Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do when experiencing personal or academic issues?

Throughout the course of your undergraduate studies, you may encounter certain difficulties of an academic or personal nature. Fortunately, there are multiple resources and supports available to assist any struggling students. If you have any difficulties during the term, do not hesitate to contact your Academic Advisor and/or your Student Wellness Coordinator. If you are unable to write a mid-term or final exam due to illness or a personal emergency, you need to contact your advisor and any course instructor(s) involved as soon as possible. Your email should also include the Deferred exam form shared by your Academic Advisor before the exam period. 

Documented evidence of the reason for missing the test or exam, (e.g., a doctor's note indicating the reason for illness, dates of impacts/illness, etc.) will be required as soon as possible. A signed copy of the Verification of Illness form should be sent to your Academic Advisor. More information on the proper protocol can be found here: Verification of Illness Services | Campus Wellness

If you miss an exam and haven't notified your instructor or UG Office of your absence, you may be at risk of being Required to Withdraw From Engineering (refer to Examinations & Promotions Rule 9 within the undergraduate calendar for more details). 

How can I add/drop a course?

Students can make course changes in Quest during certain periods of enrollment. Changes can only be made to elective courses (CSEs/TEs). Core courses aren't able to be dropped at this time without proper documentation/petition. 

Course Selection Period: This is the first stage of enrollment where you can build your "wish list" of courses. Instructions on how to select courses for a future term can be found here: How to select courses for a future term

Drop/Add Period: This is the second stage of enrollment where all students have equal access to make changes to their term schedule. Instructions on how to add/drop/swap classes can be found here: How to create, change, or view my class schedule

 For course add and drop deadlines, please see the Undergraduate Calendar.

What are the Term Promotion Rules?

The Examinations and Promotions rules are used to determine the academic decision for each term and your progress through the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering program. It is in your best interest to contact your academic advisor on a regular basis to discuss your academic standing.

For more information on the different standings: Academic Decisions/Standings also see Examinations and Promotion Rules.

For more information on petitions, challenges and appeals: Petitions, challenges and appeals

Dean's honours list and graduation with distinction

The CSE I'm interested in isn't listed in the UG Calendar, how do I get it approved?

The Complementary Studies Requirements are available in the Undergraduate Calendar. Any exceptions must be approved by Prof. Bill Owen (ME) or Prof. Derek Wright (MTE).

Course choices are constrained by the regulations of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

Where can I find the class, exam, and make-up lectures schedule?

Make-up lectures, midterms, and the final examination period can be found here: MME Schedules.

It is NOT recommended that students make plans to travel during the exam period, even after the official schedule has been released. In the event an exam is postponed due to bad weather/emergency situations, it would be rescheduled to later on in the exam period. 

Please note: Special allowances will NOT be made for students who miss exams without a good reason/proper documentation (e.g. sleeping in or misreading the schedule are not good reasons).

I'm sick, what steps do I need to follow?

Accommodations due to an illness that have been documented in the Undergraduate calendar. This consists of notifying your instructor and completing a Verification of Illness Form (VIF), it is also recommended to keep your Academic advisor in the loop when you may require any type of accommodation due to illness. 

If the illness occurs during the midterm or final examination period; documented evidence of the reason for missing the test or exam, (e.g., a doctor's note indicating the reason for illness, dates of impacts/illness, etc.) will be required as soon as possible.

In addition to a signed VIF you will need to complete a Deferred Exam Form to request an alternate date to write, this is provided by your Academic Advisor at the start of the midterm/exam period. The Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering policy on deferred final exams missed due to illness is to require the deferred exam to be written as soon as possible after the student is able to return to normal academic duties.

If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, you should self-declare your illness in Quest: How do I self-declare an absence in Quest?

When in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your Academic Advisor and/or your Student Wellness Coordinator.

I need help with time/stress management, where do I go?

Some students may experience difficulty coping with the workload and demands of the Engineering curriculum. There are multiple support services and resources available to assist students in reducing stress, building positive habits, establishing time management skills, and learning effective study strategies. Here are a few popular choices:

  • The ENGWellness Student Wellness Coordinators are fantastic resources to connect with for referral advice, building effective habits, stress mitigation, and more!
  • The Student Success Office (SSO) combines a multitude of different resources and services that are helpful for academic achievement, personal development, and connecting with the greater community at UW.
  • Counseling Services is a team of professionals that provide programming and services to assist students with leading a healthy and balanced life. They strive to provide a secure, supportive environment for students of all orientations and backgrounds.

Peer Support Options

  • MATES: (Mentor Assistance Through Education and Support) is a one-to-one student peer support program offered by WUSA in consultation with Campus Wellness. MATES provides support to students who are hoping to build social skills, or are experiencing personal or academic concerns or low-level mental health and wellness difficulties.
  • RAISE: (Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity) serves to address racism and xenophobia on the UWaterloo campus with initiatives reflective of RAISE's three pillars of Education and Advocacy, Peer-to-Peer Support, and Community Building.
  • CAPS: (Centre for Academic Policy Support) is a confidential student support service run by students, for students. The CAPS Coordinator is trained to assist fellow Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals.
If you need more information on any of the above, or additional supports, please contact your Student Wellness Coordinator.

How do I get approved to overload? Can I take a course on co-op?

If you are interested in taking a course over co-op or overloading during an academic term, please reach out to your Academic Advisor. Both will need the approval of your program to do so. It's recommended to take an online course over co-op so you don't interfere with your work schedule. Any courses that may impact your work schedule need to be approved by your employer. 

Courses taken over co-op or overloaded in an academic term are coded DRNA (Degree required, not in average). These courses will stick count towards your degree/option but will not be included in your overall GPA. 

Please note: Taking a course over a co-op term will affect tuition. Reach out to Student Financial Services with questions here: Contact Student Financial Services

Avoidance of academic offences

Students are expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for their actions. Students who are unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who need help in learning how to avoid offences (eg., plagiarism, cheating) or about “rules” for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, TA, academic advisor, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean.

For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy #71, Student Academic Discipline. Students who believe that they have been wrongfully or unjustly penalized have the right to grieve; refer to Policy #70, Student Grievance. University Policy #71 defines academic offences to include plagiarism, copying and cheating as follows:

Plagiarism is defined as taking "intellectual property," such as words, drawings, photos, or artwork, etc., written or created by others, and passing it off as your own. When you submit a report or assignment with your name on it, it is assumed that you are the author of everything in the assignment except for those materials which are specifically identified as coming from other sources. Therefore, if you include sentences, photos, drawings or figures from other sources in a work report or lab report, the complete reference must be cited. This applies in particular to any material cut and pasted from the internet or any other electronic source.

Cheating includes "copying from another student's work or allowing another student to copy from one's own work, submitting another person's work as one's own, fabrication of data, consultation with any unauthorized person during an examination or test, and use of unauthorized aids."

Collaboration is encouraged among students. Discussion, debate and the collegial exchange of information is encouraged and is always helpful in the education process. Just make sure you avoid plagiarism and cheating.

I need accommodations due to mental/physical health-related issues, who do I reach out to?

If you suspect that you may require certain academic accommodations to help make your experience more equitable, please contact AccessAbility Services at the beginning of each academic term (or as soon as possible). They will be happy to advise and support you through the process.

They will collaborate with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with functional limitations or disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum.