- Capstone Design
This page contains answers to some of the most common questions, along with some
tips and tricks that you may find useful ...
Before you access SOLUS, be sure to read the relevant sections of the Engineering and Applied Science Calendar (Registration Guide, Fees, etc.) and regularly check for the latest announcements on the MECH Undergraduate web site. If you run into problems with your course registration, come to the Student Information Counter on the third floor of McLaughlin where you will find many necessary forms and applications you may need, and/or drop into Reception in the Mech Main Office, McLaughlin Hall Room 319, and we will try to help or guide you to the best point of contact. You can also email the Undergraduate Program Assistant, J. Brown or your academic year advisor.
It may become necessary for you to contact your year advisor for guidance and advice. If after this meeting you disagree with your year advisor, or your situation is particularly complex, then you should arrange to see the Undergraduate Chair.
The Head of the Department is normally the last point of contact with your academic concerns. The Head's immediate response will most likely be to ask if you have seen your year advisor and/or the Undergraduate Chair first.
You should first make every effort to discuss your problem directly with the instructor as many issues can be resolved by talking directly to them. If after this meeting you are unhappy with the response of the instructor, then the next step is to speak with the Head of the Department. Complaints about an instructor are NOT dealt with by the office staff, year advisors or the undergraduate chair. If the problem turns out to be more course specific than a problem with the instructor, the Head may consult with the undergraduate chair or the appropriate year advisor.
First off, try not to panic if in summer you don't manage to get things dealt with in time on SOLUS ... just about everything can wait until September and year advisors are typically unavailable during the summer months with their research. Here are how to deal with some of the common things that may arise:
Prerequisite waivers for courses outside the department ... complete a CRRF (Course Registration Request Form) and have the course instructor sign (or attach an email) approving that the pre-requisite can be waived. Afterwards, return to Reception in the the Mech Main Office where the UG Chair's approval will be sought and the registration request processed if possible.
Prerequisite waivers for courses inside the department may or may not be allowed. In some cases students have the prerequisite but SOLUS doesn't recognize as it may have been an approved substitution (e.g. CISC 101 for APSC 142); if this is the case students are to follow the same approach as above except the instructor or chair do not need to approve as the paperwork is already on file.
Substitutions are explained under a separate link on this site. If it is a common substitution, or a substitution for a non specific complementary studies course (eg. List A, B, C or D) from another university, then a substitution form must be completed by the student with an attached (detailed) course description submitted to J. Brown's attention in the Mech Office. For more complicated situations you should do the same paperwork, but it may have to wait until the course instructor is available for approval to be sought.
In almost any event, if you have not managed to get everything sorted out by the beginning of classes in September, be sure t attend class regardless so valuable course content is not missed. Note that students have the first two weeks of classes to add courses to their registration.
Email the specific course instructor to ask permission to take their course regardless of whether you can register for the course yourself, or not. Be sure to keep all the emailed correspondence between you and the instructor as you may need this to attach to a CRRF (Course Registration Request Form) if administration is to register you into this course.
SOLUS does not allow students to put themselves in conflict and it is never recommended. You also may not be able to carry a conflict if you are a regulation student or a required to withdraw student who has been allowed re-admission the following academic year. The Department is currently reviewing the manner in which conflict requests are being allowed and dealt with, and students will be informed of the policy decision. At present, students complete a CRRF which requires the approval of both course instructors of the conflict; the form is then dropped to the attention of J. Brown in the Mech Main Office for registering in the course is room is still available.
STUDENTS REQUESTING CONFLICTS ARE SECOND IN LINE TO STUDENTS THAT ARE ABLE TO ADD THE COURSE THEMSELVES CONFLICT FREE ... THIS CAN BE PROBLEMATIC WITH LIMITED OR MAX ENROLLED COURSES.
