Frequently Asked Questions for Undergraduate Students
1. Course Requirements
For a given course, a prerequisite is a lower-level course that you must pass before taking the given course.
No. You must pass the prerequisite of a given course before taking the course.
No. You must pass the prerequisite of a given course before taking the course.
A corequisite is a course that is either passed in advance or taken simultaneously with the given course.
No. Please note that prerequisite and corequisite requirements ensure that students have the necessary background courses and knowledge from the preceding or concurrent semesters. The program accreditation demands that these requirements are strictly adhered to.
Congratulations! As a first step, please activate your Toronto Metropolitan University email account. You must use this account to communicate electronically with the university's faculty or staff.
Next, it is strongly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the curriculum provided in the Chemical Engineering Co-Operative Program calendar.
As a first-year student, you will be automatically enrolled in the required first-year courses. You can view them online via MyServiceHub after logging into your my.Torontomu account from early August.
You must, however, enrol in elective courses on your own. Please visit the Course Enrolment page to enrol in those courses and get further information.
You can get this information from your Advisement Report. It will show all courses you have taken, are enrolled in, or need to complete for you to graduate. Note that the courses in this report’s “non-applicable” section do not count towards your graduation requirements.
While the courses in the “non-applicable” section of the Advisement Report do not automatically count toward your graduation requirements, some may be eligible for credit. To apply for credit for these courses, fill out the (PDF file) Undergraduate Degree Course Exception (Substitution/Directive) Form and follow the instructions therein.
Please visit the Undergraduate Chemical Engineering program calendar, and plan according to the section Full-Time, Five-Year Co-Op Program, keeping in mind the following:
- A program course is offered in a specific semester as specified in the calendar.
- All odd-numbered semesters are offered in Fall, except the fifth semester, which is offered in Winter.
- All even-numbered semesters are offered in Winter, except the sixth semester, which is offered in Fall.
- All first and second-year courses must be successfully completed to be eligible to begin the co-op placements.
- Students can take a given course only if they satisfy the requirements of any prerequisites and corequisites. Note the following:
- A prerequisite is a course that must be passed in advance of the given course.
- A corequisite is a course that is either passed in advance or is taken simultaneously with the given course.
- These requirements help ensure that students have the necessary background and competence to succeed in the higher-level courses.
- The course details, including the requirements, can be found by clicking the course code on the program calendar website.
- The curriculum comprises academic and work terms in a specific sequence (see the table in the section toward the end).
Hence, if students extend any co-op work term or skip/fail a course, they could fall out of the sequence and delay graduation. In this case, a possible solution is to take and pass externally substituted courses as soon as possible for the missing prerequisites and any applicable corequisites of your incomplete courses.
- Course work is not usually permitted during a co-op work term. However, a maximum of one course may be allowed in a co-op work term with prior approval under extenuating circumstances. See FAQ 3.20 for details.
Important: Pay special attention to Points 5 and 6 above.
To apply to substitute a program course with an external course, visit the Curriculum Advising page, where you will find detailed information about the (google form) Letter of Permission (external link) (LOP) form, which you will need to complete and submit for approval.
Note: The department does not keep a list of external substitute courses. It is the student’s responsibility to find them.
- Ensure that the external course (which you propose to use as a course substitute) has the following:
- Approximately the same course content as the program course
- At a minimum, the same number of hours per week of each teaching component (i.e. one or more lectures, lab and tutorial) as the program course.
- For a program course code beginning with “CHE,” ensure that the external course is offered by an undergraduate chemical engineering program accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB); otherwise, the LOP will be denied.
- Provide the following items along with the LOP application:
- Calendar description and course outline of the external course (for the academic term you plan to take the external course)
- Information about the external course instructor:
- Designation (whether part-time, full-time or regular faculty member)
- Academic qualifications (whether PhD in Chemical Engineering or another discipline)
- Professional Engineer (PEng) license status
Plant Design (CHE 44A/B) is the program’s two-semester capstone design course. In a given academic year, this course is offered in the Fall term as CHE 44A in the program’s seventh semester, followed immediately in the Winter term by CHE 44B in the program’s eighth semester.
At the commencement of CHE 44A, each student is assigned a plant design project, a team. and a supervisor for the course duration. During CHE 44B, each student must continue working on that same team project with the supervisor previously assigned in CHE 44A.
Note that a student is given only one grade for Plant Design (CHE 44A/B). This grade is given after the completion of CHE 44B.
You need to have a good grasp of knowledge imparted in all courses that lead up to the plant design course. In particular, you should review the concepts you learned in courses on heat and mass transfer, unit operations, reaction engineering, process control, process safety and engineering economics.
