GBDA Advising

Welcome to GBDA Advising!

The hub for all GBDA-programming information. We encourage all students to familiarize themselves with the information presented to help ensure they remain up-to-date on important GBDA and Academic policies as well as support their success in the GBDA program.

Your Academic Advisors are here to support you! We can assist you with connecting to UW resources, academic programming, meeting degree requirements and creating meaningful and realistic academic goals.

As a student, we ask that you remain diligent in your academics by using the Undergraduate Academic Calendar, and take responsibility for your learning path by being proactive in your studies, goal setting and asking for help when you need it.

We encourage you to hold yourself accountable by regularly communicating with your GBDA Advisors to ensure you stay on track academically.

If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, please contact us at

Meet and Contact Your Advisors

Your GBDA Advisors prioritize supporting GBDA students in a way that is authentic to them! We understand not every student is the same, nor will their time at UW be the same. We aim to support each student individually to reflect their diverse needs, experiences and goals.

Your success is important to us, and we are constantly seeking innovative ways to ensure you get the most out of your time in the GBDA program.

We are available to all GBDA students to assist them with anything academic related – if we can’t help you, we will always find someone who can.

Summer Rashed Headshot

Summer Rashed (She/Her)

Academic Administrative Supervisor

Contact For:

  • Advising Appointments
  • GBDA Program Planning and Academic Progression
  • Referrals to on-campus services and supports
  • Exchange Abroad
  • Co-op & Internship Questions
  • Student Advocacy
Remote video URL

How Can I Contact My Advisors?

Email or Telephone Your General Questions

Your GBDA Advisors are available Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm either by email and/or telephone.

Always include the following information when contacting your Advisor:

  • Name
  • UW Student ID Number
  • Question(s) you would like answered
  • If calling, always include a telephone number we can reach you at
  • Emails and telephone calls will be answered in the order in which they are received and within 24-48 business hours.
    • Response times may increase during high-volume periods. For example:
      • Course Registration
      • Drop Deadlines

519-888-4567, ext. 23016

If your call is not answered, please make sure you leave a message with the following information:

  • Name
  • Student ID Number
  • Question/Concern
  • Telephone Number to reach you

Drop-In Appointments

Drop-In Advising Appointments will be available starting Fall 2023 term!

Drop-ins will be available 2 days a week at the Stratford School – DMS1007:

  • Mondays – All Upper Year Students
    • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
    • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Fridays – All First Year Students
    • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
    • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Students can utilize drop-in appointments for the following reasons:

  • You are in need of immediate academic support
  • You need a referral to an on-campus support
  • You require 1:1 in-person support
  • You have general questions about GBDA programming, and/or courses
  • You have general questions related to your individual academic plan and/or progress
  • You have questions about Exchange Abroad
  • You have questions about your co-op

In-Person or Virtual Appointments

GBDA advisors are available to book for in-person or virtual appointments.

GBDA Advisors work mainly from the Stratford Campus and students booking in-person appointments will need to be in Stratford to have them.

In-person and Virtual Appointments will be booked Monday through Thursday between 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Beginning the Fall 2023 term, in-person appointments will also be available on Waterloo Campus – PAS2439 for select dates: 

  • Tuesdays October 31
  • Tuesdays November 14
  • Tuesdays November 28

You can request in-person via the Book an Appointment form. For more information on this type of appointment, please visit Book an Appointment with a GBDA Advisor

Book an Appointment with a GBDA Advisor

To schedule an in-person or virtual appointment, please complete the Online Appointment Request Form

We encourage students to utilize in-person and virtual appointments for the following reasons:

  • You require 1:1 in-person support
  • You need academic support and/or referrals to on-campus support
  • You would like a more detailed conversation involving one, or more of the following topics:
    • GBDA program planning and/or courses
    • Individual academic plans and academic progression
    • Exchange Abroad
    • Co-Op

Important Information Related to In-Person Appointments:

  • If you are feeling ill and have an in-person appointment, please let us know as soon as possible and we can move your appointment to a virtual format.
  • The Request Form does NOT schedule an appointment for you. The Request Form will be triaged by a GBDA Advisor, who will then book the appointment. If approved for an appointment, you will receive an email confirmation with a meeting link and time.
  • Virtual and in-person appointments are NOT guaranteed.
  • Appointments will be booked between the hours of Tuesday through Thursday 8:30 PM - 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Cancellation Policy: We request that if you can no longer attend your appointment, you provide 24-48 hours’ notice so your appointment time can be given to another student, and we can re-schedule you, if needed.

