Undergraduate Calendar 1998-1999

University of Waterloo
E X A M I N A T I O N S   A N D   S T A N D I N G S 

The following regulations govern final examinations and standings for all students registered in courses in the Faculty of Arts. These regulations also apply to students in part-time and special programs. Further details concerning University Examination Regulations can be found in 'Examination Regulations'.

Students should note that the Faculty of Arts operates under a course system in which student progress is measured by courses successfully completed rather than by years. Students who have successfully completed fewer than ten term courses are considered Year One students; those who have successfully completed at least ten term courses but fewer than 20 will be considered Year Two students; those with at least 20 but fewer than 30, Year Three; and those with 30 or more, Year Four.

Final Examinations

  1. The Faculty of Arts constitutes the examining body for all examinations. When a final written examination is required it is normally held at the end of the course. Oral examinations may be required at the discretion of individual departments. The normal time for written examinations is three hours.
  2. 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 such work during the term may be used, in part or in whole, in determining grades. At the discretion of the Department Chair concerned and of the Dean, a student may be barred from the final examination if the course requirements are not completed to the satisfaction of the instructor.
  3. Failure to write an examination may be 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. If a student fails to write for medical reasons, a physician's certificate, covering the precise period of absence, must be filed in the Registrar's office within a reasonable period of time after the examination should have been written.
  4. No instructor shall be permitted to administer and no student shall be required to sit final examinations in the formal lecture period.
  5. Normally instructors may not hold major term tests in the last five teaching days of the lecture schedule in any term. Major term tests are those which account for more than 25% of the final course grade.

Grading System

  1. Normally all courses should be completed within the term in which they are offered. Letter grades are used to signify evaluation in individual courses.
  2. For the purpose of calculating averages, the following weights will be assigned to grades received in individual courses:

    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


    When a course is repeated, the two marks are not averaged together. Rather, both marks are entered with all other marks in calculating the student's cumulative overall average. A passed course may be repeated with the approval of the department concerned.

  3. Students may request that their performance in any given Arts course outside their major or Honours program requirements be marked as either Credit (Cr) or Fail (F). Permission for this arrangement must be granted by the course instructor and the student's department at the outset of the course and the student must communicate the decision in writing to the Arts Faculty Examinations and Standings Committee, using a standard petition form for the purpose, before the end of the two week add period.
  4. In satisfaction of the minimum degree requirements students in General programs may present up to six term courses with a grade of Credit (Cr) in courses outside their major. Students in Honours programs may present up to eight term courses with a grade of Credit (Cr) in courses outside their Honours area. These limits include transfer credits.

    In all normal circumstances, students are expected to take the courses of their major and Honours program requirements on a letter-grade basis rather than on a Credit/Fail basis. Any request for exception to this rule is subject to the specific approval or disapproval of the student's department. Some departments of the Faculty of Arts permit no credit-graded courses at all among the courses presented in satisfaction of the discipline's major or Honours requirements.

    Students considering teaching careers should especially note that the Ministry of Education will not accept courses with credit grades as satisfying the minimum requirements in defined specialist fields.

  5. An Incomplete (INC) may be assigned by an instructor in exceptional circumstances, with the consent of the department. This extension of completion date is granted to students as a privilege for a limited and specified time and in normal circumstances shall be no longer than three months.
  6. Students should make themselves familiar with the internal procedures established by their major department in handling incomplete courses. A student with outstanding incompletes on her/his record will be unable to graduate until the INC has been replaced by a letter grade or an F- grade has been factored into the averages. In such cases, the student must meet all graduation requirements, including grade average and number of courses.

  7. Students may request to register for Audit (AUD) in a course. No credit is granted for a course in which an AUD grade is awarded. Students interested in an Audit must consult with the course instructor at the beginning of the course to ascertain what conditions are attached to the granting of an AUD by the course instructor. Audits must be approved by the course instructor and the student's advisor during the two week add period. Failure to satisfy the conditions of Audit will result in the course being dropped from the academic record.
  8. There are a number of courses in the Faculty of Arts which are essentially year courses (of two terms duration) although they are listed as two separate term courses. Letter grades are not awarded until the second half of the course is complete and then the same grade is applied to both term courses. An In Progress (IP) grade is assigned to the first term course until a grade is designated for the second term course.
  9. The use of the IP grade is normally limited to 400-level courses which are Senior Honours Essay or Senior Seminar courses and which normally require eight months or so to complete. The grade may be used in other courses only with the prior approval of the Undergraduate Affairs Group of the Arts Faculty.