Because students in CHE 44B continue working on the team project and with the supervisor previously assigned in CHE 44A, it is not possible to take CHE 44B without first completing our program’s CHE 44A course immediately before.
The department typically offers approximately ten professional electives per year, which is double the number of electives required by students to graduate. The professional electives offered each year result from the student interest survey, instructor availability and course offering frequency.
Typically no, but speak to the instructor of the course.
Typically no, but speak to your instructor.
Contact your instructor and submit the documents online within three business days.
Yes, you are required to do course intentions. They allow the department and university to plan for courses and class sizes in the upcoming academic year.
Unfortunately, course intentions are not guaranteed. Please visit the Course Intentions page for more information.
No. You will have to select another liberal course that does not have a timetable conflict with the professional course.
Please keep in mind the following points when finding co-op positions on your own:
- Higher-level work terms (WKT 501 onward) typically require greater chemical engineering expertise and related responsibilities than lower-level work terms.
- On the other hand, co-op positions for lower-level work terms (WKT 401 and 500) may involve more responsibilities in a scientific/research lab or general business environment than positions in higher-level work terms.
- The last two work terms (WKT 601 and 602) must have high-level chemical engineering-specific tasks such as design, research, development, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting concerned with chemical engineering plants, processes and equipment. Tasks related only to data (i.e. entry, analysis, prediction, forecasting, business modelling, finances), administration, management and report preparation/writing are insufficient for the last two work terms.
Besides job responsibilities, please note that each work term must meet the following eligibility criteria :
- Be paid - but no minimum amount is specified
- Run for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks
- Entail full-time employment (35 hours/week)
For more details about co-op positions, please contact your Co-op Program Specialist.
If you fail a core course in your second year, you are not eligible to start co-op despite having a clear standing. If you are on probation or suspension, you are not eligible to start co-op.
Once you have a clear standing, please contact your Co-op Program Specialist so they can reactivate your account and inform you of the next steps regarding co-op. If you have any questions about your academic standing, please contact the Chemical Engineering department office.
Our employer partners come from various industries such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage, oil & gas, aerospace, manufacturing and government. For example, employers may include Sanofi Pasteur, Apotex, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Coco Paving, IKO Industries, Imtex Membranes, Weston Foods, Sofina Foods, Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, Bombardier, Husky Energy, Enbridge, City of Toronto, City of Brampton and Region of Peel, to name a few.
All else equal, most employers prefer students with diverse experiences because these demonstrate initiative and help students gain transferrable skills and perspectives from outside of the classroom. Experiences to pursue during your first two years of studies may include formal roles at student clubs, volunteer positions at nonprofit organizations, or a part-time or summer job.
You should also join professional associations such as the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineers (CSChE) (external link) and participate in industry events.
GPA is an important consideration for some employers, especially for roles that involve an NSERC grant. Please check the job postings if a GPA requirement is listed. If no GPA is listed in the job posting, it may not be an important consideration in the recruitment process. That said, you are expected to have a good mastery of the engineering principles covered in your classes.
The co-op employment process is competitive. Co-op students are not "placed" into jobs; they apply and compete for them as in the post-graduation job market. Therefore, there are no guarantees of a student getting a co-op job. While the co-op team will do its best to help students with their work term search, students must be willing to devote time and effort to be successful in securing co-op work terms.
Generally speaking, you should start applying to co-op jobs one semester (four months) before your work term starts. For example, start applying for a summer work term in January, as most positions are posted in January and February and diminish as the semester progresses.
We recommend that you apply to an average of eight to ten co-op job postings a week. This recommendation is especially true in the first six weeks of your job search. Aim for 100 applications in the entire semester, with the majority placed in the first two months. The summer term is generally more competitive and will require you to be more diligent in your efforts.
Yes, you can and should apply for co-op jobs both on and off the portal. However, when applying for co-op jobs outside of the portal (i.e. at Indeed, LinkedIn and company websites), make sure the position meets the criteria described in FAQ 3.2.
The Ryerson Career & Co-op Centre works very hard to secure co-op opportunities for our students. Our employer partners know about our programs, and what our students can do for them, so your chances of landing job interviews through the portal will likely be higher than if you solely apply on external job boards. However you decide to secure a co-op job, please let your Co-op Program Specialist know so they can better support you.
Each student gets only five accesses to the co-op portal; inactivity on the portal, regardless of its reasons, counts as one access each semester. Thus, if you plan to take courses instead of working, or if you are not in clear academic standing to begin co-op, you must inform your Co-op Program Specialist in advance so that you can save that access for the future.
