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Examinations and Standings

The following regulations govern the practice of the Faculty of Science in regard to final examinations, standing and make-up examinations. These regulations also apply to part-time students and special programs. For further details consult "University Examination Regulations".

Students should note that the Faculty of Science normally operates under a Rcredit-weight systemS in which student progress is measured by credits successfully completed rather than by years. (The only exceptions to this are Honours Earth Sciences programs. These programs follow the term course system.) Students who have passed fewer than five credits successfully will be considered Year One students; those with at least five but fewer than ten, Year Two; those with at least ten but fewer than 15, Year Three; and those with 15 or more, Year Four.


Final Examinations

  1. The Faculty constitutes the examining body for all examinations. All examination results are considered by the Examinations and Standings Committee and subsequently by the Faculty Council. After the results have been considered by these bodies, they will be issued to individual students by the Registrar. Appeals against faculty decisions made under these regulations should be made in writing to the Registrar's Office within one month of the official announcement of marks.
  2. Final examinations are held in December, April, or August. The time normally allowed for each examination is three hours.
  3. In all courses each student is required to submit, in such form and at such time as may be determined by the instructor, evidence of satisfactory participation in term work. The marks obtained for work during term are used, in part, in determining standing. The ratio in which marks for term work and written examinations are combined is at the discretion of the individual departments. To pass a course, a student must obtain a minimum of 50% in the combined term and examination marks. Some courses and/or instructors may not require final examinations; in such cases term work only will be used in determining a final grade.
  4. Failure to write an examination is considered a failure to pass. A student who defaults a final examination, except for a properly certified reason, shall have no make-up examination privileges and must repeat the work in class. If a student fails to write for health reasons, a Doctor's certificate, covering the precise period of absence, must be filed in the Registrar's Office within one week after the examination should have been written.
  5. In cases where a course (failed or passed) is repeated, both marks will be used in calculating the student's cumulative averages. If a passing grade is achieved more than once in the same course, it will still only count as one course passed towards the total necessary for graduation. Students in good standing will not normally repeat courses they have passed.
  6. No course or its equivalent may be repeated more than once.
  7. All examinations which receive a failing grade are automatically re-read.
  8. Make-up examination privileges may be granted to students in good standing where failure to pass is attributable to extraordinary circumstances, especially medical or health-related problems. The student must have satisfied all term-work requirements in the course and must have the permission of the Examinations and Standings Committee.


Co-operative Program Evaluation

Students in Co-operative programs will be evaluated by the rules shown, modified where necessary to suit their special needs. In particular:

  1. Evaluation in Year One will be made at the end of term 1B on the entire year's work. Students not meeting requirements of their program will be transferred to another Science program (Regular system) in good standing, if possible.
  2. Assessment will be made on a term-by-term basis during Years Two and Three. Terms 4A and 4B will normally be assessed as a unit at the end of the 4B term when both terms are taken consecutively from September to April. Normally a student may take no more than two upper year terms on a part-time or reduced program basis and must have special permission from her/his department to do so.
  3. A student is expected to follow the work-term sequence from the point of entry, subject to the minimum requirements for graduation within the individual programs. The minimum number of related work terms required is normally four. The minimum number of satisfactory work reports is normally four.




Marks in individual courses will be reported as numerical marks on the scale 0 to 100. A mark of 50 or better is necessary to pass and receive credit for a course. For Science students, any grade of less than 32 will be recorded on the marks report and permanent transcript but for averaging purposes a grade of 32 will be used, equivalent to the weighting factor for the F- on the common system.


Conditional Standing

A student who marginally fails to meet the required standards of any program will be placed on conditional standing for one term only. During this period the student must regain standing in that program or withdraw from it. Conditional standing will be granted only once in any particular program.


Required to Withdraw

A student will normally be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Science after failing more than 2.0 credits in any academic year (or equivalent), or after failing to achieve an overall cumulative average of at least 55% and a cumulative average of 55% in all Science courses, or if unlikely to profit from further study, in the opinion of the Examination and Standings Committee.

