, including Google and Kik, providing lots of co-op and career opportunities.

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Bring your ideas to life at Hack the North — Canada’s biggest hackathon — which attracts more than 1,000 students from around the world each year.


Female student using electronic equipment in lab

As an Engineering student in North America's largest co-op program, you'll graduate with 2 years of work experience, earn money to help pay for your education, and be able to try out different career areas.

About the Computer Engineering program

breifcaseGain 2 years of experience in the co-op program

clickApply directly to this program on your application

grad capEarn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree


#1Engineering school in Canada (US News & World Report 2018)

GearsOffered by the Faculty of Engineering

Money flowerStudents earn $17,800 on average per co-op term


Computer Engineering admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Physics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Admission averages: Individual selection from the low to mid-90s
  • An Admission Information Form is required
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements

First-year Computer Engineering courses

September to December

GENE 191 - Communication in the Engineering Profession
ECE 105 - Classical Mechanics
ECE 150 - Fundamentals of Programming
ECE 190 - Engineering Profession and Practice
MATH 115 - Linear Algebra
MATH 117 - Calculus 1 for Engineering
Workplace Hazardous Materials Milestone*

January to April or May to August

ECE 102 - Information Session
ECE 106 - Electricity and Magnetism
ECE 108 - Discrete Mathematics and Logic 1
ECE 124 - Digital Circuits and Systems
ECE 140 - Linear Circuits
ECE 192 - Engineering Economics and Impact on Society 
MATH 119 - Calculus 2 for Engineering


* Milestones and courses with deadlines for successful completion are shown in the terms where they are normally completed. Work-term report courses (WKRPT 201WKRPT 301WKRPT 401) are considered milestones with deadlines for successful completion

After first year

Sample upper-year Computer Engineering courses

ECE 254 – Operating Systems and Systems Programming
ECE 320 – Computer Architecture

ECE 405 – Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
ECE 452 – Software Design and Architectures


Gain relevant work experience through co-op

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Test automation developer
  • Software developer
  • Full stack web developer
  • Data engineering student
  • Data scientist
  • iOS developer
  • Infrastructure engineering intern
  • QA developer, mobile

Sample co-op employers

  • Apple
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Mitre Media
  • Connected Lab
  • Public Service Commission of Canada
  • Aviva Canada
  • Ford Motor Company of Canada

Careers in Computer Engineering

As a graduate, you might design control systems for automated production lines, create software for digital telephone switching systems, develop an operating system for a client with specific needs, or plan and supervise the installation of computer networks.

Recent graduates

  • Software Developer, Google
  • Senior Mobile Developer, CIBC
  • Network Designer, TELUS Corporation
  • Spacecraft Operations Engineer, Canadian Space Agency
  • Hardware Engineer, Apple 
  • Software Engineer, Cisco Systems Canada
  • Engineering Manager, LinkedIn
  • IT Specialist, IBM Canada
  • Firmware Engineer, Millson

Possible professional designation

Learn more about Computer Engineering