Link to the University of Waterloo home page Advanced Search or
The Undergraduate Calendar

Arts Academic Regulations and Advice

Course Selection and Course Load

Course Selection
Printable Version Printable Version

The Faculty of Arts strongly recommends that returning students request course preferences during each term's course selection week and adjust courses during the official add/drop period for each term to maximize their chances of obtaining access to limited enrolment courses. Class enrolment periods and the last date to add or drop a course can be found on Quest-Important Dates.

Students should consult their academic advisor regarding selection of courses.

Cross-listed courses

Cross-listed courses are considered to be equivalent in content. Students enrolled in a course which is cross-listed should be aware that the course will automatically fulfil a Bachelor of Arts Breadth Requirement for either the subject in which they are registered or the cross-listed subject, but not both. For example, a student registered in PACS 203/HIST 232 may receive credit for either the Transdisciplinary Studies requirement or the Humanities requirement, but not for both.

Similarly, students should be aware that all courses taken under a subject which is cross-listed with a course within the student's plan are included in the plan average.


The requirement(s) that must be met in order to be eligible to enrol in a course. Prerequisities may include passed courses, registration in a specific program or plan, and an academic level or academic standing. 


Courses noted as being antirequisites to each other have significant overlap but are not considered to be equivalent as is the case with cross-listed courses. Students who take antirequisite courses will not receive credit for both.

Repeated courses

When a course is repeated, both grades are entered with all other grades in calculating the student's averages. Only one of the two attempts will count for credit towards the degree.

In rare cases when a student repeats a successfully completed course that has subsequently been cleared (given credit but grade does not count in average), the second instance will not receive credit and will normally not count in the student's averages.

  • failed course may be repeated once.
  • A passed course may not be repeated except under exceptional circumstances, and then only once and only under all the following conditions:
    1. if the student's academic advisor recommends the repetition;
    2. if, in the event that the course in question is not within the student's major, the department offering the course also recommends the repetition; and
    3. if the Arts Examinations and Standings Committee approves the petition for repetition of the course in advance of registration for the repetition.

Double-counting of courses

The practice of counting a course towards two different academic plans is known as "double-counting". There is no limit on the number of courses that may be double counted unless otherwise stated.

Double counting of courses applies as follows: once for the plan (e.g., major or minor) and once for a second honours major or concurrent degree, option, minor, certificate, or diploma. Specializations, such as the Finance Specialization in Economics, are regarded as being housed within the main academic plan (i.e., major), and so are not subject to concerns about double-counting between them since a Specialization is not considered an actual plan but, rather, a sub-plan of the major. Courses used towards fulfilling the Bachelor of Arts' Breadth Requirements are not subject to the double-counting rule.

Under no circumstances are students allowed to "triple-count" (i.e., count one course towards three separate academic plans, except for when one of the three plans is a specialization).


Office of the Registrar
University of Waterloo
2nd Floor, Needles Hall
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
519 888 4567

contact us | UWaterloo home | privacy | powered by InterGlobal Solutions