Undergraduate Calendar 2007-2008

University of Waterloo

D E G R E E   R E Q U I R E M E N T S

Table I – Degree Requirements Common To All BMath, BCS, and BCFM Academic Plans

Requirements Four-Year Honours Plans Double Degree Plans Three-Year General Programs
  Co-op Regular Co-op Regular** Co-op Regular
Minimum total units 22.5* 20 28 26 17 15
Minimum work-term units 2.5* 0 2 0 2 0
Minimum non-work-term units 20 26 15
Minimum math units 9 - 14 12 8
Minimum non-math units 5 12 5
Minimum Cumulative Average (CAV) 60% 60% 60%
Minimum Major Average (MAV) All ACTSC, AMATH, PMATH, and Mathematical Physics plans 65% not applicable not applicable
Minimum Major Average (MAV) All other plans 60% 60% not applicable
Maximum excluded units three units three units four units
Maximum course attempts allowed 25 units 31 units 20 units
Minimum number of full-time terms 8 7 10 none
English Writing Skills All BMath and BCS degree candidates must satisfy an English Writing Skills Requirement. See below.
*The minimum total units and work-term units are 22.0 and 2.0, respectively, for the Chartered Accountancy and Mathematics/Teaching Option plans.
**WLU students

The terms used in Table I are explained below.

Math courses – Courses with one of these prefixes: ACTSC (Actuarial Science), AMATH (Applied Mathematics), CO (Combinatorics and Optimization), CM (Computational Mathematics), CS (Computer Science), MATH (non-departmental Faculty courses), PMATH (Pure Mathematics), and STAT (Statistics). Any course that is cross-listed with a course having one of these prefixes is also considered a math course, regardless of the label under which it is taken. The following courses, with content very similar to courses offered in the Mathematics Faculty, are also considered to be math courses:  ECE 222, 354, 428; SE 112, 240, 382, 463, 464, 465.

Non-math courses – Courses with the prefix MTHEL and those courses offered by other faculties (excluding courses cross-listed with math courses and courses, listed above as math courses). Work-term courses (COOP 1 to COOP 6) and professional development (PD) courses do not count as math or non-math courses.

Major Average – See sections 2 and 4 in "Faculty Policies" on pages 10:43-10:45.

Cumulative Average – See sections 1 and 3 in "Faculty Policies" on pages 10:43-10:45.

Course Attempt – Any course enrolment for which a student is assigned a final grade (including a grade of WD). Transfer credits from other institutions are also considered to be course attempts.

Excluded Course – A course which has been excluded is not included in any unit counts toward degree completion or in averages but is included in course attempts. Any failed course must be excluded, but a student may also choose to exclude a course with a passing grade below 60 (such a request must be made no more than six months after the grade appears in Quest). An excluded passed course normally cannot be used to meet any degree requirement or to meet the prerequisite requirements for another course.

Full-time Term – A term in which a student is enrolled in at least 1.5 course-attempt units.

Unit – The credit value associated with any course. All courses offered in the Faculty of Mathematics have a value of 0.5 units.

Co-op Requirements

In addition to the requirements specified in Table I, Co-op students are required to complete a minimum of five Professional Development courses. PD 1 must be taken in the term prior to the first work term and PD 2 must be taken during the first work term.  At least one other Professional Development course must cover non-technical skills. With the exception of PD 1, these courses are normally taken during Co-op work terms. Students are encouraged to take a professional-development course each work term until the requirement is met; the required schedule for completing the courses is as follows:

By the start of term Minimum number of credited PD courses
2B 2
3A 3
3B 4
4A 5

First-Year English Writing Skills Requirement

All students in the Faculty of Mathematics must satisfy the following Writing Skills Requirement before enrolling in their 2B term:
  • A grade of 60 or better on the UW English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE), or
  • Successfully complete the study program offered by the UW Writing Centre, or
  • Complete one of the following courses with a grade of at least 60%:
ENGL 109 Introduction to Academic Writing
ENGL 129R Introduction to Written English
ENGL 210E Genres of Technical Communication
ENGL 210F Genres of Business Communication
ESL 102R Introduction to Error Correction in Writing
  1. Students who have written and failed ELPE should enrol in the Writing Centre or enrol in one of the above courses rather than attempt ELPE again.
  2. Students who arrange a special sitting of the ELPE outside the scheduled dates will be assessed an administrative charge.
  3. A completed English Proficiency milestone on a student's academic record will indicate successful completion of this requirement.
  4. Students in the Software Engineering program must satisfy this requirement as set down by the Faculty of Engineering (see page 8:3).
  5. Students in the Computing and Financial Management program must satisfy this requirement as set down by the Faculty of Arts (see page 7:4).

