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Faculty Policies


The degree requirements described below apply only to students whose initial registration as BMath degree candidates was Fall/94 or later.

1. Averages for All Students

Students' academic standing is determined by their cumulative average (CAV), their term average (TAV), and their failure count. The cumulative average is calculated over all terms of registration in the Faculty, and the term average is calculated for the most recent term.

Both averages will include the grades for all courses, whether passed, failed, or repeated, with the stipulation that failing grades of less than 32% and grades of DNW (did not write) will be counted as 32% in the calculation of averages. The actual failing grade will appear on a student's record.

A student may not retake a particular passed course more than once.

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2. Major Averages for Honours Students

Unless stipulated otherwise below, the major average (MAV) for an Honours student will be based upon all 300/400-level math courses.

All major averages will include all grades in the specified courses, whether passed, failed, or repeated, with the stipulation that failing grades of less than 32% and grades of DNW (did not write) will be counted as 32% in the calculation of averages.

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3. Academic Standing within the Faculty

3.1 To remain in the Faculty of Mathematics, a student may not fail more than eight half-credit courses.

3.2 To remain in an Honours program, a student may not fail more than four half-credit courses.

3.3 A student's standing is assessed after each term of registration. Subject to 3.1 and 3.2,

3.4

3.5 A student may be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Mathematics if, in the opinion of the Standings and Promotions (S&P) Committee, the student is unlikely to profit from further study in the Faculty or is not making progress toward fulfilling the course requirements for a BMath degree.

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4. Major Average Continuation Requirement for Honours Programs

At the end of each academic term, commencing with the 2A term for Computer Science major programs and the 3A term for all other programs, Honours students must normally have a cumulative major average (as defined in section 2 earlier) of at least 65% to remain eligible to continue in their program. For all Joint and Double Honours programs within the Faculty that involve Computer Science as one of the major disciplines, both major averages must satisfy this requirement.

Students with a cumulative major average less than 65%, but at least 60%, may be allowed, at the discretion of their major Department(s) or the Faculty Programs Committee as appropriate, to continue on a conditional basis in their program in an attempt to raise their cumulative major average to 65%. Students who fail to do so after one full-time academic term (or the equivalent) will normally be required to withdraw from their program. Third- or fourth-year students who are unable to satisfy the admission / continuation standard for some other Honours program will normally be required to transfer to the three-year General program.

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5. Conditions for Remaining in Co-op

5.1 Students who are eligible to continue in their academic program may remain in Co-op, providing that they are making satisfactory progress towards meeting the Faculty's minimum requirements for work terms and work reports.

5.2 An Honours Co-op student who is eligible to continue in the Honours program, but who elects to transfer to the General program, may remain in Co-op, space permitting.

5.3 An Honours Co-op student who is required to transfer to the General program may remain in Co-op if TAV >= 60%, space permitting.

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6. Course Drop Policy

6.1 Students may drop courses without academic penalty during the first four weeks of lectures in a term.

6.2 Students may withdraw from at most one course between the end of the fourth week and the end of the tenth week of lectures in each of their first three terms of full-time university registration. The course will remain on a student's record and will be assigned a grade of WD. This grade will count as a course attempt, but will not be included in the student's averages or credit/failure counts. Forms to withdraw from a course are available from the Mathematics Undergraduate Office. Students who have been enrolled for fewer than three full-time terms in another faculty or post-secondary institution may use this provision only on a pro-rated basis.

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7. Examinations

7.1 The Faculty of Mathematics constitutes the examining body for all examinations and, through the Standings and Promotions (S&P) Committee, approves all decisions concerning grades and academic standing.

7.2 Final examinations are held only during the official examination periods. In addition, instructors may not hold tests in the last five teaching days of the lecture schedule or during the study break prior to each examination period.

7.3 The Faculty of Mathematics does not grant Supplementary Examinations for students who fail courses.

Further details concerning University examination requirements may be found in "Examination Regulations", or in the booklet, "University of Waterloo Policy Statements."

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8. Grades

8.1 Numerical grades in the range 0-100 are assigned in all courses in the Faculty of Mathematics. The minimum passing mark in all courses is 50.

8.2 If a student does not write a final examination and does not give a properly documented reason (e.g. illness), the instructor will either submit a grade of DNW (did not write) or submit a numerical grade based on the term work, with a grade of zero for the exam.

8.3 In exceptional circumstances, for example, an examination missed due to illness (see 12.2 to follow), an instructor may assign a grade of INC (course incomplete). A grade of INC will not be assigned simply because a student is concerned that he/she will otherwise fail the course. A grade of INC which is not cleared by the deadline set by the instructor, which will be no later than eight months after the end of term, will be automatically converted to a DNW. Students should not register (again) in a course for which they have received an INC.

