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Examinations and Promotins

(These regulations apply to students who will graduate in the class of 1990 or thereafter.)

The Faculty constitutes the examining body for all examinations and is responsible for all decisions on grades, promotions, failures, deferred examinations, appeals, and recommendations for the granting of degrees. Students are examined and grades are set for individual courses on the completion of work for those courses. Upon examination of the student's performance at the end of each term, the Examinations and Promotions Committee assigns an academic decision. The possible decisions and their effect on the student's progress in the program are as follows:

  1. Promoted - proceed to next term.
  2. Proceed on Probation - proceed to next term, but subsequent progress is contingent upon clearing pending conditions. Normally, Proceed on Probation will not be awarded for two terms in succession.
  3. Conditionally Promoted - student must clear failed courses before the beginning of the second succeeding academic term.
  4. Academic Decision Deferred - may not proceed until conditions cleared.
  5. Required to Repeat Term - must stay out two terms before repeating.
  6. Required to Withdraw from Engineering - readmission possible only through application to Admissions Committee after at least three terms out and with new evidence of ability to succeed. (Except in 1A term - see rule #7 in the next section)
  7. Recommended for BASc Degree at Spring/Fall Convocation - program successfully completed.
  8. Promoted (Aegrotat) - student has adequate understanding of the material, but due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, normal evaluation was not possible; proceed to next term.
At the end of each term, the examining Faculty members submit grades for that term's courses. Each department then reviews the performance of students registered in that department and makes recommendations to the Examinations and Promotions Committee. The Examinations and Promotions Committee then considers the evidence on which the departments have made their recommendations and assigns the official academic decision. An appeal or petition relating to an assigned academic decision, grade, or other evaluation, or relating to other decisions based on University policies, may be made by following the procedures outlined in the Appeals and Petitions section of these regulations. All academic decisions and grades are reported to the student through the Registrar's Office. All recommendations to award degrees must be approved by the Senate of the University.

The rules which are applied when the student's performance is assessed are as follows:

