Course Approval Form Frequently Asked Questions

Before completing the Arts Course Approval Form, check below for answers to your questions.

General Questions about the Course Approval Form (CAF)

Where do you find the CAF?

Access the Arts Course Approval Form

Is the CAF first-come/first-served?

No, the CAF is open June 6 to 17. The submission time doesn't make any difference.

However, if you have free time and know which courses you want to take, please submit well before June 17 so our advisors have time to review your CAF. If you need to make changes, you'll have plenty of time to do so!

Will we only be contacted by an academic advisor after we submit the CAF?

Yes, at this point your first contact from your academic advisor (to you) will be your CAF response. If you have questions about the CAF or other questions, you can add them to your CAF form and your advisor will answer them for you.

Do we select both Fall and Winter term courses through the form?

Only your Fall term courses are selected in the CAF. We will contact you in late September about Winter term course selection.

I already submitted my CAF. Can I make changes?

Yes. You can submit the CAF multiple times until it closes on June 17. Only your most recent submission is saved. If your advisor asks you to re-submit your form, go back in and change the course selections and submit it again.

Are we able to talk/email/meet virtually with our academic advisor before submitting the form?

By all means! The first year advising contact list is posted on the Arts Advisors page.

Will my advisor tell me if I don't submit the CAF correctly?

Yes, we'll be in touch if your CAF needs adjusting. We'll ask you to resubmit it so it can then be reviewed until perfection is achieved!

Do you declare your minor on the CAF?

No, you do not declare your minor on the CAF. You will be able to declare your minor at the end of your first year when you declare your major.

There are not any elective courses available for PSYCH, SMF and SOC. The CAF is only allowing me to choose the 100 levels, but I am already taking them as preparation for the major. Can I take other PSYCH or SMF courses?

All upper year PSYCH, LS and SOC courses require the 101 course as a pre-requisite so you can't take upper year courses until the Winter term. SMF 101 is the only 100-level SMF course offered in the Fall term. Don't get ahead of yourself by jumping into 200-level courses as these have higher academic expectations. The only exceptions (such as PACS and RS 260) are listed on the Prospective Major Chart.

Where do I put the ARTS 130 or 140 in the CAF under the elective section?

ARTS 130 and ARTS 140 are not part of the CAF. You will enrol in Quest starting on Thursday, July 18 - see the Arts First How You'll enrol page for details. 

What happens if I miss the June 17 submission deadline?

If you submit your form after June 17th, you will need to add your courses during the Add Period which starts at the end of July, and many courses will be full. If you submit your CAF on June 17th (the last day) you have the same chance to get into your courses as a student who submits it on June 6th (the first day).

Will course descriptions be posted somewhere to help understand what courses are, when selecting electives and other courses for the CAF?

Course descriptions can be found in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar. You can filter by the desired Subject Code to narrow your search, or you can also type in the exact course (subject code + number, e.g., ANTH 100) in the Search Calendar bar. Get familiar with the lists of terms in a course description to understand what is needed to register in the course.

I might defer - should I still complete the CAF?

If you aren't certain (the Deferral Form opens July 1) then you should submit the CAF. Mention that you are considering deferring in the text box on the last page of the CAF. But if you know for certain that you are deferring, don't submit the CAF, and instead please email artsadvisor@uwaterloo.ca so we won't bother you with emails throughout the summer.

I submitted the CAF but haven't heard from my advisor. How long will it take?

Our advisors are working as fast as they can! Please be patient. But if you haven't heard after four working days, you can follow up with your advisor.

So if I need SOC 101, should I put it in my prospective majors and not my electives?

If Sociology is your first or second major choices, put it as course 1 or 2. If you are interested in Legal Studies as a major, add SOC 101 as your third course choice.

If I'm co-registered at St. Jerome's or Renison do I need to say that in the CAF? Are the classes different?

Your campus registration (UW, STJ, REN) is pulled into the CAF along with your name, Waterloo student ID and entry program information so your CAF will be sent directly to the appropriate advisor.

