University of Waterloo COVID-19 update

Please see the University of Waterloo’s frequently asked questions for information about COVID-19 and how it has affected university operations.

Please visit the list of modified services if you have questions about university services.

Although the University of Waterloo is closed for in-person events until further notice, many virtual events and presentations of interest to computer scientists are taking place each week at the Cheriton School of Computer Science. Please check out what our students and faculty are doing.

CS course selection

Course selection

Course selection (previously called “pre-enrollment”) is important to help us plan for upcoming terms.

We can divide the time leading up to taking a course into the following time periods:

  1. Course selection: One term before you start your courses, you choose the courses you want to take.
  2. Sectioning: The Registrar’s Office places you into specific course sections. 
  3. Drop/add period or Course Enrollment: Your opportunity to swap courses or sections to optimize your schedule. This begins several weeks before classes begin and ends after classes begin.
  4. Classes begin.

What is course selection? Course selection is when you make your best guess about which courses (if any) you want to take in a future term. This information is vital for our planning purposes. We need to know how many sections to create, how many professors and TAs to assign, etc.

When is course selection? Course selection occurs one term before you take the courses. In the spring, you select courses for the fall. In the winter, you select courses for the spring, etc.

Why should I participate in course selection? Students who participate in course selection are automatically enrolled in those courses before the drop/add period begins. You have a very good chance of getting the courses you signed up for. If you miss course selection, you can only choose from the left-over courses.

Implications

Students who do not participate in course selection and who do not fall under our special case will only have the following three options:

  • They will be required to wait until advisors have handled failures and other legitimate situations.
  • They will compete on a first-come-first-served basis on Quest for any remaining spots.
  • They will not receive help getting into courses (e.g., overriding full sections, adding new sections, or enlarging existing sections).

Other notes

Overrides into CS courses are available during course selection; please contact a CS advisor.

We've observed some students selecting up to five courses and then dropping several at the beginning of the term. We view this as an abuse of the system. Selecting more than three CS courses may result in some of them being dropped before sectioning occurs.