Term promotions

Students are assessed at the end of every term and a decision is made on whether the student qualifies to proceed to the next term. The promotion details are given in the Examinations and Promotions Engineering section of the UWaterloo Academic Calendar.

Term 1A Rules

Term Average

Term Failure Count

Decision

Academic Standing on Quest

Avg. ≥ 60

0

Promoted

Avg. ≥ 80 = Excellent

Avg. ≥ 70 = Good

Avg. ≥ 60 = Satisfactory

Avg.≥ 60

1 or 2

Conditionally Promoted

Conditionally Promoted

60 > Avg. ≥ 50

-

Required to repeat

Failed - required to repeat

Avg. < 50

-

Required to withdraw after 1A engineering

Failed - required to withdraw from 1A

Notes:

  1. These are adapted from the official promotion rules in the Undergraduate Calendar. If there are any discrepancies, the Calendar will be considered correct.
  2. Conditionally Promoted is changed to Promotion Granted when 1A failures are cleared.
  3. Students who are Required to Repeat the Term must repeat 8 months (2 terms) after the failed term, or can return in the spring after 4 months through the Reduced Load Program.
    • Students who are repeating the term must achieve an average of 60% or better with no course grades below 50% on their repeat term. Otherwise, they will be Required to Withdraw from Engineering.
  4. Students who are Required to Withdraw After 1A may submit a petition to request a second attempt at the term.
  5. Students can determine their academic standing at the end of 1A.
  6. Options after failing 1A

Term 1B rules

Term Average

Failure Count

Formal Decision

Academic Standing on Quest

Avg.≥ 60

0

Promoted

Avg. ≥ 80 = Excellent

Avg. ≥ 70 = Good

Avg. ≥ 60 = Satisfactory

Avg. ≥ 60

1 or 2

Conditionally Promoted

Conditional - must pass failures before graduation

60 > Avg. ≥ 50

-

Required to Repeat Term

Failed - must repeat term

50 > Avg.

-

Required to Withdraw Engineering

Failed - required to withdraw

Notes:

  1. 1A course failures are added to the overall course failure count at the end of the 2A term.
  2. Conditionally Promoted is changed to Promotion Granted when term failures are cleared.
  3. Students Required to Repeat the Term must repeat 8 months (2 terms) after the failed term.
    • Students who are repeating the term must achieve an average of 60% or better with no course grades below 50% on their repeat term. Otherwise, they will be Required to Withdraw from Engineering.
  4. Students Required to Withdraw may submit a petition to request a second attempt at the term.

Clearing failed courses

These options are only applicable for failed courses in a term for which you were granted a conditional promotion. Courses failed in a term that a Required to Repeat Term or Withdrawal decision was earned must be cleared through a successful repeat term.

Students must clear all failed courses that are required for their degree. Core courses must be cleared with the either the same course or an approved equivalent. Elective courses can be cleared by another elective course from the same group (i.e., a list C CSE can be cleared with any other list C CSE course). A student's failure count must be equal to zero prior to graduation. We strongly encourage students to clear failed courses as soon as possible while the course material is still familiar. Also, failures accumulate and if your have more than 2 you cannot continue to the next term starting in 2A. Three options for clearing failed courses are listed below:

  • Retake and pass the failed course. This is the only option for some courses. It will depend on the availability of the course, as some are only available in specific terms, and your academic or work term schedule.
  • Take and pass an equivalent course at UWaterloo or another institution. This is usually a more flexible option since an equivalent course may be delivered through the Centre for Extended Learning or scheduled at night, which may allow you to take it on a work term. The First Year Office decides if a course is equivalent to a first year course, and your specific department decides on equivalency in upper years. To take a course at another University you must submit a Letter of Permission which confirms that we approve you enrolling as a visiting student, and the UWaterloo equivalent course you are taking. There is a $25 fee, and you must achieve a minimum of 60% on a course taken at another institution (any exceptions will be reviewed before approving the Letter of Permission). An equivalent course taken at another school will not appear on your transcript. 
  • Write and pass a supplemental (supp.) in the failed course. This option applies only to students who have been awarded a supplemental for core engineering courses (i.e., doesn't apply to electives in other Faculties). The First Year Office awards a supplemental for courses whose grades were between 40 and 49 inclusive in a passed term. Not all courses have a supplemental available.  
    • The code SUPA shows to the right of your grade on your unofficial transcript on Quest after the official fully-graded date. The Registrar's Office sends supplementary exam registration forms via email approximately a month after the end of term to students approved for a supplemental. Consult the Schedule of Classes to see when the course is next offered. Contact the First-Year Office at the start of the term you want to write the supplemental to confirm that one is available. If available, submit the form to the First-Year office and once approved you need to submit the form to the Centre, and pay a $50 fee to register for a supplemental.
    • A supplemental can usually be satisfied by writing the final exam during a subsequent term in which the failed course is offered. The exam will be written with the class taking the course during the final exam period. If a final exam is deemed inadequate to satisfy the supplemental requirement, the midterm and/or other assessment(s) may also be required. If other assessments are required, appropriate times will be arranged with the course instructor. A supplemental can only be completed for the same course, not an equivalent course. Only one attempt at writing a supplemental exam is permitted.
    • Passing the supplementary exam (50% or greater) earns a credit in the course and clears the failure. Note that supplemental grade does not appear on your transcript, and the original grade is not changed (the code SUPA should change to SUPS). Failing the supplementary exam means that options 1 and 2 above must be used to clear the course (SUPA changes to SUPN).
    • Please note: The conditions of the supplemental exam include an expiry date on the supplemental exam registration form. Failure to meet the deadline will result in you forfeiting the right to a supplemental exam. In that case, you must retake the course or an equivalent.

