Complementary Studies Electives (Cohorts 2019/2020 onward)

These lists are for B.Eng. students starting their program in Fall 2019 and later. For students who have entered the program earlier, use the previous Complementary Studies Lists

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. Environmental Engineering students need to complete 1.5 credits total and do not take any from list CSE-2. For all other disciplines, students require 2.0 credits. The allocation for these credits is as follows:

  • 0.5 credits (1 course) from list CSE-1 Complementary Studies Electives: Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 0.5 credits (1 course) from list CSE-2 Complementary Studies Electives: Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship. Does not apply to Environmental Engineering students. 
  • 1.0 credits (2 courses) from any of the lists:
    • CSE-1 Complementary Studies Electives: Humanities and Social Sciences,
    • CSE-2 Complementary Studies Electives: Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship,
    • CSE-3 Complementary Studies Electives: Economics and Project Mangement, or
    • CSE-4 Complementary Studies Electives: Languages (max 0.5 credit).

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). Students should refer to Course Descriptions in the current Undergraduate Calendar for prerequisites, class hours and the semester(s) in which courses are offered.



Art History
ARTH*XXXX All Art History courses

ENGL*1200   Reading the Contemporary World, F/W
ENGL*1410   Major Writers, U
ENGL*2200   Postcolonial Literatures, Film and Other Media, F

French Studies
FREN*2020   France: Literature and Society, F/W
FREN*2060   Québec: Literature and Society, F/W

HIST*XXXX All History courses (except for HIST*1250 which is a required engineering course)

Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS*1000   Introductory Marketing, S/F/W
MCS*2600   Fundamentals of Consumer Behaviour, F/W

MUSC*2030  Music in Canada, F

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

SPAN*2990   Hispanic Literary Studies, W
SPAN*3080   Spanish American Culture, F

Social Sciences

ANTH*1150  Introduction to Anthropology, F/W
ANTH*2160  Social Anthropology, W

Arts and Science
ASCI*3200   Issues in Public Health, S 

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

Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD*1010 Human Development

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

GEOG*1200 Society and Space, F 
GEOG*2510 Canada: A Regional Synthesis, W 
GEOG*3050 Development and the City, W 

Interdisciplinary Social Science
ISS*3420     Women Social and Political Theorists, W

Interdisciplinary University
UNIV*2020 Pandemics: Culture, Science and Society, F.W [NEW COURSE]

Landscape Architecture
LARC*2820  Urban and Regional Planning, W

NUTR*1010  Introduction to Nutrition, F/W

Political Science
POLS*1400  Issues in Canadian Politics, F
POLS*1500  World Politics, F 
POLS*2200  International Relations, F 
POLS*2250  Public Administration and Governance, W 
POLS*2300  Canadian Government and Politics, F/W 
POLS*3060  Politics of the Middle East and North Africa, U 
POLS*3080  Politics of Latin America, U 
POLS*3250  Public Policy: Challenges and Prospects, F 
POLS*3270  Local Government in Ontario, U 

PSYC*1000  Introduction to Psychology, S/F/W
PSYC*2310  Social Psychology, S/F/W
PSYC*2330  Principles of Learning, F
PSYC*2450  Developmental Psychology, F

SOC*1100  Sociology, S/F/W
SOC*1500  Crime and Criminal Justice, F/W
SOC*2010  Canadian Society, U
SOC*2070  Social Deviance, S/F/W
SOC*2080  Rural Sociology, W
SOC*3380  Society and Nature, W
SOC*3410  Individual and Society, W

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


ECON*2100  Economic Growth and Environmental Quality, F

Environmental Design and Rural Development
EDRD*2650  Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law, F/W

Environmental Sciences
ENVS*2120  Introduction to Environmental Stewardship, F

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

GEOG*1220 Human Impact on the Environment, F/W 
GEOG*2210 Environment and Resources, W 
GEOG*3020 Global Environmental Change, S/F 
GEOG*3210 Management of the Biophysical Environment, S/F 

International Development
IDEV*1000 Understanding Development and Global Inequalities, S/F/W 

PHIL*2070  Philosophy of the Environment, W

POLS*2080  Development and Underdevelopment, F 
POLS*3320  Politics of Aid & Development, F 
POLS*3370  Environmental Politics and Governance, S/F

SOC*2280  Society and Environment, F


ACCT*1220   Introductory Financial Accounting, F/W
ACCT*2230   Management Accounting, F/W

ECON*1050  Introductory Microeconomics, S/F/W
ECON*1100  Introductory Macroeconomics, S/F/W
ECON*2310  Intermediate Microeconomics, S/F/W
ECON*2410  Intermediate Macroeconomics, S/F/W

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

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

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

Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS*3010  Quality Management, W
MCS*3040  Business and Consumer Law, S/F/W

MGMT*2150  Introduction to Canadian Business Management, S/F/W

PHIL*2600  Business and Professional Ethics, W

(maximum 0.5 credits allowed from this list)

ARAB*1100 Introductory Arabic, F
ARAB*1110 Introductory Arabic II, W

French Studies
FREN*1090 Basic French: Reading, S/F
FREN*1100 Basic French: Listening, F/W
FREN*1150 Elementary French, F/W
FREN*1200 French Language I, F/W
FREN*1300 French Language II, F/W
FREN*2520 French Composition I, F/W

German Studies
GERM*1100 Introductory German I, F/W
GERM*1110 Introductory German II, W
GERM*2010 Intermediate Language Practice, F
GERM*2490 Intermediate German, F

GREK*1100 Preliminary Greek I, W
GREK*1110 Preliminary Greek II, F

INDG*1100 Indigenous Language and Culture, W

ITAL*1060 Introductory Italian I, F/W
ITAL*1070 Introductory Italian II, W
ITAL*2090 Intermediate Italian, F
ITAL*3060 Advanced Italian, W

LAT*1100 Preliminary Latin I, F
LAT*1110 Preliminary Latin II, W

PORT*1100 Introductory Portuguese (Brazilian Culture), F
PORT*1110 Intermediate Portuguese (Brazilian Culture), W

SPAN*1100 Introductory Spanish I, F/W
SPAN*1110 Introductory Spanish II, F/W
SPAN*2000 Intermediate Spanish I, F/W
SPAN*2010 Intermediate Spanish II, F/W

Note: The letters S, F, W indicate the University's intention to offer the course in the Summer (S), Fall (F) or Winter (W) semester. The letter U indicates that an intended offering has not been assigned to the course. 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, business 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 30, 2020)