Undergraduate teaching term information

On this page you'll find the resources you need for teaching undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Arts in a particular term, including important dates, grades, academic rules for assignments and tests, academic integrity information, course outline requirements, as well as resources for course development and student support. This information was previously distributed in the Beginning of Term and End of Term memos sent by the Arts Undergraduate Office. 

Winter 2024 End of Term Reminders

  • Classes End: April 8
  • Pre-exam study days: April 9-10
  • Final exam period: April 11-25
  • Make-up final exam dates: April 22, May 3, May 4
  • AccessAbility Services and Academic Accommodations
  • Assignments, Tests, and Final Exams section of the Calendar includes:
    • Academic rules and timing of tests, assignments, exams/final assessments
    • Accommodations
    • Exam and course work retention rules
  • Grades
    • Available Grades (Calendar), including non-numeric grades
      • INC grade process and form
      • Failing grades will appear as submitted on the student transcript, but grades in 0-32% range are calculated at 32% in averages
    • Grade submission (Quest)
    • Grade submission dates (Registrar's Office):
      • Friday April 19 for all courses without a scheduled exam or final assessment during the Final Exam Period
      • 7 days after exam for all courses with a scheduled exam
      • Grades begin to appear in Quest April 27
    • Grade changes must be submitted within one year from the Officially Graded/Standing Decisions Date (May 16, 2024)

Spring 2024 Beginning of Term Reminders

Syllabus / course outline


Beginning Spring 2022, we strongly encourage Arts instructors to begin using outline.uwaterloo.ca. This course outline software is being implemented across campus very successfully. It allows you to create and edit course outlines using pre-formatted layouts, quickly revise them for each term you’re teaching, and share with your students. Mandatory content is included in the template, and faculty-specific optional statements can be added easily.

Benefits of using this system:

  1. Empowers students to view their course outlines at any point in their academic career.
  2. Gives students a consistent information layout across all their courses.
  3. Simplifies administrative and archival processes by keeping all our outlines in one place in a standard format.

Start with Getting started with outline.uwaterloo.

Syllabus template and required elements

Accessible syllabus template, August 2021 (docx) — includes University Senate-approved basic elements and required statements

Secretariat syllabus/course outline required elements

Recommended statements to include in course outlines (2024) (docx) - Revised for Winter 2024

  • Territorial Acknowledgement
  • Declaring absences 
  • Accommodating religious and spiritual observances
  • Mental health support
  • Anti-racism statement
  • Academic freedom at the University of Waterloo
  • Intellectual property
  • Pronouns and chosen or preferred first name

NEW - Generative AI Use

Instructors take a variety of positions on the use of GenAI for assignments. Some instructors have assignments that encourage students to explore GenAI as a tool for academic work, whereas others do not permit any use of GenAI. Given this variability in approaches, it is important that your course outline and assignment instructions explain as clearly as possible what uses of GenAI, if any, are permitted in your course. 

The Office of Academic Integrity provides some recommended course outline statements on GenAI use. These include statements for courses that allow general use of GenAI, courses that allow conditional use of GenAI, and courses that do not allow any use of GenAl. Instructors can select and adapt whichever of these statements best fits the approach in your course. We also recommend that instructors remind students that policies on GenAI use vary from course to course. 

The Writing and Communication Centre also provides guidelines on generative AI and the writing process, which instructors are encouraged to share with students. 

Reading Week (Fall and Winter terms)

Refer to Important Dates for specific Reading Weeks (scheduled pauses in the academic term). Reading Week normally begins on a Saturday and ends on the following Sunday. During this time, normal class schedules and academic requirements are suspended. Student services such as student advising support, Health Services, Counselling Services, the library, and residences continue to provide service.

Instructors are not permitted to administer, and students are not required to sit for examinations, tests, or lectures during Reading Week. There are to be no compulsory academic events (e.g., classes, labs, tutorials, seminars, exams). Deadlines for assignments are not permitted during Reading Week (see Scheduled Pauses in the Academic Term).

Instructors should consider including their availability in their course outline, if possible. When instructors are not available to assist students during Reading Week, alternate arrangements for students seeking help should be made.

Student Course Perception Surveys

  • Refer to Resources for Instructors for more information about the teaching assessment process, including Student Course Perception (SCP) Surveys.
  • Generally surveys will be opened near the end of each term, usually 2-4 weeks before the last day of courses.
  • All instructors will be encouraged to provide time during class to complete the surveys, but you can also complete them on their own time. Survey timing will vary between faculties. You will be notified by email and in class that they are ready for your input.

  • The evaluations can be completed using any computer, phone, or tablet device connected to the internet.


Refer to the Registrar Resources for Faculty and Staff website (login required) for Final Exam Management information:

  • Exam cover page
  • Final exam evacuation procedures
  • Proctor Instructions
  • UW closures during exam period
  • Retention rule: exams and other course work should be kept for a period of one year.

Arts Connect: Student Alert

Arts Connect logo featuring a cartoon Porcellino (the boar mascot) wearing an orange Arts shirt , wearing a backpack and holding books and an apple.

The Student Alert initiative runs each term through a widget in Learn. This is a targeted approach where students can self-select to receive support, can send an alert for a classmate, or an instructor can submit an alert for a student they are concerned about.  

Instructors will identify students who are:  

  • Performing poorly academically 
  • Chronically absent or disengaged from studies and class activity 
  • Seemingly isolated 
  • Exhibiting signs of distress  

When a Student Alert is sent by an instructor, the Arts Undergraduate Office (AUO) advising team receives an email message outlining the concern with the student and the student’s advisor will reach out promptly to provide support and make a connection.   

Learn how to add the Arts Connect widget to your course shell in Learn.

Student support links

Academic Advising

Questions about completion of Arts degree requirements should be directed to the student's Academic Advisor. Similarly, students registered in other faculties who are taking courses in Arts should contact their respective program advisors.  

Student societies and associations

More comprehensive information and links can be found on the University of Waterloo Current Students page.