We offer courses on main campus (UW or ONLN) and at each of our four Federated and Affiliated University Colleges. If you are co-registered at SJU or REN, we will do our best to ensure that you are put into those courses offered by SJU or REN, as long as you submit the CAF.

Why isn't the course I want to take listed in the CAF?

Not every course in the UG calendar will be offered each term. If a course you want to take isn't listed, it may be offered in a future term. The Course Selection List shows only those courses that will be offered in the Fall 2024 term.

Courses offered by other faculties may not be listed if they are not open to Arts students or if all space is reserved.

For example, MATH 135 (Algebra for Honours Mathematics) has a pre-req limiting enrolment to students in Honours Math so can't be taken by Arts students. There are a number of first year courses that have limited enrolment.

I'm in Arts and Business but want to take a course that's not on the drop-down menu. How can I select it?

Since we want Arts and Business students to prepare for two different majors, the only courses available on the drop-down menus are those courses that lead to a major in the Faculty of Arts. MATH 104 is also on the list for students who plan to major in Economics but haven't completed a Grade 12 Calculus course.

If you plan to major in Economics, don't need MATH 104, but want to take a different course than what's available on the drop-down menu, leave the course blank and make a note in the box at the end indicating which course you'd like to take as your 4th course. If it's a suitable course, we'll manually add it to your course requests. One example is CS 115 that some students want to take. It's not listed for Arts and Business students, so just add it to the box a the end.

I'm in GBDA and want to take CS 115 instead of CS 105.

Indicate in the CAF free-form box that you want to take CS 115 and we will ensure that you are put into it.

Note that CS 105 and CS 115 are not anti-requisites but they cover similar content so you should not take both. And of course CS 105 and CS 106 are required courses for the GBDA program so all 1A students are automatically enrolled into CS 105 in the Fall term.

Arts First

When do we register for the ARTS 130 and ARTS 140 courses?

You will enrol in Quest starting on Thursday, July 18 at 9AM EDT. Details can be found on the Arts First website.

Are ARTS 130 and ARTS 140 available online?

The majority of Arts 130 and 140 sections are offered in person. There are only four online sections offered in Fall 2024. You can see the list of topic titles offered through the Schedule of Classes. Class times will not be posted until early July.

Where can we view the list of ARTS 130 and 140 topics for Fall?

A list of courses will soon be updated on the Arts First website.

Breadth Requirements

What are breadth requirements?

Breadth requirements are courses all Arts students in the Bachelor of Arts degree plans have to complete. BA Breadth are designed to provide a broad range of study as part of your degree. Read the full list of BA requirements

Who has to complete breadth requirements?

All Arts students in Honours Arts and Honours Arts and Business must complete the Breadth Requirements. Global Business and Digital Arts students do not complete the Breadth Requirements.

Do the ARTS 130 and ARTS 140 courses count toward our breadth requirement or do we have to take other arts courses?

The Arts Undergraduate Communication Requirement courses (ARTS 130 and ARTS 140) do not fulfil any of the breadth requirements. You will need to select other courses to fulfil your Breadth requirements.

When should we start thinking about fulfilling our breadth requirements? Is that something I should be worried about right now?

You can get started right away if you would like and some of your required courses may cover them, but you can also take them throughout your degree studies. Just remember to complete them prior to graduation.

Changing my prospective major

Can I change my prospective major(s) for the second term?

Yes. First year is a time to explore so if you change your mind, you just have to choose different prospective major courses for the Winter term. We’ll let you know in late September about Winter course selection. Consult the Prospective Major Chart for guidance. Once you are on campus in September make an appointment with your academic advisor.

Contacting Advisors

How do I know who my advisor is?

You can find your advisor on this list of advisors.

Are there different advisors in Arts?

All students are assigned to an academic advisor. If you are registered on main campus (UW), your first year advisor is assigned by the first letter of your last name. Students co-registered at St. Jerome's and Renison have dedicated advisors (see link above).

