Information on adding a minor, option and/or specialization
To declare a minor, option and/or specialization submit a completed Plan Modification or Internal/Faculty Transfer Application Form and have the appropriate department approve your request. Read and follow the instructions on the form, then submit it to The Centre for processing.
Please do not send your completed form by email attachment.
Note: Be aware of the double counting of courses.
Taking a course at another University
If you are in "good" academic standing, you may request permission to take course(s) at another university for credit toward your degree at the University of Waterloo. A maximum of five units can be obtained in this way. Credit will be given only if the grade is 60% or higher and the Letter of Permission Application is approved by the School's Associate Director, Undergraduate Studies or the Undergraduate Program and Scheduling Coordinator before taking the course.
Note: The granting of any letter of permission by the University of Waterloo does not necessarily confirm that you will be able to enrol in the approved course at the other university. There may be restrictions (i.e. on class enrolment) at that institution. You should contact that institution's registrar office for procedural details. Any changes to the original letter of permission must be resubmitted for approval prior to completion of the course.
What happens if a student doesn’t maintain a certain average in their first term?
Please refer to academic standing for minimum academic averages for each program. Check your unofficial transcripts at the beginning of each term for transcript text and your overall academic standing. This standing will be based on your cumulative average and your major average of all of the courses (passed or failed) that you have taken at Waterloo while enrolled as an undergraduate.
Students who receive a Conditional standing in their first term are strongly advised to meet their academic advisor for plan-specific advice.
- If a student does not meet the Satisfactory cumulative average (CAV – all courses) and/or major average (MAV – all HLTH courses) for their degree at the end of any term, then a Conditional or Failed - Required to Withdraw standing will apply:
- Health Studies: 63% CAV and 67% MAV
- Public Health: 70% CAV and 75% MAV
- In most cases, students with a Conditional standing are granted one additional term to attain a Satisfactory standing or they will be required to withdraw from their current plan.
- Students in Conditional standing will be required to withdraw from the Co-operative Education plan. They may continue in the Regular plan, if after one term of study, the Conditional standing is cleared.
- Students may be required to withdraw from AHS at any time under special circumstances, such as leaving the plan without notification (changing their sequence without first speaking with an advisor) or failing to write an examination.
- Students can graduate with failing grades on their transcript as long as they meet the minimum requirements: 20 units including all required courses successfully completed within eight years of beginning the program, a 63% cumulative and a 67% major average for Health Studies or a 70% cumulative and a 75% major average for Public Health.
Term Dean’s Honours List
To recognize outstanding academic achievement, the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences has established the Term Dean's Honours List.
International Exchange (requirements and eligibility)
Refer to AHS International Exchange for information, including eligibility criteria and application process. Before you apply, you should:
Transfer to Applied Health Sciences
If you are currently an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo and wish to apply to any program within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, you will be applying for an internal transfer into Applied Health Sciences.
To transfer into the Bachelor of Honours Health Studies or Bachelor of Public Health program, please refer to the Transfer to Public Health and Health Systems page for information including deadlines and online form submission.
How to to enroll in courses
Course enrolment is the process of making course requests for a future term using Quest, completed in a block of time (approximately one week in length) before open class enrolment begins for that future term. Faculties will make teaching plans using this course demand data. Visit the course selection offerings list for undergraduate students to view the available future term courses.
- Refer to your Undergraduate Calendar (Health Studies or Public Health) or your individual course sequence to determine required and/or restricted elective courses for the specific term.
- Check the course descriptions to ensure you meet the prerequisites for the course.
- Check the Schedule of Classes to ensure you meet the reserves for the course.
- Set the appropriate priority level to each course selected.
- Submit a SPHHS Consent Form for courses that requires department consent. You must indicate the topic title, class, section and what requirement the course will fulfill in your degree, minor, option and/or specialization.
Where to go for career advising
How to apply to the accelerated master's program?
Learn more about the Accelerated Master's Program(s) in Public Health and Health Systems. Information on how to apply can be found on LEARN > Health Student Community Group > SPHHS forms > Accelerated Masters.
Process for changing programs, adding or dropping co-op
Transfer to another academic program within AHS (e.g. to Kinesiology)
Consult with the Student Success Officer (located in the Office of the Dean of Applied Health Sciences) and find out the transfer requirements. Upon approval, you will need to submit a completed Plan Modification or Internal/Faculty Transfer Application Form.
