Frequently Asked Questions


Academic Support, Course Enrollment, Tutorials, Labs, GPA, Course Load, Writing Skills Test (WST), and D2L


Design Teams, Course Unions, Chapter Organizations, Interest Groups, and getting involved around campus

University Life

Laptops, Sports Teams, Taking Notes, Textbooks, Ryerson Time, Commuting, Discovering a whole new campus


  1. A lot of past midterms and final exams can be found on RESS’s Exam bank, 
  2. RESS plans a lot of midterm and final tutorials for students from different disciplines to help them with their exams (last year RESS planned over 60 tutorials for engineering students!), these tutorials are really helpful for students as they are usually taught by TAs that are teaching the course at the time.

RESS also advocates on behalf of students and directs students’ academic resources when appropriate, so make sure to bring forward larger issues to VP Academic at and we’ll try our best to come up with a solution!

A capstone is a large project which brings together the knowledge gained in many previous courses. This course is taken over both fall and winter semesters and is completed in the graduating year. 

In order to graduate you need to take 2 lower level (Table A) and 2 upper level (Table B) liberal studies courses, your course calendar shows that it is recommended to take one per year. In first-year, it is suggested that the course is taken in the fall semester. However, taking a liberal during the fall semester can be a  little too heavy so students can take another liberal through the Chang School in the spring/summer semester. Since the cost for 5-7 courses is the same, and I dropped before the drop deadline the course did not appear on my transcript. I found this worked well for me. If you would like more information about taking a liberal, and when to take it please book an appointment with your academic advisor.

This varies for every student. Some students decide to take it in the fall along with the required 5 and some decide to do them in the spring or in upper years. Keep in mind that taking liberals during fall or winter semesters when your total course load stays between 5 to 7 courses means that you don’t have to pay any extra money for liberals while taking them in Spring/Summer semesters means that you have to pay extra money but will have more time to focus on them.

These are two-hour classes in smaller class settings compared to lectures. Teaching assistants (TAs) go over homework problems and can help with any questions. At the end of some tutorials, there is also a quiz.

  1. These are two-hour classes in smaller class settings compared to lectures. Labs usually involve a hands-on experiment related to the subject covered in the course where Teaching assistants (TAs) go over the experiment and students form groups and do the experiments, labs usually involve a lab report of some sort which requires all of the students in the group to work together on it.

The WST must be passed in order to graduate but does not go towards your GPA. If a class is failed, the GPA for the course is 0. If the class is taken again the new grade replaces the previous GPA score of 0. Any class with a score of PSD will not be counted towards your GPA but a class with a number grade will be a part of your GPA.

  • These are the steps to follow in order to enroll in your courses:
  1. Click the Shopping Cart link.
  2. Select the Term you wish to enroll in.
  3. Click CONTINUE .
  4. Click Search
  5. Select the subject that you plan on taking
  6. Click Search
  7. The available courses will have a green circle next to it, thus you can see which class you wish to enroll in based on timing and professor, then click ‘select’.
  8. Click Next
  9. Finally, click ‘Enroll’ during the enrollment period which starts on August 11th, and you will be enrolled in your classes. 
  10. You can check your weekly schedule by returning back to the RAMSS homepage and clicking on ‘weekly schedule’.

You can make an appointment with an academic advisor through Google Calendar starting in August.

The winter term begins on January 11th, 2021. If you are missing the week after, we advise you to meet with an academic advisor as missing a week of lectures is a lot to catch up on!

This really varies for each student, there are some individuals that take up to 7 courses in a single semester and are fine with it, however it is usually recommended to take a maximum of 5 courses per semester and not more. We highly encourage you to meet with an academic advisor to figure out the best action plan for you!

Liberal courses in summer are offered through Chang School, the enrollment usually opens up sometime in February, you can find a full list of courses offered by Chang school on their website, and in order to enroll in Chang school courses  you enroll in the courses through RAMSS using the normal enrolment method but adding the letter C in from of course code (For example CPOL 128 instead of POL 128) when entering it in RAMSS.

  1. CEN 100 (Introduction to Engineering) is a good chance of getting more knowledge about different Engineering disciplines since there’s a Faculty member speaking about different aspects of their relative discipline.
  2. Aside from CEN 100, you can always reach out to any of your RESS Directors to ask them questions about their respective disciplines, attend events organized by Engineering Course Unions and 

Professors have office hours where you can have 1 on 1 interactions with them and ask them questions, you can also send them an email to them using your Ryerson email after class to ask your questions from them, however, make sure to conduct proper email etiquette.