Yes, we will continue to post jobs as they come in. Please check the co-op portal regularly. In addition, we encourage you to search on external job boards and company websites and explore opportunities through your own network and past employers.
Contact your Co-op Program Specialist for support and continue to apply for newly posted jobs on and off the portal. In general, you have until the beginning of the second month of each semester to secure a job that is eligible for your co-op credit.
The co-op team makes every effort to find employment opportunities for all co-op students each term. We continue the hiring process until all students are employed. Should any students not be employed in time to complete a work term, they may continue to search for work for a future work term or return for an academic term.
There are many advantages to accepting a longer-term position regarding the experience and skills you will gain and the networks of contacts you will build. However, when considering a position that takes you out of your typical study/co-op sequence, there are many factors you should consider. Please read this (google doc) co-op sequence document (external link) , which outlines the details you need to know.
Co-op fees are distributed over all years of the undergraduate chemical engineering co-op program. These fees are used to defray the operating expenses of the co-op office.
No. Once you have accepted a job offer verbally or in writing, you are committed to that employer. One of the reasons employers hire from co-op programs is the security of getting the student they've chosen for their position. Students should remember that in most cases, they will have opportunities to work with a variety of employers throughout their co-op careers.
Please fill out the Co-op Employment Eligibility Form available from your account on the co-op portal and send it to the Co-op Faculty Advisor for approval consideration. Note that the approval will depend on the level of the work term and the nature and extent of responsibilities in the co-op position.
Please contact your Co-op Program Specialist if you cannot find this form.
The suitability of your co-op position can be determined once your completed Co-op Employment Eligibility Form has been submitted to the Co-op Faculty Advisor for approval consideration. This form should be available from your account on the co-op portal. Note that the approval will depend on the level of the work term and the nature and extent of tasks/responsibilities in the co-op position.
Please contact your Co-op Program Specialist if you cannot find this form.
Congratulations! You need to take the following steps:
- Please review the “Succeed on Your Work Term” booklet if this will be your first work term. You can find this booklet on the co-op portal under the Student Resources tab.
- Enrol yourself in the appropriate WKT course in MyServiceHub after logging into your my.torontomu account.
Note that the correct WKT number for your first work term will always be WKT 401, WKT 500 for the second work term, and so on, regardless of the semester in which it happens. For example, you are scheduled to be on your first and second work terms in Summer and Fall, respectively, but you fail to secure a job for the Summer. Therefore, your job in the Fall will be WKT 401.
- OSAP recipients only: Log in to your OSAP account and apply for the Continuation of Interest-Free Status (CIFS). If you need assistance on this, contact Student Financial Assistance directly.
- If you are joining a new employer, complete the “Safety Orientation Checklist” (found in the “Succeed on Your Work Term” guide) during onboarding. Follow the instructions on the checklist.
- Do your very best on the job. However, if you encounter issues that you cannot resolve with your supervisor (i.e. workplace harassment, toxic work environment), contact your Co-op Program Specialist immediately.
- Read the “Chemical Engineering Work Term Report Guidelines” document to learn what to submit at the end of every work term. You can find the guidelines on the co-op portal under Student Resources -> Ryerson Co-op Office Resources -> Work Term Report Guidelines.
There is a mandatory submission for every work term. Depending on the length of your position with a single employer and where you are in your work term, your submission will be either (1) a work term report and an employer evaluation or (2) a work term extension/continuation form as per the following table:
|Total Duration||1st Term||2nd Term||3rd Term||4th Term|
4 months (no extension)
|work term report + employer evaluation|
8 months (including extension)
|work term extension/ continuation form||work term report + employer evaluation|
12 months (including extension)
|work term report + employer evaluation||work term extension/ continuation form||work term report + employer evaluation|
16 months (including extension)
|work term extension/ continuation form||work term report + employer evaluation||work term extension/ continuation form||work term report + employer evaluation|
- The submission of items in the above table is necessary to obtain work term credits.
- You are required to download the Employer Evaluation Form from the co-op portal and provide an electronic copy to your supervisor at the beginning of the work term.
Be sure to read the “Chemical Engineering Work Term Report Guidelines” document to learn more. These guidelines are available on the co-op portal, under Student Resources -> Ryerson Co-op Office Resources -> Work Term Report Guidelines. More details are provided below.
The norm is NOT to take any courses during a co-op work term.
