Frequently asked questions

My academic writing requirement has been met: do I still need to take an English course for my computer science degree?

Yes.  It is a program requirement that all Computer Science students successfully complete either ATWP 135, ENGL 146 or 147 regardless of whether or not they have already met the academic writing requirement.

I am supposed to register in ENGR 240, but the system won’t let me. What am I doing wrong?

If you are in one of the combined programs with computer science in another faculty, then contact the Computer Science Undergraduate Advisor at for assistance with a registration restriction override.

Is there a minimum grade requirement for graduation?

Effective January 1, 2019, students joining the Department of Computer Science must obtain (or have obtained) at least a ‘C’ grade in all Computer Science, Software Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics and English courses completed at UVic or elsewhere.  If a grade less than ‘C’ is earned, the course will not count towards degree completion and the student must re-take the course.

How do I declare my program?

Once you have completed CSC 115 and MATH 122 (or equivalent) you can declare your program.  To declare in the Honours program see the Academic CalendarComplete the Declaration of Degree Program form and e-mail it to

How can I get permission to register in a course if I don’t have the pre-requisite?

You can request a pre-requisite waiver by completing the "Pre-requisite waiver request" form available from the Computer Science Undergraduate Advising Office in ECS 512. You will need to explain, in writing, why you feel you do not need to have the pre-requisite to be successful in the course. This request has to be approved by the Computer Science Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Note: Pre-requisite waivers are only granted under extenuating circumstances.

I’m not in a Computer Science, Software Engineering or Combined degree program. How do I register in 3rd and 4th year CSC or SENG courses?

Third and fourth year Computer Science and Software Engineering courses are restricted to students in a Computer Science (including Combined) or Engineering program.

Permission to take a 3rd or 4th year CSC or SENG course may be granted if space is still available after all students in a Computer Science or BSENG program have registered.  Applications to request permission to register in a 3rd or 4th year CSC or SENG course can be submitted here.

Is it possible to substitute a required course in my major or option?

It may be possible under extenuating circumstances to replace a required course in your major or option.  Complete the "Course substitution request" form and submit it to the Advising Officer in ECS 512.  All requests will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Studies Program Coordinator.

I am having difficulty in a math course: what should I do?

Ask for help!  The Math and Stats Assistance Centres have qualified Mathematics and Statistics graduate students available to help you with your 100 and 200 level Mathematics and Statistics courses. The Assistance Centres are located in David Turpin A202 and the McPherson Library Learning Commons. Assistants will help you work through math problems from the text and assigned homework. The math and statistics tutors do not replace lectures. If you have missed a lecture, try to obtain the notes from another student or see if the slides are posted on Connex. If you would like to hire a private tutor, contact the Math Assistance Centre for a list of names.

I think I am failing a course. What should I do?

Start by talking to the instructor. All instructors have office hours specifically to discuss learning outcomes for the course. Consider seeking help through study groups or tutors. 

Consider dropping the class before the final academic drop date. If it is past this drop date and you do not continue in the class, you will receive a grade of N (incomplete) and this counts as 0.0 GPA. If you decide to write the exam and fail the course, you will receive an F grade, which is also a 0.0 GPA. Students are restricted from repeating a course more than three times.

If you are having a medical problem, have had an accident, or serious family affliction that is contributing to you failing the courses, consider the possibility of asking for an Academic Concession. 

You can also always seek guidance from the Computer Science Undergraduate Advisor for help with any of the situations mentioned above.

I have been ill and don’t think I can complete the course. What can I do?

If you are having a medical problem, have had an accident, or serious family affliction, you may request an Academic Concession. If your documentation supports your request, you may be permitted to drop the course.

This must be done in a timely fashion as there are definite deadlines for taking action so that a failing mark does not appear on your transcript. Academic Concession forms can be obtained from Records, or from your Computer Science Undergraduate Advisor, in ECS 512. Please note, if you take the final exam and fail, you are NOT eligible to apply for an Academic Concession.

If you have completed a course but are unable to attempt the final exam due to medical or compassionate grounds, then you can request a deferred exam through the Academic Concession form.

What is a deferred exam?

A deferred exam may be granted to a student who has completed a course but is unable to attempt the final exam due to medical or compassionate grounds. Request a deferred exam through Records by completing an Academic Concession. You must provide appropriate documentation to establish the grounds for your request. Do this in a timely fashion as the deadline is 10 working days from the end of the exam period.

For most computer science courses, if the deferred exam is approved, you will write the deferred exam at the beginning of the proceeding term or during the exam period of the following term. You will be contacted with the date, time and location. The final exam mark is included with your previous marks to give you the final grade for the course.

Do I need permission to take a course for the third time?

Yes, it is a university regulation. Complete the appropriate "Request to repeat a course for the third time" form and bring it to your undergraduate advisor in ECS 512. Explain why you feel the situation will be different this time and you will be able to be successful in the course. The request has to be approved by the Computer Science Director of Undergraduate Studies.  If your request is denied, you may need to obtain approval to take the course elsewhere and bring it back to UVic as transfer credit.

How do I get permission to take a course elsewhere?

In order to take a course elsewhere and have it brought back to UVic as transfer credit, you need to request a letter of permission. This should be done prior to undertaking the studies at another institution.  Complete a "Request to take courses elsewhere" form.

If the course is at a BC institution, it may have been evaluated for transfer credit to UVic. Look at the BC Transfer Guide. If the course is at another institution, it may need to be evaluated by the appropriate department at UVic for transfer credit, so allow plenty of time for this to be done. Not all courses taken elsewhere are granted transfer credit to UVic. For students in the Faculty of Engineering, only courses with a grade of C or above will be granted transfer credit to UVic.

The cost of a letter of permission is $10 per institution payable in cash to the main office, ECS 504, in the Department of Computer Science.

How do I apply for co-op?

You should contact the Engineering and Computer Science/ Math Co-op Office on the 2nd Floor of the ECS Building for application forms. The deadlines for applying are September 15 and January 15.

Sheryl Thompson, Co-op Coordinator
Student #'s ending in 0-4
Office: ECS 216

Mostafa Rahimpour, Co-op Coordinator
Student #'s ending in 5-9
Office: ECS 212

Can I take a course while on a co-op work term?

Students registered in a work term are considered to be registered full time. If you wish to take a course during this time, you should consider the necessary time commitment of class contact hours, labs, tutorials as well as travel time and out of class time for study, all of which would be additional to working at a full time job.

If you decide that taking a course concurrently with a work term is something you want to pursue, you will require written permission from both your employer and the manager of the Engineering and Computer Science/ Math Co-op. This also applies to taking an on-line course. If you do not get this permission, the course may be dropped. Under no circumstances may you take more than one course during a work term.