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Frequently asked questions

General

  1. What is a university college?
  2. Can I live at Renison University College?
  3. Are there and leadership opportunities at Renison?
  4. What types of events does Renison hold for their students?
  5. Why should I choose to register at Renison?
  6. Are there certain requirements needed to be registered at Renison?
  7. When I graduate will I receive a University of Waterloo degree?
  8. Where is Renison? Is it far from University of Waterloo?
  9. Can I still take classes on main campus?
  10. Do I have to be Anglican to go to Renison?
  11. How many courses is a full course load?
  12. Can I come for a visit?

Programs

  1. What is Social Development Studies?
  2. How many programs does Renison offer?
  3. Does Renison offer any minors?
  4. If I'm not registered at Renison through my major, can I still take classes at Renison?
  5. When do I choose a major?

Application and admission

  1. What are the application deadlines?
  2. I've applied to Renison. When will I hear from you?
  3. When do I submit my Admission Information Form?
  4. I accepted another university's Offer of Admission. Can I still accept my Offer from Renison?
  5. Does Renison offer entrance scholarships?
  6. Can I receive transfer credits?
  7. I have applied to Honours Arts and Business and did not choose SDS as my prospective major. Is there any way to change this?
  8. How do I check the status of my application?
  9. I have applied to Honours Arts and Business. Can I be registered at Renison?
  10. I am interested in Social Work. How do I apply?

Ge​ner​al

1. What is a university c​ollege?

A university college provides you with a smaller "home" on the larger University of Waterloo campus. At Renison you'll have ready access to the support you need. Your Registrar's Office will be at Renison (think short lines or none at all), your academic advisors are at Renison (or someone can direct you to your academic advisor), and we'll get to know you by name. In addition, you will also have access to all the support, services, and activities available to all University of Waterloo students.

2. Can I live at Renison?

Absolutely! Any student, in any faculty (for example: Engineering, Math, Arts, Computer Science) is welcome to apply to live at Renison. Just be sure to rank us your #1 choice on the Residence Ranking form, as this is the best chance of you being accepted to live here.

3. Are there any leadership opportunities at Renison?

Lots! We have a Residence Student Council (RENISIX), an Academic Student Council (RASC), the SDS Student Society, Donning opportunities, the Renison student ambassador team, and lots of chances to volunteer during special event days. Email Normand Doan for more information.

4. What types of events does Renison hold for their students?

We have a few pretty cool events for students. College dinners, which are held once a month, invite staff, faculty, alumni, and current students to eat dinner together in the cafeteria. These dinners are usually themed-think Harry Potter, Olympics, and Hawaii. Renison also hosts two formal events, called Wind In and Wind Out. One happens at the beginning of the year, and the other happens at the end. We bus you to a banquet hall, feed you a delicious meal, and then you dance the night away.

5. Why should I choose to register at Renison?

It is difficult to describe all the reasons to become a part of the Renison community, so here are just a few:

Personal attention - With fewer students we get to know you by name and help you navigate your academic plan.

Community - There is a strong sense of community and spirit at Renison among students, staff and professors. We even get together once a month to share a meal at College Dinner.

A dynamic environment - At Renison our buildings are home to both classrooms and residences. Whether you're an Arts student living off-campus or an engineer living on Oasis, you'll find a great mix of ideas and personalities in a learning and living environment. It's not uncommon for classroom discussions to spill over into lunch in our Great Hall.

6. Are there certain requirements to be registered at Renison?

You do need to be in Social Development Studies (an Honours Arts program), Honours Arts, or Honours Arts and Business in order to be registered at Renison. If you are in one of these degree programs, you simply need to visit our Registrar’s Office, fill out some paperwork, and submit it. We take care of the rest!

7. When I graduate will I receive a University of Waterloo degree?

Yes. Renison students are University of Waterloo students who earn Waterloo degrees. You can also use the libraries, play intramural or varsity sports, join clubs, and get involved!

8. Where is Renison? Is it far from University of Waterloo?

Actually, Renison is located right at the heart of University of Waterloo's main campus in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It's just a short walk from Renison to the Student Life Centre (the hub of student activity on campus), the Arts Lecture Hall and Dana Porter library, and the campus bookstore. Check out the campus map, or book your visit to see for yourself!

9. Can I still take classes on the main campus?

Absolutely! Because we are affiliated with the University of Waterloo, undergraduate students are able to take as many courses as you like on main campus. Students in our post-graduate BSW program take all of their courses at Renison, and our graduate MSW program is primarily held online.

10. I heard that Renison is an Anglican University College. Does that mean I have to be Anglican to register there, or live there?

No. Although Renison has Anglican roots, we have students living here from all backgrounds, faiths, and cultures. Our Anglican roots do have some wonderful benefits. We have an amazing, welcoming Chaplain, who is a great person to speak with if you really need someone to talk to. She also gives out free cookies and tea in the Ministry Centre, which everyone loves!

11. How many courses is a full course load?

A full course load is 5 courses per term. Three or more courses is considered full-time studies.

12. Can I come for a visit?

We'd love to meet you! Campus tours are so important for visualizing yourself in a space, and getting a sense of the community and residences first-hand.