  1. To be Promoted in the program, a student must have a term average of 60% or better, with no course below 50%. Students who fail to meet this requirement will be Conditionally Promoted, Required to Repeat the Term, Required to Withdraw from Engineering, allowed to Proceed on Probation, granted Aegrotat Standing, or have the Academic Decision Deferred, according to the conditions identified below.
  2. To remain in the program, a student must have a term average of 50% or better. Students who fail to meet this requirement will be Required to Withdraw from Engineering. Except in 1A, a student receiving an average below 50% who has never before had an average below 60% will have the Academic Decision Deferred for two months to allow the student an opportunity to bring forward evidence of extenuating circumstances which affected the term performance.
  3. A student who achieves a term average of 60% or better, but who has one or two courses below 50%, will be Conditionally Promoted. The condition may be satisfied, and the promotion confirmed, in one of the following ways, as determined by the student's Department of registration.
    a) A Department may require a student to repeat a course in which a grade of less than 50% was received, and to obtain a grade of at least 50% in such a course. The grade received upon repetition would not affect the student's original term average.
    b) If a subject is failed with a grade of at least 39%, the failure may be considered cleared if the student's performance in the immediate next academic term results in an average of at least 60% with no course failures. A credit will then be entered on the student's record for that subject, although the original failing grade does not change. If the following academic term does not clear the failure in this way, then the student will be required to repeat that term.
    c) If the failed subject has a grade of 39% or more, a department may require the failure to be cleared by supplementary work. Satisfactory completion of the supplementary work will result in a "Credit" for the failed course, and there is a non-refundable fee for such supplementary work.
    d) For a failed subject with a grade of 39% or more, the department may require a formal re-examination of the subject by written examination held at a time specified by the department. Such re-examination will not affect the student's term average. To clear the failure, a grade of at least 50% must be obtained on the supplemental examination within eight months from the original failure, and will be recorded on the Grade Report. There is a non-refundable re-examination fee for each such supplemental examination.
    e) A student who fails a subject with a grade of 38% or less, may, with the permission of the department of registration, replace that subject during the first available academic term, as a condition of promotion. This is done by obtaining at least 50% in an extra course as assigned by the Department. The extra course will not be included in the student's term average.
    f) A student who does not clear a failed course according to (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) on the first attempt or who does not have departmental permission as required under (e), will be required to register for a non-degree term. The subjects and standings required in the non-degree term are to be specified by the department in advance with the objective of correcting deficiencies in preparation and preparing the student to proceed in the program with reduced chances of further difficulties. A student who fails to satisfy these conditions may not proceed further in the program, and no student may obtain the BASc degree without satisfying these conditions for all courses beyond 1A in which a grade of at least 50% has not been achieved.
  4. A student who achieves a term average of 50% or better, but less than 60%, or a student who achieves a term average of 60% or better, but who has more than two courses below 50%, will be Required to Repeat the Term.
  5. The term No Penalty may be appended to the decision to repeat a term. In this case, the requirement to stay out for two terms before repeating the term is waived and the term is not counted as a repeat term with regard to the number of times a term can be repeated or in the calculation of the total number of terms of full-time study in the program. This condition is normally applied as a result of extenuating circumstances which affected the student's performance in the failed term.
  6. Students repeating a term must achieve an average of 60% or better with no course below 50% or they will be Required to Withdraw from Engineering. Only two repeated terms are permitted in total, with no single term being repeated more than once; otherwise the student will be Required to Withdraw from Engineering. While repeating a term, a student may be excused from repeating individual courses in which a grade of 70% or better has been achieved. If this is permitted, however, other appropriate courses, at the Department's discretion must be taken, such that a full course load is maintained. In all cases, the program must be completed in no more than ten terms of full-time study.
  7. In the 1A term only, students are promoted if they achieve an average of 60%, with no more than two courses having a grade of less than 50%. Students may Proceed on Probationa if their term average is 50% or better (but less than 60%) with no more than two courses below 50%. Students who do not satisfy these requirements and are required to withdraw, may request a Qualifying Program for Readmission, and may apply for readmission without waiting the three terms normally required.
  8. A student may withdraw voluntarily from the program atJany time prior to four weeks before the commencement of the final examination period in the term by giving written notification of withdrawal. IN 1A ONLY, a student may withdraw voluntarily from the program at any time prior to the commencement of the final examination period by giving written notification of withdrawal. Students who voluntarily withdraw prior to or during the full refund period will not have the term recorded on their academic record. Students who voluntarily withdraw from their studies after the first three weeks of classes and before any deadlines set by their faculty, will have this noted on their transcripts with the statement RVoluntary Withdrawal from Term (effective date) - No Academic PenaltyS. Should students who have voluntarily withdrawn wish to re-enter the program, they may re-apply to the program directly through application to the Admissions Committee of the Faculty. See "Fees and Registration" for details.
  9. A student may be Required to Withdraw from Engineering at any time if, in the opinion of the Faculty, the student is unlikely to benefit from further participation in the program or if the student leaves the program without notification and fails to write examinations.
  10. Courses taken by students during work terms will not be included in the average for any term. The grades for courses taken at the University of Waterloo or at another university on Letter of Permission, however, will be reported on the student's transcript. Normally, such courses are considered as enrichment to the student's program; when the material of such a course is deemed to cover a subsequent course in the program, the student may receive permission to replace the subsequent course by a free elective (technical or non-technical) approved by the Department Associate Chair. Courses taken during work terms may not be used to reduce the number of courses taken in any subsequent term. Normally, all students will be expected to register in the minimum number of courses specified in the Calendar for each term of the program.
  11. Grades for courses that are in addition to the degree requirements will not be included in the term average but will be reported on the student's transcript. The Faculty of Engineering does not permit students to register in any of its courses on an audit basis.
  12. Students who have successfully met all of the requirements of the program and have been recommended for the BASc degree will have First, Second, or Third Class Honours standing designated according to the cumulative 3A-4B average as follows:
    First Class Honours: Average 80-100%
    Second Class Honours: Average 70-79%
    Third Class Honours: Average 60-69%
  13. Individual departments may designate additional minimum grade requirements in certain courses. Also, there are individual department rules regarding the grading and averaging of Complementary Studies elective courses.
  14. All courses in the Faculty are assigned a numerical grade (between 0 and 100) by the examiners. The following exceptions are permitted:
    AEG - Aegrotat. The student was ill according to medical evidence but has satisfactory understanding of the course.
    CR - Credit granted. Performance was satisfactory.
    NCR - No credit granted. Performance was unsatisfactory.
    INC - Incomplete. The course work is incomplete and the student has permission to extend the work beyond the term. If the work is not completed within six months from the end of the term, a grade will be submitted based on the available information.
    DNW - Did not write. The student did not withdraw from the course and was not eligible for an Incomplete grade. The student did not complete a sufficient proportion of the assignments, tests, and examinations for an evaluation to be made.

