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 in university
  • Improve student experience and retention

Who can participate in a Foundation Term?

You may be eligible for a Foundation term if you receive an email about your academic standing in which you are “Required to Withdraw."

The Foundation Term is:

  • Highly recommended if you would otherwise be “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 the 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 been “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 anti-requisite) 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 the Foundation Term with the support of your faculty. 

Foundation Term across faculties

The Foundation Term is only offered to students who have not met plan average requirements during their academic year in one of the following faculties:

Note: If you’re a student in the Faculty of Engineering, see reduced load program. Students in the Faculty of Mathematics cannot take a Foundation Term. See your academic advisor for support.


Freqently asked questions

For any other questions about the Foundation Term contact your academic advisor.