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McGill Engineering vs. Waterloo Engineering

A photo of utkarsh utkarsh
Hi,
Felt like starting a discussion here, to get a lighter head on the hard decision of Waterloo vs. McGill for engineering.
Please share some of your opinions on the engineering faculty of these universities.

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A photo of utkarsh utkarsh
I had applied to chemical engineering at McGill and Waterloo.
This is what I'e heard about McGill so far when it comes to chemical engineering;

McGill ranks 15th in its chemical engineering department, and is world renown for its prestige. Also, universities like CalTech, MIT and Ivy league take in many students from McGill. An acceptance this year in Chemical Engineering requires an average of 90.5%+ , second to Mechanical Engineering which requires an average of 93.5%.

And then this is what I've heard about Waterloo;

Waterloo is known as an Engineering school, but is ranked 52nd in its chemical engineering department. However, due to its co-op program, experience can be gained side-by-side with studying.

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A photo of plato plato
Both schools have very good programs. On a purely academic basis, my opinion is that McGill has a slight advantage in Chem. Eng. On a practical level, Waterloo's co-op wins.

In my opinion, the two factors with highest weighting would be:

1. Campus and community.

McGill is nestled in Montreal. If you prefer living in a big city and are comfortable with the francophone community, then maybe this campus is right for you. McGill is a commuter school, with a lot of local and in-province students.

Waterloo is in a small university town, with no big city perks. Most first year students live on residence. The non-commuter nature of Waterloo means a tighter, better community feel.

2. Goal after university.

If your goal is to attend graduate school, McGill may offer an advantage.

If your goal is to dive straight into working, Waterloo has the edge.


You're going to be spending 4-5 years of your life on campus. Make sure you visit both campuses before choosing.

Good luck.
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A photo of Sapper1815 Sapper1815
According to this ranking by research paper output, Waterloo's Chemical Engineering is 1st in Canada, Toronto is close behind, McGill is far down the list.

http://taiwanranking.lis.ntu.edu.tw/DataPage/TOP300.aspx?query=ChemicalEngineering

Any of the programs are fine for an undergraduate degree, it just depends on personal preference.



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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles
I applied to both too :O
I don't think rankings should really matter at this point; McGill and Waterloo are pretty much as good as they come when it comes to an engineering degree anyways. The biggest factors in my decision are internships vs. co-op. I actually wouldn't mind giving up Waterloo's co-op to live in Montreal. You can still get 2-3 internships with McGill, which already puts you ahead of most of the graduating class (aside from Waterloo grads, lol).
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A photo of plaidboy plaidboy
hey utkarsh, if you don't mind me asking, what was your grade 12 first semester average? Since you got into McGill. And personally, I'd choose waterloo then u oft over mcgill, but mcgill would be my 3rd choice. This is because waterloo and uofT offer better jobs closer to toronto and after working for them, it's possible you can work there again for a career, whereas mcgill doesn't offer internship I believe and it's in a different province. Mcgill would be my 3rd choice because it is Canada's prestigest school and it's better for grad school & the name for some employers.
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A photo of imaginaryengineer imaginaryengineer

Hi,
Felt like starting a discussion here, to get a lighter head on the hard decision of Waterloo vs. McGill for engineering.
Please share some of your opinions on the engineering faculty of these universities.



Yo mcgill is in Montreal (duh). That alone would be enough for me to go there over waterloo.

You can get internships etc. from any university it really comes down to who you know and where your located. Really you should be asking yourself is where you want to live and the atmosphere your looking for...
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A photo of krankd krankd
McGill has a better international reputation, like someone said above, if you plan on pursuing graduate studies go for that. I know that at McGill you also have the opportunity to do internships for 2 or 3 terms.
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A photo of utkarsh utkarsh
A big "THANK YOU" to you all for sharing your opinions! :cheers:

Hmm.. so as a conclusion, Waterloo would seem to have a much greater edge than McGill for me because just like many people out there, I am aiming to join the workforce after I graduate.
Also, it is still possible to get into a good University for Masters from Waterloo, isn't it? If we keep those GPA's high? :)

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A photo of utkarsh utkarsh

@plaidboy wrote
hey utkarsh, if you don't mind me asking, what was your grade 12 first semester average? Since you got into McGill. And personally, I'd choose waterloo then u oft over mcgill, but mcgill would be my 3rd choice. This is because waterloo and uofT offer better jobs closer to toronto and after working for them, it's possible you can work there again for a career, whereas mcgill doesn't offer internship I believe and it's in a different province. Mcgill would be my 3rd choice because it is Canada's prestigest school and it's better for grad school & the name for some employers.



Hmm... that makes sense now.
The only reason I am not considering U of T, is because of their environment. I have heard a lot of stories about the university of toronto applying crazy loads of pressure right off from Day 1, and that many students drop out early, even those with high 90's in high school.
And yes, here is my semester average. My first semester average was a 95%, and right now my second semester is going on with a 98%.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
I'mma be real. If you choose to come, you will be joining the UW Eng/CS/Math sweatshop. It's a crapload of work with no breaks for 5 years. The campus is dirt and depressing. Eventually you get used to the workload and all the other bullsh*t to the point that it makes you slightly insane.

But you'll be given opportunities even as an average to above average student to achieve things that no one else your age (18-23) in other schools can even come close to.
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A photo of utkarsh utkarsh

@immaculatedx wrote
I'mma be real. If you choose to come, you will be joining the UW Eng/CS/Math sweatshop. It's a crapload of work with no breaks for 5 years. The campus is dirt and depressing. Eventually you get used to the workload and all the other bullsh*t to the point that it makes you slightly insane.

But you'll be given opportunities even as an average to above average student to achieve things that no one else your age (18-23) in other schools can even come close to.



Referring to your description about the workload in UW, isn't that how it is in all the prestigious Engineering faculties across Canada? I mean, surely McGill, U of T, and hell McMaster, don't have a load lighter than UW.
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A photo of imaginaryengineer imaginaryengineer

But you'll be given opportunities even as an average to above average student to achieve things that no one else your age (18-23) in other schools can even come close to.



Im curious...what do you mean by "achieve things that no one else your age in other schools can come close to"?
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A photo of caveman caveman

@immaculatedx wrote
I'mma be real. If you choose to come, you will be joining the UW Eng/CS/Math sweatshop. It's a crapload of work with no breaks for 5 years. The campus is dirt and depressing. Eventually you get used to the workload and all the other bullsh*t to the point that it makes you slightly insane.


It's not that bad. That's definitely a pessimistic view.

That being said, be prepared to have your next 5 years pretty well fully-booked, as immaculatedx mentioned. You will work hard, and while friends of yours in other programs will be planning to travel abroad or do something different than work in the summertime, you will be at school. There's very few opportunities to get away for more than a few days.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
Surely other schools have similar workloads although UT is probably the only one that can compare. It's not workload alone. It's the nonstop 5 years with school and co-op .. with coop searches during school, the crappy campus and weather, and so many more factors. My engineering friends all themselves "Laborers in the UW Sweatshop".

To the imaginary engineer, I mean what other school in Canada is going to give the opportunities UW co-op can give? At 18-19 years old, we can be working for real companies doing real work. One of my friends got his first co-op at Google in California at 18 years old. I know numerous people who are working in Facebook, Microsoft, etc. etc. Even the average to above average ones can find very good placements in big companies. I know UT has PEY or whatever it is, but it really can't compare.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@caveman wrote

@immaculatedx wrote
I'mma be real. If you choose to come, you will be joining the UW Eng/CS/Math sweatshop. It's a crapload of work with no breaks for 5 years. The campus is dirt and depressing. Eventually you get used to the workload and all the other bullsh*t to the point that it makes you slightly insane.


It's not that bad. That's definitely a pessimistic view.

That being said, be prepared to have your next 5 years pretty well fully-booked, as immaculatedx mentioned. You will work hard, and while friends of yours in other programs will be planning to travel abroad or do something different than work in the summertime, you will be at school. There's very few opportunities to get away for more than a few days.



This paragraph is a precursor for the next. I explain why it's worth it and why it might not be so bad.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
A post by a Waterloo Engineer I read on reddit that reminded me of this thread:

"At first, I hated it. Too much work, and we don't have any school spirit because we're spending so much time doing homework. But then co-op hit and I'm like "Oh, this is why I'm here" and it was pretty sweet.
I like the way everyone just does their own thing. Its quiet here, nobody bothers you, and its nice in the spring. I would just really enjoy some extra free time to go on a walk every now and then, but then i'd risk failing an assignment."
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles

@immaculatedx wrote
A post by a Waterloo Engineer I read on reddit that reminded me of this thread:

"At first, I hated it. Too much work, and we don't have any school spirit because we're spending so much time doing homework. But then co-op hit and I'm like "Oh, this is why I'm here" and it was pretty sweet.
I like the way everyone just does their own thing. Its quiet here, nobody bothers you, and its nice in the spring. I would just really enjoy some extra free time to go on a walk every now and then, but then i'd risk failing an assignment."


Can you link the reddit post? I love reddit hahaha
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
http://www.reddit.com/r/uwaterloo/comments/quv6f/so_what_do_you_really_think_of_uw/
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A photo of sportsrlife sportsrlife
Hey, I've been accepted to McGill Materials Engineering Co-op, Waterloo Nanotechnology engineering and U of T Chem. Engineering.

I was wondering if you guys could tell me anything about the McGill Materials Eng co-op program. (I know it's a very small program and that the co-op is pretty new but that's about it.) The Waterloo co-op program is bigger and more established, but I heard that getting a co-op job there can be very difficult...
U of T also has PEY, but I don't really know how good it is...

Also, it would be great if I could get some opinions on the general atmosphere of all three schools.
Thanks!
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A photo of imaginaryengineer imaginaryengineer
^^^Well first you have to decide if you want to go into materials science or chemical engineering....if you dont plan on going to research after undergrad go for chemical...
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A photo of sportsrlife sportsrlife
It's actually b/w Waterloo nanotech and McGill materials...
I know nanotech is very specific and likely to lead to research but from the description of the McGill materials program it seems that you can work w/ nanomaterials and still get the more general base. I'm not too worried as these are both very good programs.

I'd like to get a better idea of the atmosphere of the engineering faculties @ these schools. Do ppl enjoy their programs even though they work very hard? What else do they do besides homework, you know, for recreation?

Thanks!
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