  10. A grade of WD (withdrew after the course drop deadline) is normally assigned by the Arts Faculty Examinations and Standings Committee. This mark 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.
  11. The WD mark has no effect on average or credit calculations.

  12. Some courses which are listed under separate labels or numbers have overlapping content. Only one of these courses may be taken for credit. These are designated with notes after the courses which would indicate one of the following:
  13. A student who wishes to enrol in a course which seems to have overlapping content with another course should consult with her/his Undergraduate Officer to be certain that credit will be awarded for both courses. Should a student register in and complete courses with overlapping content, mark reports will indicate the two repeated courses when the second course is completed.

    The following table indicates sets of statistics or research methods courses which have overlapping content. A student in an Arts Faculty program may take only one course from each set for credit.

    Set A -- Basic Statistics Courses
    ARCH 103*, BIOL 460*, ECON 221, ENV S 178, 271*, 277*, ISS 250R, KIN 222, PSCI 214, PSYCH 201*, 283*, 292, REC 371, 371A*, SOC 202*, 280, STAT 202, 204, 210*, 211, 221, 231, 241

    Set B -- Advanced Statistics Courses
    BIOL 461, ENV S 278, PSYCH 202*, 284*, 391, STAT 205*, 304, 321, 331

    Set C -- Research Methods Courses
    ISS 251R, KIN 330, PSCI 315, PSYCH 291, REC 270, 270A*, SOC 281*, 321

    *No longer offered

    Course Load

    1. Full-time students in the Faculty of Arts will normally carry a maximum five-course load in a term.
    2. Exceptions are allowed for students in Joint Honours programs and Honours programs where six term courses per term may be required.
    3. Students in programs other than Joint Honours or Honours programs as indicated above may take six courses by permission of their Undergraduate Advisor provided that they have an overall average, based on a minimum of ten term courses from the Faculty of Arts, of 75% or better. Students with less than 75% require the permission of the Examinations and Standings Committee before enrolling in the sixth course.
    4. Students in the Faculty of Arts who wish to enrol in courses in other faculties are expected to balance Arts and non-Arts courses, choosing a minimum of 50% of each term's course load in Arts disciplines.
    5. In the Spring and Summer terms the combined total course load shall not exceed the normal course load permitted in one term.
    6. Exceptions to these regulations may be sought by petition to the Arts Examinations and Standings Committee.

    Distance Education Courses

    Because of the different start dates and the different final exam periods for distance education and on-campus courses, students enrolled full-time in on-campus courses must have the permission of their Undergraduate Advisor to register for a distance education course.

    Part-Time Studies

    Students enrolled in one or two term courses in a given term are considered to be in Part-Time Studies. Students may enrol part-time in most General and Honours programs in Arts. Courses taken on a part-time basis may be scheduled in either the day or evening, or in offerings by Distance Education (see the University of Waterloo Distance Education Calendar). No distinction is made between part-time and full-time students as to admission and degree requirements and standards, grading practices, or promotion policies.

    Academic Standing (Degree Students)

    1. Academic standing is a measure of the student's eligibility to proceed in his or her program or to qualify for graduation.
    2. The minimum criterion required to establish and maintain 'good standing' in the Faculty of Arts is achievement of a cumulative Arts average of 65.0% and a cumulative overall average of 60.0% in University of Waterloo courses. Some programs of the Faculty of Arts, such as Applied Studies, Accountancy Studies and Social Development Studies, may require higher averages for good standing.
    3. To be considered in good standing in a General program, a student must maintain a cumulative overall average of at least 60.0%, as well as an average of at least 65.0% in all courses taken in the Major discipline (unless the department specifies a higher average), or an average of at least 65.0% in Arts courses in the Non-major. If a student's overall average falls between 58.0% and 60.0%, or the major or non-major average falls below 65.0% (unless the department specifies a different average), the student may be granted conditional status for one academic term. During this period the student must make reasonable progress toward obtaining good standing or the student will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Arts.
    4. To be considered in good standing in an Honours program, a student must maintain a cumulative overall average of at least 60.0%, as well as an average of at least 75.0% in all courses taken in the Honours discipline (unless the department specifies higher average(s)). A student in a Joint Honours program must maintain a cumulative average of 75.0% in all courses taken in the two Honours disciplines (unless the departments specify other averages).
    5. If an Honours degree student's cumulative major or overall average falls below the prescribed minima the student will be considered for the General degree and the regulations in (3) above will apply. If, subsequently, the student raises the average(s) to the required level, he/she may be considered for reinstatement in Honours.

