Admission Deadline

I would like to take this opportunity to remind all applicants that Friday, March 1st is an important deadline for submitting documentation to complete your application to Waterloo Engineering programs.  If you want to be considered for admission to any of our Waterloo Engineering programs, you must complete your Admission Information Form (AIF) by this deadline.  For students studying outside the Province of Ontario, you should also provide any additional supporting information (e.g., transcripts, proof of English language proficiency, etc.) necessary to complete your application.  Finally, all applicants should attempt the optional online interview using the Kira Talent system to improve the likelihood of being offered admission.

Procrastination is unfortunately, very common.  As evidence of this statement, I would like to share some interesting statistics with you.  The following is a graph of participation in the Engineering Online Video Interview for 2019 as of 1:00 pm today:


As the graph clearly indicates, only 37.4% of all applicants have completed the online interview so far.  3.6% of all applicants haven’t even read the e-mail invite to the interview system sent by our admissions officers.  49.2% have read the e-mail and have ignored it so far.  6.3% have registered for the interview but have not started the process.  3.6% have completed the practice interview but have not yet done the actual interview.

On behalf of our admissions team, I would like to thank all of the applicants who have completed their applications fully.  Early completion allows for both early consideration as well as the ability to fix problems, should they arise.  A few applicants have already been selected for early offers of admission and more applicants will be selected over the next couple of weeks.  Our early offers should go out shortly after the March Break Open House sometime in mid-March.

Once again, we have a strong applicant pool.  The admission process will be a very competitive process with some excellent applicants not receiving admission.  However, we hope to offer admission to as many excellent applicants as we realistically can.  For those who may be procrastinating, time is running out.  If you want to be considered, complete your applications by the March 1st deadline!



24 thoughts on “Admission Deadline”

  1. Hello Prof. Bishop,

    I have an offer from another university with a deadline in May 1 which is before UWaterloo sends its offers. Does requesting an early offer lower my chances of getting in?


    1. If you provide proof that you have an offer from another university that requires acceptance / payment prior to our date for our final round of offers, we will attempt to expedite your decision. In some cases, this may slightly lower your chance of getting into your program of choice. It really depends upon the competitiveness of the program and the size of the applicant pool.


  2. “A few applicants have already been selected for early offers of admission” does this mean that they have been notified or the decision has been made but the applicant hasn’t been informed.
    Most Importantly: is there a way for applicants to know of their application status? To reiterate, does quest inform applicants if their application is being reviewed, going to be reviewed, or has been reviewed and is going to be reconsidered for the next round.


    1. The next sentence in the blog states “Our early offers should go out shortly after the March Break Open House sometime in mid-March”. Essentially, we are flagging applicants for offers of admission in our internal database (not Quest). It takes quite a bit of time to go through all of the applications. Most applications are reviewed multiple times prior to the conclusion of the early round of offers.

      Updates to Quest are done late in the admission process. I would not expect the application status on Quest to change until we communicate the offers in mid-March. In other words, there is no reason to periodically check your application status on Quest.

      Your question also implies incorrectly that an application is only reviewed once. This is definitely not the case. It is not uncommon for applications to be reviewed many times through the admissions process. Like any engineering process, the admissions process is iterative. All applications are in a continuous state of review until the early round offers are communicated. Once the early round offers are communicated, all applications move back into a continuous state of review for the final round.

      The only possible exception would be an application where an applicant does not meet the minimum requirements for admission. An example would be an applicant with a final grade of 68% in a required course such as Calculus or Physics. Such applications could be flagged for rejection and not reviewed further. In practice, we often do not code rejections until very late in the admissions process. As a result, rejected applicants are not informed until after the final round offers have been communicated.


      1. I see, sorry for incorrectly assuming that applications are reviewed once. I’ve heard other universities look at it once and just assumed it was the same for Waterloo as well. I suppose this makes the admission process at Waterloo fair and unique. I’d like to thank the people responsible for continuously reading our applications because that eliminates the chance of an application being marked unfairly (Ex. admission officer has a bad day). Also, thank you professor bishop for answering my question!


      2. I suspect that Waterloo Engineering approaches the admission process a bit differently than most other universities. A typical application will often be looked at by at least four different people. One person reviews the AIF, a second person reviews the interview, a third person reviews the grades, and a fourth person makes the admission decision. I am often the fourth person in the chain of reviews. If an application is not selected for early admission, it will be reviewed at least one more time. Finally, we may review the application further for scholarship consideration. The use of multiple reviewers is one of the ways we attempt to remove bias from the assessment process. It is a time-consuming process but we feel that the results justify the effort.