We have an upper year Arts and Business advisor that supports ARBUS students. If you have a major, you will have a departmental advisor that helps you with your major. We have a Liberal Studies advisor, as well as advisors for minors, etc. This means an ARBUS student majoring in Economics will have access to the ARBUS advisor and ECON advising team for support throughout their studies.

Co-op

Does co-op affect course selection at all?

Co-op affects course selection in that you need to ensure that you have not completed more than 13 courses before your first co-op recruitment term. For first year, you should aim for 4-5 courses per term for your 1A and 1B terms.

Are there any requirements that I need to take to do co-op?

The co-op process does not start until your second year. Once you reach this point there will be communication about all the information you need to start co-op.

Course Delivery

Do the courses explain if they are held at the college campus or the university campus?

The course campus will not show on the CAF. The Course Offerings List shows where the course is being held. Most courses are only offered at one campus. A few are offered at two different campuses (see PSYCH 101 that is offered at both the UW (main) campus  St. Jerome's and Online), but the course content and learning outcomes are similar.

Will any courses be offered online/remotely?

The majority of our Fall and Winter courses will be offered in-person but a few will be offered online. The Schedule of Classes (Fall 2024 term code is 1249) indicates how courses will be delivered. Note that studying entirely remotely will be a challenge given that most courses are in-person. The first year Arts and Business core course are offered in-person.

Deferring

I might defer - should I still complete the CAF?

If you aren't certain about deferring your offer to Fall 2025 (the Deferral Form opens July 1) then you should submit the CAF. Mention that you are considering deferring in the text box on the last page of the CAF. But if you know for certain that you are deferring, don't submit the CAF, and instead please email artsadvisor@uwaterloo.ca so we won't bother you with emails throughout the summer.

How do I defer?

Visit the Admissions website for more information.

Double Major

Can I take biology as my second prospective major, if I have psychology as my first?

The CAF only allows you to list two majors from the Faculty of Arts. If you want to pursue a joint honours plan in a non-Arts area, list this in the box at the end so your advisor is aware of your plans.

Note however that some subjects can’t be taken as a second major, or you may not be able to enrol in some non-Arts courses in 1A. If you are interested in a non-Arts second major, reach out to the appropriate academic advisor for guidance.

Can I complete two Arts majors in the same department?

Some Arts majors cannot be combined:

  • Classical Studies and Classics
  • Economics and Mathematical Economics
  • Communication Studies and Communication Art and Design Practice
  • Any of the four English majors (you can only select one): Creative Writing; Literature; Literature and Rhetoric; Rhetoric, Media and Professional Communication.

Note: Students in the Arts and Business progam cannot major in Mathematical Economics.

Economics

I'm an ARBUS student planning to major in ECON but see that it is also a required course in the Fall term. Do I still have to pick two prospective majors this fall?

It is encouraged that you still have two prospective majors. ECON 101 will count toward ARBUS and your ECON major. You should select a course for a different prospective major and then your final course can be an elective. It is important to have the second prospective major as a Plan B for your first year in case you do not do well in your first choice major, or in case you decide that you don't want to pursue that major anymore.

I'm thinking of majoring in Economics, what courses should I take?

ECON 101 will be one prospective major, and you could enrol in one or two more prospective majors if you wish. Your courses will contribute to your degree count and requirements. Also refer to information below in the Math preparation section as Economics is a math intensive discipline.

The upper year requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar.

I'm not certain if I should major in Economics or Mathematical Economics. What courses should I take?

If you would like to prepare for a major in Economics or in Mathematical Economics, it is best to follow the recommendations for Mathematical Economics since both majors require ECON 101 and ECON 102. If you change your mind in first year you will have the required ECON courses to move into the Honours Economics major.

Keep in mind that Mathematical Economics requires a strong background in math.

Note: Students in the Arts and Business progam cannot major in Mathematical Economics.

Electives

How do you suggest we choose electives? Based on personal interest or courses that help with our prospective major?

The Faculty of Arts has a wide range of course offerings, so you can choose electives based on interest or to prepare for an eventual minor (note that formally declaring a minor happens at the end of first year). The BA Breadth requirements, that all Arts students must complete prior to graduation, is a resource for elective ideas.

