Frequently Asked Questions


Transfer Student

Admission decisions are not made by the Dean's Office. Admission is granted through the Admissions Office.  For information on admission requirements, please see the Welcome website.  For information on what to do after you have been admitted, please see the Transfer Information section of our website.


Please see the Welcome website for information on application deadlines.


Students must apply for readmission to Western following withdrawal for failure to achieve satisfactory academic standing.  Please see the Welcome website for information on reapplying.


Registration & Course Selection

Full-time: A student who registers from September to April in 3.5 credits or more. 

Part-time: A student who registers for 3.0 credits or fewer in any session. 

To register for courses, a student must:

  • Be admitted to Western or be a continuing student in good standing
  • Select courses by the appropriate deadline

Web registration begins in March for Summer session courses. 

Web registration begins in June for Fall/Winter session courses and is available only to continuing Western students who have submitted an Intent to Register form. 

Academic timetables can be viewed here.

Intent to Register (ITR)

Students choose their program/module/degree(s) during the Intent to Register period (usually early February to late March). There will be Information Sessions available during this time. 

Check the Office of the Registrar's website in late January for details. 

Department Counsellors provide counselling regarding course selection. 

More details about Intent to Register can be found here.

Add/Drop Courses

Adding and Dropping of courses takes place throughout the Academic Year. Various deadlines are set and are listed in the Academic Calendar under sessional dates. It is your responsibility to make sure you meet these dates. 

Make sure you understand the consequences of dropping a course. Does it affect a scholarship? Does it affect dean's honor list? Will it affect being eligible for a scholarship or award or the program or professional program of your choice? Scholarships and Awards and Dean's Honor List all require 5.0 courses to be eligible, as do some programs and professional schools.

*If you do not pass a prerequisite in A term required for a B term course - you must drop the B term course or ask for special permission to remain in that course.*


Once the add deadline has passed for the term, you will no longer be able to drop a course for that term online.  If you would like to drop a course after this date, please submit a drop form to the Academic Counselling Office of your Faculty for approval.  

Click here for the Drop Form.

What does a dropped course look like on your record?

If you drop before the add deadline then the course will not show on your record.
If you drop between the add deadline and the drop deadline for each term your course will show as a withdrawn (WDN) on your record.
If you drop after the drop deadline period your course will show up as an F (40%) on your record.

Information on course enrollment and web registration can be found on the Registrar's Office web site.

Registrations Changes

After the Intent to Register period, program/module/degree changes require the submission of a Change of Status form. These forms are available from our academic counselling office and must be completed for:

  • Changes in academic load (e.g. full-time to part-time)
  • Changes of degree objective (e.g. honors to 3 year)
  • Changes in program/module(s)
  • Changes in Faculty of registration
  • Complete withdrawal from university

Letter of Permission

Students apply to the Academic Counselling Office of their Faculty for a Letter of Permission to take courses at another university (note the non-refundable fee charged by the Registrar's Office). 

Steps to take:

  • Complete a Request for Letter of Permission form and the Letter of Permission Checklist
  • Visit the other university's website for a description of the course(s) that you wish to take
  • Print off the course description and take it to the department for approval - they will review and sign your Request for Letter of Permission, if they approve
  • Once approved by the department, bring the completed form to the Academic Counselling Office for approval
  • Completed forms must be submitted to the Academic Counselling Office by the published deadlines
  • You must adhere to the other university's policy/deadlines for admission as a visiting student, and to Western's policies and deadlines for completing the course. Remember to have an official transcript transferred to Western upon completion of the course(s). Instructions and deadlines are provided on your copy of the letter of permission form and on the Registrar's Office website.


For summer courses, course work must be completed and the final exam must be written by AUGUST 31. Transcripts must be sent to Western prior to the November 2 deadline for the submission of grades. 

If we have not received a transcript by November 2, you will receive an "F" for the courses. No exceptions/extensions will be given unless proof is provided that the course was completed prior to August 31. 

The following links provide more information on Letters of Permission. 

Transfer of Credit to Western 

Transfer of Credit to Another University

Special Permission

If you are unable to add a course through web registration and are not sure why, look at the 'Notes' section of the online timetable  and the Academic Calendar (Undergraduate Course Information) as they are the first resources you should use to help you understand why this may be the case.


To request special permission to register in a course for which you do not have the required pre-requisite(s):

  • Contact the Departmental Counsellor in the department that offers the course. So, for example, to request special permission to take an Applied Math course, contact the Applied Math Department. Provide them your name, student number, the course you want to register in and the reason why you can't register in it directly.  [For courses offered by departments in other faculties, search for the departmental web site and look for undergraduate counselling contacts.]

To request special permission to take more than 5.0 courses in the Fall/Winter term:

  • E-mail our academic counselling team ( with your request - include your name, student number, course you plan to take, and the reason for requesting to take a course overload. [Note that you need at least a 70% average (on a full academic load) in the previous academic year to be considered for a course overload.]