8.4 Grades are not official until student grade reports have been issued by the Registrar's Office. However, once the official examination period is over, instructors are encouraged to post their lists of unofficial grades, by ID number only, on their office doors. Faculty policy does not permit instructors to release grades during the examination period.

8.5 Students in the Faculty of Mathematics may not register for official Audit (AUD) status in a course.

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9. Grade Appeals

A student may find that the grade received for a course is significantly lower than anticipated following the final exam. In this situation, the student may informally ask the instructor to check the calculation of the final grade. Further, after the final grade reports are issued, the student may request to have the final exam re-marked by submitting a Math Faculty Grade Appeal Form to the Registrar's Office. These forms may be obtained from the Registrar's Office or the MUO. As part of this process, the student may ask to see a copy of his/her final exam.

It should be noted that failing grades are automatically reviewed by the instructor, and in a multi-section course, the examinations are marked in common by all instructors so that students in all sections are treated on a common basis. Students should be aware that a grade may decrease as a result of a request for a re-mark.

If, following a grade appeal, a student has serious concerns about how her/his grade was assigned, the student should discuss the matter with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. In such a situation, the Student Grievance Policy permits a student to request a formal reassessment. A copy of this document (UW Policy #70) may be obtained from UWInfo.

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10. Voluntary Withdrawal from a Term

Any student may voluntarily withdraw within the first four weeks of the term, in accordance with the course drop policy. Students who voluntarily withdraw prior to or during the full refund period (see "Withdrawals") will not have the term recorded on their academic record. Students who voluntarily withdraw from their studies after the full refund period and before the end of the fourth week of classes, will have this noted on their transcripts with the statement "Voluntary Withdrawal From Term (effective date) - No Academic Penalty". A student who withdraws late will normally receive grades of DNW in all courses for that term.

A first-year student who has never been previously registered at a degree-granting post-secondary institution will normally be permitted to withdraw from all her/his courses without academic penalty as late as the last official day of lectures for her/his first term. Such students must re-apply for admission for a subsequent term, thereby competing with new applicants for admission.

A Mathematics student who has completed at least one term of study and who has been inactive (i.e., not been registered as a BMath degree candidate at the University of Waterloo, or on an approved Letter of Permission) for more than four consecutive academic terms must apply for re-admission by writing to the Assistant Registrar, Faculty of Mathematics. A resume covering the inactive period, including official transcripts from any post-secondary institutions attended in the interim, must be included. If the student is re-admitted, Faculty policies in effect at the time of re-admission will apply, unless stated otherwise by the Faculty when re-admission is approved.

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11. Petitions and the Standings and Promotions (S&P) Committee

On occasion, due to illness or other circumstances beyond a student's control, it may be appropriate for a student to make a petition requesting that an exception be made to a Faculty or University regulation. All such petitions are considered by the S&P Committee, which consists of a representative from each department and each area of study, and is chaired by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Petitions should be made on a Petition form (Form D) obtainable from the Mathematics Undergraduate Office, and should be submitted to the Registrar's Office together with supporting documents (e.g. a medical certificate). It is often useful to discuss the situation with an Academic Advisor before making a petition.

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12. Illness

12.1 Illness During the Term

If a student becomes seriously ill during the term, it may be desirable for her/his course load to be reduced or for the student to withdraw completely from the academic term. If this occurs after the official course drop deadline, the student should submit a petition to the S&P Committee, supported by a medical certificate, requesting permission to drop one or more courses. It is essential for the student to assess the situation and take the appropriate action immediately. Petitions of this nature must be made before the end of the lecture period.

12.2 Illness During the Exam Period

12.3 Medical Certificates

The certificate should describe the nature of the illness, the degree of incapacity, and the precise period of absence or incapacitation.

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13. Policies Concerning Courses

13.1 Course Load Policy

The standard course load for students in the Math Faculty is five half-credit courses per term. Students who have a cumulative average of 80% or more may request permission from their advisor to enrol in a sixth course. The intention is to permit students to take additional courses beyond the 40-course degree requirement and thereby gain greater breadth in their education. However, students should not plan to enrol in six courses with a view to graduating in less than eight terms, since it is Faculty policy that students must complete eight full-time terms in order to graduate with an Honours degree.

13.2 Adding Courses

The last day to add a course or change sections in an already-scheduled course is two weeks after the official beginning of lectures.