English

Do I need to select multiple 100-level English courses if I want to prepare for two of the four English majors?

The course recommendations for all four English majors are the same, so you will only take one 100-level ENGL course in the Fall term and one in the Winter term. These two courses will equally prepare you for any of the English majors: Literature; Literature and Rhetoric, Rhetoric; Media, and Professional Communication; and Creative and Professional Writing.

Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA)

What are the required first year GBDA courses?

Consult the list on our Fall First-year Course Selection website.

Where can I view the available major/minor degrees for GBDA?

GBDA students are admitted directly to the major. Students have been able to take different minors and diplomas over the years but this takes careful planning because, starting in second year, GBDA students take all of their courses at our Stratford campus. Contact the GBDA advisor for guidance.

I'm entering GBDA and not sure which electives to choose

Contact your GBDA advisor for advice: gbda.advising@uwaterloo.ca.

I'm uncertain if I should take GBDA 101 in the fall or winter term. Do you have any helpful advice?

GBDA 101 is a required course for the GBDA program and students are responsible for taking it in their first year of your studies. However, first-year students do have the choice whether to take GBDA 101 in either the fall or winter term. Your elective choices may impact the timing of GBDA 101. For example, if you want to take BLKST 102 (Introduction to Black Arts, Culture, and Literature) which is only offered in the fall 2023 term, you would take it and delay GBDA 101 until the winter term.

It is important to note that there is limited availability in the GBDA 101 course sections for both Fall and Winter Term. It is a required first year course so there will be a spot for you, however you may not be able to enrol in your preferred term. If you request GBDA 101 in the fall term but don't get in, you are expected to enroll in an elective credit instead. 

Another consideration is that GBDA 101 is held in Stratford every Friday in the Term (except for school holidays and closures). A complimentary Coach Bus Service is provided to first year GBDA students to take them to Stratford in the early morning returning to Waterloo in the late afternoon (5 PM). If your course is scheduled in the morning, you will have a corresponding tutorial section in the afternoon or vice versa – requiring you to be at our Stratford Campus for a full day.  This will limit your ability to take other courses that are also offered on a Friday.

If you have any further questions regarding when to take GBDA 101 please contact your GBDA advisor.

I want to take CS 115 instead of CS 105

If you are interested in completing the Computing Minor you will need to take CS 115 (CS 105 and CS 106 do not count for the Computing Minor). If you want to take it in 1A instead of CS 105, indicate in the CAF free-form box that you want to take CS 115 and we will ensure that you are put into it.

Is Spanish (language) offered to GBDA for first year students?

Yes, all first year GBDA students must take two language courses. The CAF has a drop-down menu that includes all available language courses. If you have previous language instruction, see the "language courses" section below for further information.

For GBDA, are there no general grad requirements for Math/Science courses?

No. Consult the GBDA course requirements for detailed information.

Is it possible to change my entry program from ARBUS to GBDA ?

No. Our GBDA program is full so you cannot switch at this time.

Who do I contact if I'm awaiting information about possible transfer credits?

Contact your GBDA advisor for advice: gbda.advising@uwaterloo.ca.

I'm an incoming GBDA student looking to take ECON 101 in the Fall instead of Winter, but it wont let me choose this on my course approval form. How do I work around this?

All GBDA students will take ECON 101 in the Winter 2023 term. The Economics department mounts a special section of ECON 101 for GBDA students (no other students can take it) and we want you to experience the course along with your fellow GBDA students.

If you are interested in taking an Economics course in your 1A term select ECON 102 from the GBDA CAF drop-down menu.

Do students in GBDA need to take all of the GBDA courses? Or do we get to select the ones we would like to take?

Yes, GBDA students must take all of the required GBDA courses. You also need to follow the year-by-year course requirements (can't jump ahead or miss something thinking you can catch up later).

Honours Arts and Business (ARBUS)

Are all the ARBUS courses listed in the Undergraduate Calendar required?

