This list of frequently asked questions has been prepared by the School of Planning Undergraduate Office.

General FAQ

Where can I find when a course is offered and who teaches it?

I am having trouble adding or swapping a course

Please refer to the following pages for step-by-step instructions on how to add a course, swap a course, and drop a course.

Why can't I access Quest or enrol in any courses?

Why can't I access Quest or enrol in any courses?

If you get a message from Quest indicating that you have a “Service Indicator” or "Hold", it generally means that you have fees owing (course fees, tuition, or parking). To confirm fees owing, click on "Personal Portfolio” and then “HOLD”. If you owe PLAN or ENVS course fees, contact your Undergraduate Advisor to determine the amount to be paid to settle your account. Once the outstanding balance has been paid, it takes about 10 days to process the paperwork to release the hold. It is very important that you pay all course fees before the end of each term to eliminate any enrolment problems, and so you can access your grades.

Why is a course not appearing on Quest when trying to enrol?

If the requested course is not appearing on Quest, this means it is not offered in the term you are trying to enroll. Please refer to the schedule of classes to check which courses are offered

Why do I get an error message when trying to enrol in a course?

If you get an error message when trying to enroll in a course, it means that the course has not been added to your schedule. Refer to the enrolment errors page for more information about the error message, what it means, and what to do.

If you get a course conflict message, it means that the course you are trying to add overlaps with another course, and you must choose a conflict-free course.

What can I do if a course is full?

Every faculty handles override requests differently. For non-Planning courses, refer to the enrolment errors page to see who to contact if your course is full. For Planning courses, check with the School's undergraduate advisor to see if there is room in the class and if the limit can be increased.

If you are trying to get into a Wilfrid Laurier course that is full, you must contact them directly at 519-884-1970.

What does this error message, "Available seats are reserved. Reserved seat requirement not met." mean?

This error message means that you are not enrolled in the course, since the only available spots are reserved for other programs. Refer to the enrolment errors page to see who to contact to override reserves. If permission is not granted, you can wait until reserves are removed and try adding the course then. Refer to the Important Dates page to see when most reserves are dropped.

Can I take a course without the required pre-requisite?

Generally speaking, you cannot take a course without the required pre-requisite.

What is an Antireq. (antirequisite)?

An antireq. is a condition preventing enrolment in a course. The most common antirequisites are courses that have significant overlap. Degree credit will not be granted for both the antirequisite course and a course naming it as such.

Enrolling in a lecture/seminar and a tutorial/lab/studio

If courses have a lecture/seminar and a tutorial/lab/studio component, students must enrol in both sections. Normally, the total class time is three hours/week.

What is a double-weighted course?

Some courses are double-weighted and are worth 1.0 unit (i.e. PLAN 313). They count for two courses and fees are paid as such. The course duration does not span over two terms.

What time do classes start and finish?

Courses can start as early as 8:30 am and as late as 7:00 pm.
The final courses of the day end at 10:00 pm.

What electives should I take?

To help you decide what electives to take, here is some information to consider:

  • If you want to work towards your Planning Degree elective requirements, keep in mind that you have 2 first-year electives, 3 second-year electives, and 9 upper-year electives to complete.
  • All PLAN/ENVS courses will count towards your degree average in which you must obtain a major overall average of 70%.
  • You may want to work towards a minor, specialization, diploma or certificate. If you want to pursue a minor, specialization, diploma, or certificate, it is your responsibility to check the requirements to see whether you have space to complete everything. It's recommended to create a spreadsheet to map out which courses to take in each term.
  • Use the Schedule of Classes to see what is offered. To understand requirements and eligibility for these courses, you can refer to the course descriptions in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Can I take a language course?

Yes. If you have prior experience with the language, contact the instructor or the Department to see if you qualify for the course.

If I'm short a course how can I make it up?

If you are short a course, it can be made up during an off term or work term by taking an online course, or by taking an extra course in a study term (pending approval). Students can take 6 courses (or 3.0 units) starting from their 3A term. First- and second-year students cannot take 6 courses.

Pursuing an option, minor, or specialization?

How do I know what text books I need?

Do I have to use my university email account?

Yes! The University of Waterloo email account is considered the official line of communication. If you haven't already done so, please activate your University of Waterloo email account. Instructions on how to link your current email account to your uwaterloo account can be found on the Mapping Analysis and Design (MAD) website.

When sending any e-mails to staff or faculty of the University of Waterloo use you university email account and include your name and student id number.

What happens if I fall below the required average ?

