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Academic Program

Students who have not determined the field or subject in which they wish to concentrate should study the Calendar carefully. After examining the suggested departmental program, the student should read the descriptions of individual courses in order to have a more comprehensive idea of what the content of any program would include. Students should consult their High School Guidance Officer, Chair or Undergraduate Officer of any University department, or the Registrar, by letter or in person for additional clarification and information.

The Calendar is designed to enable students to make a wise choice of the programs and courses while at the University of Waterloo. Students are encouraged to consult the Undergraduate Officer of the appropriate School or Department. The Secondary School Liaison Officer and the Assistant Registrar for Environmental Studies will also respond to written or personal inquiries.


Course and Program Changes

  1. Students may add and drop courses before and during the first two weeks of classes in the term in which the courses begin.
  2. After the two week period, and before November 1, March 1, and July 1, a student may add courses only with the written permission of the course instructor and the appropriate Undergraduate Officer.
  3. After the two week period, and before November 1, March 1, and July 1, a student may drop courses only with the written permission of the course instructor and the appropriate Undergraduate Officer and after demonstrating that such a change is in the student's academic interest.
  4. The mark of "IP" or "In Progress" may be assigned to the first half of what is essentially a year course which is listed as two term courses (i.e. PLAN 490A and 490B). The mark indicates that the course is "In Progress" and that when completed, a final grade will be assigned to both the A and B halves of the course (usually the same grade). The mark "IP" will automatically revert to F- after a specified period of time. When the second or B half of such courses is dropped as the result of a schedule change or withdrawal, the first half must also be dropped.
  5. A grade of WD (withdrew after the course drop deadline) may be assigned by the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies. This grade is used when it is not appropriate to completely remove a course from a student's record and not in the academic interests of the student to continue with the course. The WD grade has no effect on average or credit calculations.
  6. Students in the Faculty of Environmental Studies may not register for courses on an audit basis.
  7. All schedule changes at any time must be submitted to the designated Department/School office.
  8. Students are encouraged not to register for more courses than their programs require unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.
  9. Full-time students may reduce their programs below the specified minimum only upon the recommendation of the Undergraduate Officer of the major Department/School.
  10. Courses not dropped by the deadlines specified in 3. above will be graded and included in the calculation of the student's average.


Voluntary Withdrawals

Students may voluntarily withdraw from their program of study without incurring academic penalty, provided that the appropriate Notice of Withdrawal form is completed, received and signed by the Undergraduate Officer, no later than: November 1 (Fall Term), March 1 (Winter Term), July 1 (Spring Term). After these deadlines, students who withdraw will normally be held responsible for the term's courses in the sense that such courses will be recorded with a grade of "NMR" and subsequently will be recorded as failures. 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 the above deadlines, will have this noted on their transcripts with the statement "Voluntary Withdrawal from Term (effective date) - No Academic Penalty". Students who voluntarily withdraw may be eligible for tuition fee and residence refunds depending on the effective date of withdrawal. See "Withdrawals" for details.



Students may concentrate study in an associated field to the extent it becomes a Minor (typically ten term courses; consult the Minor requirements for the applicable program) within Honours programs in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. A Minor can be in any area such as Anthropology, Canadian Studies, Chemistry, Management Studies, Personnel Studies, Psychology, etc.


Students can elect to take one of the recognized University Options. Consult Interdisciplinary Programs for more information.


Environmental Studies Minor

The Environmental Studies Minor consists of ten courses, as follows:
ENV S 195

Two of: ARCH 100, ENV S 200, 201, 220

Four of: ENV S 320, ENV S 334/REC 334, ENV S 401, 417, ENV S 433/REC 433, ENV S 434/REC 434, ENV S 469, 500

Three other courses offered within the Faculty of Environmental Studies.

The Environmental Studies Minor is not available to students enrolled in the Geography, Environment and Resource Studies and Urban and Regional Planning programs. Architecture students may not take ARCH 100. Architecture students must take the three other courses from within the Faculty but outside Architecture. An overall average of B- in the ten courses will be required. The Associate Dean, Undergradaute Studies may substitute courses if any of the above are not available.


UW/WLU Business Option

A Business Option, offered jointly with Wilfrid Laurier University, is available to undergraduates in the Departments of Environment and Resource Studies and Geography and in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. It may not be combined with the Personnel Studies Minor or the Management Studies Minor due to similar coursework.

  1. The requirements for the Option are eight term courses (five core and three elective):
  2. It is recommended that students take an introductory Economics course in the first or second year.
  3. All WLU Business courses have BUS 121 as a prerequisite; however, WLU will accept ACC 131/132 as a replacement for BUS 121W. WLU prerequisites do not apply to UW Environmental Studies students enrolled in the Business Option except for BUS 362W (prereq 352W), BUS 462W (prereq 352W) and BUS 398W (prereq 388W).
  4. Third- or fourth-year students will be admitted to fourth-year courses with the permission of the instructor.


Parks Option

The Parks Option has been approved for students in all departments/schools in the Faculty of Environmental Studies.

Required Courses
Five term courses: GEOG 102, ENV S 200 or BIOL 250, ENV S 334/REC 334, ENV S 433/REC 433, ENV S 434/REC 434

One of the following two courses: ERS 241, ENV S 201

Optional Courses
Two of the following six courses: REC 331, 380, 425, GEOG 356, GEOG 367/PLAN 340, GEOG 368/PLAN 341

Normally a student may not double-count any course for more than one Option or Minor.

Students who intend to have an Interdisciplinary Option recognized on their transcripts must communicate that intention to the Director of the Option by the start of Year Three.


Distance Education Courses

Only in exceptional cases would distance education courses be taken by a student during a term in which he or she was a full-time student on campus.


Special Programs

Student exchange agreements between Waterloo and the School of Australian Environmental Studies at Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, the environmental studies program at Deakin College, Clayton (near Melbourne), Victoria, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne have been established. Exchange programs have also been approved between Waterloo and the University of Michigan, USA and the University of Leeds in the UK. Under these arrangements, a small number of students from the University of Waterloo could take courses at Griffith, Victoria, RMIT, Michigan or Leeds which would be credited towards their degree at Waterloo, and vice versa. For additional information, contact the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies or the Assistant Registrar.


Certificate in Environmental Assessment

The Faculty offers a certificate for the successful completion of a series of assessment courses. For further information consult the Undergraduate Secretary of the Department of Environment and Resource Studies.

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