Yes, all of those courses are required if you are in the ARBUS program. ARBUS program requirements are also listed on our Arts and Business website.

How does picking courses change for ARBUS students? For example, do the ARBUS required courses take over the regular elective spaces?

Yes, the required first year ARBUS courses (ECON 101 and ARBUS 101 in 1A) leave only two course spaces in the CAF. Honours Arts students will see two additional spots for electives. The First-Year Course Selection page shows which courses ARBUS students have to take in the Fall and Winter terms.

Do we have space for an elective in ARBUS 1A (Fall term)?

ARBUS students will need to take ARBUS 101, ECON 101, and either an ARTS 130 or 140 course. The two remaining spaces should be used for your two prospective majors. 

Human Rights and Law (Double Degree)

I'm interested in the Human Rights and Law program. Is there anything I need to do in first year to prepare?

The Double Degree in Human Rights and Law program allows students to complete a B.A. degree at Waterloo followed by law school at the University of Essex (UK). Students must also complete the Human Rights minor.

Interested students must prepare by taking HRTS 101 (Introduction to Human Rights) in the fall term of first year in order to complete the Human Rights minor courses in sequence. Ensure you select HRTS 101 on the drop-down menu on the Course Approval Form.

Please reach out to the Program Director (email) if you have questions.

Intensive Psychology

I'm interested in the Research Intensive Specialization for Psychology so should I worry about specific courses required for this specialization in second year?

You can request to declare the Psych Research Intensive Specialization at the end of your first year when you declare your major. The courses for this specialization are upper year courses (300 and 400 level courses).

You will want to start focusing on that specialization after you have been admitted into the major. You can always reach out to your Psychology advisor to help plan course sequencing after you have been admitted to this major.

Language Courses

I'm interested in taking an advanced level language course because I have prior background in the language. I took two years of Spanish in high school but a prerequisite for SPAN 102 is SPAN 101 - does that mean I have to take SPAN 101?

If you have previous high school language credits or other experience for any of the language courses we offer, you will need to reach out directly to the department in order to verify that you are qualified to take an advanced level course:

I'm in ARBUS and want to take a language. Is there an option for that?

Unfortunately, students in Arts and Business only have 2 elective spots in first year in order to prepare for 2 prospective majors. You can delay taking a language course until second year. If you plan to major in Economics you will have one elective spot in the Fall term (as long as you have Grade 12 Calculus, if not take MATH 104) so you can take a language course. If you can't enter a course from the drop-down menu, make a note on the CAF (including which language course you want to take).

Legal Studies

Legal Studies students have to pick LS 101 and SOC 101 in first year, correct?

Yes, these are two of the first recommended courses for future Legal Studies majors. They are the pre-requisites for many upper year courses you may need to take. If you are in Arts and Business you may not have enough room to take SOC 101 in first year since you are preparing for two different majors. You can delay taking it until the spring term (should be offered online) or the following fall term.

Since Legal Studies majors are recommended to take SOC 101, should I put it in one of my majors, or as an elective?

SOC 101 can be added either as a prospective major or elective. If you are planning on a Legal Studies major plus a second major other than Sociology, put SOC 101 down as your third course choice.

For majoring in Legal Studies, is SOC 101 necessary? As well, PSCI 100 and PSYCH 101 are not included in student LS major average. What does this mean?

Yes, SOC 101 is a requirement for Legal Studies majors. If you take PSCI 100 and PSYCH 101, those will count towards your overall 40 courses that you will need to finish your degree. The grades for PSCI 100 and PSYCH 101 will not factor into your major average (Legal Studies), but they will factor into your cumulative (overall) average and your Arts average.

For example, LS 272 - Psychology and Law (cross-listed with PSYCH 230), has a pre-requisite of PSYCH 101, so you'll need to successfully complete PSYCH 101 before taking LS 272 or PSYCH 230. But PSYCH 101 won't count as part of your Legal Studies major average.

Math Preparation

I'm debating between MATH 104 and MATH 127. I have taken Calculus and Vectors in Grade 12 but I'm unsure how difficult MATH 27 is. Any tips?

