Architecture Faculty Handbook

This document is intended to assist School of Architecture faculty members to navigate through, and to ensure compliance and best practices in accordance with University of Waterloo Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.

This package presents key issues, procedures and resources for setting up your employment and delivering your assigned course at the School of Architecture (SoA).

A more extensive handbook for the Faculty of Engineering can be found here.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the appropriate staff team members as listed in the directory at the end of this document. For general inquiries please reach out to Andri Efstathiou, the School's Administrative Officer.



You will be presented with a part-time faculty contract defining your responsibilities and teaching assignments. Once your contract is approved by the Director of the School of Architecture and the Dean of Engineering, an electronic contract will be emailed to you for your review and approval.


Once your contract is signed, it will be sent to Human Resources for processing to activate you in the system and generate your employee ID and payroll information.

The University of Waterloo operates on a monthly pay cycledeposited automatically on the last Friday of each month to the bank account information you have provided. To avoid any delay in your monthly pay, please submit your signed contract by the deadline.

You can verify your personal, payroll and tax information on Workday (log in with your WatIAM userID and password).


As an employee of the University of Waterloo you have a UWaterloo email account. It is recommended that all faculty use this e-mail to communicate with students. Your profile must be activated in order to use various administration and teaching support services at UW.

New employees can activate and manage their UWaterloo account here. Type in your last name, employee number, and date of birth and click on the Continue button located on the bottom left of the screen.

Your UWaterloo account username and password are used by the following applications: Workday, @uwaterloo email, Learn, Quest and many other services, including WatIAM.

If you have any issues or questions regarding your UWaterloo e-mail please contact Palak Chauhan in the Architecture Computing & Media department.


To access all of your University of Waterloo accounts new employees must enroll in two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication is used to strengthen the security of your University accounts. Two-factor authentication requires another distinct layer of verifying your identity like your mobile device and will prevent anyone from accessing your accounts even if they know your password.

For further information about two-factor authentication and how to enroll please click here.


The University of Waterloo and the School of Architecture take the safety of their faculty, staff and students very seriously and make every effort to ensure a safe working environment.

This includes ensuring that such individuals have completed all Mandatory Health and Safety Training indicated below. For more information on each, click on the link, or visit the website listed above.

SO1001 Employee safety orientation(requires 30–60 minutes to complete)
SO1081 Workplace violence awareness(requires 30–60 minutes to complete)
SO2017 WHMIS 2015(requires 45–60 minutes to complete)

Accessibility Training (requires 45–60 minutes to complete)

These online courses are available by self-registering on Waterloo LEARN and must be completed by the end of the first week of term.

If you have any questions or concerns about any safety issues at the School of Architecture, please do not hesitate to speak to Andri Efstathiou.



UW maintains separate calendars for graduate and undergraduate studies. Both of these serve as the official contract of program requirements between the University of Waterloo, and the students admitted to any term within the year of a particular calendar.

Important dates, indicating things such as start/end dates of classes, grade submission deadlines and observed holidays/closures for the term can be found here for undergraduate and graduate programs.


QUEST is the student information system that allows you to view your class roster and upload final grades. Class rosters can be downloaded from QUEST

LEARN is the web-based learning management system used at UW to manage course materials, assessments and communication. 

Request a Course

Login to Waterloo LEARN and click the "Course Request" link found in the navigation bar. Select the course for the shell, then individually select the sections you want included in the course or choose the "select all" box to add all sections. Once you have submitted the request, we will approve it as quickly as possible and in most cases the course will be available after 9:00 am the next day. By default course sites on Waterloo LEARN will become available on the official first day of classes unless a request has been made for an alternate start date. Likewise students will lose access to the course at the start of the following term. If there are assessments that you wish viewable longer, you may email LEARN Help to request that the access date be extended.