Course Help

Understanding the Different Enrollment Periods

Understanding the Different Course Drop Periods

  1. Tuition and Fee Refund Deadline - 100%

    • Classes dropped prior to this deadline will be removed from the academic record.
    • Deadline to receive 100% of your charges removed for withdrawing from the term, completing degree requirements or/for dropping a course.
  2. Tuition and Fee Deadline - 50%

    • Deadline to receive 50% of your charges for tuition, co-op fee and student services fees removed for withdrawing from the term, completing your degree requirements or for dropping a course. All other charges remain on your account. Read more about Due Dates on the Finance Website →
  3. Drop with WD

    • WD (Withdrew, no credit granted) grade assigned on the academic record for classes dropped within this period.
  4. Drop with WF

Quest Help - How To Pages

The QUEST: Student Information System is where you select, add, drop, and swap courses, as well as view financial and tax information, and grades and transcripts.

Read more on the QUEST website →

For most Quest help pages, we recommend accessing via desktop

How To:

Tuition Help - How to pay and supports available

Understanding Your Grades and Academic Standing

Academic Standing

The ARTS Academic Standing webpage can help you in understanding your unofficial transcript for:

  • Grades
  • Academic Standing Decisions
  • Standing Decisions of “Concern”: Conditional or Failed Standings

The Transcript Legend can help you understand your grades or grade status.

How to Lookup GBDA Program Requirements

For students who began the GBDA program Fall 2023 - Winter 2024

Program requirements (e.g. required courses, averages, co-op work terms) are available on the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar.

For students who began the GBDA program prior to Fall 2023 - Winter 2024

You need to look up the correct academic calendar from when you commenced (initially enrolled) in the GBDA program on the List of Undergraduate Studies Archived Calendars.  

Example: If you started the GBDA program in Fall 2021 you will need to view the archived calendar for 2021-2022.

Required GBDA Program Averages

Program Average Type What makes up the required average? Required Average
Major Average (MAV) ECON 101 + any required “GBDA” courses  (eg. GBDA 101) you have completed 70%
Faculty of Arts Average (FAV) All the courses you have completed in the Faculty of Arts. 65%
Cumulative Average (CAV) All courses you have completed. 60%


Minor Average: If you wish to complete a minor, the average of all courses completed that are applicable to that minor will be used to calculate your minor average. This will not show up on your unofficial transcript.

Please visit the Undergraduate Calendar for more detailed information →

Students are highly encouraged to meet with an advisor if they are not currently meeting, or are unsure if they will be able to meet required GBDA program averages.

How to Calculate Your Academic Averages

Grade Calculator

You can use the grade calculator tool on Portal. You can use this tool to calculate your overall GPA, or a subset of your classes. You can explore different earned grade scenarios and compare different academic options for various assignments and weights.

Use the grade calculator on Portal →

Disclaimer: These metrics serve as a hypothetical calculation only. It is your responsibility to submit all required work for your course, as mandated by your instructor and course syllabus. Calculations will not always reflect the grading practice of individual instructors (ie: bell curves). Official grading is at the discretion of instructors.

Understanding Academic Integrity and Student Responsibility

You can learn more about academic integrity and your role as a student under:

Note: The GBDA program has a no-tolerance policy for academic misconduct. GBDA Advisors are required to report any instances of academic misconduct. Any cases of academic misconduct will be referred directly to the Associate Undergraduate Chair or Associate Graduate Chair for the GBDA program

Academic Help

The University of Waterloo offers its students free academic-related support. Students are welcome to access these resources at any time throughout their program.

We encourage GBDA students to utilize these services as needed.  If you are unsure what support may be right for you, please contact your GBDA Academic Advisors at

AccessAbility Services (AAS)

AccessAbility Services (AAS)

Students who are experiencing trauma or who have a known/unknown disability, condition or illness can connect with Access Ability Services to help develop a personalized academic accommodation plan to help support your academic success.

Students can contact Access Ability Services to request an appointment during business hours: Monday - Friday between 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

  • By Visiting In-Person @ Needles Hall North, 1st Floor, Room 1401
  • Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 35082.

Please ensure you provide the following information when contacting AccessAbility Services contact information:

  1. Name
  2. Student ID
  3. Preferred Phone Number
  4. Best time to reach you to book an appointment

Quick Links:

Student Success Office (SSO)

Writing and Communication Centre

Writing and Communication Centre

The Centre assists students in the understanding, brainstorming, preparation and revision of course assignments, presentations, etc.

The WCC offers:

  • 1:1, drop in and email appointments
  • Academic Skills Workshops
  • English Language Conversation Circles

Centre for Career Development

Centre for Career Development

This free service can assist all registered UWaterloo students with career planning, co-op support, graduate and professional school preparation, work search methods, and setting up of career goals.

The Career Centre can also assist you with determining a suitable minor based on your interests, and career goals.

Connect with a Career Advisor by booking an appointment →

Policy 70 - Petitions

Policy 70 - Petitions

Under Policy 70, a petition can be used by UW students to request an exception to an Academic Regulation.

You can learn more about Policy 70 here →

Important: Petitions are not guaranteed, and may not be the right path for every student.

