The Foundation Term is designed to provide students who are academically at-risk an opportunity to build the skills necessary to succeed in their university studies.

The Arts Foundation Term is offered in the Fall term only. You’ll take 3 on campus courses only (on-line courses are not permitted) which will count toward your degree. Three courses in a term is considered full-time.

Dates and courses below are from 2019 and are subject to change for Fall 2020. Details will be updated in March 2020.

Students in the Fall 2019 Foundation Term will take:

  1. University (UNIV) 101
  2. A communications course to help with academic writing. Your Academic Advisor will determine which course you will take based on your previous academic record (one of ENGL 109, ARTS 102, ARTS 130 or ARTS 140)
  3. Students will rank their choice for the third course in order of preference on the Application for the Foundation Term. The following are the approved courses that students can choose from:
  • Students may not repeat any courses previously taken.

What are the conditions I have to meet to be part of the Foundation Term?

The Foundation Term is only open to students who have been given an academic standing decision of "failed, required to withdraw" in their first year (level 1A or 1B) and have been away from studies for at least 1 term before enrolling in the Foundation Term. Students who receive this standing decision in level 2A can be considered for the Foundation Term on a case-by-case basis.

How do I apply for the Foundation Term?

Deadline to apply - Fall 2019: June 28, 2019

In order to be considered for enrolment into the Foundation Term you should first speak with your Academic Advisor about your options.

If you and your Advisor agree that the Foundation Term is a good fit for you, complete and submit the Intention to Complete the Foundation Term Registration Form by the deadline. 

How can University 101 and the Foundation Term Help?

This term will teach you how to study, manage your time, and be successful long-term at University:

  • time management and organization
  • studying and writing papers
  • self awareness and critical thinking
  • note taking and reading

What can I expect in UNIV 101?

  • Practical Assignments
  • Mandatory attendance
  • Hands On Lectures / Workshops that:
    • Show you new skills and strategies
    • Allow you to apply and practice them
    • Give you feedback on how to be more successful in the future
  • Statistics show that eligible students who choose to enrol in the Foundation Term are more successful at Waterloo than students who don't.

What are the conditions to pass the Foundation Term?

  • You must achieve a minimum 60% in UNIV 101
  • You must pass ARTS 102 and your other Arts course, and achieve an average of at least 65% in these two courses.
  • Have no grades of NMR (No mark reported, no credit granted) or DNW (Did not write examination, no credit granted) assigned to a course taken during the Foundation Term.
  • Before continuing studies, you must complete all courses taken during the Foundation Term that have been awarded an INC (Incomplete course work, no credit granted.)

What if I don’t meet the conditions?

Not meeting the conditions is very serious. You will not be permitted to continue your studies. You will be given the following academic decision: “Failed, may not continue in Faculty" which means future enrolment at the University of Waterlooo will not be permitted for a minimum of 5 years.

This is also true if any student receives a second failed standing in Arts at any time in the future.


Please contact Devon Hutchinson if you have questions about the Foundation Term.