Copying Content: If you want to copy content from a previous offering or a sandbox/development course, here are instructions for copying content from another LEARN course
LEARN Help Documentation: LEARN instructions for instructorsteaching assistants, and students are available on the LEARN Help website.  You can also access this website by clicking on the "Help" link on the navigation bar of your LEARN landing page.
CTE Teaching Tips: An extensive collection of useful ideas and practical methods for effective teaching are available on our CTE Teaching Tips website.  Teaching tips that are of particular interest in this remote teaching time can be found in the Teaching during campus closures section.
Remote Teaching Resources: Please continue to check out the Keep Learning website regularly for updated resources and events that you might find useful.

MS Teams Request

To request a roster sync’d MS Team, you must have the course already in LEARN:

Go to the Course Tools widget in the equivalent LEARN Offering

Select Instructor Tools
Select MS Teams Request

The MS Team will contain the same registered student roster as the LEARN course (sections and manually made groups, as well as TAs etc. are not added). Both the access to the LEARN course and roster sync’d Team is based on the start date in the LEARN course. Members added after the start date of the term will need to be manually added to the Team. The Teams will be available at the start of classes. Teams that are created by UW as part of the LEARN request will be deactivated at some point following the end of term, so be sure to remove important files and recordings that you may wish to save for later use.

Online Learning Platforms
It is strongly encouraged you use virtual learning platforms supported by the University of Waterloo including Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Cisco WebEx to deliver virtual lectures and meetings. All employees and students have access to free accounts on these platforms. Studio and project based delivery has also found to be a highly useful tool. Education accounts are free but have a limit on the number of seats.

Course Document Submission

Please add the Administrative Assistant as Level-4 TAs to your LEARN shell.

They will retrieve course outlines and project briefs from your LEARN contents. If these documents are not easy to locate, please consider adding a module titled "Final Course Documents" to simplify retrieval.

Student-work Submission

Please add Administrative Assistant as Level-4 TAs to your LEARN shell.

They will retrieve student work submitted to LEARN Dropbox folders. For the school work archive and accreditation purposes, we collect final submissions for each project in each course. Please ensure the submission folder names for relevant submissions are easy to identify. If not, please rename the submission Dropbox folder to something like "Project X Final Submission" to facilitate collection.


If you are coordinating a studio or running your own course, you are responsible for creating the course's syllabus - the most important and final authority on a course's information. The course syllabus is to be available to students at the end of the first week of classes. This document describes all aspects of the course including content, assessments, field trips, and timing constraints. We use our own boiler course template that you can find in Teams in the Course Delivery Resources channel (sessionals can access this during their teaching term – if you cannot access this Teams please contact Palak Chauhan to be added). The SoA boilerplate includes mandatory information regarding plagiarism, AI use.

If you would like to see past course syllabi specifically from School of Architecture courses please contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator or the Graduate Program and Research Coordinator.


SoA's undergraduate and graduate programs combine into an accredited professional degree. As a result, some core course objectives are planned in relation to the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) requirements. Please ensure that you understand these responsibilities, in terms of required topics and objectives, when planning your course. Currently, it is best to discuss this with the school's Director.


Prior to the start of each term, the Undergraduate Office works with instructors to review and coordinate major deadlines and tests/exams. This effort is aimed at supporting students in their time management and setting them up for success across their courses in any given term. Given this, moving deadlines during the term is not allowed. Should reasons to make adjustments arise over the course of the term, please consult with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator before making changes. Please note that according to University policy, any changes to the course outlines need to be presented, voted on and approved by all students.

The SoA weekly schedule has a constant rhythm throughout the year to work towards a balance in courses and deadlines. Studios run Monday and Thursday. Core courses and electives run Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Studio deadlines will typically fall on Monday evening to allow students to attend classes on Tuesday and Wednesday as well as to allow ACM time for printing, with reviews taking place on Thursdays. Be sure to advise ACM of major printing deadlines.


It is recommended all course materials be posted on LEARN, however if you require course materials to be printed (syllabus, tests, assignments, final exams etc.) please send the document and requirements to SoA's Administrative Assistant.

All printing should be sent a minimum of one business day prior to the required class time to ensure timely completion.