    In cases where students take courses in a Faculty where letter grades are assigned, the letter grades willJbe converted for the purposes of reporting and averaging according to the following table:

    A+ 95     B+ 78     C+ 68     D+ 58     F+ 46  
    A  89     B  75     C  65     D  55     F  38
    A- 83     B- 72     C- 62     D- 52     F- 32
  15. Changes to the set of courses which a student is taking in a particular term may be permitted at the discretion of the student's department. Such changes must normally be arranged and approved before the end of the normal "Drop/Add" period, which is a period of two weeks at the beginning of each term. After this period, only exceptional cases will be considered.
  16. Students must demonstrate consistent satisfactory performance during their work term employment. They must also submit the required number of satisfactory work term reports (see booklet entitled Regulations and Procedures for Co-operative Programs).


Appeals and Petitions

Two distinct situations in which a student may wish to approach the Faculty with a request are the following: an appeal of an academic grade or decision, and a petition for special consideration. In the case of an appeal, the student is disputing the grade or decision for reasons which must be provided; in the case of a petition, the student agrees that the rules have been applied fairly and is not disputing grades but, rather, is requesting special consideration because of extenuating circumstances. The procedure by which such requests will be considered is described in the following paragraphs. The University policy on student grievances and associated procedures is summarized in Policy #70 and copies of the complete Student Grievance Policy, UW Policy #70, are available from the Associate Deans, the Registrar's Office, the University Graduate Office, the University Secretariat, and the Ombudsperson.


Petitions apply in those instances where a student acknowledges that the rules and regulations of the University have been applied fairly but is requesting that an exception to the regulations be made because of special circumstances. A petition is launched by submitting a Petition for Exception to Academic Regulations form to the Assistant Registrar for Engineering, Registrar's Office, University of Waterloo. Reasons for such requests for special treatment as well as supporting documentation, including medical certificates and similar documents, must be provided with the petition. If a successful petition would reverse an academic decision, the petition must be received prior to four weeks after the date of issue of the marks for the corresponding term in order to facilitate entry into the immediately following term if so desired by the student. Petitions which are launched later than six months after the end of the term for which the decision would be affected normally will not be considered.

All petitions are considered by the Faculty Examinations and Promotions Committee. This committee will also acquire and consider the recommendation made by the student's home department, and by the Department of Co-operative Education and Career Services if the petition concerns work term considerations, before making its decision. Students normally do not appear in person before the committee at the meeting at which the case will be considered; only if such an appearance will provide relevant information that cannot be communicated through the written petition and supporting documents will such an appearance be granted. Requests for personal appearances will be considered by the Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies.

Since a Petition for Exception to Academic Regulations does not dispute an academic evaluation or application of the rules and regulations of the University, the decision of the Examinations and Promotions Committee with regard to petitions is final; there is no appeal of an unsuccessful petition. The Assistant Registrar for Engineering shall notify the student in writing of the outcome of the petition within two weeks of the Examinations and Promotions Committee meeting at which the petition was considered.


If the student believes that a decision or action is unfair, or that the student has been otherwise treated unfairly, or if the student believes that an academic evaluation or judgment is incorrect, that student may launch an Appeal. All appeals normally must be launched within two months either of being notified of an adverse decision or from the end of the term in which the alleged event(s) occurred. The first step of an appeal is always an informal inquiry. This may be followed by a formal review, which may be followed by a hearing, if warranted.

A student shall initiate an informal inquiry by going directly to the appropriate instructor, officer, or University authority. The appeal will proceed beyond the informal inquiry stage only after evidence has been presented to the Associate Dean that a direct discussion between the student and the instructor, officer, or University authority has failed to produce agreement.

Within 10 working days of receiving the response to the informal inquiry, or if there is no timely response, the student may submit a Request for a Formal Review form to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. The Request for a Formal Review is used both to appeal decisions and actions and to request a Formal Re-Read of a piece of work (e.g. an examination, thesis, project, work term report, course assignment, essay, laboratory report, etc.) in which the mark or assessment is questioned. The Associate Dean shall submit a copy of the Request for a Formal Review form to the Associate Chair of the department involved who shall conduct an investigation and submit a written report to the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean shall communicate the results of the Formal Review to the student. In the case of a Formal Re-Read, the Associate Chair shall select a qualified new reader or readers who shall provide an assessment of the work using the marking scheme of the original instructor. The Associate Chair may decide that a re-read is not appropriate and shall so inform the Associate Dean, with reasons; otherwise, the Associate Chair shall determine from the evidence available, including the results of the re-read, the assessment that will be given to the work. The result can be a raising, lowering, or maintaining of the student's grade. The Associate Dean shall notify the student of the decision in writing and with reasons.

The next step, and the final one for appeals concerning academic judgment or assessment of a student's work, is the Hearing. Within 10 working days of receipt of the decision of the Formal Review, the student shall submit a Request for a Hearing form to the University Committee on Student Appeals Chair or the appropriate Faculty Committee on Student Appeals Chair. For details, the student is directed to the University Student Grievance Policy, UW Policy #70.


English Language Proficiency Requirement

  1. All students with an initial registration in the Faculty of Engineering in the Fall term of 1990 or later must satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement by the end of their 2A academic term or, if admission to the program occurs after the 2A term, before the end of their first academic term in the program.
  2. The English Language Proficiency Requirement may be satisfied by one of the following: Students who have not satisfied the English Language Proficiency Requirement by the end of the appropriate term as specified in item 1 above will have their Academic Decision Deferred for that term. Continuation in the program is then contingent upon first satisfying this requirement.
  3. Students who obtain a grade of less than 60% in the ELPE must, at the first available opportunity after their unsuccessful attempt at the ELPE, either attend the Writing Clinic or take one of the approved English courses:
    English 109 Introduction to Essay Writing FWS
    English 129R Introduction to Written English FW
    English 210C Report Writing FWS

    The entry ARTS 000 will appear on both the Student Examination Report and the student's transcript with a CR grade if the student completes the requirement by passing the ELPE examination, or successfully fulfilling the requirements of the Writing Clinic or an approved English course.

Students who arrange a special sitting of the ELPE outside the scheduled dates will be assessed an administrative charge.


Challenge for Credit

When students are able in their own time, or through experience in a work term job, to study the material of a course that they would normally be required to take in their program, they may show evidence as to why they should be excused from taking the course and demonstrate their competence in a manner acceptable to the department offering the course. This process is known as "Challenge for Credit". Additional information may be obtained from the student's department.


Undergraduate Co-operative Work-Term Reports

Satisfactory work reports and work terms are recognized formally as part of the requirements for the Bachelor's degree. The regulations related to work term reports are:

  1. Prior to graduation each Engineering student is required to submit a minimum of four satisfactory work reports which must be related to the work of the term reported and must have identifiable analytic content. For those students admitted to advanced standing into 2B or 3A with only three work terms remaining, only three satisfactory work reports would be required.
  2. Work reports are due seven days after the first official day of lectures of the academic term directly following the work term on which the report is based. Reports submitted after the deadline may be carried forward to the following calendar term for evaluation, and are not eligible for prizes.
  3. Work reports are compulsory for all students in their first work term. The reports and evaluation forms shall be returned to the students and copies of the evaluation forms shall be placed in the students' files in the Department of Co-operative Education and Career Services.
  4. Three additional work reports shall be submitted for the remaining five work terms. Students are encouraged to reserve a report for their final work term. If students wish, they may submit additional reports and the evaluations of these reports will be added to their work term record.
  5. Work reports, other than those completed by first year students, shall be evaluated by the Engineering Faculty following the same procedure suggested in Item 3. This shall include reports marked by employers.
  6. Work reports rated as unsatisfactory may be rewritten and re-submitted during the academic term. Students with unsatisfactory work reports may be required to take formal instruction in technical report writing.
  7. Students who receive an 'NCR' designation for any work report on their Student Examination Report will not be promoted until they have cleared the condition. In addition, their registration for the next academic term will be cancelled, until this condition is cleared, unless the next academic term is 4A (Fall) or 4B (Winter) (see Faculty of Engineering Supplement to Guidelines for Writing Your Work Term Report).
  8. All required work-term reports must be submitted within seven days of the first official day of lectures for the corresponding term. This includes students for which late submission will result in a delay in their graduation. Exception will only be considered where extenuating circumstances exist and will be made at the discretion of the student's departmental Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies.


Dean's Honours List

To recognize outstanding academic achievement each term, the designation "Dean's Honours List" will be awarded to exceptional undergraduate Engineering students. To achieve this standing, a student must be unconditionally promoted, and be either in the top 5% of the class or obtain a term average of at least 85%. This designation will be reflected on the student's mark report and official university transcript. Students not in the top 10% of the class, or not having a term average of at least 80% are normally not eligible.

Students with outstanding records throughout their undergraduate careers in Engineering will "Graduate on the Dean's Honours List" if they have been on the "Dean's Honours List" for at least two terms of the six academic terms preceding graduation, and have a cumulative average over these last six terms of their program of at least 80%. An appropriate notation will appear on the student's official university transcript.

An Alumni Gold medal is awarded annually to recognize the academic excellence of the top undergraduate in Engineering.

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