Undergraduate Courses

ILead develops and delivers the Faculty's undergraduate leadership courses. These courses follow the Registrar's timelines and ROSI procedures. While we will do our best to answer your questions about these courses, we ask that you consult your academic counselor or the Office of the Registrar for inquiries relating to your program or non-leadership courses.

Please refer to the Academic Calendar and Timetables for enrollment and registration information.

Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Undergraduate students can take three of our undergraduate courses to earn a Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Leadership education is about learning how to effectively handle complex, human challenges that often mean the difference between success and failure. Engineers are taught to think analytically and systematically. Leadership skills build on these strengths to make you a more effective engineer. The academic Certificate in Engineering Leadership allows you to demonstrate your commitment and learning in this sought-after area. Read more about how Undergraduate Engineering Certificates work.

TEP322: Language and Power (Formerly APS322) (HSS)

Instructor: Dr. Robert Irish
Elective approved for the Engineering Leadership Certificate 
Next offered:  Winter 2024 | Lecture Thursday, 3-5 p.m. | Tutorial Friday, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

This course asks: why do some ideas gain traction while others drop? What makes something persuasive? To answer this question, we will read ancient masters like Aristotle and modern writers like Malcolm Gladwell. We will explore how our own worldviews shape and are shaped by persuasive elements in our culture. By understanding rhetoric - the art of persuasion - we will learn not only to analyze persuasion strategies in politics, science and popular culture, but will also engage in our own acts of persuasion. Through the course, students should gain an ability to understand themselves and their world, and to express ideas in ways that have impact.

TEP343H1: Engineering Leadership (Formerly APS343) (CS)

Instructors:  Samina Hashmi, Cindy Rottmann & Emily Moore
Elective approved for the Engineering Leadership Certificate or the Engineering Business Minor
Next offered: Fall 2023 |  In person | Monday, 3-6 p.m. or Friday 3-6 p.m., 12:00-3:00pm  // Winter 2024| In person | Tuesday, 6-9 p.m. or Wednesday, 12-3 p.m.

This course is a practical approach to being a more productive engineer based on the premise that for technology to become a reality it must be translated through people.  A key is to understand that engineers lead in ways that reflect their skills and mind set.  The course begins with examining: 1) the meaning of leading (Why do something?); 2) the processes of leading (How do you do you create a vision and motivate others?); and 3) the tools of leading (What steps do you take to lead?).  Learning frameworks and personal working styles inventories provide practical tools to assist the student to understand human nature and the logic of learning to become a competent leader of self, teams and organizations.  The student prepares to become a competent leader by undertaking to learn (understand and integrate) key skills, character attributes and purposeful behaviours.  The course presents strategies for development of high performance teams.  Special attention is given to a number of subjects: transformational change, organizational culture, high performance work systems, and self-leadership.  The course material is delivered through lectures, readings, in-class discussion and a team project.  The project is based on the team interviewing the CEO of an engineering-intensive company or senior leader in the community.  Students will be required to submit written reflections on course content and their personal experience.

TEP442H1: Cognitive and Psychological Foundations of Effective Leadership (Formerly APS442) (CS)

Instructor: Dr. Robin Sacks
Elective approved for the Engineering Leadership Certificate or the Engineering Business Minor
Next offered: Winter 2024 |  In Person | Tuesday, 3-6 p.m.

This course has been completely redesigned for life in our quarantined world. This semester's theme is Self-Leadership (because you can't lead anyone until you can lead yourself (!), and who better to practice your leadership skills on during quarantine than you?!) The class is completed in teams of 4, (but worry not - there are no graded team assignments!). Together your team will work through themes related to self-leadership like self-discipline (why can't I keep my new year's resolutions?), resilience (how can hard times and failures make me stronger?), and motivation (how can I stay engaged when I don't feel like it?). You'll also embark on 3 wild self-leadership quests that will challenge you to walk your talk in practical ways. I designed this course to be highly challenging, but stress free. It's full of fun activities and deep, meaningful conversations with your classmates to help get you through life off-campus.

TEP444H1: The Happy Engineer – Positive Psychology for Engineers (Formerly APS444) (HSS)

Instructor: Dr. Robin Sacks
Elective approved for the Engineering Leadership Certificate or the Engineering Business Minor
Next offered: Fall 2023 |  In Person | Tuesday, 3-6 p.m. or 6-9 p.m.

