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2014-2015
The Undergraduate Calendar
 

Faculty of Mathematics

Faculty Policies

Faculty Policies
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Degree requirements and policies that apply to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Software Engineering (BSE) degree program are included in the Software Engineering program description. Also see “Degree Requirements” for definitions of the basic terms used in this section.

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Academic Enrolment Blocks

In some instances a student will be blocked from enrolling in classes. Any student with an enrolment block should speak to their academic advisor concerning their situation. A student will be blocked, regardless of their academic standing for the term, in the following circumstances:

  • after the term in which a student reaches 2.0 failed or excluded units; or
  • after the term in which a student reaches 4.0 units of unusable course attempts; or
  • after the term in which a student reaches 5.0 units of unusable course attempts; or
  • when the Writing Skills Requirement is not completed before enrolling in 2A

Students may be blocked from enrolling in courses for reasons other than those listed here.

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Academic Standing within the Faculty

This section specifies the rules that determine a student’s academic standing. A student’s standing determines whether a student is able to proceed in the Faculty or in his or her chosen plan, how many courses they are able to take in the next term, etc. 

Conditions Standing
Any of the following:
  • The student has more than 4.0 units of failed or excluded courses, or
  • The student’s total unit value of unusable course attempts exceeds 5.0 units, or
  • The student did not pass at least two courses in his or her first full-time 1A term, unless the one course passed is a math course with a grade of at least 60% and the Standings and Promotions (S&P) Committee has approved the student to continue with his or her studies, or
  • The student cannot earn a degree within the permitted maximum number of course attempts (this requirement may be waived at the discretion of the student’s academic advisor) (see Table 1 in “Degree Requirements”), or
  • In the opinion of S&P, the student is unlikely to profit from further study in the Faculty or is not making satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements
Required to withdraw – may not continue in Faculty
No standing above applies and any of the following:
  • Standing from the previous full-time term or equivalent is Conditional or Probation/ Conditional and any major average (MAV) is below the required minimum, or
  • Any MAV is below the required minimum and the plan’s administrators do not give permission for the student to continue, or
  • Any MAV is more than 5% lower than the required minimum, or
  • The student is in an Actuarial Science plan and SMAV is below the required minimum
Must change academic plan- plan average(s) too low
No standing above applies, and all of the following:
  • The student’s cumulative average (CAV) is lower than 60%, and
  • At least one major average (MAV) is between the required minimum and 5% lower than that, and
  • The plan’s administrators have given permission for the student to continue
Probation/ Conditional - Must raise averages
No standing above applies, and the student’s CAV is lower than 60% Probation - Must raise overall program average
No standing above applies, at least one MAV is between the required minimum and 5% lower than that, and the plan’s administrators have given permission for the student to continue Conditional - Must raise plan average(s)
No standing above applies, and more than 1/3 of the passed and excluded units taken while in the Faculty are excluded Marginal - Must improve
No standing above applies, and the student’s CAV is lower than 80% Good
No standing above applies, and the student’s CAV is at least 80% Excellent

The following table describes the implications of the standings listed above.

Standing Implications
Required to withdraw – may not continue in Faculty The student is no longer eligible to study as a Faculty of Mathematics student. This standing normally means that a student is no longer eligible for any subsequent degree studies in the Faculty of Mathematics. However, a student may submit a petition to S&P to enrol in one final term of non degree studies. Such petitions are likely to be granted only if the student is requesting a non-degree term of courses selected to enhance the chances for admission to a program of study outside the Faculty, either at the University of Waterloo or at some other post-secondary institution. A student who is required to withdraw may graduate with a general degree under the Honours Fallback Provision if they meet the requirements when they are required to withdraw.
Must change academic plan- plan average(s) too low The student must change to a different plan/major. Students who are unable to satisfy the major average admission or continuation standard for any honours plan will be required to withdraw from the Math Faculty.
Probation - Must raise overall program average
The student is not currently meeting the Faculty’s standards. The student is restricted to a maximum course-load of 2.0 units for the subsequent academic term. If enrolled in a co-op plan, the student will normally be suspended from the Co-operative Education and Career Action (CECA) employment process during his or her next academic term.
Conditional - Must raise plan average(s) The student is not currently meeting his or her plan’s standards. If the student’s standing does not improve (e.g., by raising his or her MAVs to meet the minimum requirements), he or she will be required to change his or her plan.
Probation/ Conditional - Must raise averages The implications of both Probationary standing and Conditional standing apply.
Marginal - Must improve The student may continue with his or her studies. If enrolled in a co-op plan, the student will normally be suspended from the CECA employment process during his or her next academic term.
Good The student may continue with his or her studies.
Excellent The student may continue with his or her studies, and his or her maximum course load is increased to 3.0 units.

