Undergraduate student information

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Spring 2021 term information

The recent surge in COVID cases in Ontario makes it clear that the virus and our collective efforts to stop the spread need our continued attention posing ongoing difficulties in planning for in-person learning.

With this in mind, our plans for the spring term will be in keeping with our current approach. This means that instruction will continue primarily online and in-person in limited situations as the regulations allow.

Spring term will start one week later than planned 

We recognize that instructors and students need more time to transition between terms than the current academic calendar allows. To create more time between terms, the Senate has agreed that spring term dates will be revised as follows:

  • Spring term will now start a week later on Monday, May 10
  • Classes will end on Thursday, August 5
  • Exams will begin on Saturday, August 7 and end by Monday, August 16 (the original last day of exams). 

More details on the revised academic dates for the term are available below: 

Please be assured that we are continuing to revise our plans for a safe and staged return to in-person activities as soon as the conditions allow.  
Your health and wellbeing  is  our  priority. Please remember to take care of yourselves and each other. Information about supports for students and employees can be found on the COVID-19 Information home page.

Winter 2021 term information

Waterloo is preparing winter term for you! As recently announced, winter term delivery will be primarily online to continue to protect public health, and we have begun preparing the course selection process.

Below is a summary of course delivery details in your faculty for the winter 2021 term. Any course components that are delivered in-person will be done following the guidance of public health officials as required.

For courses delivered online, some may have real-time activities like online meetings and lectures. If these elements are part of your course, we have asked our instructors to make sure that no students in the class are disadvantaged if they are unable to participate synchronously.

Schedule changes

After consulting with student leaders and other campus groups, we have decided to make some updates to the winter 2021 term schedule:

  • January 11: Classes begin
    We will be delaying the start of winter term classes until January 11. All other winter term activities (such as co-op work terms) will begin as usual on January 4.
  • February 13 to 22: Reading Week
    No change. Reading week will continue as planned.
  • March 15 to 16: Scheduled pauses
    Classes will be cancelled on Monday, March 15 and Tuesday, March 16 to create a four-day weekend from March 13 to 16.
  • April 14: Classes end
    The last day of classes will follow a Friday schedule.
  • April 15 to 16: Pre-exam study days
  • April 17 to 26: Final exam period

View all Winter term dates.

Accessing your online classes

  • Reliable internet access will be required.
  • Tools such as a webcam may be used in your course.
  • LEARN (the web-based learning management system):
    • If your instructor is using LEARN:
    • If instructors are using other platforms, you can expect:
      • An email from your instructor, no later than Wednesday, January 13, to your @uwaterloo.ca email address.
      • After January 13, if you still haven't heard from your instructor, reach out to them via email.

Information by faculty

Online resources

  • Explore online learning resources to help you navigate studying and learning in an online environment.
  • Learn about the Student IT Services available to you, how to use them, tips for remote learning, and how to get IT help/support.
  • Bookmark the library home page for quick access to search the Omni catalogue, or use a research guide to find information to assist in your studies.
  • Reconnect with your librarian for assistance using the Library or use the Ask us chat service.

Co-op program information

Co-operative and Experiential Education is engaging with co-op students to help them search for jobs and navigate their work terms in light of COVID-19.

If you have a work term scheduled for  Spring 2020, Fall 2020 or Winter 2021, please visit the webpages below to learn about changes to your work term and how co-op processes and requirements have been altered to help students meet their degree requirements. 

If you have questions related to co-op, please reach out to your co-op advisor by sending a message through WaterlooWorks. Your advisor is there to support you as you search for work, make career decisions and make the most of your work term.

Students in other work placements can reach out to their academic supervisor if they have any concerns. 

International student supports

International students can access free and confidential online appointments with our experienced and dedicated team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are licensed with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). 
The University’s International Student Experience provides a variety of supports, available online, for international students including:

Taking courses at other institutions

All University travel is currently suspended. For most up-to-date travel-related University of Waterloo instruction, visit the Health and travel guidance page

Letter of Permission Applications

On March 20, the Office of the Registrar announced changes to Letter of Permission Applications.

For winter 2021: Following the University's travel guidance, if you are wishing to study at a post-secondary institution on Letter of Permission (LOP) for winter 2021, you will only be able to do so if the courses are being offered online or, for in-person classes, if you are already in the city where the institution is located (i.e., no travel is required) and the institution is operating. This will allow you to continue your studies if you have returned home.

AccessAbility Services

Although the doors of AccessAbility Services and the Exam Centre are temporary closed, our staff our still available and committed to students. AAS will continue to support students with assistive technology, learning strategy support, and accommodation consulting to ensure you are supported in the online space. 

Find out more about AccessAbility Services modified services.

Accommodations due to COVID-19

You can find details on normal academic regulations and accommodations on the University’s academic calendar.

You are reminded that our rules for accommodations for justified absence from class and/or from assessments are in place to support student success and to mitigate the effects of extenuating circumstances on their academic progress. These accommodations remain in place for alternative course delivery.

Find out how to self-declare an illness.

Accommodation for illnesses

We have made the University of Waterloo Verification of Illness form for students a self-declaration, which means students do not need a doctor’s note for accommodation if they become ill. Students can find the Illness self-declaration form in the Personal Information section of Quest. 

Other accommodations due to COVID-19 

When in-person courses resume, if you are delayed from returning to class because of the coronavirus outbreak – please communicate with your instructors and advisors as soon as possible about your absence.

If you believe you have extenuating circumstances or have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 which has affected your academic record, you may wish to discuss with your academic advisor whether to submit a petition for exception to academic regulations in line with Policy 70.