All core classes have assigned classroom space (you can view this on your schedule of classes in Quest), if you require alternate space outside of class time or for studio courses please follow these steps to book space through your personal Outlook calendar.

If you require any assistance, please contact our Administrative Assistant.

Here is a list of rooms available and the teaching and A/V resources dedicated and available to the space:

Room 2026 25 seats / large table(s) / dedicated screen
Ward Room 15 seats / large table / dedicated screen
Loft Gallery  Pin up space / meeting space - suitable for <30 people
Loft   Large pin up space - equipped with room dividers. Can accommodate a full cohort or be divided between groups
Main Lecture Hall Large lecture room with projector
E-Classroom    Large lecture room equipped with desk surfaces and power sources for audience. Projector and whiteboard installed in room.
Photo Studio Alternative seminar space can be booked to accommodate a meeting of <15 people

Large table for seminars located at rear of library, suitable for up to 20 people


The School of Architecture main entrance is on Melville Street. You will need FOBS to enter in the School from all doors. Operational access to the school is from 7am to midnight. You can pick up your FOB from the main office during the first week of lectures. If you are a returning adjunct and have been issued a FOB in the past this one will continue to work.


The Architecture Computing and Media group provides computing support for students, faculty and staff in the School of Architecture. You can review the full range of resources the group offers here.

Most common needs instructor needs include:

A/V Resources for Teaching: (booking and using TVs, projection etc.) can be requested from Fred Hunsberger. Please send in any request with a minimum of 24hrs. If you are requiring multiple screens (e.g. for review purposes), you should ensure they are available ahead of time as we have a limited quantity.

General IT and teaching support services connect with our Client Support Specialist.

Technology platforms for Teaching connect with Client Support Specialist.

Classroom technology instructions


The supply store provides students with a convenient location to purchase basic architectural supplies such as adhesives, drafting supplies, writing instruments, papers and boards, sketchbooks and basswood. If other specialty materials are required please contact ACM well in advance to permit timely ordering, preferably in advance of the start of term.

The Supply Store also provides students with an in-house large-format printing service. There is a 24 hour turnaround for plots. If you have a deadline where a large group of students will be submitting large-format print files, please coordinate this deadline with the Supply Store. A LEARN Dropbox should be created for students to submit assignments for printing and permission given to ACM to access the files.

Large scale printing, plotting or material needs for smaller scale projects should be directed to ACM Manager.

ACM will only process printing during normal business hours. If students are expected to use the printers over the weekend, please notify ACM in advance so that they can ensure the printers are well stocked.


If you have requirements in your course that require use of the Fabrication Labs (workshop, digital labs, CNC, etc.) or specific building materials please contact Heinz KollerIt is especially important to coordinate workshop use with Heinz if you expect extensive use of workshop/ fabrication resources. This allows the workshop to plan and manage the resources for your course while maintaining access for other students.


Located on the second floor, this branch of the University of Waterloo Library supports the teaching and research of students and faculty at SoA.  Library services, course reserves, GIS services etc. can be directed to the Musagetes Library Team.

The library has spaces available for seminars and group meetings.


The course instructor is the primary person responsible for Field Trip arrangements including the collection and distribution of forms.

Field trips represent a substantial undertaking and must be arranged well in advance of the term. In order for a field trip to be a mandatory course component it needs to be included in the course outline as well as included in the official calendar description. If you desire to add a mandatory field trip component to the course this must be cleared with the Undergraduate Office well in advance of the term.

Last minute field trips that require the booking of transportation are not permitted. As these are not included in the course outline, attendance cannot be made mandatory and we have seen an increase in students opting out of these trips.

Any field trip requires a field work/field trip risk assessment form. Please contact the Administrative Assistant for any information regarding the planning of field trips, including responsibility, risk, logistics, bookings, costs and payments. Field trips are to be scheduled during class time unless other arrangements have been discussed with Undergraduate/Graduate coordinators.

For detailed requirements please refer to this comprehensive page.