Students who have been "Required to Withdraw" from the Faculty of Science may not apply for re-admission for at least two academic terms.

After two terms have elapsed, a formal application may be submitted to the Registrar's Office. Applicants must include a typewritten statement along with their application outlining why they are now likely to succeed, and a supporting letter from, for example, an employer, religious leader, or professional person.

Re-admission is not automatic. All such applicants will be assessed in competition with new applicants and on the probability of their future success.

Re-admission when granted will be with conditional standing.



INC (either term work, lab work, examination, etc., are incomplete). A course for which the grade designation INC has been given must be completed within two terms of taking the course or the INC automatically becomes a mark of 32. If a graduating student has an INC, it will be recorded as 32 on the transcript. Students should not re-register in an INC course. They should see the instructor to arrange completion of the course.

AEG (aegrotat) - signifies the student's work or examination was incomplete because of illness and the instructor is satisfied that the student should receive credit for the course but a numerical mark could not be set.

CR - Credit granted where performance was satisfactory but no specific mark is given and AEG is not appropriate.

NCR - Credit is not granted where performance was unsatisfactory but no specific mark is given.

DNW - Final examination not written in a course that has not been dropped officially whether the course has been attended or not. Unless a DNW grade is replaced by an INC or AEG grade for medical or extenuating circumstances it will be weighted for averaging purposes as a mark of 32 (equivalent to F- on the common grading system) in determining standing.

AEG or CR will count as a course passed towards the total necessary but will not count in the cumulative averages.

"Attempt" is a course completed, whether passed or failed, or recorded as INC or DNW. Courses dropped before the official deadline are not considered as attempts and do not appear on the transcript.

Overall standing will be determined at the end of a term or a year by the cumulative average of all courses taken while in the Faculty of Science at any time (whether passed or failed).



A course may refer to a lecture course, a laboratory course, or a lecture-laboratory course which includes both lecture and laboratory.

Most laboratory courses are designated by the letter L following the course number.

Participation courses in Dance, Fine Arts, Drama and Music are considered to be laboratory courses.



Credit values are assigned for lecture and laboratory courses as designated in the course descriptions.


Dean's Honours List

The Faculty of Science has a Dean's Honours List to recognize outstanding academic achievement.

To be eligible students must have completed a term of an Honours Program with a cumulative average and an overall average for the completed term of at least 80%, have carried a full course load, and not have an INC, DNW or failed course.

The award will be noted on the student's transcript, and the student will receive a congratulatory letter and certificate from the Dean.

Students graduating with a cumulative overall average of 80% or better in an Honours Program will "Graduate on the Dean's Honours List" and will have this noted on their transcripts.


Alumni Gold Medalist

An Alumni Gold Medal is presented annually (usually at Spring Convocation) to a student who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance on completion of an undergraduate program.


Appeals, Petitions and Re-Assessment

An appeal may be initiated by a student who believes that an error in academic judgement or procedure has occurred. Belief that an examination included material outside the proper content of the course, or that the instructor refused to accept receipt of legitimate medical evidence are examples of grounds for appeal.

A petition is appropriate if a student seeks relief from normal University or Faculty rules and regulations for reasons beyond his or her control, e.g. illness or bereavement prevented completion of a course. Petitions must be presented within six months after the end of the term in which the event or events which led to the submission of the petition took place.

A re-assessment of an examination may be requested by a student who is convinced that the mark assessed is unreasonable.

Whenever possible, an informal approach to the person whose judgement is being questioned should precede a formal appeal or request for a re-assessment. Properly documented reasons must be provided for all petitions, formal appeals or requests for a re-assessment. Mere dislike of a low mark is not a sufficient reason to request a re-assessment.

Please refer to Student Grievance Policy (UW Policy #70) for more details.

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