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General Information

The Foundation Term

The Foundation Term
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The Foundation Term is one component of the University of Waterloo's efforts to support its students in achieving their full potential. The objectives of the Foundation Term are:

  • To improve student experience and retention.
  • To equip, for success, students who have found it difficult to transition to the challenges of university academics.
The Foundation Term consists of three 0.5 unit courses and any associated required labs (0.25 unit each). Two courses are approved by the academic advisor for the plan in which the student wishes to continue their studies; the third course (UNIV 101) equips students with skills for study and life success (University 101 serves all faculties except Engineering; GENE 101 is the antirequisite designed for Engineering students).

Students who are in the Foundation Term must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Meet the Faculty's Foundation Term requirements.
  • Obtain a grade of 60% or more in UNIV 101.
  • Have no grades of NMR (No mark reported, no credit granted) or DNW (Did not write examination, no credit granted) assigned to a course taken during the Foundation Term.
  • Before continuing studies, complete all courses taken during the Foundation Term that have been awarded an INC (Incomplete course work, no credit granted.)

Failure to successfully complete UNIV 101 will result in immediate withdrawal from the University.

Failure to fulfil the Faculty's Foundation Term requirements will result in immediate withdrawal from the program and, in some cases, the Faculty.

General Principles of the Foundation Term

The Foundation Term follows these principles.

  • After a student's first or second term of study, the Foundation Term is:
    • Highly recommended for students who would otherwise be required to withdraw; or
    • Optional, with faculty consent, for students who have not met the program requirements but have been allowed to proceed, conditional on meeting program requirements in the next term.
  • Normally, students will withdraw from studies for a minimum of one term prior to beginning the Foundation Term, depending on their program of study.
  • Students, who do not qualify for the Foundation Term (e.g., upper-year students, part-time students, etc.,) may opt to attend the Foundation Term, with the support of their faculty.
  • Students will remain in degree studies during the Foundation Term, but co-op students may be moved to a regular program.
  • Students entering the Foundation Term are not required to apply for readmission unless they enter the Foundation Term after an absence of more than three terms (i.e., the student has become inactive).
  • Students, who are successful in the Foundation Term, may be eligible to have their grades cleared, as prescribed by their faculty.
  • Students will be allowed to participate in UNIV 101 (or any antirequisite) only once during their academic career at the University of Waterloo.
  • Where a Faculty deems that the Foundation Term would not address the source of the academic challenges, students may be required to withdraw from the Faculty for a period of time to resolve the barriers to their success.

Student Success Office

For more information on UNIV 101, refer to the Student Success Office website.


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