Grade Verification

Non-degree term

What does non-degree mean and what is its use?

Engineering non-degree is a temporary status that allows students to enrol in an academic term for the purpose of facilitating a transfer or retaking 1A courses prior to repeating 1B.

I want to transfer to another faculty at the University of Waterloo. Who should I contact?

Students interested in transferring to another faculty must contact the academic advisor of the program of interest to discuss their transfer options and the program's transfer procedures.

How do I arrange for a non-degree term?

Complete a Plan Modification or Internal/Faculty Transfer Application Form form. Complete the front requesting the Engineering Non-degree program and filling in the reason for the non-degree term (e.g., Non-degree term to transfer into the Faculty of Science). Complete the "courses required by admitting department" table on the second page of the form. Students must build their own conflict free schedule using the Schedule of Classes. (Also check the Calendar for course descriptions). Submit the completed form to the First Year Engineering Office.

Transfer students must submit a signed note from the program of interest signifying their approval of the course selection. This note is usually on the second page of the plan modification form. Note that the program of interest may have to sign specific courses listed in the table to allow enrolment in restricted courses (alternatively a Course Override Form may be used).

Voluntary strengthening students must take at least one 1A course or equivalent.

How do I modify my courses prior to or during drop/add period of the non-degree term?

Students interested in changing their course selection should first attempt to make the change on Quest themselves. If the Quest system does not permit the student to make the change, then they are asked to complete and submit a course override form to the First Year Engineering Office.

When can I enrol in a non-degree term?

The deadline for a non-degree term is one month prior to the start of term. Stream-8 students requesting a voluntary strengthening term must wait until the Spring term. 

Please Note: the plan modification form deadline is:

  • Spring - April 1
  • Fall - August 1
  • Winter - December 1

How many non-degree terms are allowed?

Students are permitted to take one non-degree term, however on occasion a second may be required for transitional purposes only.

I want to do a non-degree strengthening term prior to repeating 1B. What courses should I choose? Can I take non-engineering electives?

Students wanting to voluntarily strengthen their 1A background and/or clear 1A failures can enrol in a non-degree term provided they take at least one 1A engineering course or equivalent. Students can take non-engineering electives for a total of three courses. (Students enrolling in a voluntary strengthening term prior to a QPR term must score 50% or greater in each course. Scores below 50% will disqualify students from QPR).

Repeating a term

This is the normal decision for students who have a term average below 60%, no grounds for a petition, but are still committed to UWaterloo engineering. It gives students an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments and create support structures to build a strong first year foundation. Often, students who do this, place at or near the top of their class, and this academic strength continues in upper years.

When dealing with this decision, students will have to plan for the term after their work term and before they repeat the term. There are two general options:

Work to gain more experience and increase savings​

Students can work during this term, but it is important to note that you will not be a co-op student and will not receive a co-op credit. This means you will work as a regular student. You must inform your employer regarding your change in status since it influences tax credits. Note that students who repeat a term are set to have 7 official work terms whereas only 5 co-op credits are required to graduate.

Take courses at UWaterloo th​at will strengthen your 1A background.

Students may be eligible to return to UWaterloo to strengthen their background. This means they would take 1A courses or equivalents (e.g., a student who struggled in 1A and 1B calculus should retake 1A calculus). Students cannot take any core course or equivalent courses from the 1B term they will be repeating. However, students may be able to take general electives or Complementary Studies Electives (CSEs) with the strengthening course(s).