Depends on the course and the professor! However, you will be using D2L in most courses to get all the class resources. Learn more about D2L on the REDI D2L Module

Some courses have a required attendance component. It is really important that you attend all lectures and tutorials to ensure you don’t miss important material. It can get very difficult to catch up on missed lectures.

There are 5 mandatory courses in your first semester: Physics, Chemistry, Linear Algebra, Calculus I and you have the option of taking your liberal, some people also take ECN 801 during first semester to have a lighter schedule during second semester however that can be really exhausting for first year students.

Yes, all engineering students are required to take the Writing Skills Test which assesses your writing skills. You will be given a general topic and will have an hour to answer it.

All engineering students are required to take the Writing Skills Test which assesses your writing skills. You will be given a general topic and will have an hour to answer it.

If you don’t pass, you will be required to take the WST again. The writing skills test is offered 3 times during the school year- once during orientation, once in November and once in April.


A design team is a group of dedicated students who work together to achieve a milestone and complete a design project. design teams usually showcase their final product in a competition of sorts, their final product can be a big variety of things, it could be a race car, a rocket, a robot or even a bridge! These are all real examples of various design teams at Ryerson.

You can find a full list of design teams at Ryerson here.


Joining a design team will improve your effectiveness academically and professionally, it will give you a lot of hands on experience as well as a lot of knowledge about the respected field.

Course unions are student organizations that represent the students of their discipline and act as a liaison between the faculty and their respective student body, they plan a lot of events for students such as tutorials, competitions, charity events and a lot of other things! 

You can find a full list of course unions at Ryerson through this link

Joining a course union means you’ll do a lot of coordination between the faculty and your discipline, you’ll spend a lot of time communicating with students from your own discipline as well as a lot of faculty members, it’s a great way to meet new people as well as to get your face known across your discipline, not to mention this is a great way to help the community.

A Chapter is a group of students which represent an external organization within Ryerson and usually organize professional events such as industry nights, mock interview sessions and resume helps.

You can find a full list of available chapters at Ryerson here.

  • Chapter organizations are professional student groups focused mainly on showcasing the goal of the organization their representing, so by joining a chapter organization you’ll gain a lot of professional and interpersonal skills and do a great amount of networking with industry professionals.

Yes, you can always join an interest group! Interest groups are groups of students that seek to influence public policy on the basis of a particular common interest or concern (for example, sustainability or diversity). They do this through organizing a lot of events and sending delegates to external conferences.

You can find a full list of available interest groups at RESS through this link.

Joining an interest group will make sure you become more aware towards the issue that group is trying to address especially if your passionate about the issue too, it will also ensure you meet experts and professionals which you can learn more about the field your working on from.

You can always follow them on Instagram and Facebook and send them a DM, you can also find a full list of all student groups with their contact information from this link and send the group an email.

University Life

You won’t need to learn any programs just yet. In your second term, you will take a course CPS125 that will teach you programming using the C language, so it wouldn’t hurt to learn the language beforehand.

Yes, there are maps all over campus. You can get a virtual tour of the campus from this website.

There’s no such thing as a bad computer. Every department uses different software and can recommend which computer is better. For example: in mechanical/industrial, Solidworks is used which cannot be run on Mac computers. Contact your specific department for a better approximation.

When looking for a laptop, it is all really up to personal preference. Traditionally, Windows computers are able to run more programs than a Mac. If you don’t have a Windows device, our computer labs here have every single program that you could need on them.

You should wait until you have your course outline at your first lecture to make sure you have the right textbook and version, however, we do not recommend buying new textbooks for courses unless they’re absolutely essential, since textbooks are really expensive and there are always cheaper alternatives available.

Personally, I used to be an old schooler and prefer pen and paper, but with the emergence of online schooling, using an Ipad or Tablet for note taking can be pretty good too.

Finding classes in first year can be a bit tough, especially with buildings such as Kerhall or EPH, but professors are usually really understanding of your situation and the fact that it’s your first day.

Also, based on Ryerson senate policies all profs have to start the class 10 minutes after the hour so don’t worry if you’re a bit late to class.

Yes, you could join the RyEng group chat on Facebook, all the disciplines have their year specific chats on Messenger as well and some disciplines like Civil or ECB have Discord chats, message your directors to be added to that.

You can join a lot of intramurals which can be found on the Ryerson Athletic Center Website

We encourage you to meet with an academic advisor to see if working is a feasible option because the workload is heavy.

Alternatively, you can start looking for work by registering for Ryerson CareerBoost and applying for the available positions there.

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