Beginning your journey

You've accepted your offer, now what?

After you've accepted your offer of admission, there will be information relevant to you here, as well as some that might still be useful in the future student section of this website. 

As a new Renison and uWaterloo student, you'll find that there are many places to find the information you need. The information below will help guide you to other sources as you begin your journey as an undergraduate student.

We are so glad you're here!

Two people walking over a wooden bridge with Renison building in the background.

Enrollment and course registration

You would have received a lot of information via email for the process for your first term, but here is a reminder. Also, there is additional information you will need to choose courses for your second term.


First year students complete course approval forms as a way to register for courses in their first year. Be sure to check your uWaterloo email to learn about this process, important dates, and where you can go for more information.

Course Approval Form FAQs

Transfer students, those admitted to upper years, or those who are completely online (even if in first year), should reach out to your Academic Advisor for registration support. There are more things you will need to know about selecting your courses.

List of Academic Advisors at Renison

List of Academic Advisors at Waterloo

Not sure who to reach out to? Ask us!

Second Term

During your second term of first year, you will be asked to choose courses you would like to take. There are a number of resources available to help you learn how to do this as it will be the process you need to follow for the rest of your time at Renison.

Registering for Courses (second term)

Language Assessments

At Renison, we offer a number of language programs. To be able to register in either Chinese or Arabic language courses, a language assessment is required. These are online forms that take 10 - 15 minutes to complete.

Chinese Assessment Form

Arabic Assessment Form

Your responses will be assessed by an instructor or coordinator of the program and your level of proficiency determined. You will receive an email indicating what course is recommended for you to register in based on the result of the assessment.

Once you receive the recommendation, you will be required to reach out to the Registrar's Office at Renison for assistance with being added to the course.


You will find that some departments, programs, or schools do things a little differently when it comes to registration.

At Renison, if a course fills, we do not provide permission numbers for students, but rather we use a waitlist form to track who wants to register in what courses (not the one included in Quest).

As a first year student, this will not impact you during the Course Approval Form process, but might impact you if you wish to make any changes to your schedule during add/drop or when you are registering for courses in your second term.

If you find that a course that Renison offers (a course for which the number ends with "R", example SOC 101R) is full, you can add your name to the waitlist.

Renison Academic Waiting Lists

If you are having issues with a non-Renison course, there might be a different reason.

Faculty of Arts Enrollment Issues

Note: if the course you want to take is a language course, add your name to the waitlist and remember to complete the language assessment. If you have not completed the language assessment, you will not be added to the course even if your name is on the waitlist.

Transfer Credits

If you are a new student and you have attended a university or college program in the past or if you have completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) programs/exams, you may be eligible for transfer credit. 

If you are eligible, an email will be sent to you from the admissions office with a list of the credits you receive. This is important to know as it might impact what courses you need to register in during your first year.

Connect with your Academic Advisor and have a conversation about what you still need to take to complete your degree.

Transfer credits from university and college

Common transfer credit questions

Person sitting outside with open computer on their lap.

Academic support and information

Learn about what supports are available to you and some of the things you should know as a student of Renison and uWaterloo.

Academic Advising

Academic Advisors are here for you. They are your go-to people for anything related to your academics at Renison and uWaterloo.

The structure of academic advising is a little different at Renison than at uWaterloo. All students in Social Development Studies (SDS) or the School of Social Work have advisors at Renison, regardless of at what campus they are registered. For example, a student taking SDS but is registered at St. Jerome's or uWaterloo would still have their academic advisor at Renison. 

In addition, any student who is registered in any program in the Faculty of Arts, but is registered at Renison, also has an advisor at Renison that you can meet with at any time.

Academic Advising at Renison

Faculty of Arts - Academic Advising at uWaterloo

Final Exams

All final exams for Renison courses are scheduled along with all uWaterloo courses. Although not all courses have final exams, those that do are most often held at Renison. There are occasions when exams for Renison courses will be held at other places across uWaterloo. Be sure to check the exam schedule when it is available so you know whether your class has a final exam (although you will likely know this from your instructor) and where to go if it does.

Know what you need to be prepared for your exams and the related policies.

Final Exams

Online Courses

Many Renison courses are available online. This is an amazing benefit especially if you are looking to study from a distance and/or part-time.

Depending on your previous educational experience, you may be no stranger to taking courses online. 

Whether you are or not, uWaterloo has a number of resources that you can use to help make your online learning experience a success.

Centre for Extended Learning - Learn Online

Accessible Learning

Whether you have a known or unknown disability/condition/illness, or if you're experiencing impacts from trauma, AccessAbility Services can help you develop an individualized academic accommodation plan. 

Not sure how they can actually help? That's okay! Reach out and ask them. There may be more ways than you can think of to help your learning experience be the best you've ever had.

