Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Browse through this page to get answers to our most frequently asked questions. Topics include: course registration, add/drop, special permissions, assignments, exams, plagiarism, medical accomodations, grades, grade appeals, and graduation. If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hestitate to contact us.

Note: the FAQs are grouped by topic. Click on the appropriate link below to easily navigate between sections:

Course Registration, Add/Drop, and Special Permissions



When is the add/drop period?

Please see Social Science Academic Counselling for more information about adding or dropping a course.

What is a special permission?

A special permission is used when a student needs to receive approval from their home faculty to take a course that would not be allowed under usual circumstances. It can be requested for course overloads, courses at affiliated colleges, and courses for which a student does not have the pre-requisites. Typically, requests for Special Permission will not be considered until the September Add/Drop period. Students who wish to request Special Permission for a Political Science course should contact the Undergraduate Advisor.

Can I take a course at an affiliate college?

Students can take a maximum of 1.0 course(s) at an affiliate college per academic year, IF that course is NOT offered at Main Campus. If you need Special Permission to take a course at an affiliate college, please e-mail the Undergraduate Advisor and include your student number and the course you wish to take. If approved, the Undergraduate Advisor will contact you with further directions.

Can I get special permission to enroll in a full class?

The Faculty of Social Science policy states that students must continue to check online for availability during Online Course Registration. Students who wish to request special permission should contact the Undergraduate Advisor.

Are there waiting lists for full classes?

We do not have waiting lists for full classes.

If I do not have the pre-requisites, can I get special permission to take a course?

It is strongly discouraged - pre-requisites are rarely waived.

How long does it take for a special permission to be processed?

Processing takes approximately 7-10 business days.

How do I add the course once my special permission has been processed?

You will be notified via e-mail once the permission has been processed. If the special permission to take a course has been approved, you will need to call the Registrar’s Office helpline at 519-661-2100 to add the course.

Can I take courses at another university? 

A Letter of Permission is a document that allows you to take one or more courses at another university as a visiting student and transfer the credit(s) towards your degree at Western. Letters of Permission must be approved by the Social Science Academic Counselling Office before you register at the other university. If you take a course without requesting a Letter of Permission, you may have to apply for re-admission to this University. Please see the Social Science Academic Counselling website for further information.

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Assignments, Exams, Plagiarism, and Medical Accommodations



What is plagiarism and the associated consequences?

Plagiarism means using another person's work without giving them credit. The University has rules against plagiarism and other scholastic offences. The Department of Political Science has a zero-tolerance policy on plagiarism. If you are found guilty of plagiarizing, the minimum penalty is zero on the assignment. A repeat offence will earn you zero in the course. Another offence could lead to expulsion from the University. Additional information about the University’s policy on scholastic discipline can be found at: Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students.

Where can I find information about exams?

Please refer to the Registrar's Office for the active exam schedules and Social Science Academic Counselling for further exam information, including common situations and study tips.

What happens if I miss an evaluation because of medical issues?

You must demonstrate that there are compelling medical or compassionate grounds that can be documented before academic accommodation will be considered. Please see Social Science Academic Counselling's website for detailed instructions.

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Grades and Grade Appeals



Where do I find my grade(s)?

Access the Student Services website. You will require your Western Identity username AND password. Ensure that your cookies are enabled and any pop-up blocker is set to allow pop-ups from If your instructor is making grades available through WebCT, you should see a "My Grades" tool in the Course toolbar. Follow the instructions found here.

How do I appeal my grade(s)?

Appeals must be initiated with the course instructor as soon as possible. In the event that the Instructor is not available to the student, or fails to act, or if the matter is not resolved satisfactorily with the Instructor, a written request for relief must be submitted to the Chair of the Department. For the full policy on appeals, you may refer to: Academic Calendar - Student Academic Appeals - Undergraduate. If you need support throughout this process, please contact your Ombudsperson.

NOTE: The deadlines for appealing a final grade in a course are listed in the Academic Calendar

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Graduation and Beyond



How do I apply to graduate?

Please refer to the Social Science Academic Counselling website for information about graduation. When applying, make sure that your program (including the degree and all modules you plan to complete) is accurate. Review the Graduation website to ensure you will be meeting all requirements. You might be able to make an adjustment in January or during the summer if necessary.

Can I take a second degree or enroll in courses after I graduate?

Please see the Social Science Academic Counselling website for information about second degrees and special students.
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