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Calendars > Faculty of Arts > Academic Regulations - Requirements related to courses

Faculty of Arts


a) Evaluation of performance

Course attendance
Attendance at courses of instruction, laboratory periods and discussion groups is mandatory. At the beginning of each session, the professor must indicate, on the course outline, his policy regarding absences and may exclude from the final examination any student who has not complied.

Methods of evaluation
1. Course work for the year or the session (tests, term papers and other course work) carries a weight determined by the professor and approved by the department.
2. At the beginning of a course, professors shall inform students about course requirements, delivery and evaluation methods, and the nature and timing of assignments, projects and examinations.
3. Professors may refuse to accept any assignment or examination that is not written legibly.

b) Examinations and assignments

Final examination
1. Except in certain rare cases authorized by the department, there is a final examination or its equivalent in each course. The final examination or its equivalent should be completed during the examination period. The professor, with the approval of the department, determines the format of the final examination (written examination, oral examination, final essay, take-home examination, or other form of exam). Written final examinations are either two or three hours long.
2. The final examination, or its equivalent, cannot count for more than 60 per cent or less than 30 per cent of the final grade.
3. Professors must inform their students of the nature of the final examination when informing them of the marking system.
4. All students have the right to see their examination booklets after they have been marked.

Official examination period
5. No final examination of any kind may be given outside of the official examination period.
6. Unless authorized by the department, mid-term examinations in full-year courses must be scheduled during the official December examination period.
7. No test with a value exceeding 10 per cent of the final grade may be given during the last week of classes in any session.

Examination attendance
8. To be admitted to a final examination, students must have complied with the professor's attendance requirement.
9. The following items are prohibited during an examination or test: cameras, radios, devices with earphones, tape recorders, pagers, calculator watches, cell phones or any other communication device that has not been approved beforehand. It is the student's responsibility to verify if the type of calculator is permissible for the examination. Any deviation from the above will be considered academic fraud.

Absence from an examination or assignments submitted late
10. Absence from any examination or test, or late submission of assignments due to illness, must be justified; otherwise, a penalty will be imposed.
a) Students who do not consider their reasons confidential may advise their professor directly and, if necessary, submit a medical certificate from the attending physician. Before accepting deferral of the examination or the assignment, the professor has the right to request that the medical certificate be validated by the University of Ottawa Health Services.
b) Students who prefer to keep their medical reasons confidential must submit to the professor a medical certificate issued by Health Services.
c) If the medical problem is foreseeable, students must advise the professor before the examination or before the date and time the assignments are due, choosing one of the two procedures described above.
d) If the medical problem is not foreseeable, students who do not write an examination or who do not hand in an assignment on time must submit, if requested by the professor, a medical certificate validated by Health Services within five working days after the date of the examination or the date the assignment is due.
e) The professor who accepts the reasons given by a student - with or without a certificate issued by Health Services - must, in consultation with the department, set a date for a special examination or for handing in the assignment.
f) If a professor requests a medical certificate issued by Health Services, the student must comply even if other professors do not ask for a medical certificate.
g) Students who write an examination during the period of invalidity specified on the medical certificate or application to defer examination form may not plead illness to appeal their examination results.
12. Absence from an examination for any other reason must be justified in writing no later than five working days after the examination. The department and the Faculty reserve the right to accept or reject the reason presented. Reasons such as travel, employment and misreading the examination schedule are not usually accepted.
13. Students who have been authorized to miss a final examination will be allowed to write a deferred examination. The department will determine the date of the deferred examination.

