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

Faculty of Science



Course attendance

Attendance at courses of instruction and laboratory periods is
mandatory. Absence is excused only on account of illness (medical
certificate required) or by special permission of the professor.

To be admitted to the final examination in a subject, a student
must attend a minimum of 80 per cent of classes and no more than
five unauthorized or unjustified absences in that subject.

Any absence must be explained in writing to the Office of
Undergraduate programs within one week of the student’s return;
such absence will otherwise automatically be considered as
unauthorized. In all cases, the faculty may accept or reject the
reasons put forth. Absence caused by serious or prolonged illness
should be reported with a supporting written statement from the
University of Ottawa Health Services.

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

3. Professors may refuse to accept any assignment or
examination that is not written legibly.


Credit by examination

The credit-by-examination procedure offers University of Ottawa
students an alternative method to earn credit in some courses
offered by the Faculty of Science. Instead of attending classes
during one or two terms and taking the normally scheduled
examinations, a student may attempt to pass a course by taking an
appropriate special examination. Each departmental council is
authorized to exclude some or all of that department’s courses
from the credit-by-examination procedure.

A special examination for a course may be taken only if the
student has not already received a final mark in that course and
has not previously attempted a special examination for that course.
Authorization to attempt a special examination in a course is
given, or denied, by the chairperson of the department offering the
course. Authorization will be given if the course is one in which,
in the opinion of the department, the student’s knowledge may
properly be tested by an examination and if the chairperson is
satisfied that the student is reasonably prepared to attempt such an

In order to take advantage of this method, the student must either
be registered for that course in the session in which the special
examination is attempted or register for it in the next session. The
procedure is available to regular students (full- or part-time); it is
not available to special students. The request for a special
examination must be filed with the department chairperson no
later than the deadline established by the department.

If the student obtains a mark of C+ or better on the special
examination, that mark will be recorded as the mark obtained for
the course. If the mark is less than C+, then the student is deemed
unsuccessful in attempting to obtain credit by examination and no
mark shall be recorded; in this case the student is allowed to
obtain credit in the course in the regular manner, subject to all the
normal requirements of the course.

Attendance regulations are not applicable to the credit-byexamination

Final examination

• 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.

• Professors must inform their students of the nature of the final
examination when informing them of the marking system.

• All students have the right to see their examination booklets
after they have been marked.

Official examination period

• No final examination of any kind, except practical laboratory
exams, may be given outside of the official examination period.

• Unless authorized by the department, mid-term examinations
in full-year courses must be scheduled during the official
December examination period.

• No test, except for practical laboratory exams, may be given
during the last week of classes in any session.

• At the Faculty of Science, the deferred and supplemental
examination session is held in February for courses followed in
the fall, in July for courses followed in the winter and in
September for courses followed during the summer.

Examination attendance

• To be admitted to a final examination, students must have
complied with the professor’s attendance requirement.

• The following items are prohibited during an examination or
test: cameras, radios, (radios with earphones) tape recorders,
pagers, calculator watches, cell phone or any other
communication device that has not been approved beforehand.
It is the student’s responsibility to verify the type of calculator
permissible for the examination. Any deviation from the above
will be considered academic fraud.

Permitted calculators for final examinations

The calculators allowed during final examinations of the Faculty of
Science are: the Texas TI-30X, TI-30XA, TI-30SLR scientific and
non programmable.

Absence from a mid-term examination or test or
assignments submitted late

Absence from any mid-term 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 the
University of Ottawa 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.

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 the University of Ottawa 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 the University of Ottawa
Health Services – may set a date for a special examination or
for handing in the assignment or may transfer the weight of
the said exam to the final exam.

f) If a professor requests a medical certificate issued by the
University of Ottawa 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.

Absence from final, deferred or supplemental

a) Absence for reasons of serious illness must be justified by a
certificate from the University of Ottawa Health Services to be
submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Programs of the
Faculty of Science within a week following the date of the

Students who prefer to consult their physician, must have him
or her complete the “Application to defer examinations” form,
This form is available at the Office of Undergraduate programs
at the Faculty of Science.

b) Students who write their exam during their period of illness
cannot appeal their results on the grounds of their sickness.

c) Absence for other serious reasons must be justified in writing
with a proof at hand within the week following the date of the
examination; the faculty reserves the right to accept or refuse
the reasons put forth. Reasons such as travel, employment,
and errors in reading the examination timetable are not

d) Students, who received the authorization to defer a final exam
or a supplemental exam, will write the deferred exam at the
date determined by the faculty.

e) Students will not be permitted to enter an examination room
later than thirty minutes after the beginning of the
examination, nor to leave except under supervision until at
least half an hour after the examination has begun.

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 that 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.

a) Students who are present at the examination must be
permitted to write the examination. The invigilator should
be tolerant if some students arrive late.

b) 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

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. A supplemental
examination is allowed for students who obtain a mark of E.

1. Students who are asked to withdraw lose the privilege of

2. Students who are eligible for a supplemental examination and
want to write that examination must register at the office of
undergraduate studies of their faculty. 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 their faculty no later than the day
before the examination.

4. In the courses where the final mark is not exclusively the final
examination mark, the mark obtained on the supplemental
examination will be used to replace only that of the final

5. The supplemental mark and the previous final mark 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.


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 which meets the requirements of
their program.


