FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can’t find the answers you need on our website? Check below for frequently asked questions. If you need to know more, contact our Advising Office directly – we’re happy to help.

ADMISSIONS

What do I need to know for admission to Mechatronic Systems Engineering?

Prospective students from high schools, technical institutes, colleges or partway through a non-SFU university program – as well as those considering a second degree or an internal transfer from within SFU  – should visit our Admissions page as well as the main SFU Admission page.

Enrollment in classes/registration

ACADEMIC DIFFICULTY

APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS

Enrollment in classes/registration

What classes should I register for?

You should read the SFU Calendar and work through your program checklist. Specific questions about which courses to choose can be answered by an advisor.

I am a current MSE student and on a waitlist for an MSE course. What can I do to get into the class?

There isn’t much you can do to improve your chances over other students. But you may want to attend the class at the beginning of the semester. The waitlist will stop running after the fifth instructional day – after which students visit an advisor to register for a spot if one becomes available. These are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

When do waitlists stop automatically enrolling students?

On the fifth day of classes. For example, if courses start on a Tuesday, the system stops enrolling students on the waitlist the following Monday night.

I have the pre-requisites for a course, but I can’t enroll. What do I do?

This could be due to one of several issues, especially if you are a second-degree student. Please see one of advisors or email evidence of your pre-requisite to the advising office – contact information is linked at the top of this page.

Students who otherwise meet the prerequisites but are still experiencing problems enrolling should send an email to sysone@sfu.ca with name, student number, lecture and preferred lab (if applicable). If possible, include the type of error message produced by the SIS Student Information System (http://go.sfu.ca).

How late in the term can I add/drop/swap a course?

Yes, an undergraduate student in an approved CS program can take a CMPT grad course for unit. You will need to fill out a CS appeal form stating why you wish to take a graduate course and how this course fits into your program plan. You will also need to obtain permission of the grad course instructor. Print out a copy of your unofficial advising transcript (available from the SIS) and attach it to the completed Appeal form. Return this package to the CS main office at the Burnaby campus ASB 9971, or at the Surrey campus room 4100, Galleria level 4.

You may also be interested in our new dual admission program for graduate studies in Computing Science. This program allows you to be admitted to the Computing Science program directly from high school or college and have an assured pathway into our Master’s in computing science as well.

There is a time conflict with a course class date or exam. Can I still get permission to enroll?

If you believe there is a reasonable solution to the conflict, then you may approach the professors of both courses for permission to enroll despite the conflict. If both professors agree to your proposed solution, an advisor can enroll you in the course. Professors may choose to withhold permission for any reason and are not required to accommodate conflicts.

I have three final exams in one day, what do I do?

SFU publishes final exam schedules to help students make course choices that include the implications of their exam workload. If you are not able to take alternate courses, accommodations are usually made by the instructor of the middle exam. If that instructor does not make an accommodation, see an advisor for the department in which the course is offered.


ACADEMIC DIFFICULTY

I am not doing as well as I would like in the program, what should I do?

Mechatronic Systems Engineering is a difficult and rigorous program and many students find they have some difficulty along the way. Ensure you are attending classes, asking questions in your professor’s office hours and seeking help from your peers in class. You can also visit an academic advisor for help and support.

There are also a number of resources at the Student Learning Commons in the Library.

I’ve heard you can only retake up to five courses in total during your degree, is this true?

Yes. In some cases, permission is granted by the Associate Dean of the Faculty in which you are enrolled to repeat more than five courses. If you are in this situation, you are in danger of failing out of your program and you must see an advisor in person as soon as possible. The student system may allow you to enroll in repeated courses. This does not mean you are approved and you may find there are consequences for ignoring this rule up to and including an inability to graduate from a program that you have otherwise completed.

I want to take a course for the third time, but the system won’t let me. What do I do?

You will need permission from the department that offers the course and usually the program in which you are enrolled. This usually starts with seeing the advisor for that department. If you need a third attempt at a course, you should also talk to an advisor about how you can do better in your courses.


APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS

How do I appeal a grade?

There is a system in place to ensure grades awarded by professors are fair and generally consistent across students and multiple offerings of the same course. To be successful, a student appealing a grade usually requires clear evidence of a mistake or miscalculation. Begin by speaking to your professor about your grade, asking for reasons for the grade, an example work that was awarded a higher grade and advice for how you can improve in the future. If you feel the explanation is not in line with the work you submitted, you may ask them about re-evaluation. If the professor is not open to re-evaluation, consider the procedure outlined here.

We also encourage you to first see the SFU Ombudsperson to see if they believe you have a good case:

Following your discussion with the professor and the ombudsperson, MSE students appeal a grade to the Chair by submitting an appeal form

How do I appeal to get into a course for which I do not have a pre-requisite?  

You may do this following a pre-requisite request using the MSE appeal form, available here.

I have not met the admission requirements to get into the program, how do I appeal to get admitted?  

In most cases, admissions appeals are not successful. If you are a current SFU student seeking a transfer, you should see an advisor. If you are not yet an SFU student, you should see the Senate Appeal Board page for further information.

Note that there are usually many opportunities in the course of one’s education to be admitted to the program and several pathways designed for people with different profiles. In general, people who have demonstrated they are likely to be successful in the program are able to gain admission. We recommend talking to an advisor if you would like to explore how to be admitted in the future.

I need to repeat courses beyond the normally allowable amount, how do I appeal?  

First, review and draft your letter for the form on this page.

Then, see an advisor – bring your draft and your transcript. They will advise you about the process and then you may submit the form for consideration.

I would like a degree requirement waived, how do I do this?  

In some cases, degree requirements can be waived when a student makes the case that their circumstance is exceptional. You can make a case using the MSE appeal. It is best to consult an advisor with a draft of your appeal and the documentation you have to support your case first.

How do I make a complaint?  

If your complaint is about something happening in a course, or about a TA, you should speak in person with the professor for the course during their office hours.

If your complaint is about a professor or a course, you should contact the undergraduate program director.

If your complaint is about advising services, email the Manager of Student Affairs for the Faculty of Applied Sciences

If you are not sure who should receive your complaint, contact the Manager of Academic and Administrative Services