No-Credit/Overlap Courses

There are some restrictions on course selection for obtaining credit toward a BMath, BCS, or BCFM degree. Before enrolling in a course, students should check the Faculty of Mathematics "No-Credit List" and "Course Overlap List" (available on the Math Undergraduate website at www.math.uwaterloo.ca/navigation/Current/nocredit_overlap.shtml), to determine whether or not the course will count towards their BMath, BCS, or BCFM degree. See section 13.4 in "Faculty Policies" on page 10:48 for further details.

Table II – Required Faculty Core Courses – BMath Honours Plans except Mathematics/Chartered Accountancy

MATH 135 (or MATH 145) Algebra
MATH 136 (or MATH 146) Linear Algebra 1
MATH 235 (or MATH 245) Linear Algebra 2
MATH 137 (or MATH 147) Calculus 1
MATH 138 (or MATH 148) Calculus 2
STAT 230 (or STAT 240) Probability
STAT 231 (or STAT 241) Statistics
One of
CS 134 Principles of Computer Science
CS 136 Elementary Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction
One of
CS 125 Introduction to Programming Principles
CS 133 Developing Programming Principles
CS 135 Designing Functional Programs
CS 230 Introduction to Computers and Computer Systems
CS 234 Data Types and Structures
CS 241 Foundations of Sequential Programs

One of
MATH 237 (or MATH 247) Calculus 3
MATH 239 (or MATH 249) Introduction to Combinatorics


  1. Refer to individual plan requirements to determine which of MATH 237 (or MATH 247) or MATH 239 (or MATH 249) is required for your plan. Some plans require both courses.
  2. The MATH and STAT core courses are offered at two levels: Advanced and Honours. The Advanced courses are more challenging than the Honours courses. The Advanced course numbers are listed in parentheses in Table II above.
  3. Students entering with no prior CS experience may either take the Programming-Basics sequence (CS 125 in their 1A term, followed by CS 134 in their 1B term), or the Functional-First sequence (CS 135 in their 1A term, followed by CS 136 in their 1B term).
    Students with ICS3M or equivalent may choose to take the Objects-First sequence (CS 133 in their 1A term, followed by CS 134 in their 1B term), or the Functional-First sequence.
    Students with extensive programming experience (ICS4M or equivalent) may take CS 134 in their 1A term followed by CS 241, 230, or 234 in their 1B term.
  4. The three algebra and three calculus courses are normally taken in sequence in the 1A, 1B, and 2A terms. The two STAT courses are normally taken in the 2A and 2B terms.
  5. Table II applies only to students enrolled in plans leading to the BMath degree, not any other degrees offered through the Faculty of Mathematics. Most requirements in Table II apply to Mathematics/Chartered Accountancy (MATH 235/245 is an exception). A full set of course requirements is given with the Chartered Accountancy plan.

Responsibility For Meeting Degree Requirements

Students are responsible for being aware of all regulations pertaining to their academic plans. This responsibility includes, submitting a completed "Intention to Graduate - Undergraduate Studies" form to the Registrar's Office (by the designated date for submission of such forms) during their last academic study term (i.e., the term in which they anticipate completing the requirements for their degree).

Incompatibility of Full-time Study with Full-time Employment

Students who by choice or necessity work on non-academic activities more than 10 hours per week should, where possible, structure their course/work load so that they can attend fully to their academic obligations. The Standings and Promotions Committee will not normally grant petitions based on time pressure resulting from employment.

Honours Fallback Provision

Students who satisfy all the conditions below, but do not satisfy the cumulative major average requirement and/or the excluded-units requirement for an Honours degree, will be eligible for a three-year BMath General degree:

  1. all course requirements for a specific BMath Honours or BCS plan;
  2. cumulative average (CAV) at least 60%;
  3. at most four units excluded;
  4. at most 25 units attempted.


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