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Engineering your future

An engineering degree gives you a strong foundation to build an exciting and multifaceted career. If you like solving problems or enjoy learning how and why things work, our diploma in engineering foundations or one of our first-year programs may be for you.

Professional engineers apply science and mathematics to the design, construction and operation of a wide variety of items and processes that are essential in our modern world. The seamless functionality of mobile devices, the smooth flow of highway traffic and the reliability of our thermostats are all courtesy of engineers.

A degree pathway that works for you

On average, you will earn your engineering degree in four years (8 terms). At UNB, if you participate in a co-op or internship program, or choose a cross-disciplinary program, such as geological engineering, you will have an additional year of study and complete your degree in five years (10 terms).

Upon successful completion of our two-year diploma in engineering foundations or one of our first-year programs on the Saint John campus, you will be eligible to complete your degree at UNB Fredericton or another university.

To become a professional engineer in Canada, you must write the professional practice examination (PPE), administered by provincial associations, such as the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick.

Diploma in Engineering Foundations

At UNB Saint John, you will get off to a great start while enjoying the benefits of our small campus and class sizes. Our diploma in engineering foundations gives you a strong base before transferring to our Fredericton campus or another university to complete your four-year degree program.

The two-year diploma program provides you with a basic understanding of scientific principles and a foundation in engineering, mathematics, design and technical communication. After a general program of study in your first year, you will focus on one of five engineering disciplines (Civil, Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical, Software) in your second year.

Note: Admission to the Civil, Chemical, Electrical and Mechanical disciplines is competitive and is based on academic performance in your first year of the diploma program. Students admitted to the Software discipline in their first year will be eligible for the diploma in their second year of the program.

Diploma programs

Chemical engineers apply chemistry, physics and mathematics to convert raw materials into other, more refined forms. For example, through chemical engineering, crude oil is used to create a wide variety of modern products, including gasoline, asphalt, waxes and plastics. Chemical engineers also work in the fields of wood processing, food processing and environmental technology such as air and water quality.


Civil engineers design, construct and maintain all types of buildings and transportation systems. That’s an extensive list that includes:

  • office towers
  • highways
  • airports
  • canals
  • bridges
  • industrial plants
  • water
  • sewage treatment systems
  • hydroelectric developments
  • irrigation systems

Civil engineering students may specialize in a variety of branches including:

  • structural planning
  • geotechnical planning
  • regional and municipal planning
  • transportation
  • construction and construction material
  • sanitary and environmental and hydrotechnical engineering

Electrical engineers oversee the production, transmission and use of electricity. That includes everything from managing large power grids that deliver electricity to designing microprocessors for computers and other electric devices. Electrical engineers often specialize in fields such as power apparatus and systems, electronics and digital systems, computer networks and communication, electromagnetics and system dynamics and control.


Mechanical engineers make things move. Combining the principles of physics with engineering, mechanical engineers design, develop and analyze machines, including:

  • aircraft
  • automobiles
  • ships
  • spacecraft
  • industrial equipment
  • robotics
  • medical devices
  • heating and cooling systems

The majority of mechanical engineers work in manufacturing and industrial plants, improving system performance, including increased emission and other environmental controls.


Software engineers fuse the creativity of software design with the discipline of engineering principles. A relatively new field, software engineers perform a number of tasks including:

  • design
  • development or construction
  • testing
  • maintenance
  • systems management
  • adaptation of software for regional and language differences (software localization)

Software engineering is a fast-growing field with employment opportunities located in almost every sector and all over the world.


First-year programs

Students admitted to the bachelor of science in engineering program can complete the first year of the bachelor of science in engineering – geological engineering or geodesy and geomatics engineering at UNB Saint John. They then move to UNB Fredericton or another university to complete their degree program.

Google Earth exists because of geodesy and geomatics engineers, as do all forms of GPS (global positioning satellites). Geodesy is the science of mathematically determining the size and shape of the Earth and the nature of the Earth’s gravitational field. Geomatics is the gathering, analysis, interpretation, distribution and use of geographic information. Together, these engineers are the modern world’s mapmakers, creating precise 2D and 3D views of the physical world and our place in it.


Geological engineers merge earth sciences with engineering principles to determine what lies underground. Working primarily in the mining and mineral extraction sectors, geological engineers oversee the stability and safety of mines and of drilling sites, particularly of oil and natural gas wells. This includes stabilizing the site against landslides and other ecological disasters, protecting groundwater supplies from contamination and ensuring all work is conducted in an environmentally sustainable way.


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