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Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who should I talk to if I have a problem with the registration process?

Check the Engineering Calendar and your Queen’s email for the latest information on the program, then follow the Help link to complete your registration on SOLUS. The most common reasons are SOLUS thinks that you do not have the pre-requisite course(s), or the course is in conflict with another on your schedule. Note that the Student Academic Advising system on SOLUS contains glitches related to course renaming (ie. ENPH 333 to ELEC 310, CIVL 220 to MECH 221 or MATH to MTHE), changes in course weights, and/or not recognizing approved course substitutions or transfers. If you have errors that you are worried about, send a message to mme.advisor@queensu.ca with the subject "Academic Advising Error"

If you think you should be allowed to register in a course, complete a CRRF (Course Registration Request Form) and drop it with the MME Advisor in McLaughlin Hall 319 for UG Chair approval. If you are missing the pre-requisite and have the equivalent background from exchange or another department, you will need to complete the prerequisite waiver section of the form, with the instructor’s signature.

If you still have problems with your course registration, contact us by email for assistance, or to book an appointment. You can also drop into the MME Main Office, McLaughlin Hall, Room 319. Some courses require manual registration and you will need to complete a CRRF (Course Registration Request Form).

Please print and complete any required forms before you come into the office. All forms requiring the signature of the UG Chair should be dropped off in the MME Main Office, McLaughlin Hall 319.

IMPORTANT: Periodically check SOLUS to ensure your registration and schedule is correct and complete. This action will ensure a smoother academic term.

What should I do if I am missing, or failed a first year course?

APSC 100, APSC 111, APSC 112, APSC 171, APSC 172 and APSC 174 are pre-requisites to the Mechanical Engineering Program in 2015/16. If you failed one or more of these courses you will be on probation in your second year and must complete the course(s) in second year or you will be required to withdraw. You will be denied access to core courses in the Mechanical Engineering Program that have the failed course as a pre-requisite, and you may choose to add alternate courses, often Complementary Studies Courses, up to the maximum permitted by your probation letter. You must complete all requirements of your probation letter.

If the course is not a pre-requisite course you may not need to take it immediately, although it must be re-taken and passed at some point in order to satisfy your program requirements. Sometimes course scheduling can be a challenge when students register in core courses from different years, and as a result it may be better to leave a course to your fourth year where there is typically more flexibility in the schedule. You are encouraged to make-up courses from previous years as soon as possible, even when they are not pre-requisites. The core and technical elective courses require a good foundation of the first, second and third year courses.

As an upper year student you cannot complete first year course registration on SOLUS. At the start of term take your completed upper year course schedule to the Faculty Office, Rm. 300, Beamish Munro Hall with your CRRF (Course Registration Request Form) for the first year courses. The administrative staff there will help you find time slots for the first year courses that do not conflict with your upper year courses. Add these slots to the CCRF and drop off the forms to Jacquie Brown in McLaughlin Hall 319. Check SOLUS to ensure the course(s) requested have been added correctly to your schedule.

What should I do if I am missing, or failed an upper year course?

As soon as you see that you have failed a course, consider the possibility of a supplemental exam to replace your final exam mark.

All required courses for your program and option, and the EPT (English Proficiency Test), must be completed before you can graduate. When taking a non-typical course load, plan carefully to complete your degree without too much delay by paying close attention to chains of prerequisites. Failed courses often mean you will need an additional term or complete academic year, and as you may still be taking 3rd year courses in your 4th year.

Avoid overloading yourself when trying to get back on track. Overload often leads to more failed courses. You can take complementary studies or technical elective courses in your third year to make room for the core courses you will be taking in 4th year. You can take some of these courses in the summer, in person or by distance learning to catch up. Be sure to get approval in advance.

If you failed a course that is a pre-requisite to a required course, or an elective, you will need to pass that course before moving on. This can be especially problematic in courses with a long pre-requisite chain. As indicated above, it is important to carefully plan your remaining time in your program to sort out how you will fit in all the requirements and find the opportunity to take the electives you want. If you run into core course conflicts, you may be able to take a different course as an approved substitution allowing you to meet your core requirements more effectively. You may be granted a pre-requisite waiver under unusual circumstances.

If you failed a technical elective course or a complementary studies course, you may take a different course to replace the credits required by the program. However, if you repeat the same course and pass, the failed mark will not be included in your GPA.

Who do I talk to if I have a problem with one of my instructors?

You should first make a reasonable effort to discuss the problem directly with the instructor and find a solution. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, the next step is a discussion with the UG Chair or the Head of the Department. Complaints about an instructor are NOT dealt with by the office staff or year advisors.

Is there anything that can't wait until September?

First of all, try not to stress. Just about everything can wait until September when everybody is back on campus. There is a two week period at the start of term to complete your course registrations without academic or financial penalties. While you are getting your registration sorted out, be sure to attend classes so you don’t miss valuable course content.