Research and coursework with human participants requires prior ethics review and clearance through the Office of Research Ethics (ORE). For more information on the application and ethics review processes, refer to the Office of Research Ethics website.


If your course involves the construction of projects that are to be installed in and around the School, please discuss potential locations with Heinz Koller and Andri Efstathiou. You should assist students as they seek approval for the area they are hoping to use, and keep track of the window of time they have been authorized for. We encourage faculty to include "take down" as a component of the project assessment, and ask that instructors clearly communicate expectations regarding the respectful use of school's space and the disposal, recycling or reuse of material resources. Safety is a top concern. The Faculty member needs to ensure that installations do not present a fire hazard, impede on fire egress, present tripping or injury potential.


Please carefully review these Official Policies and Regulations:
Undergraduate Academic Policies and Regulations 
Graduate Academic Policies and Regulations

Online Learning in Architecture
Using Microsoft Teams to Run an Online Course
Virtual Studio Roadmap
Keep Learning



SoA primarily uses numeric grades (out of 100).

The following is offered as a guide to numerical grade assignments for courses other than studio:

>=90  Consistent exemplary work that exceeds expectations. Work is holistically thought provoking and executed at a very high level.
85-89 Some elements of work are exceeding expectations and executed at a high level but this level of achievement is not maintained throughout all project elements.
80-84 Work is consistently above average and student is actively participating and actively engaging the course material.
77-79 Average work. Student is completing work in a timely manner and participating in the course. No attendance issues. Shows expected levels of competency in course materials.
70-76 Work is compete and meets expectations on some points while operates below expectations on others.
50-69 Work is incomplete or completed with minimal comprehension and effort.
< 50  Work is unacceptable and does not fulfill the requirements.

The following is offered as a guide to numerical grade assignments for studio courses only:

>=90  Consistent exemplary work that exceeds expectations. Work is holistically thought provoking and executed at a very high level.
85-89 Some elements of work are exceeding expectations and executed at a high level but this level of achievement is not maintained throughout all project elements.
80-84 Work is consistently above average and student is actively participating and actively engaging the course material.
75-79 Average work. Student is completing work in a timely manner and participating in the course. No attendance issues. Shows expected levels of competency in course materials.
65-75 Work is compete and meets expectations on some points while operates below expectations on others.
60-65 Work is incomplete or completed with minimal comprehension and effort.
< 60  Work is unacceptable and does not fulfill the requirements.

Please be mindful in assigning low studio grades that the passing average for studio is 60%. If you wish to make the passing of the final project a requirement for the passing of the course, this must be clearly stated in your course outline.


Faculty are not required to record lectures nor post lecture material. Post COVID we are seeing an increase in student expectations to this effect. The SoA is encouraging in person attendance. Extensive posting of materials is being seen as a cause for a decline in attendance and engagement.


Plagiarism is a very serious academic offense. As part of each course outline, please be sure to use the approved SoA boilerplate. This now includes clauses on the use of AI in course submissions.


While the SoA has no official policy for Faculty describing late penalties or late passes in courses, please be mindful that the penalties need to be reasonable and in proportion to the submission. Penalties must be clearly described in the course outline as these do vary between courses and therefore can create confusion for the students.

An acceptable late offence is likely to be in the range of 5% to 10% per calendar day to a maximum of X% of the project grade.

At present students are permitted to use one short term (48 hour) absence during the term without the need for supporting documentation. These can be used to effect an extension on a submission deadline. More information on these can be found here:

Some courses will allow students one or two undocumented late passes during the term. Again these are not required and so if allowed, need to have their parameters clearly outlined in the course outline, including, but not limited to, the timing of the subsequent deliverable. Late passes may only be used on hand-ins and not to postpone tests, quizzes or exams. If a student is unprepared to sit exams this may signal a greater issue and the undergraduate office may need to be consulted.

With the addition by the University of the 48 hour undocumented absence, the SoA is discouraging the use of Late Passes in courses.


