Academic difficulties

Students studying in the Environment Courtyard.

There are many resources available to you if you're having academic difficulties.

Talk to your instructor

If you are experiencing academic problems, discuss them with your professor early in the term. They will be able to provide you with helpful information or suggestions.

Visit an undergraduate advisor or officer

Undergraduate advisors and officers are available to assist you with academic questions. An early discussion with your undergraduate advisor or officer may prevent future problems, such as not meeting degree requirements.

Student Success Office

The Student Success Office (SSO) is available to all students to help you succeed. They believe success looks different to everyone and there isn’t one right answer. They want you to be successful at Waterloo and are here to help you find your way. They offer a number of workshops on topics including study skills, writing skills and research skills. Or, you can schedule an appointment with a Success Coach to set goals and develop academic and life skills.

Health Services

Health Services provides healthcare to University of Waterloo students. They have office hours from Monday to Friday. There are also a number of after-hours clinics in the area.

Illness or incapacity

If you become ill or otherwise incapacitated to the extent that you miss classes and/or can’t complete assignments, notify your undergraduate officer and course instructors in writing along with a Verification of Illness form.

Learn about what to do when you become ill or otherwise incapacitated during the examination period.

Counselling Services

University can be a rewarding and challenging environment. Counselling Services offers many support resources for students, such as coping skills seminars and workshops about managing obstacles. There are also therapy groups, peer support options, and opportunities to connect with a clinician. Find out Counselling Services hours of operation.

All information you share with your counsellor will be held in the strictest confidence, with the only exceptions being those required by law. Learn more information about personal health information and privacy at Counselling Services.

Voluntary withdrawals

You may voluntarily withdraw from your plan of study with a 100% refund and without academic penalty, provided the appropriate Notice of Withdrawal form is received by the Registrar's Office (second floor of Needles Hall) by the due date.

  • Fall 2016: September 28, 2016
  • Winter 2017: January 23, 2017
  • Spring 2017: May 19, 2017

See the calendar of Important Dates for more information. For information about dropping individual courses, see the course enrolment page.

Teaching or course concerns

On occasion, you may find that some aspect of a course is unsatisfactory. If so, discuss the problem with the instructor, either individually or with a group of your classmates. If you believe that further action is required, discuss the matter with the instructor’s department chair/school director or with the Association Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Student Petitions and Grievances (Policy 70)

A petition is a request by a student seeking exception to or relief from normal faculty or university rules and regulations. Typical examples include, but are not limited to, adding or dropping a course after the deadline, removing a Withdrew (WD) or Withdrew/Failure (WF) grade for a late drop, increased or reduced course load and reconsideration of an end of term promotion decision or other academic decision.

For more information see the Petitions, Re-assessments, and Appeals section of the Undergraduate Calendar or Policy 70.

Student Discipline (Policy 71)

At the University of Waterloo all student academic integrity matters are governed by Policy 71. Also, see Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties. This policy covers all aspects of student life.