One thing that is time dependent is your registration priority in classes with limited enrolment. Be sure to email the course instructor as early as possible for permission.

What do I do when a course requires "Permission of the Instructor" as a prerequisite?

Email the specific course instructor to ask permission to take their course regardless of whether or not you can register for the course yourself. Be sure to keep all the email correspondence between you and the instructor as you may need this to attach to a CRRF (Course Registration Request Form) as administration may need to see this proof to register you into the course. If you don’t have permission by the start of term, register for another course as a backup. You can drop it later if you need to.

Can I take two courses that are in conflict?

SOLUS will not allow you to put yourself in conflict. We discourage course conflicts, and may refuse them if you have previously been required to withdraw or are on probation. For a conflict to be permitted, you need written permission from both of the instructors involved and the approval of the UG Chair on an SCCRF (Schedule Conflict Course Registration forms), delivered to the MME Main Office.

IMPORTANT: Students requesting conflicts are second in line to students that are able to add the course themselves conflict free, especially in the case of technical elective courses or complementary study courses and this can be problematic with locked, limited or max enrolled courses. If the conflict is minor and you are in your final year, make this clear on the request form.

Can I take a course if I don't have the pre-requisites?

Pre-requisites will be waived only if it is in your best interests and the interests of the program. To request a waiver, complete a CRRF (Course Registration Request Form), complete with the instructor’s signature approving the waiver, and drop it off with the MME Advisor in McLaughlin Hall 319. Cases where a waiver may be granted include:

  • successful completion of a similar course to the pre-requisite
  • strong students taking a pre-requisite at the same time as the follow-on course
  • unavoidable timetable conflicts if you are in your final year

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 and are in their upper years of study, will be allowed to enroll in the electives from other departments that are on the electives lists. The completion of a CRRF is required along with the instructors approval, submitted to the attention of Jacquie Brown.

Can I take this course as part of my complementary studies requirements?

Only courses that appeared on the approved Lists A, B, C or D, in the year that the course was taken, will count.

You may submit a Course Substitution Request for new Queen’s courses, or courses from another institution that are similar to courses on the approved lists. (Request that the course substitute for X credits from List Y Complementary Studies.)

Why you may find the complementary studies requirements contradict themselves?

There are complementary studies units in many core courses. In addition to the core, you need 9 more credits of complementary studies from separate courses; 6 credits must be from List A, and 3 credits can be from List A, B, C or D.

Can I take Materials and Biomechanical courses without being in the Specific Options?

Yes, provided the pre-requisites are met to take the courses, or a waiver is granted. If you switch options, then the core courses from your previous option will count as technical elective courses in your new option.

What might stop me from graduating?

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 for technical electives. Although we sometimes talk about the typical number of courses in your program, 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. For these circumstances you are required to make-up the credits elsewhere in your program.
  • taking the wrong complementary studies courses. Be sure to check the approved lists in the current academic calendar to ensure the courses you have registered in are on the allowable lists.

How do I find out about my academic standing?

SOLUS will show your academic standing on your transcript, but class ranking is not available. If you have completed all the degree requirements, the Faculty Office can provide a confirmation letter for employers or graduate schools pending Faculty and Senate approval. You must clear any liens on your account before information will be released.

We do not release any information about your academic standing or program without your explicit authorization.

What happens if I don't take a full load of courses?

It may take you longer to graduate. It will limit your access to some scholarships and awards that require you to carry a full load. A full load for 3rd and 4th year is one that meets the minimum unit requirements stated in the calendar for the particular year of study.

Can I speed up the process by getting approval from another Advisor, the Chair or the Head?

The fastest way to get forms approved is to collect signatures from your course instructors (if required) then drop them with Jacquie Brown in McLaughlin Hall 319. She will expedite signatures from the UG Chair or a Year Advisors as quickly as possible.

For advice, or more complex issues, students should make every attempt to meet with their year advisor, and only if the issue is complex should the student contact the UG Chair. Only in rare cases is the Head of Department involved.

What if I disagree with my Year Advisor?

Check the rules, then take your questions to the UG Chair, or go directly to the UG Chair with complex questions.

If I am taking MECH 480 do I need to still take MECH 460 and MECH 464?

No, students taking APSC 480 FW DO NOT remain/enrol in MECH 460 and MECH 464 therefore it will likely be necessary to drop MECH 460 and MECH 464 from the Fall term registration, and MECH 462 (if an ME3 option student), from the Winter term registration

Why does Solus Academic Advising display incorrect information?

Student Academic Advising on Solus contains glitches.  Issues include course renaming (ie. ENPH 333 to ELEC 310, CIVL 220 to MECH 221 or MATH to MTHE) or not recognizing approved course substitutions or transfers.  If you have errors that you are worried about, send a message to mme.advisor@queensu.ca with the subject "Academic Advising Error"