Procedure on cancellation or postponement of exams
1. If the University must cancel all exams on a given day
The Vice-Rector, Academic, may authorize the cancellation of all exams on a given day. If so the following will take place:
• the decision must be made by 8 a.m. on the day;
• the decision is relayed immediately;
• exams are usually rescheduled automatically for the same time either on the following Sunday or on the final day of the official exam period; in extraordinary situations, the first Saturday after the start of classes in January can also be used for rescheduling for fall-session exams;
• students whose exam was cancelled will be informed of the make-up date by e-mail.
2. Examinations disrupted because of exceptional circumstances and recognized as such by the Vice-Rector, Academic.
• Students who are present at the examination must be permitted to write the examination. The invigilator should be tolerant if some students arrive late.
• For those students who have missed the examination, the Faculty must determine, in consultation with the professor, the arrangements for a special examination. The students must then be informed (preferably by e-mail) as soon as possible.
3. For bomb scares or fires
The decision to evacuate examination rooms and the signal to re-enter those rooms must come from Protection Services. Decisions on the fate of the exam are made on location where possible. Authorities may decide:
• to continue the exam as soon as everyone is allowed to re-enter the building,
• or to stop the exam; if the exam is suspended, the Faculty decides on its rescheduling and students are notified (preferably by e-mail).

Supplemental examinations
Supplemental examinations are offered at the 1000-level in the faculties of Engineering and Science only. There are no supplemental examinations in courses of the Faculty of Arts.
1. A supplemental examination is allowed for students who obtain a grade of E.
2. Students who are eligible for a supplemental examination and want to write that examination must register at the
undergraduate office of the Faculty of Arts. There are fees for writing a supplemental examination.
3. Students who have registered for a supplemental examination must write it; otherwise they will receive the grade INC (equal to a failing grade) for the examination unless they cancel their registration by informing the Faculty no later than the day before the examination.
4. In the courses where the final grade is not exclusively the final examination grade, the grade obtained on the supplemental examination will be used to replace only that of the final examination.
5. The supplemental grade and the previous final grade appear on the transcript. Starting in the fall 2002 session, only the supplemental grade will be used for grade point calculations.
6. Additional fees are applied when students write supplemental examinations at another institution. No student is allowed to write supplemental examinations outside of Canada.

Conservation of final examinations
The University reserves the right to destroy examination booklets and other written work six months after the grade has been communicated to the students.

c) University of Ottawa grading scale

The following is the grading scale for all courses.

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1. Students who do not obtain the minimum grade in a compulsory course taken for the first time must repeat the course successfully. Otherwise, they must withdraw from the program or faculty in which they are registered.
2. In the case of an elective, students may repeat the failed course or substitute another elective that meets the requirements of their program.

d) Reregistration to a course
In any undergraduate program requiring 90 credits or more, it is permitted to take a certain number of courses again (to a maximum of 16 credits) whether the course was passed or failed. This is normally done to raise a student's average or reinforce their knowledge in the subject matter. For all courses taken a second time within the 16-credit maximum, only the second grade will be calculated in the average. However, both grades appear on the official transcript. In the case of a compulsory course, students must repeat the course successfully. Otherwise, they must withdraw from the program or the faculty in which they are registered.

e) Cumulative grade point average (CGPA)
The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) represents a student's performance in all courses taken. The CGPA is calculated at the end of each session and includes all courses followed at the University of Ottawa, Saint Paul University, the Dominican College and Carleton University.
Calculation of the cumulative grade point average

Prior to the fall session 2002

The CGPA is calculated in the following manner.
The grade point for each course is weighted by multiplying the point value of the letter grade obtained by the number of credits for the course. The CGPA is calculated by dividing the sum of the weighted grade points by the total number of credits. In the case of a course with a supplemental exam, both the grade received for the supplemental exam, whether passed or failed, and the final grade received for the course, are included in the calculation of the CGPA.


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Starting in the fall session 2002
• In the case of a course with a supplemental examination, only the supplemental grade will be calculated in the CGPA. Both grades (before and after the supplemental exam) appear on the official transcript.
• For a passed or failed course taken a second time within the 16-credit limit permitted, only the second grade will be calculated in the CGPA. Over the 16-credit limit permitted, all grades will count in the CGPA and in the number of courses failed.