However, you may apply to take a maximum of one course during a co-op term under extenuating circumstances. To seek approval, fill out the Chemical Engineering - Taking One Course While on Co-op Work Term form, available from your account on the co-op portal under Student Resources -> Ryerson Co-op Office Resources, and follow the instructions therein.
Please contact your Co-op Program Specialist if you cannot find this form.
4. Academic Performance
For appeals, request the course instructor review your assessments (tests, labs, exams, etc.) within ten business days of the date when the graded work in question was returned to the class or when the grade on the work was posted. Grades not questioned within this period may not be reassessed.
At the same time, you should prepare the grade appeal and an academic standing appeal, if applicable, to request a review of Required to Withdraw (RTW) or Permanent Program Withdrawal (PPW) status.
You should submit a relevant appeal(s) by the deadline if you could not contact the instructor (or hear from them), or the grade did not improve for any reason, and you are still not satisfied.
You must contact the course instructor as soon as circumstances arise that can impact your academic performance. It is your responsibility to try to resolve all course-related issues with the instructor as soon as they occur. Failure to do so may jeopardize your related academic appeals later on.
If you are unable to resolve the situation with your instructor, or if you are unable to reach them, contact the Associate Chair, Undergraduate Program, or the department Chair for help.
Students with extenuating, unforeseen circumstances with supporting documentation MAY be considered for late withdrawal from a course. If you feel you have sufficient grounds, submit your (PDF file) Request for Late Course Drop/Retroactive Withdrawal and documentation ASAP.
Please note the following carefully:
- This request should be your last resort and will only be considered if you face sudden and severe life events that directly prevent you from meeting the course drop/retroactive withdrawal published deadlines.
- The length of time you wait to submit everything may be factored into the decision-making.
- You will not be eligible for any refunds.
- The Registrar’s Office will make the final decision on your application.
The grade earned for the repeated course is substituted for the earlier grade in calculating your grade point average, even if the newer grade is lower. All course attempts are recorded on academic transcripts.
The department Chair.
5. Program Duration/Extension/Pause
Nine years. Within this period, you must finish all of the courses that you require to graduate.
Note that the clock starts “ticking” in your first term of eligibility for enrolment. Thus, even though you may not be attending Toronto Metropolitan University for one or more terms (for example, you have been discontinued), you continue to use up the time within which you must graduate.
In extenuating circumstances, you may ask the Dean of your faculty or school to extend the nine-year time limit. If you would like to request a Timespan Extension, please complete the (PDF file) Undergraduate Timespan Extension Form, and follow the submission instructions. Then, submit your study plan along with the form after discussing it with the Associate Chair Undergraduate Program.
6. Future Career/Prospects
It can be difficult to predict which area to focus on since the chemical industry is very dynamic. Nonetheless, resources and food-related industries are generally essential areas with long-term sustainability since their products furnish people’s and other industries’ basic needs.
It is important to note that chemical engineers typically change jobs many times during their careers. Studies show that fundamental knowledge gets transferred across jobs in various industries and is considered highly valuable. Thus, you should strive to learn well and retain the knowledge imparted in fundamental courses such as chemical thermodynamics, heat transfer, mass transfer, unit operations, reaction engineering, process modelling and simulation, process control and process safety.
You could benefit from continuing studies if you join the master’s program immediately after completing your undergraduate program. Your newly acquired background knowledge from the undergraduate program could provide you with a smooth transition into the graduate program.
Alternatively, by taking a work break before joining the master’s program, you could have a clearer idea about your areas of interest based on your work experience, skill sets and the industry’s needs at that time. You might, however, need to spend some extra time reviewing materials from the undergraduate program.
As a general rule, higher education is always beneficial for long-term career advancement and economic compensation.
However, there may be times in your career when a master’s degree is not required. For example, when industrial experience is given more weight than a master’s degree. In other instances, a master’s degree may help you earn a position in a research and development (R&D) department, or a master’s degree in business administration may help qualify you for administrative and management roles.
If your career focus is mainly in the technical area, getting a master’s degree in engineering would be reasonable. However, if you are interested in administrative and management roles, having an MBA degree would be helpful.
The MEng program requires the completion of eight courses and a project, or ten courses. On the other hand, the MASc program requires the completion of four courses and a research thesis. Please contact the Associate Chair, Graduate Programs, for more information.
The Undergraduate Student Guide provides information on academic matters, enrolment, examinations, grades, academic appeals, student records, convocation, fees, financial assistance, student services, essential policies and more.
Your OSAP assessment considers the number of enrolled courses and associated costs. If you drop a course, your course costs change, decreasing your eligibility to get funded. Contact the OSAP office for more information.