The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (the “Calendar”) provides official information about admissions, courses, academic programs, related Policies, guidelines, and academic regulations for both students and applicants, as well as general information about the University.

By the act of registration each student becomes bound by the University Policies, guidelines, and academic regulations established by the University’s governing bodies. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the Policies, guidelines, and academic regulations, general information, and specific requirements contained in the Calendar.

The University of Waterloo Act, SO 1972, c. 200, s.11 (“Act”) establishes two governing bodies for the University: the Board of Governors and the Senate. The Act further defines the membership of the two governing bodies to include representatives who are administrators, faculty members, graduate students, staff and undergraduate students. The Act identifies the inclusion of these representatives “to achieve more fully the objects of the University” and to “broaden the representation on the said governing bodies.”

The University’s effective governance is predicated on the engagement of its stakeholders in decision-making  affecting University operations. That notwithstanding, from time to time it may be necessary to implement changes to University operations, including those governed by this Calendar, in timelines and through processes that are atypical but still subject to the authority of Senate or its delegate bodies or, where appropriate, the Board of Governors.

The University is also bound, in all of its activities, by the Ontario Human Rights Code, RSO 1990, c H.19.

The University reserves the right to change without notice any information contained in this Calendar, including but not limited to that related to tuition and other fees, standards of admission, course delivery or format, continuation of study, and the offering or requirements for the granting of degrees, diplomas, or certificates in any or all of its programs.

In these instances, the University of Waterloo shall make reasonable efforts to notify students of such changes as soon as practical.

Non-discriminatory policy

The University of Waterloo admits students of any gender, race, colour, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, colour, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin, or any other grounds prohibited by law in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarships and loan programs, and athletic and other University-administered programs.

University jurisdiction

The University exercises its statutory jurisdiction and authority with respect to the operations, protection and control of its property and plant and the regulation of persons on campus insofar as is necessary to ensure the orderly performance of the University's functions.

The University reserves the right to:

  • Refuse admission or readmission to any applicant who demonstrates behaviours or activities that are inconsistent with the values of the University, as articulated in University Policies and guidelines, and as assessed by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, in consultation with the appropriate associate dean, the Secretariat, and Legal and Immigration Services.
  • Pursue disciplinary action including but without limitation requiring a student to withdraw when a student demonstrates behaviours or activities that are non-compliant with University Policies or guidelines, including but not limited to those related to the safety of the University community; or
  • Require a student to withdraw from a program or course(s) for academic or other reasons as directed by University Policy, guidelines, or academic regulations.

Access to programs and courses

The publication of this Calendar does not bind the University to the provision of courses, programs, schedules of study, or facilities as listed herein.

Practical or unforeseen circumstances, such as significant budget shortfalls or the unavailability of qualified personnel, may restrict the actual choices available to students when compared with those listed in the Calendar or in other University publications.

  • The University reserves the right to limit access to, or to withdraw, courses or programs.
  • In such circumstances the University will endeavour, to make reasonable efforts, to enable students to complete their degree requirements in a satisfactory manner.
  • In the event that existing resources make it necessary to limit admission to a program, the admission process will be based on competition for the spaces available.

Disruptive events

The University may face disruptive events beyond its reasonable control, such as (without limitation) strikes, lock-outs, floods, severe weather, disease or health emergencies, and malicious acts including through the Internet.

In the event that the University takes decisions in the face of such disruptive events, it will do so having reasonable regard to, among other things, the direction of medical or other authorities, as appropriate, and will use its reasonable efforts to minimize the academic consequences to its students.

  • Tuition and mandatory fees:
    • Continue to be set regardless of the method of instruction.
    • Will not be refunded or adjusted in the event instruction occurs by an alternate delivery model for all or any part of the same academic term.
    • Will be refunded in the event students voluntarily withdraw for the remainder of the term, in accordance with standard withdrawal timelines.
  • The University may revise, at any time, the format of course offerings or academic milestones such that courses or milestones are offered in whole or in part on an alternate delivery model to in-person classes, in accordance with University Policies, which are subject to change from time to time.

COVID-19 pandemic

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic of the virus leading to COVID-19. Members of the University community, including students and employees, are asked to and expected to abide by the guidelines and recommendations of the local public health authorities, as well as any guidelines or rules that the University implements in an effort to reduce the public health risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The circumstances of the pandemic continue to be unpredictable and evolving. The University community must recognize that risks exist, including the risk of contracting COVID-19, and that such risks cannot be eliminated.

Religious holidays/examination scheduling

The University acknowledges that, due to the pluralistic nature of the University community, some students may on religious grounds require alternative times to write examinations and tests. Accordingly, a student who requires an alternative examination or test time on religious grounds should consult with the Associate Dean of the Faculty offering the course regarding alternative arrangements. Such a request should be made within one week of the announcement of the test or examination date. For students in courses taught at the Federated University or affiliated Colleges, the responsibilities of the Associate Dean in these procedures are exercised by the Dean of the Federated University or affiliated Colleges (or Head in cases where there is no Dean).