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f) Annual Grade Point Average (AGPA)
The annual grade point average (AGPA) is calculated by dividing the grade points earned during the academic year (from May to April) by the total number of credits carried by courses taken and counting in the average during that period of time.

g) Diploma grade point average (DGPA)
The diploma grade point average (DGPA) is calculated the same way as the CGPA, but uses only 2000-level courses and above (1000-level courses are excluded).
In order to obtain a baccalaureate with honours, a minimum DGPA of 5.0 is required. (See also Section 8 a - Degree requirements.)

h) Minimum grades and averages required
The requirements for a certificate or a three-year baccalaureate (general or with concentration):
a) minimum grade of D in all courses required by the program;
b) cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.5.

The requirements for a baccalaureate with honours or professional baccalaureate (with the exception of the Baccalaureate in Journalism):

Before the fall session 2003:
a) minimum grade of C+ for honours courses required by the program;
b) minimum grade of D for other courses required by the program and P for the work-term courses of the co-op programs;
c) a cumulative grade point average of 4.5 on the total number of courses required by the program, or 6.0 in co-op programs.

Starting in the fall session 2003:
a) minimum grade of D in each course required by the program, with the eventual exception of some courses where a higher grade is required. The department responsible for the program can submit a list of courses (maximum 18 credits), for approval by the Senate, where a grade higher than a D is required;
b) a minimum CGPA of 4.5 and a minimum DGPA of 5.0.
c) if, after completion of the program, the minimum DGPA is not attained, it is possible to follow additional courses (to a maximum of 24 credits at the 3000-level and above) to reach the required DGPA.

Note: See section 6 entitled "Evaluation of Academic Standing".

i) Revision of grades

University regulation
The University recognizes the right of all students to see any of their written tests, assignments or examinations for courses in which they are registered, after the work in question has been marked, and to appeal these grades. A grade may be changed only on the basis of reassessment of tests, assignments or examinations already submitted for a course.
Students can view their grades by using their password to access InfoWeb. The date on which final grades are officially posted on the Web site is indicated in the sessional dates calendar. The appeal procedure for the Faculty concerned starts on that date.

Faculty regulation
This regulation applies to all courses under the responsibility of a teaching unit of the Faculty of Arts. There are two levels to the appeal process within the Faculty.

Departmental level
Each department has an appeal process, which it shall bring to the attention of students. Students who are not satisfied with a grade are first strongly encouraged to approach their professor, within two weeks of being informed of their grade, in order to request either clarification or a review of the grade in question. This approach may be made via the department chairperson if the student so wishes. If they wish to pursue the matter further, students must submit, within two weeks of the professor's decision, a written request for revision to the chairperson of the department concerned, so that a re-evaluation can take place according to the procedure in effect in each department.

Faculty level
1. Students who disagree with the decision of the department may submit a written request for revision to the dean within two weeks of the decision of the department. Such requests shall include the title of the course, a copy of the test, assignment or examination in question, the grade obtained, the name of the professor (or professors) whose grade is appealed, and a statement of the grounds for the appeal.
2. The dean will decide whether a request for revision of grades is admissible and shall provide reasons for any negative decision.
3. If an appeal is judged to be admissible, the dean shall, within two weeks following receipt of the student's request, appoint a committee to re-evaluate the test, assignment or examination in question. Normally, this committee will be chaired by the vice-dean and will include two other persons with appropriate qualifications. Except where circumstances make it desirable or necessary, neither the professor who first gave the appealed grade nor those who reviewed it for the department shall sit on the committee. If the committee finds it necessary to do so, it may call on external evaluators.
4. A copy of the student's request will be forwarded to the professor, who may submit written comments to the chairperson of the appeal committee.
5. The members of the committee will receive a copy of the student's request and the comments of the professor. The chairperson of the committee may provide any information deemed necessary to the proper conduct of the re-evaluation.
6. In light of all this information, the committee will determine the revised grade, which may be identical to, lower than or higher than the original grade.
7. The chairperson of the committee will inform the student of the results of the appeal by letter. A copy of that letter will be sent to the professor whose grade was appealed.
8. Students cannot withdraw their appeals once revised grades have been assigned.
9. Appeals of the dean's decision as per paragraph 2 or of the revised grade, may be made to the Senate committee for the study of individual cases, either by the student or by the professor, on the grounds that the dean's decision was unfounded or that the re-evaluation was not properly carried out. Unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated, such an appeal must be made within two weeks of the date of the letter informing the student of the decision in question. If the appeal of the dean's decision is successful, the Faculty will be directed to undertake a review in accordance with the regulation indicated above. If the appeal of the committee's decision is successful, the Faculty will be directed to proceed to a new evaluation, the results of which shall be final and binding.


