Engineering and CompSci response to COVID-19

Please note: any information that applies to students in multiple faculties will be posted and updated on the campus-wide COVID-19 website. For example, go to this UVic-maintained student FAQ page to find information on classes, assessments and co-op.

The information below is specific to students in Engineering and Computer Science.
(last update: 11am Tuesday May 19, 2020 with faq on supplemental exams)


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Frequently asked questions

Are supplemental exams in engineering being offered at this time? Will supplemental exams be available to students who have chosen the COVID Pass/Fail option?

Supplemental exams may be possible in some engineering courses taken during the Spring (January to April 2020) term, depending upon the following:

  • the original course outline indicated that a supplemental exam was a possibility;
  • any conditions described in the original course outline about supplemental exams have been met; and
  • the instructor has given permission (he or she will then send the request to the Department Chair and Associate Dean Undergraduate for final approval).

Students who elect a COVID Pass/Fail, Drop or WE grade are not eligible to take a supplemental exam.

Students who have been told by their instructor that a supplemental exam is possible should contact the appropriate department – Mechanical Engineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering – to discuss next steps. Supplemental exams from classes taken during the Spring 2020 term will be organized by the appropriate department and delivered online.

PLEASE NOTE: supplemental exams are not available in any courses offered by the departments of Civil Engineering or Computer Science.

Two engineering courses – ECE 320 and ECE 330 – require a minimum GPA in some prerequisites. If I choose the “Pass” option for one or more courses that are prerequisites, can I still get into one of these ECE classes?

Yes. If the prerequisite courses were taken during the Spring session – that is, from January to April 2020 – then a “Pass” will be accepted in order to get into ECE 320 and ECE 330. Please contact the ECE Academic Advisor before registration to ensure you will be able to register without any issues.

How will the UVic Pass/Fail grading option work for admission and program declaration for the Engineering and Computer Science undergraduate programs?

The Faculty of Engineering has determined how it will be utilizing UVic’s Pass/Fail grading options for Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) and Bachelor of Software Engineering (BSEng) admissions and program declarations, as well as for Computer Science (CSc) admissions and minimum course grade requirements. The following guidelines are designed to help Engineering and Computer Science students make informed decisions about grades for the Spring 2020 term.

“Pass” grades:

  • will accumulate credit – therefore, a course that receives a pass will contribute to the required unit accumulation for admissions to BEng, BSEng and CSc programs, as well as program declarations for BEng and BSEng students;
  • will make the course eligible for admissions to BEng, BSEng and CSc programs, and also program declarations for BEng and BSEng students;
  • will be considered as a successful academic attempt in instances where a student had to repeat a previous course that didn’t meet program declaration or admission criteria, this passing grade will be considered successful;
  • will not impact GPA calculations (i.e. there is no letter grade value) and therefore will not be included in the competitive GPA calculation; and
  • will not negatively or positively affect GPA.

“Fail” grades:

  • will not accumulate credit – therefore a course that receives a fail will not contribute to the required unit accumulation for admissions and program declarations;
  • will not make the course eligible for admissions and program declarations;
  • will not be considered as a successful academic attempt; in instances where a student had to repeat a previous course that didn’t meet program declaration or admission criteria, this fail will not be considered successful; and
  • will not negatively or positively affect GPA.

Minimum requirements and competitive GPA calculations:

  • Program declaration and admission criteria remain the same – in other words, a minimum C+ average and no individual course grade lower than C (or a “pass,” as indicated in the information above), as well as a competitive GPA where applicable.
  • GPAs will be calculated using known letter grades (with the corresponding grade point value associated with each grade) and the unit value per course. Please see the GPA calculation information on UVic’s website.
  • Where a grade of “pass” is present in the criteria, the impact of that grade will be neutral. For all intents and purposes, it will be ignored in the GPA calculation process.

How will UVic Engineering and Computer Science classes be delivered during the summer term (May to August)?

