Undergraduate student information

On this page:

Fall 2021 term information

The recent news of an increase in the number of vaccines across Canada is giving us reason for new hope. It is with that sense of hope that we are planning to deliver significantly more in-person learning, work and research starting in the fall 2021 term. We are optimistic that on-campus activity can happen in person with a staged and strategic return to campus. Above all, our plan will be flexible so we can tackle unexpected challenges. 

Though in-person learning will increase, we know many students will continue to attend virtual classes no matter what the pandemic demands. 

What we know as of April 22, 2021

  • We are planning to offer as many in-person classes as possible with the required physical distancing and gathering-size restrictions to maintain safety. Using expected public health guidelines for the fall, classrooms will be scheduled at 50% of normal classroom capacity. 
  • Because we can’t confirm what public health restrictions will be in place in the fall, we will be prepared to reduce in-person delivery as necessary to meet any alternate restrictions around physical distancing, gathering size and safety. 
  • While we are planning to offer as many in-person classes as possible, we will work with students who are unable to come to campus to learn in the fall to explore other options to complete their program requirements. 
  • Fall-term courses are intended to finish the way they start: if a course starts online, it will remain online until the end of term and will not transition to in-person. If a course starts in person, it will remain in person unless public health requirements necessitate a move to online. 

Fall 2021 course registration

Fall course registration dates have been announced. Our faculties are working to finalize which classes will be offered in person, which classes will be online, and which classes will offer blended learning scenarios (a combination of in-person and online delivery).

  • Mid-May: Further details on our planned fall 2021 approach will be published on this web page.
  • June 1: Finalized fall plans will be published on the Course Selection Offerings List for students in advance of the respective Course Selection Periods. This will include whether the course is scheduled to be in-person or online.
  • June 9-22: Course Selection Period for returning students.
  • July 5-12: Course Selection Period for certain new students.
  • July 28: Fall term schedules viewable in Quest; Schedule of Classes updated.
  • July 29 - August 4: Drop/Add Period Appointments for new students.
  • August 4-5: Drop/Add Period Appointments for returning students.
  • August 6: Drop/Add Period (open enrolment) for all students begins.

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 on the undergraduate important dates webpage.

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.

In-person courses

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 2021 or Fall 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, 2020, the Office of the Registrar announced changes to Letter of Permission Applications.

Following the University's travel guidance, if you are wishing to study at a post-secondary institution on Letter of Permission (LOP), 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. This is in effect until at least spring 2021.

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.