Anything to do with your program and courses (e.g. academic advisor).

Academic Calendar

Lists of all courses you complete to graduate from your program.

Academic Session

Summer, Fall and Winter terms together for one academic year.

Academic Transcript

The listing of your courses, including unit weight, grades, and GPA.

Area of Specialization/Stream

A suggested grouping of courses leading to a particular specialty.


Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

Course Length

Most Engineering courses are 12 weeks (one term) long - called Fall term (F) courses or Winter term (W) courses. A few of your courses run through both Fall and Winter terms (FW). Some courses are offered in the spring/summer terms (S).

Course Weight

Each course is assigned units reflecting the weight of the course (this corresponds approximately to the number of contact hours per week).

  • Most Term-length Fall (F) or Winter (W) Engineering courses are 3.0 - 4.5 units.
  • Courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science are typically 3 units (one term) or 6 units (Fall/Winter).

Course Types in Engineering:

  • Core Courses: These are courses you must take and pass in order to complete your degree requirements (you don't choose these - they are required in your academic program - e.g. all of your first year courses are core).
  • Technical elective courses: Engineering upper-year courses you can choose.
  • Complementary studies courses: Three courses (9 units) chosen from Humanities, Social Sciences, Languages, Management, Economics etc (done in upper years).

Course Numbering

  • The four-letter prefix denotes the type of course
    • APSC: Course common to all programs. All first-year courses are designated APSC.
    • All others denote the course type (e.g. CHEE = Chem Eng, MECH = Mech Eng, MTHE = Math, ENPH = Eng Phys)
  • The three-digit number indicates the level of the course:
    • 100-level = first year
    • 200-level = second year, etc.

Course Structure

In Engineering, most courses consist of three 50-minute lecture periods per week and one 50-minute tutorial (class problem solving session). Some courses also contain lab components, studios, active learning sessions etc.

Discipline (Program or Plan)

The specific engineering program a student chooses after first year (e.g., chemical, electrical, engineering physics).

Engineering Design and Practice Sequence (EDPS)

The CEAB requires that engineering students gain knowledge and skills in many different areas of design and professional practice. In order to achieve this, Smith Engineering students are required to complete an EDPS course every year. In first year, this course is APSC101/103, in second year APSC200. In third and fourth year, these courses have program-specific course numbers. These courses will teach you the elements of design as well as professional skills, such as teamwork, problem solving, and communication.


The sub-discipline or sub-plan within the program. The program/option combination is accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

Plan (also called your program or discipline)

SOLUS refers to the type of engineering (e.g. MECH, CHEE) as your plan. Traditionally, we have called this a program, but SOLUS uses the term "plan." For our purposes, the term "program" will be used.

Sub-Plan (also called option)

A specialty within your program - some programs have them (e.g. MECH - General, BioMech, Materials); others don't (e.g. CIVL).


The Queen's student admin system is your source for schedules, course selection (for upper years in Engineering), fee status, contact info, etc. See the Guide to Registration and Fees on the Registrar's website for tutorials on how to use SOLUS.


Course syllabus is an important source of information. It will be given out or posted by the professor at the beginning of each course. It may contain information about assignment deadlines, test dates, evaluation scheme, etc.