Please contact an advisor from the First Year Engineering Office to discuss and plan this option.

Important references:

What courses do I have to repeat?

A student must repeat all core courses in which they scored below 70%. If the term includes a Complementary Studies Elective (CSE), any CSE or non-engineering elective may be chosen. The student excused from repeating courses in which they scored 70% or greater, must replace these courses with non-engineering electives to maintain a full course load for their term.

What do I do if I am excused from repeating a course (scored 70% or greater in my first attempt)?

If a student is exempt from retaking a course then the course must be replaced with an elective course.

What are acceptable courses for replacing an excused course on a repeat term?

Acceptable courses are either complementary study electives or general elective courses.

Why do I have to wait two terms (8 months) before repeating the term?

It normalizes the time penalty for students in all plans and streams. This is specified in the E and P Academic Decisions Rule #6.

I am in Stream 4 of a dual-streamed plan, can I repeat 1B with the Stream 8 class?

Unfortunately a stream switch is not possible. Students are required to stay out a minimum of two terms and then expected to resume their studies in the same stream they were originally admitted into.

What can I do during the term (4 months) prior to repeating the term?

Students can enrol in a voluntary strengthening term in order to clear previously failed courses or to strengthen their academic background to help improve their chances of success.

What is a voluntary strengthening term?

A student requests to enrol for an Engineering non-degree term in order to strengthen their academic background before returning to repeat and/or clear a 1B failure. Acceptable courses would be 1A core or equivalent courses in which the student is weak in.

How do I arrange for enrolment in my repeat term?

Students wishing to return and repeat the failed term must notify their academic advisor.

Should I be enrolled in a Work Report on a repeat term?

Students should not be enrolled for the Work Report credit on a repeat term.

What are the grade requirements to pass a repeat term?

Promotion rules for a repeat term are a minimum term average of 60% with no course grade below 50%.

Is there a limit to the number of repeat term decisions a student can earn?

There are no more than two repeat terms allowed. A student receiving a third failed term will be Required to Withdraw from Engineering.

I was awarded a No Penalty repeat term via a petition. What is the effect of the No Penalty?

The no-penalty designation means that the term is not counted as a repeat term with regard to the number of times a term can be repeated, or in the calculation of the total number of terms of full-time study in the plan. This condition is normally applied as a result of extenuating circumstances which significantly affected the student's performance in the failed term.

Voluntary Withdrawal Rules (1A)

A 1A student may voluntarily withdraw (WD) from the term within the first 12 weeks of classes, see Important Dates for WD and refund deadlines. After that date a student will receive a Withdraw Fail (WF). If there are extenuating circumstances between the WD deadline and the start of exams, contact the First-Year Engineering Office to discuss the situation. Once final examinations begin, a student will normally not be allowed to voluntarily withdraw from the term.

First Year Engineering Options after a Quest Standing of:

Failed - required to withdraw from 1A

This standing applies to 1A students with a term average below 50. The Academic Standing "Required to Withdraw after 1A Engineering" is defined in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar under Academic Decisions.

Some general options to consider are:

  1. Verify your grades with your course instructors.
  2. Petition for an exception if you have extenuating circumstances.
  3. Apply to the 1A Qualifying Program for re-admission.
  4. Transfer to another Faculty at uWaterloo or another university.

More information on these options can be found at:

Failed - required to withdraw from 1B

This standing applies to 1B students with a term average below 50. The Academic Standing "Required to Withdraw from Engineering" is defined in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar under Academic Decisions.

Some general options to consider are:

  1. Verify your grades with your course instructors.
  2. Petition for an exception if you have extenuating circumstances.
  3. Apply to the 1B Qualifying Program for readmission.
  4. Transfer to another Faculty at Waterloo or another university.

Failed - must repeat term

This standing applies to 1A and 1B students with a term average of at least 50 and below 60, or a term average of at least 60 with 3 or more failed courses. The Academic Standing "Required to Withdraw from Engineering" is defined in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar under Academic Decisions.

Some general options to consider are:

  1. Verify your grades with your course instructors.
  2. Petition for an exception if you have extenuating circumstances.
  3. Repeat the term the following year, in the original stream.
  4. Transfer to another Faculty at Waterloo or another university.

Conditional - must pass failures before graduation

This standing applies to 1A and 1B students with a term average of at least 60 and 1 or 2 failed courses, which includes failed work-term reports. The Academic Standing "Conditional" is defined in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar under Academic Decisions.

Some general options to consider are:

  1. Verify your grades.
  2. Clear your failed courses.
  3. Understand the May Not Proceed Standing if the failed courses are not cleared.