If you would like to discuss if a petition is the right course of action for you, please contact a GBDA Advisor:

First-Year Course Support

Your Course Instructor and/or Teaching Assistant should be the first point of contact if you are struggling with course material.

Check your syllabus for your Course Instructors or TA contact information and office hours on Waterloo Learn.

GBDA 101

GBDA 101

  • Contact your GBDA Instructors for help during their office hours or reach out to them via email
  • Attend the GBDA 101 Tutorial offered every Friday (except stat holidays and university closures)
    • 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
    • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
  • Contact Noah Pratt (he/him), the GBDA 101 Lab Instructor for GBDA 101 software and equipment tutorials.

ECON 101

ECON 101

  • GBDA First year students are scheduled to take ECON 101 section in the Winter Term.
  • Students will have access to a free ECON101 Tutor, though, this is only available if you enroll in the GBDA Section of ECON101 in Winter terms.
  • More information can be found on your syllabus.

CS Courses - CS 105, CS 106, CS 115, CS 116

To avoid any issues with academic integrity please keep in mind the following when you are seeking CS course help:

  • CS courses are designed to be done individually and unlike ARTS courses it is not typically recommended that student’s study with others outside of the listed supports on the syllabus.
  • Please exercise Caution with the use of Tutors for CS Courses. The contacts listed on your syllabus for course help should be your first stop for help (e.g., Instructor, Instructional Support Coordinator, Instructional Support Assistants)
  • If you do decide to study with others, recommend that students put away course materials, laptops, written materials, etc. and instead converse about general course concepts. However, we again do not generally advise students to study with others for CS.

CS 105 Specific Support

CS 105 provides you with additional opportunities to ask the Instructor, ISAs or IAs any questions you may have pertaining to assignments, exams, or course content. If you are unable to make it to any of these online office hours, alternative options include posting your question to the discussion board, emailing the ISAs directly at cs105@uwaterloo.caor requesting a time in the MS Teams Office Hour channel.

If you are still struggling with CS 105 and need help finding further supports reach out to the Instruction Support Coordinator:

Other Free Computer Science Course Supports

If you are taking first or second-year CS courses and need some help, you can meet with an Instructional Support Assistant (ISA) or Instructional Apprentice (IA) in the CS Consulting Centre MC 4065. Contact course staff to arrange an appointment.

Non-Academic Support

Clubs and Extracurriculars

GBDA students are encouraged to participate in clubs and extracurriculars both on the Stratford campus as well as the Waterloo campus.

Clubs can help you explore other interests, build skills, and provide you with an opportunity to build a community outside of the GBDA program.

  1. WUSA: With over 200+ clubs, there are many opportunities to connect with other UW students, and explore other interests. Examples of clubs include: The Cheese Club, African Student Association, Animal Rights Society, etc.
  2. GBDA Society: GBDA-related club. Acts as the representative study body for Undergraduate GBDA students.
  3. Creator’s Collective: GBDA-related club. Student-run initiative that supports the creative communities at University of Waterloo.
  4. Athletics: Information related to exercise classes, intramural sports, men’s and women’s sports, and facilities hours.

Wellness Support

All wellness supports available through the University of Waterloo are free to GBDA students.

We encourage GBDA students to prioritize their physical and mental well-being by connecting with any of the below resources, if needed.

GBDA Advisors are not certified mental health counsellors, and if you need mental health support, we will refer you to the correct resource.

  1. Physical Health
    • Wellness Centre: They provide wide-ranging services related to healthcare visits with medical professionals, vaccination appointments, nutrition services, lab work, etc.
  2. Mental Health

GBDA Ambassadors

  • The GBDA Ambassador program connects upper year GBDA students with first years to help build community within the GBDA program itself, and at the Stratford School.
  • Ambassadors hold gatherings on main or Stratford campus throughout the term as a way to meet fellow students.
  • You can contact your Ambassador via the MS Teams group!

Support for International Students

Immigration Counselling

The University of Waterloo has an experienced and dedicated team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are licensed with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). The consultants are happy to assist you during your time at university. All consultations are free and confidential. The consultants discuss with one another, but do not share your information with anyone else on or off campus without your permission.

Immigration Consulting can be contacted when making changes to your schedule, degree (i.e., moving to part-time studies, extending your studies, changing your program) to help determine the impact on your Study Permit.

International Student Resources

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Support


RAISE  is a Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association club that works to address racism and xenophobia on UW campus and forge a community that promotes equality and unity.

They offer students support through peer mentorship, education and advocacy as well as community building.


GLOW seeks to support and promote understanding and inclusivity for persons of all sexual orientations and genders via a variety of awareness and outreach campaigns, discussion groups, advocacy and events.

Women's Centre

Women's Centre

The Women’s Centre aims to create a female and trans positive and supportive environment on UW campus.

