New Students

Are you new to McMaster Engineering?  We are so pleased to welcome you to our place of study and play.  We aim to make your time here at McMaster exciting and engaging as well as help you out whenever you need it. Be sure to read the page below and learn about all the services the MES offers as well as some quick tips and tricks to get you through your degree.

Welcome Week 2017

Below you’ll find an overview of some of the events planned for Engineering Welcome Week 2017 that you can look forward to! To see the full calendar with all the events click here.

Want to stay up-to-date with all the engineering events during Welcome Week? Click here to get notifications sent to your devices

Life at McMaster

First Year Classes

Interested in learning more about first year classes at McMaster? Check out course descriptions and requirements on the Faculty of Engineering’s page

McMaster Engineering Society

To find out more about what the McMaster Engineering Society (MES) does for its students, please check out the Services tab!

Key things to check out include the following pages:

Get Involved with the MES

On the MES Council, there will be 5 positions for first year representatives. Three of these positions will be reserved for Engineering 1 students, 1 spot for Computer Science 1 Students, and 1 spot for a Bachelor of Technology 1 student. There will also be one spot available for an iBiomed student.  Nominations and elections will be happening in later September. Contact if you are interested! There are also various MES Committees which anyone can join, contact the person in charge if you are interested in joining!

Advertising Committee
Advertising Coordinator – Riya Suthar

First Year Club
AVP Clubs & Sponsorship – Gabriel Marais

Kipling Committee
Kipling Coordinators – Katya Lemos & Amy Gullins

Social Committee
AVP Events – Keeran Sivaneesan

Sports Committee
Director of Sport – Aisha Isiaka

Master Engineering Competition Committee
MEC Coordinator – Daniel Catalano

Culture Committee
Culture Coordinators – David Hobson & Linford Rodrigues

Professional Development Committee
PDC Coordinators – Julian Simoenov & Desmond Kennedy

Wellness Committee
Wellness Coordinators – Menatella Ibrahim & Sirak Haile


By choosing to pursue Engineering at McMaster University, you have made a fantastic choice that will introduce you to a great community of people while giving you a world class education. If you have some questions, worry not! We have compiled some the most common questions we get from students. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact our VP Academic, at

Q: Who should I talk to regarding course and program selection?

A: This would be handled by your academic advisor. They are in JHE H301 where you can book appointments with them. Don’t know who your advisor is? Follow this link to find out!

Q: How do I know if I should go to my academic advisor or someone else for help at school?

A: Generally, your academic advisor can help you deal with a lot of decision making, but they tend to deal with mostly academic concerns. If you are experiencing any personal issues or health issues, be sure to visit the Student Wellness Centre in the basement of the Student Centre.

Q: What type of laptop should I get for engineering?

A: This is a difficult question to answer as there are many different factors to consider. A good rule is to find a laptop which will allow you to run the necessary programs for first year. The system requirements for Autodesk Inventor 2016 (one of the more intensive programs) are:

Operating System Recommended:
64-bit Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1 ¹

64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1
CPU TypeRecommended:
Intel® Xeon® E3 or Core i7 or equivalent, 3.0 GHz or greater
64-bit Intel® or AMD, 2 GHz or faster

16 GB RAM ³ or more
8 GB RAM for less than 500 part assemblies

Disk SpaceRecommended:
250 GB free disk space or more
Microsoft® Direct3D 11® capable graphics card or higher ⁴

With that being said, it is not mandatory to have your own computer for engineering. There are plenty of computer labs on campus where you can complete all of your assignments!

Q: Help! I just failed a midterm! What do I do?

A: Step 1: Take a deep breath.

Failing a midterm is not the end of the world and there are a few ways to look at the situation. You should always be sure to take it as a learning experience and try to find out where things went wrong; did you study enough? Were you distracted the day of the test? Did you do all of the assigned readings and problems? Furthermore, if you feel that your test may have been graded incorrectly, you can always talk to your professor or TA and ask to see your test. They may have missed a mark or two somewhere, but it will at least help you to see where you went wrong and help you prepare for the final!

Q: How do I get extra help in a course?

A: There a few options when it comes to getting extra help. You can go to your professors office hours to ask for help (don’t worry, they are actually real people who like to help students out; especially those who actively seek it), you can ask your friends, or you can get a tutor at an extremely affordable rate through the Student Academic Assistance Program!

Q: Who do I talk to if I am interested in assisting professors with research?

A: Talk to the professor! Believe it or not, first year students are even able to secure research positions with professors. The only way to really know if it would be possible for you to work with a professors is to talk to them!

Q: What is the cut off average for the various second year programs?

A: This question will get asked a lot, but the truest answer is that it varies with every year depending on the demand of each program. For example, Civil and Management can be very popular one year, but the following year not as many people may want that program and therefore it will be easier to get into. At the end of the day all that you can really do is try your best in first year to help your chances of getting your first choice for second year.