Planning students must maintain a cumulative major average of 70% (all PLAN and ENVS courses ever taken) and a cumulative overall average of 65%. A student who does not maintain the required average(s) will be given a conditional term to bring their average up to the required level the following term.

Should the student fail to meet the academic plan requirements at the end of the conditional term, they will receive a “failed” standing. Normally, students in 2A or above receiving a “failed” standing are eligible to apply for re-admission after an absence of two consecutive academic terms. A co-op work term immediately following a required to withdraw standing is not counted toward the two-term absence.

A first year student who is given a “failed” standing at the end of their second term of study, will, normally, be given the option to complete the foundation term. (A student still maintains the option to withdraw for two academic terms). A student who continues in their studies after either a successful foundation term or an absence of two consecutive academic terms will have their record cleared; that is, grades achieved in all previous terms will not be included in the calculation of cumulative averages. Calculation of cumulative averages will begin with the foundation term or upon readmission after an absence of two consecutive terms. Courses taken prior to the foundation term or readmission will remain on the student’s official academic record. Cleared courses with grades over 50% will contribute to the total credits required up to 10.0 units.

Students are allowed to have only one foundation term or failed standing on their transcript while in their ENV program. Students not achieving their program averages for a second time will be unable to continue in Planning or in the Faculty of Environment.

What should I do if I am struggling with school, personal or health issues?

University is a challenging time, there are many services offered on campus to assist you. Below is a list of the most common services that range from study help to counselling.

  • Your Undergraduate Advisor is available to see you regarding any issues that you may be concerned about or struggling with. The office hours are Monday-Friday 9:30-11:30 and 1:30-3:00. Book a meeting with your advisor.
  • Instructors and/or teaching assistants can provide support (and possibly recommend tutors) for your course issues. You may feel intimidated about approaching one of them, but they are REAL people who are there to help you, and their goal is for you to succeed in their class.
  • UW MATES is a counselling-based, one-to-one peer support program.
  • Counselling Services can provide you with individual counseling, and you can arrange an appointment by calling 519-888-4567 ext. 32655.
  • Tutor Connect is an online tutoring board that connects student tutors with students who need a tutor. Tutor Connect is an online posting board where you can search through tutor profiles to see all of the available tutors, their current academic year and their hourly rate.
  • The Student Success Office (SSO) is available to help you succeed at University. They are there to guide you through your time at Waterloo, whether it’s supporting you in your first year experience or success coaching with an upper year peer to get help setting goals and learning strategies that can help you with anything from time management to test taking skills. They also offer leadership and development opportunities.
  • Study and learning workshops are also available through the SSO on a variety of topics such as: Time Management, Study Strategies, Test Preparation and Test Anxiety, etc.
  • Campus wellness offers important information and resources for students
  • The Writing and Communication Centre can help you with areas such as structure and organizing your writing, grammar, critical thinking, editing and proofreading, managing your research, etc.
  • The library resources assist with your research strategy, show you which databases are relevant for your topic, how to request books from another library (place holds and recalls, and interlibrary loans), etc.
  • Co-operative Education can also provide a list of non-coop jobs (summer, part-time, work placement, volunteer, etc.) which are available to all students on WaterlooWorks. If you have any questions or concerns regarding work terms or the application process, please contact your Co-op Advisor noted in WaterlooWorks on your Dashboard.
  • Health Services provides on-site family physicians for registered students which includes urgent care and walk-in care.
  • Counselling Services also offer workshops on areas such as: Stress Management, Overcoming Procrastination, Managing Depression, etc. Also visit Campus Wellness for more wellness information and resources.
  • The COVID-19 Information webpage has a list of frequently asked questions and the answers to them.
  • If you are experiencing financial pressure, you may be eligible to apply for a bursary through Student Awards and Financial Aid. A list of Awards and Scholarships can also be found on the Student Awards website.
  • WUSA runs a Food Support Services where students can get food and hygiene hampers for free when things get tight, especially at the end of term.

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of these free services as needed -- we know students have generally found these very helpful. Our goal is that each and every one of you succeed and enjoy your experience at Waterloo.

FAQ For Graduating Students

All information can be found on the Preparing to Graduate webpage.


What are the changes to my coop degree requirements?

Do I still need to take a PD course if I don’t have a job?

Yes. You need to complete a PD course during each work term until your PD requirements have been fulfilled, even if you haven’t found employment in a given term. It’s still possible to complete all of the assessments in every PD course without employment. You can reflect on your academic experience or volunteer work in lieu of referencing time in the workplace.

If you are worried or have a question about something in your PD course related to employment, contact your course team for assistance.

For other PD course questions, visit the frequently asked questions page found on the Professional Development Program website.