In any undergraduate program requiring 90 credits or more, it is
permitted to take a certain number of courses again (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 retaken courses within the
16-credit limit, only the last grade will be calculated in the average.
However, all grades appear on the official transcript. If a
compulsory course is failed a second time the student will be asked
to withdraw from the program or the faculty.

Registration priority will be given to students who have never
followed the course.


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 the cumulative grade point average

Before 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 mark received for the
supplemental exam, whether passed or failed, and the final mark
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 retaken within the 16-credit limit
permitted, only the last 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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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.


The diploma grade point average (DGPA) is calculated the same
way as the CGPA, but uses only 3000-level courses and above.

In order to obtain a baccalaureate with honours, a minimum DGPA
of 5.0 is required. (See also Section 8a – Degree requirements.)


Requirements for a three-year baccalaureate (general or with

i) minimum mark of D in all courses required by the program;

ii) cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in the total number of
courses required by the program.

If, after completion of the program, the minimum CGPA is not
attained, it is possible to follow additional courses (maximum of
24 credits at the 3000-level and above) to reach the required

Requirements for a baccalaureate with honours

i) minimum mark of D in all courses required by the program;

ii) a minimum CGPA of 4.5 and a minimum DGPA of 5.0.

If, after completion of the program, the minimum CGPA or the
minimum DGPA is not attained, it is possible to follow additional
courses (maximum of 24 credits at the 3000-level and above) to
meet these requirements.

Note: See section 6 entitled “Evaluation of Academic Standing”


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 marks. A mark may be changed only
on the basis of reassessment of tests, assignments, or
examinations already submitted for a course.

Students can view their final 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 Science.

1. Students who are not satisfied with a final mark are first
strongly encouraged to approach their professor, within two
weeks of being informed of their mark, in order to request
either clarification or a review of the mark in question.
Students who disagree with the decision of the professor may
submit a written request for revision to the assistant dean,
academic of the Faculty of Science.

Such requests shall be sent two weeks within the decision of
the professor and shall include the title of the course, the mark
obtained, the name of the professor and a detailed statement of
the grounds for the appeal.

2. The assistant dean will decide whether a request for revision of
marks is admissible, and shall provide reasons for any
negative decision.

3. If an appeal is judged to be admissible, the assistant dean
shall, within two weeks following receipt of the student’s
request, ask the chair of the department of the course to
appoint one or two professors to re-evaluate the assignment or
examination in question. Except where circumstances make it
desirable or necessary, the professor who first gave the
appealed mark shall be involved in the revision.

4. A copy of the student’s request will be forwarded to the
professor, who may submit written comments to the chair of
the department.

5. In light of the information, the chair of the department will
determine the revised mark, which may be identical to, lower
than, or higher than the original mark. The chair will inform
in writing the assistant dean academic.

6. The assistant dean academic will inform the student of the
results of the appeal by letter.

7. Students cannot withdraw their appeals once revised marks
have been assigned.

8. Appeals of the assistant dean’s decision as per paragraph 2 or
of the revised mark, 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 assistant 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

• permission to continue in the program of studies;
• inclusion on the dean’s honour list;
• placement on probation;
• removal from probation;
• withdrawal from the program or withdrawal from the Faculty.


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
3.5 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.
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


See Section “Prizes, medals and scholarships”.


1. A student whose cumulative grade point average is below 3.5
after two full-time sessions or after 24 credits if part-time will
be immediately placed on probation.

2. At the end of each academic year, the status of all students
under probation will be reassessed. Those showing
improvement by achieving a cumulative grade point average of
at least 3.5 after two full-time sessions or after 24 credits if
part-time may be returned to normal status. Those showing
insufficient improvement will be forced to withdraw from the
program. Note that in programs with limited enrolment,
additional conditions may be imposed in order that students
maintain normal status or remain in the program.

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 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.

5. 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


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
the program for students in second year and above or
withdrawal from the Faculty for students in first year);

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

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 credits at the 3000-level or

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
co-op program).


Students who are required to withdraw from a program of studies
or from the Faculty must remain out of their program for a period
of 12 months starting from the date of withdrawal. In cases of
withdrawal from a program, students may be eligible for admission
to another program of the Faculty. After one year, a student who
had to withdraw from a program but wishes to re-register, must
submit an internal application for admission. 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. Readmission is not

A student required to withdraw from the Faculty may not register
to courses of the Faculty as a special student.



Professors may release a list of unofficial marks as soon as they
have been submitted to the dean’s office. The posted list should
indicate the student number with the grade and should be marked


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

CR (credit) – used when a course is taken in another
institution through a letter of permission. The course grade
is not included in the cumulative grade point 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 Faculty. The limit may not
exceed 12 months.

If no mark has been received by the Faculty within the
limit, the grade DFR will be replaced by INC.

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 average

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 (mark not received) – used when the Office of the
Registrar has not received a mark in time for production of

NS (not satisfactory) – used for a failed course that is not part
of the grade point average 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. Does not count in the grade point average.

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

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


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: submit a
request through InfoService or submit a request online using the
InfoWeb option DocuNet.

In courses where there is 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

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 file 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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