Requirements of degree
A breakdown of courses required for your four-year undergraduate degree is below. All ECE undergraduate students take the same 12 Core Courses in first year.
- First year:
- 12 Core Courses
- Second year:
- 11 Core Courses
- 1 Design and Communication Course (Hardware or Software)
- Third & Fourth year:
- Engineering Economics & Capstone
- 4 Breadth (Kernel) courses + 4 Depth (Kernel) courses
- 3 Technical Electives + 1 Science/Math Elective + 1 Free Elective
- 4 Humanities and Social Science (HSS) Electives (up to 2 may be from Complementary Studies)
- Practical Experience Requirement (600 hours) / PEY Co-op
Courses and timetables
To see the full list of courses available to ECE undergraduates, go to the Academic Calendar, which also includes all the details pertaining to policies, procedures and fees.
Use the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering timetable to create your course schedule, which displays the day of the week, time, location and instructor for each offered course:
For elective courses from the Faculty of Arts & Science, see the relevant seasonal timetable. Make sure you schedule elective courses around your core ECE requirements.
First year and second year
Your first year of study in ECE — as with all engineering departments — is administered by the Faculty's First Year Office. You can find all the resources to make the right decisions for you as you begin your university career, including a staff dedicated to answering all your questions.
In your second year of study, you are required to choose either a Hardware or Software Design and Communication Course (PDF) in addition to your other Core Courses.
More information about your second year can be found in the slides from our 2023 Welcome Back Orientation Session (PDF).
Note: By the middle of your second year, you should turn your mind to planning your third year. ECE has a tool called Magellan (see below) that will help you find the degree path for your particular interests and passions.
Second-year workload table
The schedule for your second year is set by the department. These two workload tables — one for Fall semester and one for Winter semester — help you visualize how your Core Courses will be evaluated. It includes:
- Every lab, quiz, homework, project, test and midterm
- Due dates for all assignments
- Grade weighting
The workload tables are valuable tools to help you manage your workflow and plan ahead:
Third and fourth year
Your third year of study offers more avenues for you to explore your interests and strengths. We have in place many focus areas that you can choose to concentrate on.
In your fourth year of study, you have even further options to shape your degree, including:
Course navigation tool: ECE Iris
ECE Iris is a curriculum visualization tool that helps you see the various connections between courses within our flexible curriculum and the paths your degree may take in your third and fourth years. It's an interactive, user-friendly desktop app with course descriptions presented dynamically by focus area. (Note that the app is not configured for mobile devices.)
With ECE Iris, you can also filter your course selection by frequently cited and trending application areas in the field, including:
- Wireless / optical / future communications (5G & 6G)
- Smart grid / renewables / power electronics
- Internet-of-Things (IoT)
- Digital/analog and integrated circuit design
- Robotics / control systems
- Digital health
- Electric / autonomous / connected vehicles
- Quantum computing
- Cybersecurity / privacy / trust in networks
- Human interface technology / biomedical / photonics / displays
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence
- Big data
Introduction and Demo
Learn more about ECE Iris in this short introduction and demo video. (Read the video transcript (PDF).)
We welcome any user feedback on the tool.
Planning your degree with Magellan
What is Magellan?
Magellan is an ECE software tool that has been developed in-house. It helps you plan your program and verify CEAB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board) requirements by automatically calculating your academic units (AUs) throughout your four years. (CEAB is important should you eventually choose to register as a professional engineer.)
Generally, you first start using Magellan around December of your second year as you look to build your study plan for your third year, and then use it again to plan your final year.
You can start your Magellan planning when your profile is unlocked. The planning period runs several months before all profiles are then locked again:
- Profiles opened: mid-July
- Main Profile due and Magellan locked: January 30, 11:59 p.m.
Notes: Look for the exact date of the July opening in the ECE Undergraduate Newsletter. New second-year profiles are activated in October.
How do I select my courses with Magellan?
Magellan allows you to save up to 30 test profiles as you determine your third- and fourth-year courses. These test profiles give you an opportunity to experiment with different plans. Refer to the Magellan Manual for detailed instructions (including screenshots) as you follow these steps:
- Set up a profile on Magellan.
- Choose your ECE courses.
- Evaluate your test profiles to ensure they meet Graduation Eligibility Requirements.
- Select an evaluated profile to be your Main Profile. The ECE courses you select will be registered in ACORN for you.
- Register for your non-ECE courses (i.e., electives, APS and CSC) through ACORN when it opens in July.
Note: Magellan does not guarantee a conflict-free schedule. Please consult the Faculty's Academic Timetable.
Other helpful resources: