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UWaterloo vs. McMaster vs. U of T vs. UBC

A photo of intec123 intec123

I have applied to UWaterloo, McMaster, UT, UBC and McGill.
All for engineering, except McMaster (biomed engi)

I need help deciding between these Unis...

For the last few months, I have been deeply concerned with my passion for engineering. I have not pursued any programming languages/electrical circuits/homebrew things in my life.
Well, I design websites, but that's irrelevant.
I do like engineering for its highly regarded discipline and practicality.
Especially biomedical engineering, where I can SAVE PEOPLE'S LIVES! :D

Anyhow, enough deviation from the topic.

There are reasons I picked these universities, because each one offers different things:
Most renowned engineering program (correct me if I'm wrong please) in Canada.
Best Co-op program

Unique Biomedical Engineering (I love highschool biology, but will that be enough to pursue this degree in university)

U of T:
Great reputation world-wide, supposedly best engineering programs in canada (according to them)
PEY opportunity
Summer co-op terms

In case I don't have enough money to goto the East coast and live alone.
Probably 90% guaranteed entrance scholarship + bursary that will pay off full tuition (if I study hard enough and renew them every year)

I also picked McGill for their good reputation in world rankings.
I'm not sure about their engineering programs or their co-ops (do they even have co-op for engi?)

I realize I posted a LOT of questions in one thread.
But I would still like your opinions on them.
And please don't just write 'UWaterloo.' Give us a reason why you picked it :P

THANKS!!!!!!!! :D
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10 replies
A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
If your positive biomedical is what you really want to do then Mcmaster is probably the best choice. Other then that to be honest you can't really go wrong with your other choices they are all good schools. IMO if you have the money I would go to Mcgill since montreal is such an awesome city.
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A photo of schweitzer281 schweitzer281
i would consider either mcmaster or waterloo as your 2 main choices, from what i know both are top engineering schools (waterloo especially) and they both have required co-op for engineering so that you make back the money you spend going there to pay of your fees. unlike u of t where the co-op if they have one at all isn't that good (u of t told me they don't have a co-op.. not sure if thats correct though). plus both mcmaster and waterloo have nice a nice campus.

i'm currently debating between the two schools and it's a tough choice because they are both great schools from what i have heard from current students/friends. leaning more towards waterloo tho.
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A photo of Avulet Avulet
Essentially any school will get you a decent engineering job.
U of T actually has a solid department for biomedical engineering, well that's just my opinion. I'm actually not there yet. To get there, you'd have to take a discipline that's offered that will lead you there (i.e. Eng Sci, mechanical, electrical - most direct routes, seemingly). Plus, there are facilities (like MaRS) and hospitals doing research so research opportunities are just lying around near the university.
And yes, U of T is the top engineering school in Canada (I think 8th in the world, I don't know if the stats changed), but Waterloo is much more famous - I guess it's because it's the home of those math contests. +RIM's home base is there.
And yup U of T has no true co-op, but a school year internship called PEY. Of course, that would mean graduating after 5 years instead of 4.
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A photo of jhy1030 jhy1030
UT has rep and research
Waterloo has the best co-op program and also rep (in North America)
UBC is not that great for Engineering
McMaster has a good co-op program but not as good as Waterloo
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A photo of intec123 intec123
Terrific news~
I got guaranteed spot at McMasters Engineering I.
Any choice of engineering, plus residency (not for free, though -_-)

Well, I'm happy, but I'm kind of weary now, since McMaster only looked at my grades.
It feels like they don't care what I think about engineering, or why I want to go into engineering (maybe it's all the brainwashing done by UWaterloo's AIF and UT's supplemental essays; It feels like I need to tell them why I want it, so they have a better reason to pick me for things other than my grades)

Well, I've now narrowed it down to McMaster, UBC or UWaterloo.
U of T, although a good prestigious university, lacks from intimacy. (I don't mean it as in 'love intimacy')
It's too big of a school, and so I may not get the attention I want. I'm not an attention seeker, rather a person who asks questions when curious.
Plus, I heard it is almost impossible to get A's in U of T (people from harvard, who were getting A's got B's and C's at U of T, from what I heard.)

I am writing this not only for myself, but for others who are/will be considering these universities for engineering.

The reason I am down to McMaster, UBC and UWaterloo:
McMaster: As mentioned above, it is the only uni that has biomed engi as bachelors. However, I feel like McMaster is sort of comparable to SFU in BC. In other words, it would be the last fall-back plan for most people. (Tell me if this is wrong, plz :S)

UBC: GREAT scholarships for people in BC. I will be applying for a full four-year tuition + books and fees scholarship. Chance of getting it? Probably very slim, but I'm confident in my abilities.
As for engineering at UBC, I went to their engi open house, and the atmosphere is great. The students looked almost dead from all that studying, but other than that, the profs were nice, and this one post-doc that I talked to was telling me how you can't go wrong with picking ECE at UBC. There are so many options once I grad from UBC. UBC's co-op program isn't as good as UW, of course. At least they have a co-op. lol.
Some stats:
Chemical or Mining engineers who do co-ops get the most money (up to 50,000 a year. If they work full year)
Elec or Comp engineers only get paid around 30 grand a year.
Mech engineers get more; around 40k

UWaterloo: Well, you would know. Best engi programs, blah blah blah. But terrible with scholarships for students outside of ON!
BC students, even if they try their best, can only accumulate around 7,000 with the scholarships from UW. This is barely enough to cover the costs of the program + residency (around 20,000 a year)
However, they have AWESOME co-op progs. Google, Microsoft, IBM, RIM, you name it. All the big companies wait at the door steps of UW trying to recruit the best of the best.
Of course, if you are not competent enough, it's also very easy to fail. (btw, 2 failed courses are allowed in the entire 5 year program at UW)

There's my little rant about my choices. If there are any incorrect information, please feel free to correct me.
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A photo of Aplinee Aplinee
Well if your planning to do Biomedical Engineering and looking for a quick 4-5 year degree, I would plan to go to UBC. I think only UBC offers a 4 year undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering.
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A photo of intec123 intec123
Hm, that's quite interesting; Thanks canasian519!
Yeah, biomed even in UBC tends to pick many students from either mechanical or electrical engineering.
I like computers, and have not dealt with electric circuits in my life.
Is biomed a really good choice?
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If your unsure do your undergrad in electrical or mechanical you can always do a masters or branch out into biomed later. If you like computers do electrical i know at uoft they actually combine the programs electrical and computer eng for the first year or so. They also have a stream in biomed. If your unsure all together look at mechanical its subject matter is very broad.
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A photo of Aplinee Aplinee
Yes, if your more inclined with computers go through electrical engineering, electrical to biomed. deals more with the electronics and programming of the machines.
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