MATH 127 is designed for students who are studying Math as part of their degree requirements. MATH 104 is designed for Arts students to prepare you for calculus-based theory you might learn. With that in mind, MATH 127 is more difficult, but it is also important to consider why you are taking this course. (i.e. is a prerequisite for something, or is it out of interest? Is it to work toward a minor, etc?).

Do we have to take MATH 104 if we have not taken calculus or advanced functions in grade 12 but want one of our prospective majors to be ECON?

Yes, if you don't have Grade 12 Calculus or the equivalent, add MATH 104 as an elective in first year. You need to take ECON 101 in the Fall term and ECON 102 in the Winter term of first year.

I am in Psych and want to minor in Human Resource Management. It says I need to take an AFM or ARBUS class but all of the ones listed are reserved for certain majors that are not mine. What can I do?

If you are referring to AFM 123/ARBUS 102 requirement (see UG calendar HRM link) you will need to wait until second or third year to take AFM 123, as there are always a few reserved spaces for HRM students. Note that the HRM minor can't be formally declared until completion of HRM 200. HRM 200 cannot be taken until students reach the 2A level.

I plan to major in Psychology and see the note that MATH 103 is required if I haven't taken a 4U Math course. However, I am taking data management 4U in summer school so do I still need MATH 103?

If you do not have the Math pre-requisite for PSYCH 292, take MATH 103 as an elective in first year or in the following fall term (2A). Arts and Business students will not have elective space for MATH 103 in first year so will take it in 2A. See Psychology website for Math background details. 

Minors and Diplomas

Can we minor in a subject outside of the Faculty of Arts?

Yes, you can choose minors outside of the Faculty of Arts. You can review the list of minors offered. Each minor will have information to let you know if you are able to pursue that minor or if that minor is restricted for students in that Faculty/program.

How do I declare a minor? Do I declare it in my second year along with my major?

You can declare minors when you declare your major at the end of your first year. If you want to add a minor after the declare you major process, you can still do so through the Plan Modification Form. If you want to minor you can always discuss it first with your advisor about the best time to submit.
Note that all Arts minors require 8 term courses.

How do I declare a diploma?

We offer a number of diplomas which require fewer courses than minors. Diplomas are never formally declared until the point of graduation. Follow the required courses outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar and discuss your plans with the diploma advisor.

Prospective Majors

Do you have to have a second prospective major? 

It's not required to have a second prospective major but it highly advisable that you do! Once you start your studies in university, you may discover that a subject you once were interested in may not be right for you or another subject may be better. Maybe your grades will not be high enough or another passion of yours may become more obvious through engaging in a variety of disciplines. 

Can I take Biology as my second prospective major, if I have Psychology as my first? 

The CAF only allows you to list two majors from the Faculty of Arts. If you want to pursue a joint honours in a non-Arts area, write this in the free-form box at the end so your advisor is aware of your plans. 

Note however that some subjects can’t be taken as a second major, or you may not be able to enrol in some non-Arts courses in 1A. If you are interested in a non-Arts second major, reach out to the appropriate academic advisor for guidance. 

Prospective Major Chart

I am an Honours Arts and Business student. Do we have the list of courses that we can choose to be the prospective major?

Yes, you can refer to the ARBUS Prospective Majors Chart to see what majors are available and what courses you should take for each major.

Where can we find the requirements for each major?

Check out the Honours Arts Prospective Majors Chart

Do the prospective majors carry over for two terms or do you choose different ones each term?

It depends. Ideally you are taking two prospective major courses that lead to the next course in a series of courses to pursue a major. If, after the first term, you find that you do not like or want the prospective majors you initially chose, you can pick two different prospective majors in the Winter term. Or maybe you have many interests and are using this first year to figure out what your path is, then maybe taking two prospective major courses in Fall and then two different ones in Winter may be what you need to do.

Keep in mind, to declare a major, most disciplines want to see one course from the major completed with the required averages. Some, such as Economics, require two courses before you can declare the major.

