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Waterloo Engineering - Chemical vs Electrical CO-OP Program

A photo of cityrock65 cityrock65
My son got Electrical Engineering in Waterloo, but his first choice was Chemical. Can he get changed, if so when?

Please provide recommendation between Chemical and Electrical. Which is the best course between these two?
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A photo of chatmike chatmike
I recall in the Q/A in the fall the admissions person saying they get a couple dozen students each year switching faculties. They try to switch as many people as possible, however sometimes it isn't viable. If you are switching between streams that are vastly different (in this situation; electrical to chemical sadly :/) your son would need to either repeat first year or take a bunch of summer school courses. Now of course that applies if you want to switch at the end of first year. Seeing how first year hasn't started i would recommend calling UW ASAP! The faster you tell them, the faster they can put it all through.

As to which is better, i'm sorry you won't find your answer here. It's 110% personal preference. However know this. Engineering, (and especially at waterloo!) is a very very very difficult stream. In most universities only half of the first years make it into second year. So it would help your son's odds to succeed if he genuinely has an interest in the engineering field.

It can't hurt to try! Call up admissions and see what they can do. But act fast, it's already august and time tables have already been drafted. If the courses are already full you're going to need to work twice as hard to email all of the professors for extra seats.

Good luck.

edit: Now of course don't forget if they offered chemical as an alternate offer, perhaps electrical was to-the-brim full, at which case it would be unlikely to get transferred into, but again, never hurts to try!
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A photo of ktel ktel
^ chatmike, he wanted chemical but got electrical as an alternate offer. So phoning Waterloo isn't going to help, they won't switch him.

That being said, your son might end up loving electrical engineering. And in addition to that, while your specialization is important, most of your training comes on the job. Tons of engineers end up working in fields not directly applicable to their undergrad discipline.
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A photo of Phase Phase
According to one of the admission officers, it is more difficult for engineering students to transfer between engineering majors than it is for transfer students from other schools to get accepted. Waterloo definitely does not like that and only allows it for a very small subset of students. Perhaps he is better off at a school with a general first year in engineering? There is little to no overlap between electrical and chemical, they are two distinct and different fields.
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