New to SDS

New to Social Development Studies?

Welcome to SDS!

First and foremost, click the "Current Students" landing page to explore and bookmark to your internet browser. It has a number of important websites and resources to be aware of, and is an easy launching-pad to these other areas. See below for additional new-student tips as you begin your time with us.

First Steps

  • Set up and use your UWaterloo email (IMPORTANT: all university communications will only go to your UW email)
  • Get your WatCard (serves as your student ID, needed for exams, Library access, bus pass, can add money on it for food, etc.) 
  • Financial questions around OSAP, tuition or funding? Contact The Centre.
  • Attend Fall Orientation (optional and pending start term; note the fee and opt-out deadline on the website)
  • Do you require parking at Renison? Apply early for parking passes!

Set Yourself up for Success

Taking Classes

  • Visit our Enrolment FAQ page and review the SDS Enrolment 101 document at the top.
  • Review requirements for your SDS degree in the undergraduate calendar and track courses using our SDS degree checklists 
  • Aim to complete core first-year courses first (enrolment experience may differ based on method of entry, i.e. direct-entry, online-only, transfer)
  • Become familiar with enrolment terminology and timelines. There are two stages to enrolment for future terms:
    • Course Selection is the first enrolment period. It's like submitting a wish-list of courses for the upcoming term, approximately 3 months prior to classes starting (lasts a week). It does not guarantee enrolment, but does give you a first chance to be enroled automatically. Don't miss this period!
    • Add/Drop is the second enrolment period. Students can create their upcoming schedule from scratch or make adjustments based on previous course enrolment results, approximately 1 month prior to classes starting (last 5-6 weeks). Some courses may be full by the time add/drop begins.
  • Get your textbooks through the UWaterloo textbook store (use "My Booklook"), through an online retailer (e.g. Amazon, Indigo, etc.), resellers (e.g. Facebook groups - get the right edition!), or loan it from the library.
    • TIP: you may wish to get books early, but sometimes waiting until the first day of classes is helpful to know if the instructor is fine using an older version than what's listed in the bookstore - could be a chance to save some money!

Key Websites

Bookmark these in your internet browser for easier access and refer to them often to stay on track:

  • Quest is where you will enroll in classes, pay tuition, access certain forms, verify your program, etc. 
  • LEARN is where all your class content (especially for online-classes) is housed. Some campus services also use Learn as an education tool; browse under "self-registration" to find some free, optional learn sites that can be added to your homepage.
  • Portal is a handy organization tool for students to view their class calendar, campus map, WatCard balance, book appointments with certain campus services, and much more. 
  • Important Dates shows every upcoming enrolment, financial and graduation deadline students need to know.
  • Schedule of Classes is a list of all courses running in the upcoming term by course code, as well as current and previous term(s). This is an important website to use during course selection and add/drop as it shows class title, instructor, time/date, capacity and reserve information.
  • SDS Current Students page is one of many on our website that highlights quick-links to information and resources.

Make Connections