On this page you’ll find the most up-to-date list of Complementary Studies Electives approved for the current (or upcoming) term(s).

Engineering students are advised to wait until approved lists are posted before you select an elective. Approved electives vary term to term.

Complementary Studies Electives (CSEs) are required in most programs within engineering – the Faculty has approved the following acceptable CSE courses:

Approved Complementary Studies Electives – Summer 2021
(last updated: March 2, 2021 at 1:45pm)


To be acceptable for inclusion in your degree, a complementary studies elective (CSE) must meet the following requirements:

  • has 3 hours of lecture per week (can include up to 1 hour tutorial/discussion time)
  • deals with the “thought processes and methodologies of the arts and social sciences”
  • includes an evaluation of written material, such as an essay or research paper (not part of an exam)
  • includes an exam scheduled within the formal examination period (not entirely multiple-choice format)
  • is not a “learning language” course
  • is not an online (CUOL) or on-demand (VOD, TOD, AOD, etc.) course

Enrolment in courses on this list is subject to departmental approval, as there may be additional requirements that B.Eng. students do not meet. Click the course title for prerequisite information and a course description or visit https://calendar.carleton.ca/undergrad/courses/.

Note: If you are unable to register, you may contact the department offering the course through Carleton Central’s Registration Override Request form to request access.

Alternate Complementary Studies Elective Requests

If none of the courses on the acceptable Complementary Studies Electives list fit your timetable and you would like to take a different course that meets the same requirements, you may submit an Alternate Complementary Studies Elective Request to be reviewed by the Associate Dean.

Note: Any complementary studies elective must meet all of the six (6) requirements listed above.

Please contact the Academic Support Office at EngAcadSupport@ carleton.ca for the form and detailed instructions. 

Note:You must submit a current course outline for the course you wish to take and be able to demonstrate that none of the acceptable courses fit your timetable. Course outlines can be found on the website of the department offering the course, or by emailing the department directly.