Systems Design Engineering

Get creative. And still get an engineering degree.

A Systems Design Engineering student at the University of Waterloo.

Cross boundaries. Connect the dots. Look at the bigger picture. Systems Design is designed for people who want the rigour of an engineering degree plus the flexibility to explore topics outside traditional engineering disciplines.

You’ll examine the people, materials, tools, software, and other factors involved in any engineering problem. You’ll learn to look at the system as a whole and assess how one change will affect another element, using a variety of modelling, analysis, and design methods.

Our project-based approach gives you lots of opportunity to apply your learning to real problems. Plus you’ll get two full years of work experience through our co-op program.

Once you graduate, your options are wide open: our grads go on to engineering consulting, project management, graduate school, medical school, startups, and more. 

Program highlights

  • Unlimited innovation opportunities. Use a “big picture” approach to solve problems. Our grads go on to engineering consulting, project management, graduate school, medical school, start-ups, and more.

  • Multi-directional engineering. Learn fundamentals in electrical, mechanical, and software engineering with an overarching focus on engineering design and systems-driven thinking. Choose from 300 different electives to gain a well-rounded experience!



Why Waterloo Engineering?

With its renowned co-op program and a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem, Waterloo Engineering is one of the world’s top engineering schools. You'll have access to emerging technologies, innovative professors, and world-class facilities.


What will you learn?

During your first year, you'll take foundational courses in Systems Design Engineering exploring subjects like communication in system design, digital computation, and physics.

Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Systems Design Engineering degree.


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Systems Design Engineering admission requirements

Ontario students: six 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 high 80s to low 90s.

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.