Complementary Studies Electives (Cohorts 2019/2020 onward)

Selection of complementary studies elective courses should be considered with regard to both personal interest and career aspirations so as to ensure that some maturity is attained in the elective area of study.  Advice may be obtained from program counsellors or faculty advisors within the departments of the university offering the course or courses of interest. 

B.Eng. students are required to take the following number of required Complementary Studies electives for their program. The allocation for these credits is as follows:

Program Credit Requirements List Requirements
(cohorts 2023 onward)
1.5 0.5 credits from CSE-1,
0.5 credits from CSE-2,
Remaining 0.5 credits from CSE-1, CSE-2, CSE-3 or CSE-4
(cohorts 2019 to 2022)
2.0 0.5 credits from CSE-1,
0.5 credits from CSE-2,
Remaining 1.0 credits from CSE-1, CSE-2, CSE-3 or CSE-4. Maximum 0.5 credits from CSE-4
Environmental 1.5 0.5 credits from CSE-1,
Remaining 1.0 credits from CSE-1, CSE-3 or CSE-4. Maximum 0.5 credits from CSE-4

Systems and Computing
Water Resources

2.0 0.5 credits from CSE-1,
0.5 credits from CSE-2,
Remaining 1.0 credits from CSE-1, CSE-2, CSE-3 or CSE-4. Maximum 0.5 credits from CSE-4

A maximum of 1.5 credits at the 1000 course level is allowed for elective requirements (this limit applies to all electives, including technical electives, complementary studies electives and free electives, where applicable). (Rule no longer applies as of November 2022)

Students should refer to the Course Catalog for information about prerequisites, class hours and the semester(s) in which courses are offered.



Art History
ARTH*XXXX All Art History courses

Classical Studies
CLAS*1000   Introduction to Classical Culture

ENGL*1200   Reading the Contemporary World
ENGL*1410   Major Writers
ENGL*2200   Postcolonial Literatures

European Studies
EURO*1100   European Cinema

French Studies
FREN*2020   France: Literature and Society
FREN*2060   Québec: Literature and Society

HIST*XXXX All History courses (except for HIST*1250 and HIST*2250)

Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS*1000   Introductory Marketing
MCS*2600   Consumer Behaviour

MUSC*2030  Music in Canada

PHIL*1000  Classic Thinkers
PHIL*1010  Social and Political Issues
PHIL*1050  Ethics, Knowledge and Reality
PHIL*2030  Philosophy of Medicine
PHIL*2060  Philosophy of Feminism I
PHIL*2100  Critical Thinking
PHIL*2120  Ethics
PHIL*2180  Philosophy of Science
PHIL*2370  Metaphysics and Mind
PHIL*3230  Theories of Justice

SPAN*2990   Hispanic Literary Studies
SPAN*3080   Spanish American Culture

Social Sciences

ANTH*1150  Introduction to Anthropology

Arts and Science
ASCI*3200   Issues in Public Health 

Environmental Design and Rural Development
EDRD*4020  Rural Extension in Change and Development

Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD*1010 Human Development

Food, Agriculture, and Resource Development
FARE*1300  Food, Poverty and Hunger

GEOG*1200 Society and Space
GEOG*2510 Considering Canada
GEOG*3050 Development and the City 

Interdisciplinary Social Science
ISS*3420     Women Social and Political Theorists

Interdisciplinary University
UNIV*2020 Pandemics: Culture, Science and Society

Landscape Architecture
LARC*2820  Urban and Regional Planning

NUTR*1010  Introduction to Nutrition - NOTE: For students starting in Fall 2024 onward, this course will not be an eligible complementary studies elective. 

Political Science
POLS*1500  World Politics
POLS*2200  International Relations
POLS*2250  Public Administration and Governance
POLS*2300  Canadian Government and Politics 
POLS*3060  Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 
POLS*3080  Politics of Latin America 
POLS*3250  Public Policy: Challenges and Prospects 
POLS*3270  Local Government in Ontario 

PSYC*1000  Introduction to Psychology
PSYC*2310  Social Psychology
PSYC*2330  Principles of Learning
PSYC*2450  Developmental Psychology

SOC*1100  Sociology
SOC*1500  Crime and Criminal Justice
SOC*2010  Canadian Society
SOC*2070  Social Deviance
SOC*3410  Individual and Society

Women's Studies
WMST*XXXX All Women’s Studies courses

(NOTE: Courses in this list can not be used towards the Environmental Engineering degree complementary studies elective requirements)