They offer resources related to sexual health, healthy relationships, mental health and peer mentorship.

Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism

The EDI - R Office is heading a transformative culture change on UW campus related to equity and anti-racism.

The office assists with disclosures of harm (racism, ableism, etc), provides resources, training, project support and document reviews to UW students and staff to facilitate culture changes, maintain EDI-R leadership is accessible, and sustain the EDI-R unit on campus for the benefit of the whole of the UW campus community.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO)

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO)

The SVPRO seeks to support the whole of the UW campus community who have experience or been impacted by sexual violence.

Using a public health approach, the SVPRO provides training, support, education, engages in current legislation, and evaluate institutional interventions of sexual violence to prevent and confront sexual violence on the UW campus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: I have a question about a course and/or minor related to a different department – who should I contact?

GBDA Advisors can only speak to GBDA-coded courses, if you have questions about the material or criteria of another programs course or minor – please contact the Advisor for that program.

If it is a department in the Faculty of Arts, all Arts Advisors can be found here:

Other Faculty Advisors can normally be found by looking at that Faculty’s website.

Q: I noticed I had a financial hold on my student account – what should I do?

Unfortunately, GBDA Advisors are unable to assist you with Financial Holds. It is recommended that you contact the Centre to inquire about what the Financial Hold is for and how to remove it.

The Centre:

Q: I have missed the course selection period – what should I do?

Do not worry if you have missed it – students have multiple opportunities to add courses.

Please see the Course Help Webpage for more information.


Q: I would like to overload to take 6 courses in my upcoming term- what is the process for requesting a course overload?

Students wishing to overload to 6 courses in a term are required to have a minimum 75% cumulative (overall) average. And have completed a minimum of 10 courses.

Students wishing to overload can make this request to their advisor via . Please note that your advisor can only increase your course limit and may not be able to help you with specific course enrollment.

Q: I am struggling in one or more of my courses and I am not sure who to turn to. Where should I start?

The best two resources:

  1. Your Course Instructor and/or TA

On each course syllabus there is a contact information section that includes your Instructor and/or Teaching Assistants office hours and contact information.

Advisor Tip: Make sure to include your name, student id, and course number on any written communications.

  1. Your Academic Advisor

We are here to help! Fill out the GBDA Advising Appointment Request form or email 

We can help you navigate through your options, available supports, services, and resources.

Q: My preferred course section is full, can you help?

If it is a GBDA course:

For all GBDA course override requests, please email   and include your name, student ID number, and requested course and section number.

In most cases, we will not provide an override for class limits unless a student requires academic accommodations from AccessAbility Services or if a student is facing extenuating circumstances (e.g. having failed a previous course)

Email is the fastest method to request an override, advising appointments will not be booked for override requests.


  1. All GBDA courses are strictly reserved for students in the GBDA program.
  2. GBDA does not currently provide a waiting list for any course. Students are encouraged to utilize the add/drop period to swap into preferred sections when available.
  3. Only GBDA advisors ( are able to provide course overrides at this time. Please do not contact GBDA instructors with override requests.

If it is a course outside the GBDA program

GBDA advisors are only permitted to provide overrides for courses within the GBDA program.

If you are seeking assistance with an enrollment error or course override please see the AUO enrollment help page:

Q: Which term can I go on an International exchange?

Students the GBDA Honors internship program (enrollment prior to 2022) can go abroad in their 3A and 4A Fall terms.

Students in the GBDA Honors Co-op Program can go abroad in their 4A Fall term only.

International Exchange terms outside of these parameters will not be approved.

Q: My first co-op term is around the corner, and I am unsure of where to start with the job search.

Students that are about to enter in their first work term:

The study term prior to your first co-op term, you will be given access to Waterloo Works (the co-op job search board) and PD 1 – Career Fundamentals (a mandatory professional development course that helps students navigate Waterloo Works system and works through resume writing, interview prep and job search skills).

If you are requiring further help, on Waterloo Works you can direct message your co-op advisor and attend a same-day drop-in advising session. 

Q: I don’t have an internship/co-op term for another 2+ terms but I am wanting to get a head start. Where should I look for further support?

Students won’t receive access to Waterloo Works or their Co-op advisor until the study term prior to their first work term (in GBDA this is after your 3B classes).

Students can utilize the Centre for Career Development.

Q – I was unable to secure a job for my co-op. What should I do?

Don’t panic! There are several opportunities students can pursue to complete their co-op credit.

Please contact your GBDA Advisor for assistance:

Q: I am participating in Varsity Athletics, are there any supports in place for GBDA student athletes?

Yes! Students participating in Varsity Athletics are encouraged to request an appointment with their GBDA advisor to connect about program specific supports

It is best to connect with your GBDA advisor prior to each individual term to plan ahead (ie. Scheduling, Exams).