To request special permission to take a course at an Affiliate College:

  • Students may be able to enroll in certain Affiliate College courses themselves if the relevant course(s) are not offered on main during the same session, so try adding the course via web registration, and follow these special permission request steps below if you were unsuccessful in enrolling.  
  1. Check the online Academic Timetable when looking up a specific course.  If the 'Notes' section indicates that 'home faculty permission' is required and you were unable to add the course via web registration, first send an email to our academic counselling team with your request (
  2. If the Academic Timetable does not indicate that 'home faculty permission' is required nor that the course is restricted, your first step is to contact the specific Affiliate College that offers the course you are interested in taking.  If they grant you permission to take the course, they can email our academic counselling team the special permission details.  Note that if the 'Notes' in the online timetable indicate that the course is restricted to a specific group of students, you will not be able to register in that course unless you are part of those groups.


Your home faculty academic counselling team needs to be informed...

  • If a Science / BMSC student has a special permission recommendation (i.e., from the department counsellor or affiliate college) or request, it should be forwarded (ideally emailed) to our counselling team -

What happens once our academic counselling team receives your recommendation or request for special permission?

  • An academic counsellor assesses your special permission request
  • If approved, you will see your special permission on Student Center
  • Once you have logged in, follow the link labelled 'View Special Permissions'
  • Please be patient in waiting for these to be posted - this is an extremely busy time of year!

If not approved, one of our academic counsellors will email you to explain.


To enroll in a course for which you have been granted special permission:

  • If the special permission has been posted to Student Center, call the Helpline (519-661-2100), and ask them to enroll you in the relevant course(s); they can do this for you after your enrollment appointment (date) for as long as web registration is open
  • If you have been granted permission to enroll in an extra course load, you can add the extra course after the date listed in your special permission.

Programs, Modules & Progression:

Degree/Module Change Request

Degree/Module changes are completed by completing a change of status form.  This form can be submitted in person or emailed.

This form is used to request changes to your degree/module(s) in the following situations:

  • you forgot to complete your Intent to Register
  • you need to change the degree/module(s) you selected during Intent to Register [please wait until you see your adjudication results]
  • your eligibility has changed due to summer results and you need to be in a specific module to have access to required courses
  • you were not here in during the past academic year and are returning to Western for next academic year

Please note, it can take up to 2-3 weeks to process your change of status request which may affect when you can register for courses.

Progression Requirements

Two levels are used to assess a student's Academic Standing Status. 

Level 1 Progression

  • Minimum cumulative average 55% upon completion of a minimum of 3.0 course attempts (In good standing
  • Minimum cumulative average 50-54% may continue On Probation
  • Cumulative average less than 50% will be Required to Withdraw

Level 2 Progression

  • Minimum cumulative average of 60% when a minimum of 8.0 full or equivalent course attempts completed (In Good Standing)
  • Cumulative average from 55-59% will continue On Probation
  • Cumulative average less than 55% will be Required to Withdraw

Level Progression Requirements

What level (year) am I in?

Level 1: 2.5 or less successfully completed courses.
Level 2: 3.0 – 7.5 successfully completed courses.
Level 3: 8.0 – 12.5 successfully completed courses.
Level 4: 13.0 or more successfully completed courses.

The level (year) you are enrolled in is based on the number of successfully completed (not attempted) courses you have, and is what your course enrollment appointment will be based on. For example, if you are heading into your fourth year at Western, but have completed only 12.5 credits, you will receive a third year enrollment appointment.

Important Information

  • Your credit count includes transfer, AP and IB credits.
  • When repeating a credit, you will only retain credit for the most recent attempt, so this will affect your total credit count. Please see more about repeat courses here.
  • Progression requirements for good standing, On Probation and RTW vary between levels, and are available online here.
  • Please be aware that progression requirements are also different for special students, and requirements can be found online here.

Not in the Program/Module Requested

When you find you've been put into a program that is different from the one you asked for, check the following tips for what you need to do next:

Check the Admission Requirements section of the module/program you asked for during Intent to Register.  Compare this to your own academic performance.  Make note of the requirements you didn’t meet.

  • You may need to repeat a specific course
  • You may need to increase your overall average on the 'principal' courses
  • You may need to take another course that is required for admission to that program/module
  • You may simply need to do well on your second year courses and reapply for your preferred program/module next year

Graduation Requirements

Click here to learn more about the following:

  • 3 Year B.Sc. or B.A. degree
  • 4 Year General B.Sc or B.A. degree
  • Honors Degree Programs

Course Overload

The usual full-time course load in any year of a 3-year or 4-year BA and BSc degree is 5.0 courses. In any one term, the usual full-time load is five 0.5-courses or their equivalent. 

Permission of the Academic Counselling Office is required to take an increased or irregular course load. Permission will be considered on the basis of your past academic performance. 

Common Course Policy

Policy for students registered in module in the Faculty of Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (BMSc): Common Courses in Modules 

Students registered in the Faculty of Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (BMSc) may double-count a maximum of 1.0 common course toward two modules (a common course is a course that is mandatory in both modules). When two modules contain more than 1.0 common course, the additional common course(s) must be distributed between the two modules as evenly as possible and a substitute course(s) approved by the department offering the module must be taken to maintain the number of courses required in the module. 