Currently this depends, but is typically not allowed if you are missing pre-requisites from first year. The core courses build on and from each other, and the background is essential to success in the following courses and years. Exceptions are sometimes made to allow you to take the pre-requisite course at the same time as the follow-on course, but the department does not recommend this action. A CRRF (Course Registration Request Form) is required and must be approved by the course instructor and signed by your year advisor or UG Chair. As with conflicts, the Department is also reviewing the manner in which pre-requisite requests are being allowed and dealt with, and students will be informed of this policy when determined. At present, students complete a CRRF which includes the approval of the course instructor of the course missing the pre-requisite ... this can be an email or signature and when complete the form is then dropped to the attention of J. Brown in the Mech Main Office for processing.
- There will be no waiver of first year prerequisites for MECH designated upper year courses unless the student has passed another similar course; or the student has transferred into the program from outside of Engineering and Applied Science and is taking the prerequisite course at the same time.
- There will be no waiver of upper year MECH course prerequisites unless the student has demonstrated strength in the related areas and is taking the prerequisite course (or an approved substitution for it) at the same time.
- We will rely on the advice of the instructors when waiving prerequisites for courses outside the department.
- No prerequisite waivers will be approved unless, in our judgement, the approval is in the student's best academic interests.
Exception: It is quite common for waivers to be granted for technical electives that are outside the department. Normally, students who have completed all the core requirements will be allowed to enroll in the electives from other departments that are on the electives lists. Complete a CRRF and submit to the attention of J. Brown in the Mech office.
Only if the course appears on the approved lists A, B, C or D in the academic calendar the year the student took the course. Exceptions to this are for courses at other institutions that fit the requirements, or perhaps a new course at Queen's that hasn't made it to the list yet. In either case, a substitution must be approved first for the student to receive CR in their Queen's program for taking the course.
Fact is, they don't, even though they appear to -- the complementary studies section in the calendar is often generalized to cover all engineering programs and typically tends to mislead the student. To complete the complementary studies requirements OUTSIDE OF YOUR CORE COURSE REQUIREMENTS (OF WHICH SOME INCLUDE CS COMPONENTS), you need to take a total of 9 credits ... 6 credits of List A (Humanities and Social Sciences, HSS ... typically two 3 cr courses are taken, and the remaining 3 credits ... typically one 3 cr course being allowed from any of the lists A (HSS), B (Linkage), C (Performance Arts and Language, or D (Management).
Yes, provided the pre-requisites are met to take the courses. The program actually tries to accommodate this as much as possible as Option choices of students sometimes change midway through a students program meaning that new option core courses are required with the previous ones (that have perhaps been taken already) become technical electives.
There are the obvious things like missing or failing a required course, but less obvious possibilities include:
- counting number of courses rather than the number of credits, typically the case for technical electives. Although we sometimes talk about the usual number of tech elec courses being 8 if an ME1 student, the actual requirements to graduate are in academic credits.
- being short on credits because a substitution was allowed for a course with fewer credits than the required course.
- taking the wrong complementary studies courses. Check the approved lists in the current academic calendar to ensure the Arts and Sciences courses you have registered in are on the allowable lists.
Go to SOLUS and review your transcript as the department does not provide this information. One exception is that we will provide a letter certifying that a student has completed the degree requirements prior to the degree being actually granted; this typically being the case for students who complete their degree requirements in December but cannot graduate until the following May. Students may require this letter for starting full-time work or grad school.
We do not release any information about a student's academic standing or program to anybody except the student without explicit authorization from the student first.
It may prolong your ability to graduate on time, i.e. in four years. A normal full load for 3rd and 4th year is one that meets the minimum unit requirements stated in the calendar for their particular year of study. It is also important to note that some scholarships and awards may only be available (or continue) to students taking a full load of courses.
It is not recommended as in most cases anything requiring signature approval, either by your year advisor or UG Chair, should go to the attention of J. Brown in the Mech Main Office. For advice, or more complex issues, students should make every attempt to meet with their year advisor, but if the issue is complex the student should contact the UG Chair. Only in rare cases is the HEAD of department involved.
On the rare occasion that you feel you have been misguided by your year advisor, or you have further concerns with respect to your academic query, please contact the current MECH UG Chair.