Academic policies and guidelines

The mission of the Secretariat is to provide professional support and guidance to UW governing bodies (the Board of Governors and Senate), their committees/councils, and to senior University officers on all governance, policy and operational issues which might affect the institution.

The following is a brief list of policies that directly affect current undergraduate students. Please visit the Secretariat web site for a complete list of all university policies and procedures that apply to all members of the university community.

Academic integrity

To create and promote a culture of academic integrity, the behaviour of all members of the University of Waterloo is based on honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.

All members of the uWaterloo community are expected to hold to the highest standard of academic integrity in their studies, teaching, and research.

The Office of Academic Integrity’s website contains detailed information on the University's policy for students and faculty. This site explains why academic integrity (AI) is important and how students can avoid academic misconduct. It also identifies resources available on campus to help achieve academic integrity in and out of the classroom.

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As a student, you may encounter situations such as significant illnesses, ongoing medical conditions, or other circumstances that prevent you from meeting academic obligations.

The Accommodations section of the Undergraduate Calendar will provide an overview of accommodation, while the process below addresses the specifics for students enrolled in the School of Public Health Sciences.

  1. Contact the course instructor (e.g., by email) before or within 48 hours of a test, exam or due date.

  2. If you are self-isolating due to symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu, then please complete the self-declaration form in Quest.

  3. When illness is the cause of a missed deadline, students should seek medical treatment and provide confirmation of the illness to the instructor(s) within 48 hours by submitting a completed University of Waterloo Verification of Illness form to support requests for accommodation due to illness.

  4. The decision around accommodations is not automatically guaranteed and is at the discretion of the instructor.

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Course assignments, tests, and final exams policies

Read your course outlines
Students should carefully read course outlines in conjunction with the Undergraduate Calendar for full academic policies and procedures.

Examination and Course Assignment Regulations
Regulations regarding examinations and course assignments are posted on the Undergraduate Calendar - Assignments, Tests, and Final Exams page.

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University of Waterloo Student Grievance Policy (Policy 70)

The fundamental criterion for initiating a grievance is that a student believes that a decision of a University authority or the action of a University member affecting some aspect of her/his University life has not been reasonable, just or fair. For details, see the Student Grievance Policy.

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University of Waterloo Student Academic Discipline Policy (Policy 71)

The University of Waterloo Student Academic Discipline Policy is followed when a student is charged with an offence. Note that this policy covers all aspects of student life: it applies to student's behaviour during off-campus trips, in using University computers and co-op work terms, as well as with respect to exams, assignments and lab reports. Note also that the severity of penalty assessed for student misconduct increases dramatically for a second offence.

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Petitions Policy

Petitions, guided by the Petitions Policy, are requests from students seeking exceptions to or relief from normal Faculty or University rules and regulations because of special circumstances which must be documented, such as illness or bereavement. Please complete the Petition for Exception to Academic Regulations form and hand it in with an explanation letter, along with other supporting documents, to your academic advisor.

A Standing and Promotions Committee will review the petition and make a decision. This decision will be forwarded in writing to the student. Note that the student must provide documentation to support their request. If the student is requesting exceptions or relief due to medical issues they must provide the University of Waterloo Verification of Illness form (PDF).

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Transfer credit policy

Courses to be transferred from a previously attended university or academic institution must be relevant to the program and roughly equivalent to University of Waterloo's courses. Normally, only those courses in which a student has received 60% or better are eligible for transfer credit. The maximum number of courses which can be transferred is the equivalent of 10 units. Transfer students must see Associate Director, Undergraduate Studies for assessment of transfer credits.

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