Engineering FAQs

Have classes been cancelled in the Faculty of Engineering?

All in-person classes will not resume this term. Instead, classes will be offered remotely (through online tools such as Brightspace) beginning Marc 23.

Classes have been paused between March 16-20 to allow instructors time to develop appropriate online course work through to the end of the semester.

Questions regarding assignments and existing projects should be directed to your instructors.

Have my labs been cancelled?

All in-person labs will not resume this semester. As the remainder of the term will be offered remotely there will be no more labs that require physical presence on campus. Instructors will provide details about remaining course requirements.

How will I complete my Capstone Project and other Build Projects?

Each program is addressing this based on the specific style of capstone project they employ. Consult your instructor and on-line course site for more details.

Will there be a Capstone Conference this year?

No, as per Provincial and Dalhousie instructions, all events through to the remainder of May have cancelled.

How will this affect my lab research?

We are working with each supervisor to develop a plan specific to their respective research teams. Consult with your thesis advisor for more details.

How will I complete my final exams?

Details on your final exams will be given in the modified course syllabus for each course on March 18.

What should I do if I am currently on a co-op work term?

Please contact your Student Development Coordinator right away of you need to end your work term early as a result of your employer’s COVID-19 measures, or if your work circumstances have changed for the remainder of your work term.

For more details and information, please read Dalhousie’s University’s response to Winter/Summer 2020 Work Terms

Will there be any on-campus activities in the Fall?

  • The focus remains on delivering high-quality online learning for the fall.
  • We are remaining hopeful that some on-campus activities may be possible to support student learning and the student experience, even if it is very limited. However, we also recognize that on campus access restrictions going forward are still uncertain. These restrictions are put in place by the Province and the University.
  • We will continue to monitor the situation and remain flexible if opportunities develop. We will provide updates should circumstances change.

Can I still withdraw from my course?

The deadline to drop winter term courses has been extended to Monday, March 30. 

You will able to drop winter term courses via Dal Online and if you have trouble withdrawing, email

Before doing so, it is important to understand what a withdrawal means in terms of your academic progress. If you are considering this as an option but are not sure of the implications to your academic progression or to graduation, we recommend you contact an academic advisor before withdrawing.

For more information and details, please read Dalhousie’s University’s policy on course withdrawals and review the Dalhousie Student Notice email from the Provost on March 18, 2020 entitled: Important information regarding withdrawing from courses.  

What is the Faculty doing this Summer to prepare for the Fall

The Faculty has a fully online summer semester in Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and in our Master of Internetworking program. We are also delivering normal summer semester courses online for students who still need specific courses in the first two years of engineering. We are incorporating lessons learned and feedback from students about the very rapid switch to remote delivery and completion in the winter. With a one-month planning window, the courses were reworked to be online from the beginning and we are exploring many online tools and pedagogies that will help inform decisions for the fall.

For the fall semester we are doing the following:

  • Since the beginning of May, instructors and program Heads have been working to design course syllabi, delivering methods and assessments specifically for the online environment.
  • Within these course designs, plans are being made for online lectures, tutorials and virtual labs as appropriate for the course. Group work and project work will also be included in specific course designs.
  • We are incorporating lessons learned and feedback from students in the winter term and monitoring closely any lessons learned from the summer term.
  • The Deans of Engineering across Canada meet weekly to discuss plans and challenges common to all institutions offering accredited Engineering degrees online and to share resources, strategies and best practices.
  • The University has developed support resources, training sessions and discussion forms for faculty and instructors to share and improve online course delivery.
  • The University is implementing a limited back-to-campus strategy that will include access to teaching labs and properly equipped classrooms to allow instructors to develop online lectures and virtual labs/learning experiences.
  • Software needs for the online environment have been identified and solutions are being developed to permit students access to the necessary tools to complete their learning outcomes

What Support Services will be available for Students in the Fall?

  •  The Melda Murray Student Centre (MMSC) ( supports Sexton Campus students, both online and offline. It connects students to broader university supports, facilitates programming to enhance student experience, and supports students with the development of their career materials. The MMSC is currently operating through an online Brightspace community to continue to meet students’ needs. It will continue to develop more online programming for the fall and will work closely with other Dalhousie support services to ensure that students can connect with those services.
  • If you are a student who would like to be enrolled in the MMSC Brightspace community, please email
  • The University has a wide range of student support services which are functioning in an online mode at the present (including, mental health, financial assistance, academic advising, international student support and the Registrar's Office). In addition, the Sexton (Engineering) campus has support people (like Student Engagement Specialists as well as various administration unit staff) who are up and running online to assist you.

Will there be student society activities in the Fall?

Our Engineering student clubs and societies continue to be active and are looking to engage students online. Please visit their websites for more details. The Faculty will work with these groups to continue to support activities in whatever modified format may be possible throughout the Fall and Winter terms.

Dalhousie Undergraduate Engineering Society (

Dalhousie Diploma of Engineering Society (DES) (

Engineering Design Teams and Clubs (

Will Graduate programs be delivered online in the Fall?

  • As with undergraduate programs, graduate courses will focus on online delivery.
  • Thesis research activities may be possible in research labs for a limited number of students subjected to strict University guidelines and approvals (


Dalhousie Grading Choices for Winter 2020

When can I request to change to a PASS/ILL designation?