    6. Good standing is automatically cancelled and a decision of Failed, Required to Withdraw may be rendered under any one of the following circumstances:
    7. A student who has been required to withdraw for academic reasons is eligible to apply for re-admission after an absence of two terms. If the student is granted re-admission, the student's cumulative overall and arts (or major) averages will be cleared, that is, grades achieved in all previous course work will not count in cumulative averages; all previous course attempts and grades will remain recorded on the student's mark reports and transcript; credit for as much as, and no more than, a maximum of 20 term courses will count toward the degree for Arts courses passed and for non-Arts courses in which a minimum grade of C- or 60% has been achieved. Cumulative and Arts (or major) averages will be based on courses taken following re-admission and clearing.
    8. Students whose cumulative average(s) have been cleared must observe the following requirements: 1) complete a minimum of ten additional term courses to establish cumulative overall and Arts or major averages; (2) complete a minimum of half of the courses required in the major, or, for non-majors, at least half of the courses must be University of Waterloo Arts courses (for Three-Year programs at least 8, for Four-Year programs at least 13).
    9. Those students who voluntarily withdraw prior to or during the full tuition refund period will not have the term recorded on their academic record and transcript. After this period, students who voluntarily withdraw before the final day of class, do so without academic penalty. However, this withdrawal will be noted on their transcripts with the statement 'Voluntary Withdrawal From Term (effective date) -- No Academic Penalty'. Students who withdraw to avoid a number of failures will likely be ineligible for re-admission for at least two terms. See 'Fees and Registrations' for details on withdrawal procedure.

    Academic Standing (Non-Degree Students)

    1. Non-degree students must attain a minimum cumulative overall average of 60.0% and a minimum cumulative Arts average of 65.0% to be in Good Standing.
    2. Conditional standing may be granted for one academic term if the cumulative overall average falls between 58.0% and 60.0% or the cumulative Arts average falls below 65.0%. During the term in which conditional standing is in effect, the student must make reasonable progress toward obtaining good standing or the student will be required to withdraw.
    3. Even while otherwise in good standing, a student who fails four or more term courses within the first ten term courses or fewer may be required to withdraw if the Examinations and Standings Committee considers that the student will not profit by further study.
    4. Non-degree students may take no more than 20 term courses at UW without permission of the Arts Examinations and Standings Committee.

    Dean's List

    To recognize outstanding academic achievement the Arts Faculty has established a Dean's List. To be eligible for the Dean's List a student:

    1. must have completed a minimum of ten UW courses which count in the cumulative average,
    2. must have a cumulative overall average of 83.0 or higher,
    3. must not have any INCs or NMRs.

    When a student receives Dean's List standing, it is noted on the transcript. Students who graduate with the Dean's List designation will have it noted on their diplomas.

    Appeal Procedures

    If a student wishes to appeal a grade, academic status or standing, the student should try to work the matter out informally with the instructor, officer or University authority concerned, as soon as possible and at the latest within six months of receipt of the grade or decision. If the problem cannot be resolved in this way, the student may submit, within the framework of the Student Grievance Policy (UW Policy #70), a Request for a Formal Review to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs of the student's faculty of registration. Students registered through a federated and affiliated college should submit the appeal through the Dean of the College.

    Whether or not a student wishes to proceed informally or formally, advice and assistance may be secured either from the office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, Registrar's Office, University Secretariat, and/or the Ombudsperson.

    See the Student Grievance Policy (UW Policy #70) for more details.

    Petition Procedures

    A petition to the Faculty of Arts Examinations and Standings Committee may be submitted in those instances in which a student seeks relief from normal Faculty or University rules and regulations because of special circumstances such as illness or bereavement.

    Petitions may include requests to drop or add courses after the deadline; withdraw without academic penalty; take an additional course above the specified maximum for a term; substitute for a required course; or for reconsideration of academic standing.

    Appropriate supporting documentation should accompany all petitions.

    The Petition for Exception to Academic Regulations form is available at departmental undergraduate offices, the Arts Faculty Undergraduate Office and the Registrar's Office.

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    The Undergraduate Calendar is published by the
    Office of the Registrar, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1 Canada
    Inquiries: infoucal@www.adm.uwaterloo.ca
    Revised February 1998