At the end of each session, academic advisors will assess the academic results of all students and recommend one of the following:
• permission to continue program of studies;
• inclusion on the dean's honour list (in May only);
• placement on probation;
• removal from probation;
• withdrawal from the program or withdrawal from the Faculty.

a) Academic Standing (Averages required)
1. In general or concentration baccalaureate programs, students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 to be in good standing.
2. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 4.5 in honours programs and 6.0 in co-op programs to be in good standing.
3. To pursue studies in a given program without special conditions, every student must be in good standing. The student's official record must therefore indicate a cumulative grade point average equal to or greater than the required minimum for the program.
4. All students must be in good standing to obtain a degree and therefore must have the minimum grade point averages outlined above at the end of their program. See also section 5f - Diploma grade point average (DGPA).
5. If a student has not attained the minimum CGPA (DGPA for honours programs) upon completing the program, it is possible to enrol in additional courses, to a maximum of 24 credits (at 3000 level or above for the DGPA), to reach the required CGPA or DGPA. These courses must be completed at the University of Ottawa.

b) Probation
1. Subject to the regulations on mandatory withdrawal, students whose cumulative grade point average falls below the required minimum may be allowed to reregister again by their Faculty, but will be on probation if they do so.
2. Probationary status is removed once the 24 additional credits have been completed and the cumulative grade point average required by the program is attained.
Under the terms of the present regulation, decisions pertaining to probation, termination of probation, or withdrawal are made when the student has completed two full-time sessions (equivalent to two sessions of at least 12 credits each) or 24 credits on a part-time basis.
3. Full-time students may not remain on probation for more than two consecutive sessions. Part-time students may not take more than 24 credits while on probation.
4. Students in honours baccalaureate programs whose cumulative grade point average is below 4.5 may opt to register again in the honours program with probationary status or they may register in a general or concentration program. In the latter case they will not be on probation unless their average is below 3.5.
5. Students registered in a co-op program will be placed on probation if they obtain a cumulative grade point average below 6.0. They may not be on probation for more than two consecutive study sessions.
6. In the case of students admitted on probation, probationary status will be lifted once they have completed 24 credits, provided that their cumulative grade point average has reached the minimum required for their program. If they do not meet these requirements, they will have to withdraw from the Faculty.

c) Withdrawal from a program of studies or from the Faculty
Mandatory withdrawal from a program of studies or from the Faculty may result in the case of an academic standing below the minimum required or in the case of fraud.
Reasons for withdrawal:
a) failure in courses totalling 18 credits that are calculated in the CGPA (withdrawal from the Faculty);
b) second failure in a compulsory course (withdrawal from a program or the Faculty);
c) failure to reach the required minimum grade point average required for the degree after having attempted 24 credits of additional courses (withdrawal from a program or the Faculty);
d) failure to reach the minimum cumulative grade point average required for good standing after two probationary full-time sessions, or after 24 course credits for part-time students (withdrawal from the program or the Faculty);
e) failure to reach the minimum diploma grade point average required after 24 additional level 3000 or higher courses;
f) failure in a compulsory course in a co-op program if this compulsory course is a prerequisite for a course offered during the following study session (withdrawal from the program).

d) Readmission
Students who are required to withdraw from a program of studies or from the Faculty must remain out of their program for one academic year from the date of withdrawal. In cases of withdrawal from a program, students may be eligible for admission to another program of the Faculty. In case of withdrawal from the Faculty, students who wish to re-register after the stated period must submit a new application for admission and meet the admission requirements then in effect.