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Averages for Math Students

The Faculty of Mathematics computes several averages that are used to determine a student’s “standing” within the Faculty (see "Academic Standing within the Faculty"). The averages are:

Cumulative Average (“CAV”): The average mark of all courses taken by a student that meet the following criteria:

  • was taken while the student was enrolled in the University of Waterloo,
  • is not a specifically excluded course,
  • is eligible for credit towards the student’s degree (e.g., ECON 211 would not be included in the CAV because all Math students are barred from taking it) and towards their particular plan (e.g., CS 330 would not be included in a computer science major’s average because it is only for non-majors).

Term Average (“TAV”): The TAV is just like the CAV except that the courses included are limited to those taken in a specific term. A TAV is computed for each term in which a student is enrolled in the Faculty of Mathematics.

Major Average (“MAV”): Courses included in the MAV and average requirements are contained in the table below.

Special Major Average (“SMAV”): Some plans have a special major average, or SMAV. A SMAV is a kind of MAV. The specific courses in a SMAV are defined in the next section.

Notes:

  1. Courses taken in fall 2013 or later cannot be excluded.
  2. A passed course may be repeated at most once unless an academic advisor has given prior approval.
    Failing grades less than 32 and grades of DNW (did not write exam), FTC (failure to complete), NMR (no mark reported), and WF (withdraw/failure) are counted as 32 for average-calculation purposes.

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Major Averages for Math students

Major/Plan Averages Relevant Courses Minimum required average Minimum courses for MAV or SMAV
Actuarial Science MAV All math courses at any level
60% 2
SMAV ACTSC 231, 232, STAT 230/240, 231/241, and all 300/400 level math courses 70% 3
Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Mathematical Physics, Statistics MAV
All math courses at any level
65% 3
Bioinformatics MAV Same as Computer Science plans (below) 60% 2
SMAV All BIOL courses 60% 3
Computing and Financial Management MAV All math courses at any level
60% 3
SMAV All courses from the Faculty of Arts 70% 3
Computer Science MAV CS 136, 138, 146, all subsequent CS major courses, as well as CS courses numbered 600 and higher, and CO 487, STAT 440, ECE 222 and 429, SE 212, 240, 382, 463, 464, and 465 60% 2
Information Technology Management MAV All math courses at any level
60% 3
SMAV All BUS, COMM, MSCI or STV courses
60% 3
Mathematics/Business Administration MAV All math courses at any level
60% 3
SMAV All 300/400 level courses with subjects of AFM, BUS, COMM, ECON, HRM, MSCI, or MTHEL
60% 3
Mathematics/Chartered Professional Accountancy MAV All math courses at any level
60% 3
SMAV All AFM, COMM, ECON, or MSCI courses (this special major average is calculated after the 1B term and includes courses cross-listed with these labels) ) 70%

 

3

Mathematical Economics MAV All math courses at any level
60% 3
SMAV All ECON courses 75% 3
Mathematical Finance MAV
All math courses at any level
70% 3
Mathematics/Financial Analysis and Risk Management MAV All math courses at any level
60% 3
SMAV All AFM, ACTSC, COMM, ECON, or MATBUS courses (including courses cross-listed with these labels)
70% 3
All plans not listed above MAV All math courses at any level
60% 3

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Co-op Regulations

General regulations:

  • Co-operative mathematics students are expected to follow the normal academic/work-term sequence appropriate to their plan from admission through to graduation.
  • Students admitted at the 1A level, with the exception of those in the Mathematics/Chartered Professional Accountancy and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)/Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath) Double Degree plans, will normally have eight academic terms and six work terms.
  • Students may not end their sequence with a work term.
  • Students’ requests to re-arrange their sequence will normally be approved if all the criteria listed on the Academic/Work Term Sequence Change form are met. Students who alter their sequence without obtaining prior approval may be required to withdraw from the co-op system. It is the student’s responsibility to deal with any timetabling difficulties that may arise and to select courses for subsequent terms.

Professional Development (PD) courses:

  • As specified in Table I, co-op students are required to complete a minimum of five different Professional Development courses.
  • PD1 and PD2 are required courses for co-op students in all Faculties except Engineering. PD1 is required in the academic term prior to the first work term and PD2 is required during the first work term.
  • With the exception of PD 1, Professional Development courses are normally taken during co-op work terms.
  • Students are required to take a PD course each work term until the requirement is completed.

Work reports:

  • Co-op students must submit a work report following every work term until they have completed four acceptable work reports. Successful completion of PD 2 meets the requirement for a first work report.