13.3 Course Prerequisites

At any time prior to the completion of lectures, if it is discovered that a student is taking a course offered by the Faculty of Mathematics without having previously completed the course prerequisites stated in the University Undergraduate Calendar, the student is subject to having her/his registration in that course purged from university records. Such purging may be done at the request of the course instructor, the department offering the course, and/or the Faculty of Mathematics, but not without the consent of the instructor.

13.4 No-Credit/Overlap Courses

Some courses offered within the University may not be taken for credit towards a BMath degree, since they have been designed for students in faculties other than Mathematics. These courses are identified on the "Course No-Credit List". Other courses offered by various departments throughout the University deal with similar subject matter. In these instances, at most one entry from a group of overlapping courses may count for credit towards a BMath degree. These courses are identified on the "Course Overlap List". Both of these lists are published annually in the "Math Students' Handbook" available in the Mathematics Undergraduate Office. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of the contents of these lists.

13.5 Distance Education Courses

A student who is registered full-time in the Faculty of Mathematics may not normally enrol in a distance education course that term. However, distance education courses may be taken on a part-time basis by Regular and Co-op students during terms off campus. Co-op students on a work term are limited to one half-credit course, unless they have written support from their employer to take two half-credit courses. It should be noted that no explicitly specified course in an Honours program may normally be taken through distance education.

13.6 Courses at Other Universities (Letters of Permission)

Students "In Good Standing" are normally permitted to take non-math courses at other universities on a part-time basis during terms off campus, provided the courses are not explicitly required for their particular program. Students wishing to take courses at other universities must submit a completed "Letter of Permission" form to the Registrar's Office before taking each course. The Standings and Promotions (S&P) Committee will not approve courses taken elsewhere for BMath degree credit if prior approval has not been obtained.

All courses taken on a Letter of Permission will be recorded on Faculty of Mathematics Student Examination Reports with a grade of 'CR' (credit) or 'NCR' (no credit) as appropriate. Co-op students on work terms are limited to one half-credit course, unless they have written support from their employer to take two half-credit courses.

It will be the student's responsibility to ensure that an official transcript from the host institution is sent to the UW Registrar's Office within two months of the completion of the course. Otherwise, a grade of NCR (which counts as a failure) will be automatically recorded. Any changes a student wishes to make to an authorized Letter of Permission must be approved in advance by the S&P Committee.

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14. Co-op Regulations

14.1 Co-op Degree Requirements

Co-operative mathematics students are expected to follow the normal alternating academic/work-term sequence appropriate to their program from admission through to graduation (see "Work/Study Sequence" table ). Students admitted at the 1A level, with the exception of those in the Math/Accounting Programs, will normally have eight academic terms and six work terms. Such students must successfully complete all academic degree requirements, write at least four satisfactory work reports, and follow an approved academic/work-term sequence, which will normally include at least five satisfactory work terms. Students may not end their academic/work-term sequence with a work term. Students must satisfy all Honours degree requirements within one calendar year after the termination of their approved academic/work-term sequence, or they will normally be eligible only for a Regular Honours degree.

14.2 Re-arranging Academic/Work-term Sequences

Student requests to re-arrange academic/work-term sequences must be directed to the Standings and Promotions Committee on special forms available from the Registrar's Office, Co-operative Education and Career Services, and the Mathematics Undergraduate Office. Such requests will normally be approved if all of the criteria listed on the form are met. Students who alter their academic/work-term sequence without first obtaining written approval may be required to withdraw from the Co-op program. It is the student's responsibility to deal with any timetabling difficulties which may arise and to preregister for subsequent terms.

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15. Transfer Students

15.1 Residency/Registration Requirement

Students must normally complete at least 50% of the minimum number of math half-credits and at least 50% of the total number of half-credits required for their BMath degree program while registered in the Faculty of Mathematics. Students transferring into a Co-operative program must normally complete at least 50% of the total number of Co-op work terms required and at least two of the four required work reports while registered in the Faculty of Mathematics.

15.2 Transfer Credits

Transfer students will normally be given transfer credit for relevant courses taken previously if (i) a mark of at least 60% or equivalent has been obtained, (ii) a mark of at least 50% has been obtained in a University of Waterloo non-math course or in a University of Waterloo mathematics course specifically designated for mathematics students. A transfer failure will normally be assigned if a mark is less than 50%. Credit may not be granted for a course covering only part of the material contained in a corresponding required UW course. Grades for transferred courses will not count in averages.

15.3 Transferring into a Co-op Porgram

Students with math transfer credits beyond first year are not eligible for the Co-op program.

15.4 Double Counting of Courses for BMath Degree Credit

The Faculty of Mathematics will normally count for BMath degree credit a maximum of 50% of the courses that a student has previously used, or is using simultaneously, to obtain a degree from another UW faculty or at another university.

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