Transfer to another program outside AHS
Consult with the Student Success Officer (located in the Office of the Dean of Applied Health Sciences) and find out the transfer requirements. Upon approval, you will need to submit a completed Plan Modification or Internal/Faculty Transfer Application Form to the academic advisor from the program you are about to enter.
Change from Co-op to Regular
You will need to submit a completed Plan Modification or Internal/Faculty Transfer Application Form and a proposed course sequence/plan to complete your degree. Your SPHHS academic advisor will review and approve or decline with recommendations regarding your request.
Note: Normal processing time is two weeks, but may be subject to a review of your academic performance in the current term. Allow for processing time during course selection or add/drop dates.
Co-op fee inquiries can be addressed with co-op advisors.
Students are permitted to transfer from Co-op to Regular provided they have not committed themselves to a job.
Change from Regular to Co-op
You will need to submit a completed Plan Modification or Internal/Faculty Transfer Application Form, an updated résumé, and a proposed course sequence/plan to complete your degree to your SPHHS academic advisor by May 1 at the end of your first year.
Please refer to SPHHS co-op procedures for more information.
What to do if students can’t get into a required and/or restricted elective course in the scheduled semester?
If you are unable to enrol in a course using Quest, there are a few things you should consider.
- Do you have the necessary pre-requisites? Check course descriptions.
- Is the class full? Check the Schedule of Classes.
- Are there reserves (seats held for specific groups of students)? Check the Schedule of Classes.
- Do you have a “Hold” on your Quest account?
- Are you scheduled for an academic term or co-op term?
- Did you set the appropriate priority level for the course(s)?
In some conditions you may contact the instructor to request permission to enrol. If they approve, have them sign a Course Override Form and submit it to The Centre for processing.
Note: If the instructor does not agree to allow an override, you can watch enrolment numbers on Quest during the first week of classes. If a seat suddenly becomes available, you should be able to grab it.
Please contact a SPHHS undergraduate academic advisor for advice on your academic course sequence.
What does WD on a transcript mean?
WD: Withdraw, no credit granted
For a list of non-numeric grades and designations, see the transcript legend.
Can students take less than 100% course load? Will it affect anything? Can they take more?
To have full-time status, you must be enrolled in at least 1.5 units in a term. Please contact Student Awards & Financial Aid for implications on OSAP & government aid if you take less than the minimum 1.5 units.
Consult with your SPHHS academic advisor if you require changes to your course sequence. Reducing course load or withdrawing from required/restricted elective courses may affect your academic term/level of study, your ability to get into upper courses and your degree progression.
Students can take a maximum of three units per term. Students who are taking a course load over three units should be mindful of WD dates found on the Calendar of Events and Academic Deadlines.
When do students have to declare a minor, option and/or specialization?
Check the faculty/department in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar for the minors and options that are available to you which include requirements and when to declare them. Below is a list available to SPHHS students:
- Gerontology Minor
- Aging Studies Option
- Health Informatics Option
- Health Research Specialization – must declare by the beginning of the 3B term.
- Pre-Clinical Specialization – must declare by the beginning of the 3A term.
Note: Be aware of the double counting of courses.
Can students do two eight-month co-op terms?
You are permitted to do one eight-month co-op term.
How many courses can students take during co-op?
The course load page states that co-op students on work terms are limited to one course (0.5 unit), unless they have written support from their employer to take two courses (1.0 unit). Students will need to provide the employer’s written support with a Course Override Form requesting a unit load change to their SPHHS academic advisor. Once approved, students will bring to The Centre for processing.
Can students triple count courses to meet cluster requirements? Can they double count?
Courses may only be counted once in your major/degree. Bachelor of Science, Honours Health Studies and Bachelor of Public Health Honours require successful completion of 20 units (40 credits). Review curriculum for specific required and restricted courses. Double counting of courses applies to two different plans:
- Degree (major) and minor or option or specialization
- Minor and option (cannot declare Gerontology Minor and Aging Studies Option) or specialization
- Option and specialization
How to get started on a health research specialization
Check the Health Research Specialization page to see if you meet the requirements. To declare the specialization, submit a completed Plan Modification or Internal/Faculty Transfer Application Form and have an SPHHS academic advisor approve your request. Read and follow the instructions on the form, then submit it to The Centre for processing.