Co-op standing rules:

Conditions Co-op Standing
Any of the following:
  • The student is required to withdraw from the Faculty
  • The student is on academic probation or marginal standing after a full-time academic term for the second time
  • Two unemployed or failed work term opportunities
  • Three missing or failed PD courses
  • Two missing or failed work reports
  • The S&P Committee deems that the student is unlikely to profit from further participation in co-op or is not making satisfactory progress toward fulfilling co-op degree requirements. Presentation of such requests to S&P result in a notification to the student and an opportunity to reply prior to S&P’s decision.
Withdraw from Co-op
No standing above applies, and any of the following:
  • The student is on academic probation or marginal standing after a full-time term for the first time
  • Two missing or failed PD courses and one missing or failed work report.
Co-op probation
No standing above applies, and in the most recent work term, the Employer Evaluation was Excellent or Outstanding Excellent co-op standing
No standing above applies Good co-op standing

The following table explains the consequences of the standings above:

Co-op Standing Implications
Withdraw from Co-op The student must withdraw from co-op, and will be transferred to the most closely matching regular plan for which the student is admissible, if one exists.
Co-op probation The student must meet with a co-op advisor to determine conditions necessary to remediate their co-op standing. A student who is on probation in co-op solely because of his/her academic standing will be placed in Good co-op standing if he/she returns to Good or Excellent academic standing after one full-time academic term without missing or failing any PD courses or work reports. The student’s access to the Co-op Employment Process will be blocked pending completion of remedial requirements
Good co-op standing Eligible to continue in Co-op
Excellent co-op standing Eligible to continue in Co-op

Courses on a work term:

  • Co-op students on a work term are limited to one course (0.5 units), unless they have written support from their employer to take two courses (1.0 units). COOP, PD, and WKRPT courses are not included in these limits.

Transferring into co-op:

  • Late transfers to the co-op system are considered once per term. Admission is very competitive and is a function of availability and demonstrated academic performance at the university level.
  • Regular students in the Faculty of Mathematics may apply to transfer to the co-op system of study in their 1B term. To be eligible, at the time of admission to co-op, such students must have successfully completed between 4.0 and 6.0 units, including transfer credits.
  • Non-co-op students from other faculties at the University of Waterloo may apply to transfer to the co-op system in the Faculty of Mathematics at the end of their 1B term, as part of the internal transfer process.
  • Non-co-op students external to the University of Waterloo are eligible to apply for co-op in the Faculty of Mathematics only if, at the time of admission, they have successfully completed no more than 3.0 units of math transfer credits and between 4.0 and 6.0 transfer credits overall.
  • Applications to transfer to co-op from co-op students external to the University of Waterloo will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Course Load

  • The standard course load is five courses per term (2.5 units). A student may take up to 2.75 units without special permission.
  • Students who have a cumulative average of 80% or more and are in Excellent standing have a maximum course load of 3.0 units. Honours co-op students should not enrol in six courses with a view to graduating in fewer than eight terms, because co-op students must complete at least eight full-time terms to graduate with an honours degree.
  • If a student has courses with INC (incomplete course work) grades on his/her record, the total unit weight of those courses and the courses enrolled for the current term may not normally exceed 3.25 units. A student may obtain permission from an academic advisor to exceed this limit if an INC will not be completed in the current term because the course is not offered.
  • In the term after a student’s first 1A term in the Faculty of Mathematics, the following rules apply:
  • Each failed course will reduce his/her course load by 0.5 units.
  • Each INC beyond the first will reduce the maximum course load by an additional 0.5 units.
  • No student’s maximum course load will be restricted in this way to less than 1.0 units. In that case, the student’s academic advisor may permit the student to enrol in 1.5 units.
  • Any student with a CAV less than 60% will have a maximum course load of 2.0 units.
  • If more than one of the preceding rules apply to a student, then the maximum course load is the minimum of those specified.

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Discretion in the Application of Policies

The Faculty may, in extenuating circumstances, make exceptions to its policies. For example, students who experience difficulties beyond their control, such as serious illness, may be allowed to continue in a plan when a strict interpretation of policy would force them out.

Students should consult their academic advisor to determine whether their circumstances are appropriate to warrant asking for an exception.

Normally, the S&P Committee considers petitions for exceptions to Faculty or University policies and regulations. Students wishing to petition S&P should consult their academic advisor.

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Exceptions

For students near graduation: Any student who has more than 3.0 failed or excluded units, or more than 5.0 units of unusable course attempts, and has no more than 0.5 units remaining to satisfy degree requirements, may enrol in one additional term. The student will still qualify for an Honours degree if, at the end of that term, he/she:

  • satisfies all degree requirements other than the failure or attempt limit
  • has credit for at least 1.5 units in the additional term, and
  • has no failed or excluded courses, WDs (withdrew, no credit granted), or CLC's (no credit granted, in average) in that term

No student may take advantage of this provision more than once.