Our Faculty is planning for remote delivery of summer term courses through the entire term. These include courses run by the Faculty of Engineering: BME, CIVE, CSC, ECE, MECH, SENG and ENGR courses. In the event that the COVID-19 situation is resolved before the end of the term, we will continue to conduct remote delivery through the end of the summer term.

At this time, it has not been confirmed whether classes will be “asynchronous” or “synchronous” – in other words whether they can be taken at any time or conducted in real time. For this reason, students still need to register during times they are free in the event that delivery will be synchronous.

Specific information regarding the type of delivery and course expectations will be provided in course outlines, which will be provided for each course.

Now that courses are being provided through remote delivery, I would like to take a course while on a work term. Is this possible?

Students who are working and still want to take a course concurrently must still get permission for concurrent work term and course registration. The process for obtaining this permission remains the same: you must have written permission both from your employer and the Engineering Co-op Office. For more information on this process, please see the Co-op FAQs.

Can I take CSC 490, 497 or 499 online? How do I register for one of these courses?

Computer Science students should contact cscadvisor@uvic.ca by email for information on eligibility and how to register in these courses.

What do I need to do if I want to take a course at another institution?

Contact your academic advisor for guidance on applying for a Letter of Permission to take a course elsewhere.

Are third- and fourth-year Computer Science and Software Engineering courses restricted to students in a Computer Science (including Combined) or a Software Engineering program?

Permission to take a third- or fourth-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 third- or fourth-year CSC or SENG course can be submitted on the Heat Course Registration website.

Will courses I need to take that are offered by other faculties be provided online?

Please check the UVic course registration system for the most up-to-date course offerings.

Now that courses are being provided through remote delivery, I would like to register in sections where there is a time conflict. Can I do this?

Please see UVic’s COVID-19 website FAQs under “Summer session.”

What about Program Declarations?

Engineering students should still declare their program of choice. The deadline to declare is April 30, 2020. Please submit your program declarations through our online system.

For students undeclared in Computer Science, please complete and submit the degree declaration form available under “Helpful Forms” on the Computer Science Advising website. Computer Science students must have completed CSC 115 and Math 122 to formally declare.

I am an undeclared student. Now that classes are online, can I register in discipline-specific courses?

Engineering students are not able to register in discipline-specific courses unless they are declared into a program. These regulations regarding program declaration have not changed. Also, if undeclared students take other non-restricted program requirements in the Summer session, these course must also meet program declaration criteria.

Students in a Computer Science program normally register in CSC or SENG sections A01. A02 sections are generally reserved for students in the BSEng program. The summer offering of SENG 275 is restricted to students in the BSEng program. If space becomes available, students can add their names to the waitlist.

Will credit from a “Pass/Fail” grade in an engineering class be accepted if I apply for a P.Eng after graduation?

UVic Engineering graduates are eligible to apply for a P.Eng (Professional Engineer Licence) because our engineering programs are accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). Importantly, the CEAB released a statement on Mar. 31, 2020, that says that Pass/Fail grades that result from the COVID-19 situation “will not adversely affect the programs’ accreditation status.” Read the CEAB statement.

The key points in the CEAB memo are also in alignment with advice from Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC) about registration in light of the COVID-19 situation. EGBC and the universities are currently working together to develop a policy for if a student is not able to complete laboratory and field work requirements because of COVID-19. This situation remains fluid and we will continue to monitor further development around this topic.

Are there resources available to help me with online learning?

UVic’s Learning Assistance Program (LAP) has resources available to all students. For information visit the LAP website. Students can also email learning@uvic.ca to request a tutor. LAP runs both a fee-based specialized tutoring and learning assistance program, as well as a free program called Study Solutions.

UVic’s Technology Integrated Learning site has an Orientation to Online Learning course. It is a self-paced orientation that will help you prepare for online courses.

Students in the Computer Science Optional Co-op program, the Bachelor of Engineering program or the Bachelor of Software Engineering program could opt to try to find a summer work-term placement. Or, Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Software Engineering students could choose to apply for a Leave of Absence. Computer Science students could elect not to register for the Summer 2020 term.

Please see UVic’s COVID-19 website FAQs for additional resources, including accommodations for students with a disability.