Welcome to McMaster Engineering! If you are going into your first year in either the Bachelor Technology, Computer Science, Engineering 1 or I-BioMed Programs, you are one of us. When we talk about engineering students, we are referring to all of those programs as they are all a part of the Faculty of Engineering.
The McMaster Engineering Society’s (MES) members are all of McMaster’s full time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering. The MES advocates its members concerns to the faculty of engineering, provides academic support, professional development opportunities, social events and more. If you are interested in learning more about us, we encourage you to explore our website and to checkout our story, how to get involved, and our clubs & teams.
You can also checkout our general video for the Faculty of Engineering so you can quickly get to know some people who want to welcome you home. We also have a general FAQ, a schedule for Welcome Week and a list of suggested gear to bring so that you can hit the ground running!
I have a learning disability, physical disability, mental illness, or I’m having a particularly bad week for my own well being. Is there someone I should talk to so that I can receive the accommodations that I need?
Should you require accommodations, we recommend that you contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS). You can find out more about SAS at sas.mcmaster.ca. In addition, The Student Wellness Center is another great resource for helping with any physical or emotional challenges you might be facing as you come to McMaster.
When/Where should I buy textbooks?
Before you purchase a textbook, we strongly recommend that you go to all of your classes at least once so you can know if past textbooks can be used, or if you need the physical copy of the book. If past textbooks can be used, you can often buy used textbooks from upper-year students for a fraction of the price of a new book. We even have the Textbook Swap during ENG101 Week, an event specifically to help you find upper-year students looking to sell their textbooks to you. If a course does require a new copy of the book, you can buy it from the McMaster Campus Store.
I have heard there is a programming course, but I have no programming experience. Will I survive?
In short, yes. Whether you are entering ENG1, Computer Science, BTech, or iBio this year, your respective programming courses introduce you to programming concepts from the ground up. This even goes as far as including the process of downloading the programs needed to start coding.
What programming language will we use?
If you are going into ENG1 or iBio, you will be learning Python in ENG 1D04 (Engineering Computation) or IBEHS 1P10 (Health Solutions Design Projects I). If you are going into Computer Science, you will primarily be learning Python in first year with a little bit of Bash scripting and Haskell. Finally, for those of you entering BTech, you will all learn C++ in ENGTECH 1CP3 (C++ Programming); BTech students in automotive or in automation will also learn Visual Basic in second semester.
What kind of computer do I need?
You can complete any of the engineering programs with either a Mac or a PC computer. All programming languages used by BTech, Computer Science, iBio, and ENG1 students are compatible with both Macs and PCs. If you are going into ENG1, you will be using a program for 3D modelling called Autodesk Inventor. Inventor only runs on PC, however you can get around this through using campus computers, dual booting a Mac, or running a virtual box on a Mac or Linux machine. Do not worry too much about getting a top-of-the-line computer. Getting a mid-range laptop which you are comfortable with will see you through just fine.
Can I transfer between engineering programs once I am at McMaster?
Technically, yes you can, however the process of transitioning between programs (e.g. BTech to Engineering, or IBEHS to Computer Science) has limited spots, and it is almost always very competitive. Transferring programs may also involve extending your degree, as the programs have differing course requirements.
I am going into iBiomed, Computer Science, or BTech, not Engineering; does the McMaster Engineering Society represent me?
Yes! The McMaster Engineering Society (MES) represents everyone within the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster. That includes all of the programs listed above, as well students in the Engineering program. Each of these programs also have societies to represent their own specific interests, however the MES oversees all of this, and provides support and services for these students just as much as those in the Engineering program.
Should I review anything before I start school?
Although reviewing content never hurts, we honestly think you should take time to relax. Learn some cooking skills, hangout with your high school friends, and just get excited to come and join the family!
The MES is so excited to have you join our family that we can’t limit ourselves to just Welcome Week. For that reason, we will be running Eng101 Week throughout the first week of school from September 4th – 7th. Eng101 is designed for you to get comfortable with your life as a student in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster.
The Hatch Centre is the new student building specifically for the Faculty of Engineering. Come learn about the services that the Hatch Centre has to offer, such as the Lounge and the Drain swag shop. Tour through the student workshop, and get connected with the different clubs and teams that are affiliated with the MES. You can also learn about some key resources available to you, including the Co-op and Careers office and the Academic Advisors office.
De-stressor Night (September 5th, 7 – 10pm)
Part of succeeding as a student includes knowing how to relax. As you near the end of your first week in university, join in on our two events specifically designed to help you relax. Come out to Frosh Pub where you can hang out with friends and upper year students, and dance the night away! Or if you prefer, you can come out to Movie Night, and enjoy a quiet evening. Either way, learning to relax will serve you well as you conquer first year.
MES Textbook Swap (September 6th, 5 – 7pm)
Do you want to get all your textbooks, but don’t want to pay top dollar for them? If so, this is the event for you. Haggle with upper year students to your heart’s content to get the best prices that you need for first year.
Academic Flush (September 7th, 2:30 – 5:30pm)
At this point you will have completed your first week as an undergrad. To celebrate, come hang out with upper year students, play board games, eat free food, and get into the weekend spirit!