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Extended Absences and Withdrawals

First-year withdrawal:

A first-year student who has never previously been registered at a degree-granting post-secondary institution will normally be permitted to withdraw from all of his/her courses without academic penalty until the last official day of lectures for his/her first term. These courses will continue to appear on the student’s academic record with a grade of WD. Such students may resume their studies after an absence of two terms (eight months). Students wishing to pursue this option should contact the Registrar’s Office.

Readmission:

A student who has completed at least one term of study and who has been inactive (i.e., not registered as a candidate for a Faculty of Mathematics degree or on an approved Letter of Permission) for at least five consecutive academic terms must apply for re-admission.

For example, a student whose last term of enrolment was spring 2010 would not need to apply for readmission if he or she returned to study in winter 2012 or earlier. However, if this student remained inactive until spring 2012 or later, then he or she would need to apply for readmission.

Application for readmission must include a resume covering the inactive period, including transcripts from any post-secondary institutions attended in the interim. If the student is readmitted, Faculty policies in effect at the time of readmission will apply unless otherwise stated by the Faculty.

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Grades

  • CS 499T is the only course in the Faculty of Mathematics for which numerical grades are not assigned.
  • A grade of INC will automatically convert to an FTC after eight months, unless a later deadline is specified by the instructor.
  • Students in the Faculty of Mathematics may not register for official Audit (AUD) status in a course. This policy applies to all undergraduate students in Mathematics, including non-degree students and students on exchange from other universities, but does not apply to post-degree students.

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Other Course Rules

Courses on Letter of Permission:

Students in Good or Excellent standing are normally permitted to take non-math courses at other universities on a part-time basis during terms off campus, provided that the courses are not explicitly required for their particular plan. 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 S&P Committee will not approve courses taken elsewhere for degree credit after the fact.

Courses taken on a Letter of Permission will be recorded on a student's academic record as transfer credits (CR - credit granted) or transfer failures (TF - transfer failure) as appropriate. A grade of 60 or higher will be recorded as a credit and a grade of less than 50 will be recorded as a failure. Grades of 50-59 will result in the course not being recorded on a student’s record.

It will be the student's responsibility to ensure that an official transcript from the host institution is sent to the University of Waterloo Registrar's Office within two months of the completion of the course. Otherwise, a transfer 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.

Course prerequisites:

At any time prior to the completion of lectures, if the Faculty discovers that a student has enrolled in a course offered by the Faculty without the appropriate prerequisites and without being granted an override of those prerequisites, the Faculty may purge the student’s registration in the course. Such purging may be done at the request of the instructor, the department offering the course, or the Faculty, but not without the consent of the instructor.

Double counting of courses:

With the exception of specially approved double degree plans (e.g., BBA/BMath Double Degree plan with Wilfrid Laurier University), the Faculty of Mathematics does not allow students to have more than 50% of the course units that they are counting for Mathematics Faculty degree credit be ones that have previously been used, or that are being used simultaneously, to obtain a second degree from another University of Waterloo faculty or from another university.

No-credit/Overlap courses:

Some courses at the University may not be taken for credit towards a degree offered by the Faculty of Mathematics. These courses are identified on the Course No-Credit List.

Other groups of courses cover similar material, and no more than one in any such group may count for credit towards a degree offered by the Faculty. These groups are listed on the Course Overlap List.

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the contents of these lists.

Policy for late switches from advanced section MATH courses to regular section equivalents:

At any time before the end of the “Drop, Penalty 1” period, students may switch from an advanced section MATH course to the equivalent course at the regular honours level:

Advanced Section Regular Section
MATH 145
MATH 135
MATH 146 MATH 136
MATH 147 MATH 137
MATH 148 MATH 138
MATH 245 MATH 235
MATH 247 MATH 237
MATH 249 MATH 239
STAT 240 STAT 230
STAT 241 STAT 231

Students making this kind of switch will normally only be graded based on course elements from the regular section course. Any marks from the advanced section course will be disregarded. Students are responsible for making up any material in the regular section course that they may have missed, and are required to discuss their situation with the regular section instructor as soon as possible after making the switch.

Students in MATH 147 who have transfer credit for MATH 137 may elect instead to drop the class, retroactive to the first day of lectures. If such a student chooses to switch to MATH 137 instead, then he/she will forfeit any transfer credit for MATH 137.
Students in MATH 247 who have already gained credit for MATH 237 may elect instead to drop the class, retroactive to the first day of lectures.

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Residency Requirement

Students must normally complete at least 50% of the minimum number of math courses and at least 50% of the total number of units required for a Faculty of Mathematics degree while registered at the University of Waterloo. Students transferring into a co-op system of study must complete at least five work terms, unless otherwise specified by plan requirements.


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