AccessAbility Services


The main source of communication at Renison and uWaterloo is through your uWaterloo Microsoft 365 Email.

Any information related to your life as a student (academic or otherwise) will be sent to this email address. This may be a change from when you were an applicant, when you might have been receiving emails to your personal email account.

It is essential that you use or forward the emails that are sent to your uWaterloo M365 account. If you don't, you could miss some very important deadlines or information.

uWaterloo email

Guidelines on use of email and instant messaging

Accessing your Microsoft 365 account

Two people sitting at a table at a recruitment event with a Culture and Language Studies banner behind them.

Program information

You'll need to know the ins and outs of everything you need for your degree. But don't worry! Your Academic Advisors are always available to help.

Degree Requirements

It is important for all students to know what is required to complete their degree. But don't feel overwhelmed: talk to your Academic Advisor. They will help you learn about degree requirements and what courses you need to complete your degree.

All degrees include:

If you have not already done, be sure to reach out to your Academic Advisor to discuss these requirements. Your Advisor can help set you on a path to success even before you begin your first class.

Social Development Studies (SDS)

Social Development Studies (SDS)

Students enrolled in Social Development Studies (or “SDS”) should visit the SDS website for specific information on the department’s courses, academic plans, faculty, and experiential opportunities.

Social Development Studies (SDS) Website

Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business

Students registered in Honours Arts and Honours Arts and Business should do two things at least once per year (although more would be of greater benefit): check the website for your major (if there is one) and meet with your Academic Advisor at Renison.

Faculties and Academics

Renison Academic Advisors

Co-operative Education

If you are in a co-operative education, your planning should begin in first year. Consider attending an information session, explore opportunities to expand your resume, connect with your Academic Advisor to learn what’s expected, and review the available resources to support you. 

Co-operative Education

Your co-op advisors

Culture and Language Studies

Although Culture and Language Studies does not have a major program offering, there are a number of minors and diplomas offered by the Department. In addition, many of their courses will meet some of your breadth requirements and may also open a new world of possibilities for you.

Culture and Language Studies

Be Unique - Customize Your Degree

There are a wide variety of options available to you to make your degree exactly what you want and more. This can be both academically and through a variety of experiences and work opportunities.

Customize Your Degree

Two people standing facing each other in the Renison atrium.

Actions to complete and forms

Before school begins, during first term, and during second term, there will be a few things that you will need to do to aid the administrative side of your educational career. Find out about some of them here.

TIP: Always check your uWaterloo email for important information.

Declare Your Major

Before the end of your second term (1B), you will need to choose a major and complete the Declare Your Major form. Don't worry, you can change your major later if you want to. It is easy enough to change your major, and a little more work would need to be put into changing faculties or occasionally degrees (from co-op to non-co-op for example).

To prepare to declare your major, attend an information session and or check in with your Academic Advisor.

Declare your major

Choose Your Courses for Second Term

The course selection process was briefly touched on in the enrollment section, however, it needs repeating as it is a process different from the one you would have gone through when you were first admitted regardless of whether you were coming straight out of secondary school or were a transfer student. 

The course selection process will occur during your first term in preparation for second term.

Registering for courses

Various Forms

There are various forms you might need throughout your career as a student at Renison and uWaterloo. Some of these forms appear below, but you should know that there could be other forms you might need depending on your unique experience as a student. For example, you might choose to go on an international exchange (which would require some forms) while another student may not.

As you navigate through your experience as a student at Renison, be sure to check in with your Academic Advisor and keep an eye on your email to know whether there are forms you need to complete.

Undergraduate Studies Forms

Person sitting and looking at a laptop that is open on a table.

Money matters

Find information related to tuition, government loans, scholarships, awards, and bursaries.

Scholarships, Awards, and Bursaries

There are various funding opportunities available for new students at various times during your first year. This is true both for students attending Renison directly from secondary school or transfer students coming from another university or college. There are options available to both full- and part-time students.

Automatic Entrance Scholarships

Students attending Renison directly from secondary school are automatically assessed for entrance scholarships. No application is required. The criteria are tied to your admission average.

One Time Entrance Scholarships

We have a couple of entrance scholarships that fall outside of the automatic entrance scholarship and are available to students who meet a particular criterion. For example, the SDS Equity Scholarship has an application that opens inline with the Admission application process for new incoming students in the Fall.

In Program Awards and Bursaries

Students currently registered at Renison, or those transferring in from another university or college, are eligible to apply to our awards and bursaries. This application is available once per year in the fall. Completion of the application is mandatory for consideration. Be sure to keep an eye on your uWaterloo email to see when the application will be available. 

