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Difficulty of math and physics courses @ Waterloo

A photo of Fasih Fasih
Yes I know engineering is hard and brutal and leaves students with no souls, but is there a difference in difficulty between Waterloo math and physics compares to some other uni i.e. McMaster? Does anyone have experience? I'm not bad in maths and physics, but I would like to know any info :)
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A photo of dreamswharton dreamswharton
Waterloo's math and physics is very challenging, and you'll have to do your problem sets and all if you want to do well. McMaster is not really an engineering school, so there stuff is hypothetically easier. Congratulations on your acceptances.
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A photo of Fasih Fasih
How was your transition from HS to UW? Im not a 90's student, so I'm starting to worry about if I would be able to handle the difficulty.
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A photo of JNBirDy JNBirDy
Most engineering programs in Canada are of similar difficulty - people always like to say that there program is more difficult.

If you're worried about mathematics and physics, you can get a head start over the summer. MIT offers "online" courses with video lectures, problem sets, and exams that are really good.

Linear Algebra: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-06-linear-algebra-spring-2010/

Calculus: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-01sc-single-variable-calculus-fall-2010/

Physics I (Classical Mechanics): http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-01sc-physics-i-classical-mechanics-fall-2010/index.htm

Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism): http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02sc-physics-ii-electricity-and-magnetism-fall-2010/

Physics III (Vibrations and Waves): http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-03-physics-iii-vibrations-and-waves-fall-2004/

I grew up and went to school in Waterloo and a lot of my friends went to UWaterloo (engineering, math, science, etc). I know a few people who got into engineering with ~84% and they did fine first year - they complained about physics and calculus but they still passed.

Good luck.


@dreamswharton wrote
Waterloo's math and physics is very challenging, and you'll have to do your problem sets and all if you want to do well. McMaster is not really an engineering school, so there stuff is hypothetically easier. Congratulations on your acceptances.



They can't be hypothetically easier since they have to teach the same stuff. Engineering programs have to teach certain things to become accredited.

The only thing would make McMaster easier is the professors, and since you don't go to McMaster and Waterloo at the same time I don't think you could say one is easier than the other.
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A photo of aimango aimango
So... what program did you end up choosing?

If youre doing math but under engineering, it won't be too bad. Just follow the same study habits as you did in HS, and maybe work a little bit harder. Math here is very comprehensive and straight forward, there usually aren't any tricks on midterms and finals for engineering math. All the tricky stuff will be in the assignments, but I wouldnt worry about those since youll be working on them with your classmates.

As for physics... if you dont have a good prof, then you might feel a little screwed! Mechanics isnt as bad, but Electromagnetism is just horrible cause they put in some integration. You just gotta stay on top of things cause they cover topics pretty quickly. You gotta do extra practice if you actually want to do well. Usually the midterms and finals are challenging and have surprises. But the good thing is that there usually ends up being a lot of bellcurving.
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A photo of Fasih Fasih
Thanks for the replies!

@aimango I decided on UW Software Engineering. Thanks for the tips and comments.

So excited for Waterloo Software Engineering!
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