Course Registration FAQ

Answers on this page are applicable to 4-year COMP students only. Dual degree students are advised to consult our Dual Degree Office for answers to these questions.

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Recommended Study Pathway

Curriculum Changes

Semester Workload

Course Registration Problems

Course Grades & Grade Averages

Course Offering Pattern

Class Rank / Distribution of CGA

Further Questions

May I deviate from the recommended study pathway?

Normally you should follow the "recommended" study pathway for required courses. Deviations may delay your graduation due to prerequisite and course offering constraints. However, you may deviate from the elective recommendations by seeking an advice from your COMP 4900 academic adviser and/or the UG Advising Team.

The recommended email request format is as follows:

Title: Request to have a deviation from the recommended study pathway

Year of Study:
Attachment: The latest unofficial transcript and your deviated study plan

Requests deviated from the above format may not be entertained.

You also need to check the UG Curriculum at the Undergraduate Programs for the course requirements of your program.

I failed a required course/I transferred from another program. How can I follow the recommended study pathway?

Cases like these may require deviating from the recommended study pathway. Since a customized study pathway is needed, the current ARO system cannot pre-register you in required courses that you take in semesters different from the recommended ones. Please feel free to discuss with your COMP 4900 academic adviser and/or the UG Advising Team if you need help in customizing your study pathway.

Can I drop my pre-registered required course?

The department helps you to pre-register a few fundamental core courses. We usually don't recommend student to drop these courses since it may lead to defer of graduation. If you have carefully considered your study pathway and decided to drop the course, please raise such request in SIS. You may be asked to contact our academic counselor to further discuss this before approval. Please note once the drop request is granted, the department won't help you to pre-register that particular course in the future.

Changes have been made to our curriculum. Should I follow the old or new one?

The curriculum published in the Academic Calendar of the year you entered your current Computer Science program is the one that you should follow. However, some subsequent curriculum changes may also lead to slight changes in the existing curriculum and recommended study pathway. Such changes are announced to all students concerned as soon as they are approved by the University. Please check the UG Curriculum at the Undergraduate Programs.

Do I need approval if my number of credits exceeds the recommended one? Please note that the answer to this question is only applicable for students without receiving an academic probation or an academic warning.

In each semester, the suggested credit load is 15 credits. The ARR allows students to take up to 18 credits. If you would like to take more than 18 credits, you MUST seek an explicit approval.

Method 1: We offer a simplified approval process subject to the following conditions:

  • Year 2 students
    • If your CGA is A- (i.e., 3.7) or above, you can take a maximum of 20 credits.
    • If your CGA is C (i.e., 2.0) or above, you can take a maximum of 19 credits.
  • Year 3 or 4 students
    • If your CGA is A- (i.e., 3.7) or above, you can take a maximum of 22 credits.
    • If your CGA is C (i.e., 2.0) or above, you can take a maximum of 20 credits.

We apply stricter rules for Year 2 students in the simplified approval process because they are relatively new to their declared major.

The approval request can be submitted on SIS as follows ("Class Enroll Approval Request" -> "Add Course Approval Request"):

Class Enroll Approval Request -> Add Course Approval Request

Method 2: If you would like to overload more credits than the conditions stated in Method 1, please discuss with your COMP 4900 academic adviser and/or advising team for the approval. You should seek an advice well in advance before the course registration because your adviser may be out of town during your course registration.

The conversion table from course grade to points is attached for your reference:

Course Grade Numerical value
under 4-Point System
A+ 4.3
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D 1.0
F 0

I am on academic probation / academic warnings. I must take a reduced study load. How many credits should I take?

A student on academic probation / unsatisfactory academic performance is subject to a REDUCED study load as follows unless otherwise advised by the academic advisor of the student:

  • Not more than 9 credits for a student on academic probation with TGA < 1.0;
  • Not more than 12 credits for a student on academic probation with TGA ≥ 1.0; and
  • Not more than 12 credits for a student on academic warnings (but not academic probation) with TGA < 1.0; and
  • Not more than 15 credits for a student on academic warnings (but not academic probation and TGA ≥ 1.0) with (CGA + TGA) < 3.4.

Under what circumstances are special add-quota requests granted?

From time to time, ARR, upon recommendation of departments, add 'special quota' during the add/drop period for cases without which the graduation or academic progress of students will be seriously hampered. However, as a standard practice, quotas will not be added for specific students to take their preferred ELECTIVES.

The following are some of the categories of cases that ARO has accepted upon the recommendation of course/major departments.

