Exams and grades

Students studying.


Final examinations that cover all or a very substantial portion of the course material taught during the term must be held during the exam period, which is listed in the "Important Dates".

You are expected to be available to write final exams during the entire exam period. Do not make travel arrangements during this time.

Learn how to view the exam schedule for both on-campus and online courses.

Missed exams due to illness

If illness or other extenuating circumstances prevent you from writing a final exam, consult the Undergraduate Calendar section on Assignments, Tests, and Final Exams. If you become ill during the writing of an examination and are unable to continue, you should notify the proctor before leaving the exam site. In addition, you should notify the course instructor and provide a Verification of Illness form within 48 hours.

If you complete an examination even though you’re ill, the subsequent grade obtained in the course normally stands. Unresolved disputes between an instructor and student concerning final examinations are covered under Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances.


The University of Waterloo uses a numerical grading system (0-100%). In certain circumstances a student may be assigned a grade other than a numerical grade. A complete list of possible grades with definitions can be viewed in the Undergraduate Calendar section, Grades.

Calculating your average

Academic decisions in the Faculty of Environment are normally based on your cumulative Major and Overall grade average (GPA - Grade Point Average). Your academic record will show two sets of average calculations:

  • Major GPA:
    • For Environment, Resources and Sustainability (ERS), Geography and Environmental Management (GEM), Geography and Aviation, Geomatics, and Planning, this average includes all major and ENVS courses taken during your academic career.
    • For Environment and Business (EB), Knowledge Integration (KI), and International Development (INDEV), this average includes all core (required) courses.
  • Overall GPA: This average includes all courses taken throughout your academic career, both core and elective.

In special instances a third average may also be shown:

  • Special Major GPA: This average includes all courses as identified in your plan section of the calendar. Only specific plans have this average, i.e, Geomatics for MATH and CS courses.

Academic standing

Your cumulative overall and major averages are used to determine your academic standing.

Honours program
Standing Cumulative major averge Cumulative overall average
Excellent >83 >83









Failed - required to withdraw

<70 two terms in a row

<75* two terms in a row

<65 two terms in a row

* Planning and Knowledge Integration (KI) plans only.

General 3-year program
Standing Cumulative major average Cumulative overall average
Excellent >83 >83
Good >70 >70
Satisfactory >65 >60
Conditional <65 <60
Failed - required to withdraw <65 two terms in a row <60 two terms in a row