  3. Are applicants who submitted their AIF and video interviews this week less likely to receive an offer of admission in March than those who submitted months ago?


    1. It is unlikely that applicants who submit their AIF this week will be considered for early admission. The video interview is not a requirement for early admission but it can help increase your chances of admission.


  4. Hello Professor,
    I submitted my AIF and video interview back in January but had to make a small amendment for the courses section of the AIF a few days before the March 1st deadline. Does this mean that because of this amendment being made so close to the deadline I won’t be considered for the early round of offers, even though I submitted all of the pages weeks before the deadline?


    1. Our database does not dynamically link to the AIF data. We take an extract of the AIF data, assess the AIF, and update our database accordingly. Part of the reason for doing this manual process is to subdivide the database into more manageable sets.

      This means that you likely will be considered for early admission but the AIF we will use for early admission will likely be your old AIF. For the final round of admission, your most recent AIF will be used, if you haven’t already received an offer of admission in the early round.


  5. Dear Professor Bishop,

    In the calculation for early admission averages, assuming calculus and vectors is incomplete, would advanced functions be double weighted in order to make up for the missing mark? Additionally, is the mark for the non-prerequisite used for early? My understanding of it is that if calculus and vectors and English are both incomplete, then in the early admission calculation, it would be the grade 12 marks + advanced functions * 2 + grade 11 english. How far is this from the truth?


    1. If midterm grades did not exist for either Calculus or English, the calculation you described is accurate. If midterm grades exist, they are used to predict final grades in a course. During the early admission rounds, we calculate your admission score without using the 6th required course. During the final round of admission, the 6th course is factored into the admission score. It is also important to remember that we look at more than just grades.


  6. Hi Director Bishop,

    If a school is non-semestered, and, as a result, lacks final marks (Except for Advanced Functions), would that bring a person out of running for early admission? In addition, would the lack of a Calculus and Vectors mark hinder early admissions as well?



    1. We have ways of predicting a decision average for a student. Midterm grades are most often used for predicting a missing final grade. We would generally have midterm grades for all students attending schools that do not use the semester system. In other words, all applicants are considered for early admission, provided that they completed their application successfully by the deadline.


    1. My portion of the process is now done. Since last Wednesday, we have been processing and screening applications. We were slightly delayed by a network outage on Saturday. Our team is currently working on coding offers on our system. I am not sure how long this process will take. I will try to make a blog post tomorrow summarizing the early round of admission offers.


  7. Hello again Mr. Bishop,
    Just double checking, will there only be one set of early admissions being sent out? For example, will those who did not receive an admission offer today be waiting until may?


    1. We only do one round of early admissions in March. Many highly qualified applicants may still not have offers due to the competitive nature of our programs. For the most competitive programs, we only attempt to fill approximately 25% of all available spaces. The rest of the spaces are filled in May (typically). There will be a few students given offers in April as a result of decisions accelerated due to pending offers at out-of-province institutions.


  8. Hi!!!
    I submitted my aif on February 9th. Was there a specific date that you needed to submit your aif to be considered for the march round? I’ve heard February 1st from a lot of people but there wasn’t an actual source from the university that said that. Did my late submission of my aif make me not qualified for the march round or did I just not get accepted early?


    1. For Ontario Secondary School students, our AIF database included all AIFs submitted by the morning of February 22nd. If an applicant had an AIF submitted but not previously scored, the applicant could still be considered for early admission. My team reviewed both grade data and AIF data when making selections for the early round of admissions. Remember that the majority of our students receive their offers in May when we do our final round of admissions.


  9. Hello Professor,
    It surprises me to see only 37% of applicants complete the interview so close to last years deadline. I was wondering if more applicants complete the interview in more competitive programs like SE and Tron as compared to the less competitive programs. I’d also assume that having the interview complete for the early round is probably a big boost in the likelihood of receiving an offer. Lastly, I was curious as to whether this percentage is similar to this years admission session or whether theres been an increase (or decrease).
    Thank you!


    1. I am always surprised by the number of students who do not take the opportunity to complete the optional interview. Completing the interview does significantly improve an applicant’s chances of being offered admission.

      I believe some applicants fear that their chances will be diminished if they do poorly on the interview. This is not mathematically possible given the way we assess interviews. The score on the interview is simply added to your admission average. The lowest grade typically awarded for a completed interview is 1. In other words, a weak interview is still better than an interview not attempted.

      Last year, only 6,782 applicants completed the optional interview. We had over 11,000 applicants. It is safe to say that some of the applicants that did not complete the interview last year would have received an offer of admission had they done so.


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