What to Expect

First Year Engineering at the University of Windsor consists of about 50-60 hours per week. This includes the following:

  • Attending lectures, labs and tutorials
  • Reading your textbooks
  • Preparing for assignments and quizzes

You will also find yourself participating in labs and writing reports on the results of your lab work. Some courses will require longer papers or essays and you will have midterms. Your first year of study is common in order to give you an introduction to the general engineering principles. It also allows you to investigate special fields of interest for subsequent years of study.

Non-technical electives

In general if you select the non-technical electives (NTEs) from the approved NTE list in the calendar, you do not need departmental approval. However, it is best to check with your department head as you may need to have some other requirements.

Alternative non-technical electives

If you are interested in a NTE that is not on the approved list, you must do the following:

  • Explain to your department head in writing why you believe taking this course will help you in your future career as an Engineer.
  • If your department head approves your request, the request will be sent down to the associate dean’s office for approval and an exception will be made to have the course credited toward your degree.

Ways to declare/change my program in engineering

To declare your program, you have two methods.

  • Submit a Change of Program request on UWinsite Student. Information and instructions are found at ask.uwindsor.ca
  • Send an email to the Secretary to the Associate Dean Academic at engadmin@uwindsor.ca requesting the change

However, if you have some questions about what you think might be the best and most suitable program for you, then it is suggested to make an appointment with an undergraduate program advisor or the Department Head of the program you are interested in. You can also meet with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to discuss our programs.

Computer Recommendations

As a student in Engineering at the University of Windsor, you have access to multiple computer labs equipped with the software required to complete your degree. 

You will not be expected to install Engineering software onto your personal computer, though some students find it convenient to have their own system to use.

The minimum computer recommendation is one with an i5 Processor, 1920x1080 display, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD.  Example (August 2022): Lenovo ThinkBook 13s, i5-1240P, 2560 x 1600 display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD - $1312 (https://www.lenovo.com/ca/en/p/laptops/thinkbook/thinkbook-series/thinkbook-13s-gen-4-(13-inch-intel)/21ar0025us)

The recommended computer configuration is one with an i7 Processor, 1920x1080 display, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD with discrete graphics. Example (August 2022): Dell G15 Gaming Laptop, i7-12700H, 1920 x 1080 display, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti - $1900 (https://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/gaming-laptops/g15-gaming-laptop/spd/g-series-15-5520-laptop/ng155520_h17e

There are many manufacturers that have laptops that can meet these specifications. We recommend that you get one from Dell, Lenovo or Microsoft and purchase a 3 year warranty when you get the laptop. Your Internet speed should be 15 Mbps or greater. If you share your internet connection with other students, you may need more than 15 Mbps. You will want an unlimited usage plan if it’s available to you.

Program intakes

First-year engineering courses have two starts, fall and winter.





  September to December (Fall Term)  

  January to April (Winter Term)


  January to April (Winter Term)

  May to August (Summer/Intercession Term)  

Attention January/Winter start students: Summer/Intersession courses are vital to your second year education. Because you started in January, your second semester will be in the summer from May to August.  This way, you will have completed your first year Engineering by the end of August and then you can start your second year with the rest of the engineering students who normally start in the fall.  If our Faculty did not do this, then it would be very difficult for you to complete your degree in the usual four and a half years as the rest of the students. 

If you, as a January start student, must be absent for the summer then you can take the second semester (Term 2) of first year during the following January semester with the new incoming students.  Doing so however, will put you behind schedule. You should speak to the Associate Dean Academic or Assistant Dean Student Affairs for counselling on this matter.

Making an appointment to see the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, WINONE

You can book an appointment through WINONE's online booking system or contact the WINONE Office Secretary by phone, email or in person. 

519-253-3000 ext. 2560​
Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation, Room 1160

Double minor policy

A student can enroll in as many minors as s/he wishes in accordance with the following:

  • Courses completed to fulfil the major requirements cannot be counted toward a minor, but courses completed for other and option requirements under the major degree can be used to fulfil the minor requirements.
  • Courses offered by the Faculty of Engineering constitute major requirements for engineering students.
  • Courses counted toward a minor cannot be counted toward a second [or other] minor.

Working while working toward your degree 

You are allowed up to eight years to complete your degree. Thus, it would take some planning and thinking ahead on your part, but you could structure your own education to integrate work and school beyond the normal time most of our students complete their degree and take slightly fewer courses per term. This might allow you to work part-time for the duration of your degree.

Although some courses are offered in the evenings, it is not possible to complete an engineering degree at UWindsor during the evenings alone.


First-Year Handbook 


Office for First Year Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, University of Windsor
Room 1160, Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation
519-253-3000, Ext. 2560