A Foundation Term is one component of the University’s efforts to help you achieve your full potential at Waterloo. The objectives of the Foundation Term are to:

  • Equip you with skills and strategies to succeed at the University of Waterloo.
  • Improve student experience and retention.

During the Foundation Term:

  • You can expect to take a maximum of three courses: two courses from your program (and associated labs if applicable), chosen in consultation with your faculty’s Foundation Term advisor, and UNIV 101, a skill-building course.
  • You’ll remain in full-time degree studies, but if you’re in the co-op system of study you may be moved to the regular system of study.
  • See the Undergraduate Calendar for Foundation Term requirements and rules.

Who can participate in a Foundation Term?

You may be eligible for a Foundation Term if it is the first time you received your academic standing of “Required to Withdraw" and you are in one of the following faculties:

Other students:

  1. If you’re a student in the Faculty of Engineering, see reduced load program, as you are not eligible for a Foundation Term.
  2. If you’re a student in the Faculty of Mathematics, see your academic advisor for support as you are not eligible for a Foundation Term.

The Foundation Term is:

  • Highly recommended if your academic standing is “Required to Withdraw” after your first or second term of study (1A or 1B).
  • Optional, with approval of your faculty, if you haven’t met your program requirements but have been allowed to proceed, conditional on meeting requirements in the next term.

You are not eligible for a Foundation Term if:

  • You’ve previously received an academic standing of “Required to Withdraw,” or you previously participated in UNIV 101 and/or a Foundation Term.
  • You have a hold on your student account for academic or non-academic misconduct.

You can participate in UNIV 101 (or any antirequisite) only once during your academic career at the University of Waterloo. 

Where a faculty deems that the Foundation Term would not address the source of the academic challenges, you may be required to withdraw from the faculty for a period of time to resolve the barriers to your success. 

Your academic advisor can discuss your options with you and help you determine if the Foundation Term is the best fit for you.

Note: If you don’t qualify for the Foundation Term (for example if you’re an upper-year student, part-time student, etc.) you may still be considered for a Foundation Term with the support of your faculty. 


Freqently asked questions

For questions about the Foundation Term that have not be addressed above, contact your academic advisor.