From time to time classes may be cancelled because of a campus-wide emergency closure, such as inclement weather. Under these circumstances, instructors have the authority to reschedule the missed class at the same time on the next day on which classes are not scheduled (normally Saturday). The agreement of the class is not required in this case. Please contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program and Research Coordinator as they can guide you through the re-scheduling process at the undergraduate and graduate levels respectively.

When the closure occurs during the last week of class in a term, the class can be rescheduled on the first available day between the last day of classes and the start of examinations.

If an instructor cancels a class for other reasons, the missed class can be rescheduled only with the consent of all students in the class.


You are expected to teach all classes at the schedule times. If you have to be away for emergency reasons or other reasons, please contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program and Research Coordinator as they can guide you through the process at the undergraduate and graduate levels respectively. This may involve re-scheduling the class with the consent of all students enrolled in that course, finding a suitable replacement for the day, or cancelling the class. Any of these options require approval from the Director.


There is a difference between an Accommodation and a Consideration. Accommodations are required when a student registers with the Office for Disability due to new or ongoing circumstances that impact their ability to complete work. Considerations arise when students have sudden emerging issues (accident, illness, death in family, family issues). Although we are not legally obliged to accommodate in the same way, we are to treat such situations with compassion. Feel free to contact the undergraduate office for advice as such situations often impact many courses and a coordination of efforts may be required.

An increasing number of students is requiring accommodations or considerations in the completion of their coursework, including assignments and examinations. Students must register with the Office of Accessibility at the beginning of each term to renew or initiate legal accommodations. Instructors will receive an email from AAS to indicate that a student is registered and to convey the nature of the accommodations to be provided. When a student needs an academic accommodation they must contact AAS and then you will receive a notice from AAS that an accommodation is to be provided. These are legal requirements. You may discuss the precise nature of the accommodation with AAS. For tests these are usually extra time. Sometimes assignments will be missed or extra time to complete given. If the accommodation impacts a group project, please consult with AAS such that the accommodation to the affected student does not cause undue hardship on the partner or team.

You need not contact the Undergraduate Office unless there are issues with the accommodation. If you do require special testing accommodation (separate space, etc.) Please contact and she will assist.

More detailed information on Accessibility can be found here:

Any serious undergraduate student matters can be sent to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator or Undergraduate Faculty Officer, Terri Meyer Boake.

Any graduate student matters can be sent to the Graduate Program and Research Coordinator or Graduate Faculty Officer, Robert Jan van Pelt.

If any concerns emerge over the course of the term, (including but not limited to student's wellbeing, successful completion, repeated absences, etc.) please connect with Undergraduate or Graduate Coordinators.

If the work cannot be submitted prior to the end of exams and prior to the submission of final grades and an extension beyond the end of term seems warranted, please contact the Undergraduate Office. An INC grade can be given but a confident timeline for completion needs to accompany this request. The use of and INC will result in a MNP decision and prevent the student from enrolling in the subsequent term if the INC is not cleared. It is the responsibility of the Faculty member to follow up on the completion of work.



Towards the first week of the last month of classes (March, July, November) you will receive an email from the University to facilitate course evaluations. Ideally you should be allowing students 15 minutes at the beginning of your class to complete these online. Receiving a high level of completion of this task is extremely important. These values will be included by you on your Faculty Performance Evaluation. Your evaluations can be found here.


All teaching faculty are expected to upload final grades to Quest within the specified grade upload period. For detailed instruction on how to upload grades please refer to Learn Help.

Instructors receive a grade submission schedule in an e-mail from This e-mail includes a timeline for the grade submission process, information on instructions for Uploading Grades, Help Contact Information and additional links related to examinations and tests. It is important to adhere to this timeline to ensure students' academic progression is not delayed.


A copy of any course materials should be submitted to keep in electronic files in the main office as per records retention guidelines; please forward a copy of your course materials to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator.


For archive and accreditation purposes the school collects student work samples from each course. Please provide the Administrative Assistant with a folder of the two strongest, two average, and two weakest projects upon course completion/final grade submission.