ECON*2100  Economic Growth and Environmental Quality

Environmental Design and Rural Development
EDRD*2650  Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law

Environmental Sciences
ENVS*2070  Environmental Ethics and Perspectives
ENVS*2120  Introduction to Environmental Stewardship
ENVS*2270  Impacts of Climate Change

Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
FARE*2700  Survey of Natural Resource Economics 
FARE*4310  Resource Economics

GEOG*1220 Human Impact on the Environment 
GEOG*2210 Environment and Resources 
GEOG*3020 Global Environmental Change 
GEOG*3210 Management of the Biophysical Environment 

HIST*2250 Environment and History

International Development
IDEV*1000 Understanding Development and Global Inequalities 

PHIL*2070  Philosophy of the Environment

POLS*2080  Development and Underdevelopment 
POLS*3320  Politics of Aid & Development 
POLS*3370  Indigenous-Settler Relationships in Environmental Governance

SOC*2280  Society, Knowledge Systems and Environment 


ACCT*1220   Introductory Financial Accounting
ACCT*2230   Management Accounting

ECON*1050  Introductory Microeconomics
ECON*1100  Introductory Macroeconomics
ECON*2310  Intermediate Microeconomics
ECON*2410  Intermediate Macroeconomics

Environmental Design and Rural Development
EDRD*3140  Organizational Communication
EDRD*3160  International Communication
EDRD*4120  Leadership Development in Small Organizations

Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
FARE*1400  Economics of the Agri-Food System
FARE*4310   Resource Economics
FARE*4360  Marketing Research

Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
HROB*2090 Individuals and Groups in Organizations

Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS*3010  Quality Management
MCS*3040  Business and Consumer Law

MGMT*2150  Introduction to Canadian Business Management\
MGMT*2500  Entrepreneurship Fundamentals

PHIL*2600  Business and Professional Ethics

Sport and Event Management
SPMT*1020  Sport Management Today

(maximum 0.5 credits allowed from this list)

ARAB*1100 Introductory Arabic
ARAB*1110 Introductory Arabic II

CHIN*1200 Introductory Chinese I
CHIN*1210 Introductory Chinese II
CHIN*1280 Conversational Chinese I
CHIN*1290 Conversational Chinese II

French Studies
FREN*1100 Basic French I
FREN*1150 Basic French II
FREN*1200 French Language I
FREN*1300 French Language II

German Studies
GERM*1100 Introductory German I
GERM*1110 Introductory German II
GERM*2490 Intermediate German

GREK*1100 Preliminary Greek I
GREK*1110 Preliminary Greek II

INDG*1100 Indigenous Language and Culture

ITAL*1060 Introductory Italian I
ITAL*1070 Introductory Italian II

LAT*1100 Preliminary Latin I
LAT*1110 Preliminary Latin II

PORT*1100 Introductory Portuguese (Brazilian Culture)
PORT*1110 Intermediate Portuguese (Brazilian Culture)

SPAN*1100 Introductory Spanish I
SPAN*1110 Introductory Spanish II
SPAN*2000 Intermediate Spanish I

Note: Students should consult the Undergraduate Course Timetable posted on WebAdvisor <> or contact the departments offering those courses to determine the semester offerings. It is the responsibility of each student to contact the relevant department to check the flexibility of the prerequisites and course availability.  Prerequisite waivers are at the discretion of the course instructor only.

Why are Complementary Studies important?

Professional engineers often face complex situations involving sociological, political and economic factors in addition to technical and technological problems.  Recognition of the human aspects is so important that special attention should be paid to the humanities, social sciences and areas of administrative studies.  As an engineering student at the University of Guelph, you should strive to become aware of the role of professional engineers in society and the contribution engineering makes to the economic, social, and cultural aspirations of society.  In completing the complementary studies electives courses, along with ENGG*3240 (Engineering Economics) and HIST*1250 (Science & Technology in a Global Context), you should gain an understanding of:

  • The nature of the human and natural environment and the impact of technology on it;
  • The function and roles of individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments in shaping our society and its values;
  • The ethical and legal responsibilities, guidelines, and constraints within which the engineering profession functions, and;
  • Effective communication within the profession and society at large.

The term “complementary” within the context of CEAB requirements is not intended to mean “directly related to or relevant to your specific technical area of study within engineering”.  These electives are meant to broaden your knowledge of society, culture, government, economy, etc. so that you may better understand the impact of engineering on society at large.

(Updated November 2, 2022)