PD20: Engineering Workplace Skills I: Developing Reasoned Conclusions

PD20: Engineering Workplace Skills I: Developing Reasoned Conclusions helps students develop the critical thinking and communication skills they need to succeed as engineers. Is it acceptable to admit you don’t know anything about a problem or a question? How do you collect information and confirm its legitimacy? Is there a difference between public and private morality? Students who take PD20 answer these questions and begin their professional development journey.

What do PD20 students do?

  • Identify biases and real-world examples of errors in reasoning
  • Evaluate the soundness of different kinds of arguments
  • Reflect on their personal ethics and workplace communication style

If you've completed PD20 and want to feature the course on your résumé, you're welcome to use and adapt the following bullet points in a "Professional Development" or "Relevant Courses" section:

  • Developed an appreciation for recognizing gaps in knowledge and how to rectify them through self-assessment
  • Learned research frameworks to find and evaluate sources of information
  • Identified different cognitive biases in order to maintain objectivity in decision making
  • Evaluated arguments by analyzing premises, conclusions, and counter-examples

How are PD20 students graded?

PD20 students complete a series of quizzes and tests over the course of the term. To pass the course, students must earn an overall grade of 60% or higher. Students can deepen their learning by completing a bonus assessment worth 5% during the term.

If you have a question about grading in PD20, contact the course team using the information in the sidebar.


PD20’s instructor is Dr. Greg Andres, a lecturer in the department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo.


PD20 is offered every term.

Enrolment information

PD20 is the first compulsory PD course taken by students in Engineering. Students are enrolled automatically and complete the course during their first work term.

Students in Engineering complete PD21 next.

Contact information

Course team: pd20@uwaterloo.ca

ISC: Murray Zink mrzink@uwaterloo.ca