We offer tours at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm.

To book a tour either contact us directly or book through the University of Waterloo Undergraduate Admissions- both will get you to the same place!

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Programs

1. What is Social Development Studies?

Social Development Studies (SDS) is the only program of its kind in Canada. It combines Sociology, Psychology, and Social Work, and will teach you how to approach problems from multiple angles. You will learn to understand how physical and mental health, socioeconomic realities, education, and emotional support play a factor in a person’s overall well-being. SDS helps to prepare your for professions such as social work, education, counseling, human resources, or law. To find out more about SDS, check out the SDS website.

2. How many programs does Renison offer?

Renison offers degrees in Honours Arts (including Social Development Studies) and Honours Arts and Business. Program-wise, we offer Social Development Studies, East Asian Studies, Studies in Islam, Applied Language Studies, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic language classes, and English classes for students learning the language.

3. Does Renison offer any minors?

Sure do! We offer an East Asian Studies minor, Studies in Islam minor, and Applied Language Studies minor. And as a Renison student, you have access to all UW minors as well!

4. If I’m not registered through Renison with my major, can I still take a minor/classes at Renison?

Yes. All students are welcome to take classes at Renison, individually or for a minor.

5. When do I choose a major?

If you have been admitted directly into Social Development Studies, you don’t need to declare your major, as you have been admitted directly into your major of choice (SDS).

If you have been admitted to Honours Arts, or Honours Arts and Business, there are sessions to help you choose your major throughout the first year, including a Major Fair in the Fall term and major-specific sessions in the Winter term. You should complete a plan modification form declaring your new major by the end of your first Winter term. Just make sure that you have taken at least 2 courses in your major subject area, as you need these in order to be admitted to the major. 

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Application and admission

1. What are the application deadlines?

It you are looking to apply to study at Renison, the deadline to apply can be found here.

If you are looking to live at Renison, the deadline to apply for residence can be found here.

2. I've applied to Renison. When will I hear from you?

Once you've applied, the University will send you an email to acknowledge that your application has been received. The email will include your UWaterloo ID number and instructions on what to do now that you've applied. At Renison, we'll also send a letter to your mailing address. Look for it in the mail! Offers of admission are made on an ongoing basis. Most students will receive their decision between late February and mid-May.

If you've applied to live at Renison, be sure to fill out the Residence Ranking form by the deadline, AND rank Renison as your #1 choice if you really want to live here! This increases your chances of being accepted. You will hear from us by sometime in June.

3. When do I submit my Admission Information Form (AIF)? 

Once you receive your acknowledgement email (see question 2, above), you can submit your AIF. We recommend you submit your AIF within 3 weeks of receiving your acknowledgement email, or as soon as possible. You'll need your UWaterloo ID number to fill out your AIF. This is your chance to tell us about how awesome you are! Feel free to include any work experience, volunteer experience, and/or any circumstances in high school which might have resulted in lower than anticipated mark in a class.

4. I have accepted another university's Offer of Admission, but now I want to accept my Offer from Renison/the University of Waterloo. Can I do that?

Other universities may ask for a response before June 1st. If you've accepted an offer prior to June 1st – either from Waterloo or from another university – and if you wish to change your mind, you may do so without penalty up to June 1st.

5. Does Renison offer entrance scholarships?

Yes. Renison's entrance scholarships, the Renison President's scholarships, are separate from University of Waterloo President's scholarships. Being registered at Renison means you can apply for both University of Waterloo scholarships and Renison scholarships later on, but for entrance scholarships, it's a little different: if you are registered on main campus you will be considered for a University of Waterloo President's scholarship (if eligible) and if you are registered at Renison you will be considered for a Renison President's scholarship (if eligible).

6. I am applying from another post-secondary institution. Can I receive transfer credits?

Yes. Transfer credits are assessed on a case by case basis once you have accepted your offer to Renison. Check out the transfer students web page for more information. 

7. I applied to Honours Arts/Arts and Business and did not choose SDS as my predicted major but want to change it. Is there any way to do so? 

Yes, there is. Email your academic advisor- for first year students, it will be Maria Vermeer- and request assistance to change your desired major to SDS.  

8. How do I check the status of my application?

Once you have applied you can check the status of your application online using our student information system, Quest. Visit the University of Waterloo's website for prospective students for instructions on how to set up Quest.

9. I have applied to Arts and Business (regular or co-op) through University of Waterloo because there was no other option. Can I still become registered at Renison?

Sure can! If you're on campus, stop by our Registrar's Office and we'll have a form for you to complete. We take care of the rest. Check Quest in the weeks following the form submission to ensure that your status has been changed to “registered with Renison.” Not on campus yet? Send us an email at ren-reg@uwaterloo.ca

10. I am interested in Social Work. How do I apply?

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is a unique post-BA program. Many students pursue the BSW after the BA in Social Development Studies. Please visit the How can I get a BSW web page for full program details including admission requirements. 

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I still have more questions. Who should I email?

Catherine BrunskillSend an email to Catherine Brunskill, our Marketing, Recruitment and Outreach Officer. Catherine will happy to help answer all of your questions about Renison. 

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