Want opinion on a Canadian university for an engineering programme

7 replies
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Hello Fellow Warriors,

My son is getting ready for admission to a Canadian University and want some opinion on a couple of universities which I feel might offer admission to him in Civil / Mechanical engineering stream(s):

They are:

1) Carleton University
2) Ryerson University
3) University of Windsor

Comments, guidance, opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Profile picture of the author GeorgettaSterling
    As far as Engineering schools go, from your list only Carleton (University of Ottawa) would be considered "top rated" (e.g. in the top 10 or so) as far as I know. I didn't even know that the U of Windsor HAD an engineering school.

    On the other hand, thanks to Canada-wide engineering school accreditation organizations, any accredited engineering school would offer a decent program that meets minimum requirements. The organization to check with is the "Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board" (CEAB). I believe that both Carleton and Ryerson have accredited Mechanical Engineering programs - I don't know about U Windsor.

    I got my engineering degrees from the University of Alberta (U of A), which is definitely a "top 10" engineering school and was very, very tough when I went there. Other top engineering schools would include U of T, McGill, Waterloo, UBC, Queens, Western and McMaster.

    If your son wants to stay with Ontario-based Universities, U of T, Waterloo, Queens, Western and McMaster are all in Ontario, just like Carleton. Obviously UBC is in Vancouver, BC and U of Alberta is in Edmonton, Alberta. McGill is in Montreal, Quebec (fantastic place to visit!).

    I guess I am saying:
    1. if it is a choice of those three schools, I would pick Carleton, which has a very good reputation and is definitely a top 10 engineering school in Canada.

    2. if your son must go to school in Ontario, U of T and Waterloo are also top rated schools there (higher than Carleton and maybe even my U of A). The others I listed are also good choices.

    3. if your son has all of Canada as a choice, then UBC is very strong and in a pretty location. U of A is in a relatively affordable city, is also a very strong University (particularly for Civil and Mechanical) and is a good place, but of course I am a little biased there.

    Hope that helps a bit? Good luck to you and your son!

    Best Regards, Georgetta
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    The Carleton engineering graduates I know all have good jobs in their respective fields. Ottawa is a nice city.

    Project HERE.

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  • Profile picture of the author Rajul kaushik
    Thank you, Georgetta. That was quite a comprehensive feedback.
    Thank you too, Thunderbird.

    The challenge on hand is that my son goes to a British curriculum school ( Cambridge ) and for students from this stream need to have passed year 13 in order to get into Waterloo, Alberta, BC, McGill, UoT etc.

    However, there are engineering colleges / universities which have relaxed norm for admission ( Carleton, Windsor and Ryerson and some more ) whereby year 12 also is accepted if the predicted grades are good.

    The idea is to save a year and pick up an admission/seat. Thereafter, he can perform and expect a transfer to a better university. However to start with, I want that he goes to a better college and therefore I raised a query above.

    While Carleton is better, Windsor is good: their center for engineering innovation is coming up well and I have checked Macleans, CEAB tc and found that Windsor is doing well.

    I am also a foreigner who pays almost 4 times the fee that a local Canadian pays and therefore I am looking at my pocket too. McGil, BC etc are way to expensive when compared to Carleton and Windsor. So all in all I have boiled down my options to these 2. While he's got acceptance from UoW, Carleton's communique is expected soon.

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  • Profile picture of the author Virtualghost
    A thing to note here in Ontario we have no year 13 like before instead 9-12 is taken with university or college level subjects.Also you'll probably want to consider the residence factors and their cost as off campus in Waterloo would be cheaper then Ottawa.
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    • Profile picture of the author GeorgettaSterling
      @Rajul kaushik,

      The U of A certainly didn't have any requirements for Grade 13 when I went there, since High School in Alberta only goes to Grade 12, but then the rules for foreign students are likely different (and yes, that is unfair). Remember too that these schools are vastly oversubscribed, so they can afford to be choosy.

      As for saving time, I would STRONGLY urge you NOT to consider transferring from one University to another (at least at the undergrad level). At least two things drive my thinking on this:

      1. In engineering, your son will start in a "first year" (unspecialized) program. All the Engineering Schools at all the Universities I am familiar with are set up that way. Of course, the different schools will teach similar/common materials in their various first-year programs. However, EACH university organizes their courses differently. When you transfer, credit is assigned on a COURSE basis (not year basis). So, if your son went to UWindsor and then tried to transfer to, say, Waterloo, Waterloo wouldn't necessarily give him credit for all his courses because they aren't organized the same. This would put your son BEHIND going into second year (probably his specialization year), having to try to pick up extra courses. Most second year courses have first year courses as prerequisites, so he would be out of step. Scheduling becomes nearly impossible, without adding semesters. It is the same thing that happens to first year students that fail a first year course. By the way, even within the same Engineering School, each department will have different requirements, making transfer from one department to another difficult - it requires students to take more courses even if they have already taken a similar course.

      2. Nearly all "top" engineering schools here have a quota system going into the specializations (e.g. from the general first year to Mechanical, Civil, Chemical etc.). It is a competition as to which specialization you get into, based on grades. Transferring from another University would almost undoubtedly put your son at the bottom of the quota list (is a 3.8 GPA from Windsor going to mean as much to Waterloo as getting a 3.8 FROM WATERLOO?). And Mechanical Engineering is a very popular choice, so the competition to get into that specialization is fierce.

      I already expressed my biases in my last post, but I would strongly vote Carleton, and STAYING THERE until he finishes his Bachelors degree. If you like Windsor better, then your son should plan on staying there until done, too.

      Note that only applies for the undergrad programs. Graduate school is a whole other discussion! Best of luck to you and your son.

      Best Regards, Georgetta
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      • Profile picture of the author PradeepSingh

        I want to apply for*M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at Carleton University. Can anyone suggest me that is it a good choice?*or should I go for uOttawa*for the same program?

        What is the reputation of Carleton University's Engineering department?
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Originally Posted by PradeepSingh View Post


          I want to apply for*M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at Carleton University. Can anyone suggest me that is it a good choice?*or should I go for uOttawa*for the same program?

          What is the reputation of Carleton University's Engineering department?
          If you would have posted in 2011 you could have already graduated.
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