You may discuss your options with an advisor after all your individual grades have been posted. Formal request for changes will begin in Engineering on April 27.

Do I have to score a minimum GPA to make the choice?

No, students do not need any permission to choose the PASS or ILL grades, but they are required to seek academic guidance if they are going to elect either of these options.

If I am happy with my Letter Grades, do I have to do anything?

No, the Letter Grades that were awarded are the grades you keep unless you make a specific request to choose PASS or ILL as appropriate.

How long do I have to decide?

For potential graduates, the target date is May 8th. For other students, the decisions should be made by June 1. We will exercise flexibility in individual cases should it be required due to problems in completing the assessments as scheduled.

How do I initiate the change request?

An online process is being developed, we will update you soon.

Where can I get help making this decision?

The Faculty has a team of advisors to help you with the implications of this choice.  The Bissett Centre can also provide advising.

If I choose to replace my F with an ILL, can I redo the final assessment?

No, if you choose the ILL designation, it is final, there is no “make-up” exam.

If I am sick or need compassionate help during my final assessment, do I get to attempt that assessment at a later date?

Yes, you are permitted to attempt the assessment after your situation has improved (normally within six weeks) and when the grade is released you then get to exercise your PASS/ILL grade choice. If you are sick and are unable to attend a final assessment, report this to the Associate Dean’s Office through the regular Student Absence policy (

If I am given the grade of FM (marginal fail) can I attempt a supplemental assessment?

Yes, the FM grade qualifies you for one supplemental exam per term as long as you are not academically dismissed.

Can I choose a PASS/ILL grade on some of my courses and choose the Letter Grades in others?

Yes, the choice is distinct for each course.

Is there any reason to not take the PASS/ILL option?

If you are interested in Medical School or Graduate School a Letter Grade may convey more information about you than a simple PASS grade. Generally, schools across the world will recognise the unique circumstance associated with the Winter of 2020. Also, having more courses with Letter Grades on your transcript makes your cumulative GPA more robust to future grade variations.

Do the PASS or ILL grades count in the calculation of my GPA?

No, PASS and ILL grades are not included in the calculation of term or cumulative GPA.

Example: If you have four three-credit-courses A- (3.7), B+(3.3) B(3.0) and B-(2.7) your GPA calculates as 3.18 (average of 3.7,3.3,3.0,2.7); If you choose to replace the B- with a PASS then your GPA calculates as 3.33 (average of 3.7,3.3,3.0). Go to the Dal GPA calculator for additional help calculating your GPA.

In Engineering how is my Discipline choice ranking determined?

Your EGPA is calculated using all of the Letter Grades selected from courses that count towards the Engineering degree.

Will my Scholarship or Dean’s List standing be affected if I choose the PASS/ILL option?

In order to obtain the Sexton Scholar designation, you must have at least four Letter Grades and a Term GPA above 3.85.  In order to obtain the Dean’s List designation, you must have at least four Letter Grades and a Term GPA above 3.70.

Can I make a different choice than my group partners in a course where the grade is determined entirely by group deliverables?

Yes, The Letter Grade is awarded first and then the option is exercised.

If I choose the ILL grade to replace an F, do I have to repeat the course if it is a required course for my program?

Yes, ILL indicates that you did not successfully complete the course.

I am a First Year Student awaiting discipline placement, what should I do?

Students should visit the Engineering Discipline Choice Application to list their program preferences if they have not yet done so.

Discipline placement will continue to require the successful completion of seven or more courses with an EGPA (GPA calculated from required engineering courses) of 2.0 or greater.

·       Students who have elected a PASS designation will be given credit for the course, but it will not be used in the calculation of the EGPA*.

·       Students who have elected an ILL designation will not be given credit for that course and as long as they have successfully completed seven or more courses with an EGPA of 2.0 or greater, will still be eligible for placement. The ILL grade will not be used as part of the EGPA calculation.

·       Every attempt will be made to give students achieving an EGPA of 3.3 or higher their choice of discipline (While this GPA level has been used for many years, we are starting to get close to some of the programs being full at a 3.3 level. If the PASS/ILL option results in a number of higher GPAs and demand remains strong for the most popular programs, we may not be able to hold that line).

I am a Year Two Student awaiting admission into Dalhousie Third Year; how will Grade options affect me?

In order to be admitted to the third year of a Dalhousie Engineering Program, students must:

  • Have successfully completed all lower division courses (with Letter Grade or PASS grade)
  • Have an EGPA of 2.0 or greater (PASS grades will not be used in the calculation).
  •  If a student has chosen to take the ILL designation or has an F grade in one or more of the required courses, they will not be eligible for admission.

I am a Year Two Student awaiting admission into Dalhousie Third Year; how will Grade options affect me?

In order to be admitted to the third year of a Dalhousie Engineering Program, students must:

·       Have successfully completed all lower division courses (with Letter Grade or PASS grade)

·       Have an EGPA of 2.0 or greater (PASS grades will not be used in the calculation).

·       If a student has chosen to take the ILL designation or has an F grade in one or more of the required courses, they will not be eligible for admission.