Prerequisites and Antirequisites

What is a prerequisite? 

Prerequisites are courses you need to take before you can enrol in a subsequent course. For example, PSYCH 101 is a prerequisite for almost all upper-year PSYCH courses.

What is an antirequisite?

The course content is too similar and so you can't take both courses for credit.

For one of the courses it says there’s an antirequisite: Antireq: WS 101, what does this mean? 

GSJ 101 (Introduction to Gender and Social Justice: the Global North) has an antireq of WS 101. Our Women’s Studies program was changed to Gender and Social Justice in Fall 2019, at which time all WS labelled courses became GSJ. A student who took WS 101 prior to Fall 2019 cannot take GSJ 101 for credit as they cover similar content. You cannot enrol in a course for which you also have the antirequisite course. 

Is it possible for there to be a 200 level course with no prerequisites?

Yes, there are many 200 level courses that don't have specific course prerequisites (such as the SOC 101 prerequiste for SOC 227). Some courses don’t have any prerequisites while others have level prerequisites such as “level 2A”. This means that you can only take the course once you reach the beginning of your second year.

The undergraduate calendar has a full list of courses offered by subject that include any prereqs.

What prerequisites are there to getting into Digital Arts Communication as a minor?

The Digital Arts Communication (DAC) minor includes some courses that require specific prerequiste courses, but not all of them do. The undergraduate calendar lists specific course links that you can view to see if there are any prerequisites. Note that you cannot formally declare minors until the end of your first year. Most of the DAC courses can't be taken until you reach level 2A.

Program Switch

Can I switch from ARBUS to Honours Arts at this time?

If you have any questions about the program you are in or want to switch, email  artsadvisor@uwaterloo.ca if you are registered on main campus (UW). St. Jerome's and Renison students should contact their advisors.

Movement between programs is not guaranteed. Our GBDA and co-op entry programs are full. If you are in Arts and Business Co-op it may be possible for you to move into Honours Arts Co-op. If you decide that you don't want to continue in co-op we can move you to the regular stream.

Is it possible to transfer to science in Winter?

If you want to transfer to Science you will need to contact the internal transfer advisor in Science to see if you are eligible to transfer. They will look at what courses you have from high school and academic performance in first term in order to advise you. The contact for internal transfers to Science is through the Science Undergraduate Office.

I'm an incoming ARBUS student hoping to transfer to AFM, are there any courses I should take and what level of GPA would it require?

It's best to reach out to the School of Accounting and Finance. An advisor will give you direction regarding admission expectations.

Reduced Course Load

If I want a reduced course load, should I just leave the "electives" section blank? 

Yes, you can leave the electives blank and add a note in the text box to let us know that you want to take a reduced course load. One or two courses will be part-time status. Three to five courses will be full-time status - in case you need to be full-time for any reason such as financial aid.

What are the implications If I take a reduced course load in first year? 

Normally a four-year degree consists of five courses each fall and winter term spread over four years. If you take fewer than 10 courses in your first year it will take you a bit longer to finish your degree, or you can take one or two courses during a Spring term to make up the difference.  

Taking a reduced course load is fine, but keep in mind that three or more courses equals a full time course load. If you only take two courses you will be part-time which will have implications if you rely on OSAP or financial aid. 

Social Development Studies (SDS)

If I am in Social Development Studies (SDS) do I have to choose two prospective majors or is that only if I want to have a second major? Do I need to have a second major?

If you've been admitted directly into SDS you don't need a second prospective major, but your SDS advisor can answer any specific questions you might have.

If you are in Honours Arts and Business or Honours Arts Co-op and plan to major in SDS you are encouraged to select courses for a second major. The Prospective Major Chart for Honours Arts Co-op or Prospective Major Chart for Honours Arts and Business list the recommended first year courses for both first and second majors.

By selecting the typical SDS first year courses (PSYCH 101, SOC 101, SOCWK 120R) you would automatically set yourself up for a prospective major in SDS and PSYCH.

For SDS students, are the BA Breadth Requirements required?