  • Dual program – students who have declared dual program designation.
  • Minor program – students who have declared minor program will need assistance to enroll for minor program courses to complete the program requirements.
  • Course re-take – students who need to re-take failed courses, mostly required courses.
  • Program transfer – students who have transferred between programs may have difficulties in getting into required courses of the new program.
  • Required courses – students who cannot meet the course pre-requisite requirements and failed to be pre-registered to required courses.
  • Exchange program – exchange-in students may need certain course places to fulfill degree requirements of their home institutions.
  • Medical reasons – some students may have medical problems that affect their choice of courses or class time.
  • Canceled courses/classes – students who are affected by the department's decision to cancel a course/class after their enrollment is confirmed.
  • Student project – subject to the support of course instructor and project supervisor (and sometimes major department), class quota may be added for some students who need to take a specific course which directly equip themselves for completion of final year project.

It should be emphasized that these are not rules for deviation from the waitlisting system, rather they are precedent cases that we have come across in the past few years. For more information on the course registration system, visit Course Registration for UG Students.

I have to take a required course in a different semester than that specified in my recommended study pathway. The course has not been pre-registered for me and the class is full. What should I do?

Examples of circumstances in which students have to take a required course in a different semester than that specified in the recommended study pathway are: failure in a previous attempt, deviation from study pathway due to study leave/internship/exchange program/previously required to take a reduced study load.

You should submit an add request using the course registration system, leaving a short note explaining your case. Due to the physical limit of computer labs and classrooms, as well as the fact that there are fluctuations in the enrolment numbers during the add/drop period (first two weeks of class), we may have to wait till the second week of the add/drop period to add special places for such students. Please go ahead and attend the lecture/lab/tutorials. If your problem is still unresolved by the beginning of the second week of the add/drop period, please send an email to .

One of my pre-registered required courses has time conflict with another course that I would like to take. I'd like to swap to another section, but that section is full. Can the department help me?

If the time conflict is with another required course that has not been pre-registered for you (e.g., honors courses, courses that you have failed before), please first submit an add/swap request using the course registration system, and then send an email to specifying the courses you have timetable conflict and which lecture/tutorial/lab section(s) you can attend. Please inform us as soon as possible since such requests require us to liaise with other department (e.g., LANG, MATH) and the ARR.

As a standard practice, if the time conflict is with an elective course that you wish to take, the department CANNOT help you to swap lecture/tutorial/lab section. The ARO have very strict rules on additions of special quota. Please submit a swap request using the course registration system. If the swapping request is unsuccessful, you simply have to try to take that elective in another semester.

Can I use ISOM 2500 (Business Statistics) to substitute MATH 2411 as required course requirement?

Even though ISOM 2500 is exclusive to MATH 2411, you should not substitute it for the required course requirement. You should take ELEC 2600, IEDA 2510, or MATH 2421 to fulfill it. The ISOM 2500 may then be counted toward your electives.

Can I use COMP 1001/1941/1942 to fulfill the 3-credit free COMP elective requirement?


After passing a course, can I retake it to get a better grade?

No. The University does not allow students to repeat a passed course.

What is the difference between CGA, TGA and GGA? How are they calculated?

For CGA (Cumulative Grade Average) and TGA (Term Grade Average), please refer to the section 8, Grade Averages, of the Academic Regulations.

For GGA (Graduation Grade Average), please refer to the section 12.2, Graduation Grade Average (GGA), of the Academic Regulations.

Do my failed courses count towards my GGA?

Failed courses will not be automatically excluded from students' GGA. You have to apply for the exclusion. Exclusion of graded courses is subject to the following conditions:

  1. No course required for the award of the student's degree may be excluded;
  2. No more than 12 credits may be excluded. Please note the 12 credits mentioned above includes those failed courses.

Reference: Section 12.2, Graduation Grade Average (GGA), of the Academic Regulations.

What is the offering pattern for COMP courses?

Whether a course will be offered in a particular semester depends on many factors. To give students more flexibility in planning their study we try to offer core, required, and popular elective courses as frequently as possible, preferably every semester. See the courses to be offered in the coming semesters. Note that the actual offering schedule may vary slightly from year to year.

Does COMP 1021/1022P count as Engineering Fundamental or common core courses?

If you take one of the above courses, it can be used to satisfy COMP required course, Engineering Fundamental course, and common core requirements. This is a special arrangement for COMP major student. However please note the credits of any single course can never be counted twice although the same course may be used to satisfy multiple requirements.

I am in the Entrepreneur option and have taken ELEC 3710. As COMP 4911 excludes ELEC 3710, can I use it to replace COMP 4911?

Students in the Entrepreneur option normally take COMP 4911, as it is a course relevant to their study. However, in some exceptional cases, students may seek course deviation approval to take ELEC 3710 or MGMT 4220 instead.

I would like to acquire the class rank of my major/distribution of CGA, what should I do?

The department do not provide rankings and distribution of CGA to students. Students may apply for testimonials from ARO instead. For more information, please visit Testimonials & Transcripts.

Whom should I talk to about other problems?

For academic procedures and regulations, please consult .

For academic advice, please approach your academic advisor, i.e. your COMP 4900 instructor, or our UG advising team.