Many disciplines have explored happiness – philosophy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, neurobiology and art to name a few. Why not engineering?  During the first part of the course we will play catch-up, examining the scholarly and creative ways that people have attempted to understand what makes for a happy life.  Then we turn our attention to our own domain-expertise, applying engineering concepts like “balance”, “flow”, “amplitude”, “dynamic equilibrium”, ”momentum” and others to explore the ways that your technical knowledge can contribute to a deep understanding of happiness.  This course is designed to challenge you academically as we analyze texts from a variety of disciplines, but it is also designed to challenge you personally to explore happiness as it relates to yourself, your own personal development and your success and fulfillment as an engineer.

TEP445H1: The Power of Story: Discovering Your Leadership Narrative (Formerly APS445) (HSS)

Instructors: Michele Irwin
Elective approved for the Engineering Leadership Certificate, the Engineering Business Minor, or the Communications Certificate

Next offered: Winter 2024 |  In person | Monday, 6-9 p.m.

This course offers an introduction to relational, authentic and transformational leadership theory by focusing on narrative and the power of story telling. Students will practice story-telling techniques by learning about the mechanics of stories, improve their public speaking by engaging in regular storytelling practice, explore their personal history by reflecting on their identities, and develop critical thinking skills regarding the stories (meta-narratives) that surround us, particularly as they relate to engineering problems/ethics. This is a highly experiential course with a focus on reading, discussion, practice and reflection.

TEP447H1: The Art of Ethical & Equitable Decision Making in Engineering (Formerly APS447) (HSS)

Prerequisite: Students must be in year 3 or above.

Instructor: Myrtede Alfred
Elective approved for the Engineering Leadership Certificate or the Engineering Business Minor
Next offered: Fall 2023 |  In Person | Monday, 4-6 p.m. and Wednesday, 5-6 p.m.

Engineering work involves the navigation of ethical and equitable decision-making. This course tackles complex ethics and equity challenges by focusing on multiple levels of practice: from design work to organizational practice and governance. By applying a systems lens, students will learn to develop the knowledge and skills needed for short-term and long-term action strategies. Students will investigate current situations through a case study approach and peer learning to develop skills for systems knowledge construction, impact evaluation, communication, and decision making. Student groups will apply analytical frameworks to study a topic of their choice, developing concrete recommendations aimed towards long-term change.

TEP448: Systems Mapping for Complex Social and Environmental Problems (CS)

Instructor: Lisa Romkey
Next offered: Winter 2024 | In person | Lecture Monday, 4-7 p.m. and Wednesday 8-9 p.m. | Tutorial Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.

Students will learn the techniques of system mapping and be introduced to fields of cross-disciplinary knowledge and to apply these concepts to a particular wicked problem. Students will be able to critique existing solutions against their systems map, thus exercising their critical thinking and testing understanding. The focus of the course is on problem-definition; it is expected that students will get to the point of preliminary scoping of a new solution against a well-defined and exercised problem. Teaching will be in a 2 hour weekly interactive lecture session, and 2 hour weekly tutorials where students will work together to develop and improve their maps. The tutorials will be closely supervised team working sessions so that the instructors can assess the contribution of all students to their team project. The final presentation will also be a chance for students to demonstrate their individual mastery of the problem.

TEP449: Intercultural Communication and Leadership (HSS)

Instructor: Dr. Penny Kinnear
Elective approved for the Engineering Leadership Certificate or Engineering Communication Certificate
Next offered:  Winter 2024 | In person | Lecture Tuesday, 4-5 p.m. and Thursday, 4-5 p.m. | Tutorial Friday, 1-3 p.m.

A highly experiential but theoretically grounded exploration of intercultural communication developments and practices. The focus on intercultural communication will be applied to the practice of leadership in the many intercultural contexts students engage in as students and as junior engineers. Students will deepen their understanding of culture and leadership through developing a nuanced understanding of culture and cultural practices beyond national, linguistic and ethnic boundaries. Concepts of cultural sensitivity, cultural competence and cultural humility will be related to models of leadership (authentic, collaborative, transformational, and ethical) to enable students to increase their cultural sensitivity, and humility beyond the classroom, in both multi- and intercultural contexts.