e) Dean's list
See Section "Prizes, medals and scholarships".


a) Grade report
The University prepares a grade report that presents academic results obtained by a student during the preceding session. The grade report is available on InfoWeb as soon as grades become official and the academic evaluation is complete. Students must use their password to access InfoWeb to consult their grade report.
If the grade report contains errors or omissions, the student should notify the Faculty within 60 days following the date that grades become official (see sessional dates).
Symbols used on grade reports and transcripts:

ABS (absent, no work submitted) - used when a student has not attended the course and has not informed the University thereof in writing, within the time limits specified in the sessional dates section of the Web site. This symbol is equivalent to a failing grade (F).

ADD (additional) - used when the course is taken outside of a student's program. As opposed to an extracurricular course, the result of an additional course is included in the cumulative grade point average calculation.

AUD (auditor) - used when a student has registered to audit a course.

CR (credit) - used when a course is taken in another institution through a letter of permission. The course grade is not included in the grade point averages calculation; only the credits are indicated on the transcript.

CTN (continuing) - used for activities that continue during the following session.

DFR (deferred) - used whenever, in the judgment of the responsible authority, a student presents a valid reason for being unable to satisfy the course requirements. In such a case, the student must complete all requirements within the time limit determined by the professor. The limit may not exceed 12 months. (See also the regulation concerning absence from examinations.)
In order to obtain an extension of the time limit for completing the requirements of a course, a student must fill in the appropriate form, available at the secretariat of the Faculty or department. The student must then have this form signed by the professor of the course and by the chairperson of the department concerned.
If no grade has been received by the Faculty within the limit determined by the professor, the grade DFR will be replaced by INC. (Students registered for the spring or fall convocation should see the section concerning registration for degree.)

DR (drop) -used when students withdraw from a course within the time limit specified in the sessional dates section of the University Web site.

HP (extracurricular) - used when the course is taken outside of a student's program of study. As opposed to an additional course (ADD), the result of an extracurricular course is not included in the grade point averages calculation.

INC (incomplete) - used when at least one of the course requirements has not been fulfilled. This symbol is equivalent to a failing grade (F).

NNR (grade not received) - used when the Office of the Registrar has not received a grade in time for production of reports.

NS (not satisfactory) - used for a failed course that is not part of the grade point averages calculation.

P (pass) - used to indicate that a student has passed the second language proficiency test, or certain activities such as fieldwork, internships and comprehensive examinations. Do not count in grade point averages calculation.

S (satisfactory) - used for a passed course that is not part of the grade point averages calculation.

T (test) - used when a student has taken the second language test.

b) Transcript
A transcript is an official and confidential document issued by the University of Ottawa at the student's request. A student's written authorization must accompany a request made by a third party.

There are two ways a student can obtain a transcript: they can submit a request through InfoService or they can submit a request online using the InfoWeb option DocuNet.

In courses where there are at least six registered students, the group average and the number of students is indicated on the official transcript (as of May 2004) and on the grade report. A transcript issued by the Office of the Registrar indicates all courses and corresponding results for which a student is officially registered at the University. The University does not issue partial transcripts.

A student who has a debt toward the University cannot obtain a transcript.

Conservation and destruction of records
The student's written file as established by the Faculty is deemed to constitute the official file. Documents contained in this file are kept for the duration of the student's enrolment at the Faculty.

After seven consecutive sessions following the departure of a student from the University (as a result of graduation or withdrawal), the file is destroyed, unless the student has enrolled again in another program in the same Faculty or has provided a valid reason why the file should be preserved for a longer period.

No corrections can therefore be made to the official transcript after this period. Only the official electronic record is retained.


The University takes all necessary precautions to protect the confidential and private nature of personal information contained in a student's academic file. The University does not, unless legally-bound, divulge personal information found in an academic file to parties outside the University without written consent from the student.


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