  • the mark in a double-counted course is used in calculating the average for each module;
  • the 1.0 common course with the highest mark will be double-counted toward both modules if more than 1.0 common course exists;
  • approved substitute courses must meet the minimum mark requirement for the module/degree and are included in the average calculation for the module;
  • when choice exists in a module, courses are not considered common unless and until all choice is exhausted. If one course must be selected from a list of courses, every course in the list must be taken before the course is considered to be common to both modules.

For an overview of the common course policy, please click here.

Course at Affiliates

Main campus students may normally take a maximum of 1.0 courses at an Affiliated University College each year. 

If a section of the course is also offered on main campus, you must consult an Academic Counsellor in the Dean's Office to see if permission might be granted. 

Permission will normally be considered only if the main campus section is full or creates a conflict with your schedule.

Breadth Requirements

For more information, please click here.

Scholar's Electives Program

For more information, please click here

Academic Policies & Regulations:

Special Examinations

A special examination is any examination other than the regular or supplemental examinations, and may be offered only with permission of the Academic Counselling Office of the Faculty in which the student is registered in consultation with the instructor and Department Chair. 

Permission to write a Special Examination may be given on the basis of compassionate or medical grounds with appropriate supporting documentation or for religious grounds for which sufficient notice in writing has been submitted. 

For information about examination conflicts (two exams concurrently, 3 exams in any 23-hour period) see the Academic Calendar

If the Academic Counselling Office, recommends a Special Examination Form be given to a student, both the student and instructor should be aware of the following:

  • A Special Examination must be written no later than 30 days after the end of the examination period. Only under exceptional circumstances, and with Academic Counselling Office approval, may this period be extended.
  • If a student fails to write a scheduled Special Examination, permission to write another Special Examination will be granted only with the permission of the Academic Counselling Office and with appropriate supporting documentation. In such a case, the date of this Special Examination normally will be the scheduled date for the final exam the next time the course is offered.
  • Students should be aware that if a mark of SPC (Special Exam Privileges) appears on an academic record for a course that is a prerequisite to further courses(s), registration in the subsequent courses(s) will require special permission of the instructor and the Academic Counselling Office until the grade of SPC is replaced by a satisfactory grade.
  • If a majority of courses taken in a given year show grades of SPC, registration in any further courses(s) will be subject to the approval of the Academic Counselling Office until all the SPC grades are replaced by satisfactory grades.

Religious Considerations

Science students can complete and submit an Academic Consideration Request Form to our Academic Counselling Office when reporting a conflict with a religious holiday. Students are asked to submit their requests a minimum of two weeks in advance. Click here for more information on Religious Holidays.

Absence due to Illness, Varisity, or Compassioate Reasons

  • Review Web CT and/or the course outlines to look for any comments from your instructor regarding academic consideration procedures
  • Inform your instructor or course / lab coordinator (WebCT or your course outline may indicate who to contact) immediately about the course component you will not be able to attend or complete
  • Complete an Academic Consideration Request Form
    • For Medical Consideration: Medical documentation a physician must be completed on a Student Medical Certificate.  If you seek medical attention from an Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre, documentation should be secured at the time of the initial visit.  Request that the doctor complete a Student Medical Certificate (SMC). Where it is not possible for you to have an SMC completed by the attending physician, you must request alternate documentation sufficient to demonstrate that your ability to meet your academic responsibilities was seriously affected during the time frame of the missed course component(s).
        • As soon as you are well enough to come to campus (and not contagious), submit your request and documentation to your home faculty academic counselling office. When our counselling team approves an academic consideration request, the member of the academic counselling team who approved it will inform your instructors of our support for accommodation. If a consideration request is approved for a December or April exam, you will be issued a Recommendation for Special Exam form instead, which the you should bring to your instructor.
        • If you are not able to submit your request and documentation within a few days of the missed course component, you may consider asking a friend to deliver it to us or emailing the form and documentation to us.

      Other types of documentation that needs to be provided depending on reason for absence:

        • Varsity Sports Commitment:  use the Intercollegiate Athletics Program Commitment Verification Form
        • Bereavement/Compassionate Reasons:  documentation required will vary depending on the situation.  If you are experiencing a significant, stressful life event and would like to inquire about accommodation options, please stop by our Academic Counselling Office or email us at

Academic Accomodation for Students with Disabilities

The University works collaboratively with the student, instructor, department, Faculty and Services for Students with Disabilities in the Student Development Centre to provide accommodation when needed.

Student Academic Appeals

A student requesting relief relating to a specific course(s) (with respect to a mark, grade, appropriateness of assignment or examination, or grading practices) must proceed in the following order:

  1. Course instructor (informal consultation)
  2. Department Chair (submission of written request)
  3. Faculty Dean (submission of written request)

Click here for more information, including deadlines, on Student Academic Appeals