Please do not send your completed form by email attachment.
Note: Be aware of the double counting of courses
What is HLTH 432 A/B Honours Thesis Course and who can enrol in it?
In fourth year if you are completing the Health Research Specialization you must complete HLTH 432A and HLTH 432B, Honours Thesis. Other fourth year Health Studies and Public Health students may have the option of completing HLTH 432A and HLTH 432B, Honours Thesis.
Generally, an Honours thesis is a research project in which you choose a topic, review all relevant literature, collect and analyze data and then report your results. If there is an area of health studies or public health that you find particularly interesting and if you feel that you understand statistics and research design, you may want to consider completing the honours thesis, which may require either Social Science (non-lab based) or a Biohealth (lab based) research. The research may involve:
1. Original field or lab research (pending finances);
2. Secondary analysis of existing data;
3. Historical or archival analyses;
4. Systematic Review or meta-analysis
Who is eligible to complete an Honours Thesis?
- You must meet the course prerequisites:
Department Consent Required
Prereq: HLTH 204 or KIN 222, and HLTH 333; Level at least 4A School of Public Health and Health Systems students
- Normally, minimum 75% major and overall averages are recommended to enrol in the course but 80% major and overall averages are preferable.
- In addition, a faculty member must agree to act as your supervisor. Because of limited faculty resources, enrolment in HLTH 432A is not guaranteed and priority is awarded to students enrolled in the Health Research Specialization.
How do you enrol for Honours Thesis (HLTH 432A/B)?
- Select HLTH 432A when you are enrolling for your fall courses. You will be assessed for Department consent by the HLTH 432A/B Course Coordinator, Dr. Diane Williams (email@example.com). If you receive Department Consent you will receive an HLTH 432 Application package via email. Note that if more than 20 students pre-enrol into HLTH 432A, priority will be give to students in the Health Research Specialization first, followed by students with at least 80% averages, and then followed by students with at least the minimum 75% averages who have also already received verbal agreement from a faculty member for supervision.
- Arrange for a Supervisor. AFTER you have received Department Consent and reviewed the detailed information in the HLTH 432 Application package, you will email professors whose area of research is of interest to you, requesting an appointment to discuss the possibility of completing a thesis under their supervision. The application package will contain a template email. DO NOT approach faculty members without emailing first to make an appointment.
- Complete the paperwork. When a faculty member agrees to be your supervisor, complete Form 432-A Agreement to Supervise that you will find in the Application package and have your supervisor sign the form.
- Submit the paperwork. To be officially enrolled you must have your supervisor sign Form 432-A Agreement to Supervise and you must return the form to the 432 Course Coordinator (Dr. Diane Williams - LHN 1723). The signed form will serve as a course override for permission to confirm your enrolment in the course.
Remember to Select HLTH 432A. Select HLTH 432A when you are selecting your fall courses.
What happens next?
Upon receipt of the signed Form 432-A in the undergraduate offices:
- The SPHHS Undergraduate Coordinator will confirm your enrolment in HLTH 432A in the agreed upon semester. Generally this will be the fall of your 4th year but may vary from this by mutual arrangement with your supervisor.
- You and your supervisor will receive an email with the full course outline for 432A/B. The course outline reiterates details on evaluation of the thesis, due dates, and contains an agreement that both you and your supervisor should sign and keep.
A Note on External Supervisors
On occasion, students may be permitted to work with a supervisor from outside the School of Public Health and Health Systems. There are two separate categories of external supervisors:
- Category B supervisors are UW professors from other Departments in AHS or are one of our adjunct faculty members. In such cases, the research thesis and the supervisor must be approved by the coordinator of HLTH 432A/B (Dr. Diane Williams). The thesis will be approved if it meets SPHHS standards for learning objectives.
- Category C supervisors may be professors from another faculty at the University of Waterloo (e.g., Science, Arts), or the supervisor may be someone who conducts research outside the University of Waterloo. In such cases, the research thesis and the supervisor must be approved by the coordinator of HLTH 432A/B (Dr. Diane Williams). The thesis will be approved if it meets SPHHS standards for learning objectives and the HLTH 432A/B coordinator can arrange for an SPHHS faculty member to co-supervise the thesis.