Yes, SDS students are Faculty of Arts students so they complete the Breadth Requirements. Please note - SDS students will automatically fulfil Breadth Requirements in the Social Science and Transdisciplinary Studies areas.

I'm an incoming SDS student and I was wondering how choosing electives work. I'm only seeing two electives for first year.

Most of your courses for the fall are chosen for you if you are in SDS. In the CAF, you only need to choose one elective course as your three SDS major courses are required and will be automatically added for you. You will need to add your Arts First course yourself in mid-July.

Are the first year courses for SDS different if you're choosing it as Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business prospective major rather than direct entry? I have seen two different lists for what classes you need first year for that program.

Students admitted directly to SDS are required to take SOC 101R, PSYCH 101R and SOCWK 120R in the Fall term. But students in Honours Arts and Arts and Business can also prepare for a major in SDS by taking PSYCH 101 and SOC 101 in first year. This is probably a time where you want to talk directly with your academic advisor.

Transfer Students and Transfer Credits

Do transfer students use the Course Approval Form?

No, students who receive transfer credits from post-secondary institutions that put them at the 1B level or higer don't use the CAF to select courses. The process is different, so visit our Transfer Student Course Selection website for

I am transferring from another university and haven't heard anything about transfer credits. Who can I contact?

Check that your final official transcript has been received by the University. Final official transcripts are usually available about three weeks after term ends. We strongly recommend you send your final grades to our admissions team as soon as possible.

I may receive some transfer credits for high school IB or AP courses. Do I use the Course Approval Form?

Yes! All students who are coming from a Canadian high school will use the CAF.

If you are receiving IB or AP transfer credits, you should still continue to use the Course Approval Form. The credits you receive will count towards your overall degree requirements. This means that you may continue to take up to 5 courses during your Fall and Winter terms, and possibly take a term with a reduced course load later in your studies since you already have some transfer credits. Or, if you prefer to take a lighter course load during your first two terms, that may also be possible. Mention the fact that you may receive some IB or AP transfer credits on the CAF free-form text box so your advisor can provide guidance.

More information on IB and AP transfer credits

Waitlists and Enrolment Problems

How will we know if certain courses fill up quickly, and will we be put on a waitlist?

If there are any issues of getting into a course, you can check our Enrolment Problems and Course Overrides page for specific information about waitlists and steps to take.

Our Quest system does not have an automatic waitlist so you need to manually add your name to a department's course waitlist form.

WATIAM/Email/Office 365 Account

How do I reset my WatIAM password?

Step-by-step password reset instructions  

  1. Log into idm.uwaterloo.ca/watiam/ (copy and paste this link into your browser) using your 8-character UWaterloo username (e.g. myuserna) and your current password (refer to https://uwaterloo.ca/watiam/ if you have forgotten your username or password).
  2. Click on the Change Password button.
  3. Enter your new password into the Password and Confirm Password fields. The new password must be different from your old password - do not reuse a previous password.
  4. Once submitted, click on your name at the top-right corner of the page and select Logout.      
  5. Your password is now reset across all of your UWaterloo accounts such as Quest, Learn WaterlooWorks, and Outlook.  

Who do I contact if I'm having problems with my WatIAM password or login?

Contact IST helpdesk at 519-888-4567, ext. 44357 or helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca

When will I get my Waterloo email account?

Starting the week of July 4th, you will be able to set up your uwaterloo email and access your uwaterloo Office 365 account.

In addition to email, you will also have access to the Microsoft suite including Word, Excel, Powepoint, and OneNote.

Winter Course Selection

When do I choose my Winter term courses?

Normally Winter term course selection is held in late September into early October. Your advisors will email you in September about the next steps for Winter course selection.

Wilfrid Laurier Courses

Can I take courses are Laurier?

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University have a cross-registration agreement that allows students to take some courses and count them toward your undergraduate degree. However, students must successfully complete 4 graded UW courses before requesting to take a Laurier course, so you can't do this in your first term. This is something you'll want to discuss with your advisor.