Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What type of student succeeds in engineering?

The enthusiastic, dedicated student with good math skills, an appreciation for the physical sciences, and a good work ethic is mostly likely to succeed.

What types of engineering programs are available at Dalhousie?

Programs are offered in Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial, Mechanical, and Mineral Resource. Within these programs, it is also possible to further specialize in Biomedical, Computer, Water Resources, Petroleum, Mining, Manufacturing, Ergonomics, Materials, Electronics, Power Systems, Infrastructure, Operations and other areas.

Are your programs accredited?

All Dalhousie Engineering programs are accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

When do I have to apply for my program, and are there any restrictions?

In the winter term of their first year, students apply to their programs of choice. Those with an engineering Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher are guaranteed their first choice of program. The remaining students are ranked by first year GPA, and in this order are given their best choice until a particular program is full.

If I am not sure which area of engineering to choose, is help available?

Each year there are lectures, seminars and open house activities where first-year students can see what type of work each engineering program involves. Students also have the opportunity to visit and speak to faculty and students within the various programs.

How large are the classes in engineering?

First year classes can be as large as 400 students in the lectures but are subdivided into smaller groups of no more than 60 for tutorials or labs. In later years, class size will depend on the program of choice and may vary from 10 to 120 students. Most classes average 30-40 students.

How long is the engineering degree program at Dalhousie?

The BEng program is eight or nine academic terms (depending on discipline), plus three optional co-op work terms: a four-year program without Co-op, and a five-year program with Co-op.

Do I need a computer?

Yes – every engineering student needs a computer, preferably a laptop. Buy the most RAM and fastest CPU you can afford. You can choose the operating system you are most comfortable with (Windows, Mac OS or Linux). The engineering design software works only on Windows, but you will be given a MS Windows license to install on your computer. You will also have MS Office and other development software for your computer. In general, we provide licenses for most of the software you will need in your engineering program.

When does Co-op start?

Students apply to the Co-op program in December or April of their second year (dependig on discipline). The first work term may begin in September, January or May of the third year, depending on the program. 

How do I qualify to do Co-op?

Students must achieve an engineering GPA of 2.3 and complete all required courses in their first two years of studies to be admitted to Co-op, and must maintain a 2.3 CGPA to continue in the Co-op program. 

Does everyone get a co-op job?

Historically, there have been more co-op jobs available than students to fill them. Your success will depend on your grades, experience, ability to sell yourself, and willingness to relocate. The Co-op office provides training in résumé writing and interview skills. Because co-op jobs are secured through a competitive process, however, the university cannot guarantee a co-op position for every student.

How much can I earn through co-op?

Pay scales vary by discipline and may increase as the student progresses through the three work terms. In 2014, the average weekly salary was approximately $840 per week for a 14-16 week term. The SITE Co-op office can provide more information.

What is the starting salary for an engineering graduate?

Every three years, Engineering Nova Scotia participates in an Atlantic Canada (NS, PEI, NB, NL) wide engineering survey

The average salary for an Engineering in Training (first four years of employment) in Nova Scotia in 2015 was $59,550. The range from lower to upper quartile was $55,000 to $65,000. Program choice, industry and job location can all influence potential salary. 


Is financial support available for engineering students?

Yes. In addition to the general Dalhousie University scholarships and bursaries, there are many scholarships and bursaries exclusively for engineering students. All engineering students entering third year with a cumulative engineering GPA above 3.85 will receive a scholarship if they apply.

Are there Graduate Engineering programs?

Yes, see the Graduate Studies FAQ on the Dalhousie Faculty of Engineering web site.

Who should I contact if I have more questions about Undergraduate Engineering programs?

Dr. George Jarjoura, 
Director, Core Engineering Program

Associate Dean's Office