Beginning for Fall 2024, this process will take place during the summer instead of the Fall. We are making this change to ensure students are aware of whatever funding will be available to them before they begin their studies each year and can plan their finances appropriately.

Scholarships, Awards, and Bursaries Catalogue


Students are responsible for ensuring that they are in fees arranged status by the deadline and that their tuition is paid in full. 

There are various funding options available to students at Renison, the University of Waterloo, and various other external sources. It is the student's responsibility to research, apply to, and secure appropriate funding to cover the costs associated with being a student. 

Renison works with students experiencing financial needs in times of crisis to support individuals to continue their studies.

How to pay your fees

OSAP and Government Funding

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a government program that provides loans and bursaries to Ontario resident students to help finance their education.

Ontario Student Assistance Program

There are other funding options for students who are not residents of Ontario. These may include government funding (such as your province or county's equivalent to OSAP) or student loans from financial institutions. For information on other types of funding available if you are not a resident of Ontario, check in with your local universities or colleges or government websites.

The Centre at uWaterloo

Many of your tuition and financial questions may need to be directed to The Centre at uWaterloo. Most Renison people do not have access to view your tuition account, although we are able to see Renison related scholarship information. 

If you have forms that need to be completed for financial purposes (RESP, CPP, 3rd Party, etc.) they can be completed by The Centre. Note: they can only complete a form if you are showing as currently registered. They cannot complete forms in advance of actually being enrolled.

There are also bursaries and other scholarships for which Renison students can be eligible. These applications are often organized through The Centre.

The Centre

Group of people laughing.

Living the life

There is so much more than just academics at Renison. Live the life of a student and get involved.

Student Experience

Renison has a vibrant and active student community and many thanks for this goes to those working in Student Experience.

Whether you live on campus, take all of your courses here, or even only a few courses, be sure to check out what Student Experience has to offer. Make your life the best it can be - get involved and go places!

Renison Student Experience and Housing

Student Residence at Renison

Living in residence at Renison? Great choice! We look forward to seeing you around.

Need more information? No problem. The Student Experience and Housing team has all the answers to your questions!

Renison Residence

Renison Buildings

Renison is uniquely constructed to allow for student residences, students spaces, classrooms, and admin offices to be intertwined so we can all live and work as one cohesive community. This does not mean that everyone has access to all spaces, but rather, that we can all see each other and grow together every day.

Around Renison there are many students only spaces, where groups and teams can gather, or individuals can find study space on their own. This is true whether you live in residence or not.

Not sure where these spaces are? Connect with a member from Student Experience, seek out one of our peer leaders, or ask at the Moose Tracks Connection Desk. Anyone will be happy to direct you.


Whether you are looking for a place to park your vehicle because you live in residence, you are attending classes at Renison, or you are only visiting for a couple of hours, Renison has a dedicated parking lot.

Per term parking passes or visitor parking is available (accessible parking included).

Parking 101

Eating at Renison

There are three options to find food at Renison, and only one is solely for student residents.

Moose Tracks Connections Desk has a variety of drinks and snacks. If you've got a craving or if you're heading off campus somewhere and want to bring something quick to snack on, take a look and see what they have. You may even find something new to try!

Renison's Cafeteria is open to both residents who have a meal plan and for anyone else who is here during a mealtime. In fact, it is not uncommon for students to eat alongside Renison staff and/or instructors for a meal. There are hot and cold meals available three times a day. Take a look at the meal plan website and learn more about what they offer.

Remember, you don't have to be living in residence to take advantage of the great meals that are prepared each day. They accept debit and credit as well as the meal plan card.

My Pantry is a fully stocked student cooking area that enables residents to refine their own cooking skills. The area comes equipped with the ingredients and equipment you'll need to make your own culinary creations. This option is available only for students living in residence.

Renison Cafeteria and Meal Plan

Moose Tracks Connection Desk

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Reading the fine print

Learn about all the fine print (important policies, expectations, and requirements) involved with being a student at Renison and uWaterloo.

Academic Calendar

The Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar (the "Calendar") is the primary contractual document between undergraduate students and the University of Waterloo. 

It is important that you read the parts of the Calendar that are relevant to you.

If you're not sure what those parts are, that's okay! We all don't know until we know. Reach out to your Academic Advisor and ask which sections you should read.

Academic Calendar

Student Related Policies

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of research, teaching, and learning. Members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to personally demonstrate academic integrity in their work.

Students at the University of Waterloo are encouraged to complete the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Module. The module is designed to introduce students to the values of integrity, and practice applying them to common scenarios. 

Office of Academic Integrity

Harassment and Discrimination Policy

Everyone living, learning, and working at Renison University College is expected to contribute to creating a respectful environment free from harassment and discrimination.

Harassment and Discrimination Policy