New University-wide Academic Regulations You Need to Know

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Effective September 1, 2020, several new academic regulations have been implemented for all undergraduate students (unless otherwise indicated below).

  • 50% Rule
  • Absence from Studies
  • Awards of Excellence
  • Counting of Courses
  • Scheduled Pauses in the Academic Term

Full rules and conditions are outlined in the 2020-21 Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar; follow the links to view.


50% Rule: At least 50% of the academic course units required to be awarded a degree, major, minor, option, or specialization must have numeric grades that are included in its average(s).

Important to note:

  • For example, if your major requires 10 units, grades for at least 5 units are needed to calculate your graduation average.
  • Winter 2020 courses changed to CR/NCR due to COVID-19 will count as "numeric" for the purposes of the 50% rule.

Absence from Studies: Students who have not enrolled in at least one course for more than three consecutive academic terms must apply for readmission to continue studies in their academic plan. Work terms are not academic terms.

Awards of Excellence: See Undergraduate Calendar for details.

Important to note:

  • Replaces previous faculty-specific "Dean's Honours List" regulations; excluding students completing BArch, BASc, or BSE degrees.
  • New award names:
    • Term award: Term Distinction
    • Graduating awards (can only receive one, which ever is the highest):
      • Distinction
      • Dean's Honours
  • New averages have been determined to achieve each award.
  • First implementation is for the fall 2020 academic term; term awards will be viewable on unofficial transcript when academic standings are released in January.

Counting of Courses: Courses counted toward an academic plan's requirements (i.e., major, minor, option, specialization, and diploma) can only be used to satisfy a maximum of two credentials. However, when a course(s) is listed as a requirement in both the major and its associated specialization, it is considered a single use of the course.

Important to note:

  • Replaces previous "Double Counting of Courses" regulation and faculty-specific iterations.
  • Applies to majors, minors, options, diplomas, and specializations; does not apply to certificates.
  • Does not apply at the degree/program level (i.e., common degree requirements for all students within that degree).
  • Specializations note: A course can be used for both the major and the specialization, and can be used for another plan/credential (like a minor or option) without breaking the rule.

Scheduled Pauses in the Academic Term: See Undergraduate Calendar for details.

Important to note:

  • Scheduled pauses are study days, reading weeks, and public holidays recognized by the University.
  • Regulation dictates what can, or can't happen, during a scheduled pause.
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