Quick Admissions Update

A few final round admission offers have now made it out from our university but be assured that many more will be processed over the next week.  It is my understanding that many staff members are working throughout the weekend to expedite the process.  I expect that all offers will be communicated by the end of next week at the latest.

We have been working around the clock to make admission decisions and to communicate them.  The image below is an image of the parking lot when I left the university last night at 12:47 am.  It was the first time I have every seen an empty parking lot on campus and I have worked many late nights over my career at the University of Waterloo.


Usually, we manage to get out engineering admission offers to all Ontario Secondary School students by the 2nd Friday in May but we ran into some issues that delayed processing.  Please be patient with our staff.  They are doing the best they can under very difficult circumstances.  It is a huge effort to code and communicate all of the admission offers for our university.

My best advice is to try to focus on your studies and other activities.  Knowing the answer as soon as it appears on Quest will not change the outcome.  Knowing the answer a few days earlier shouldn’t change your decision.  I suspect most applicants already know what decision they will make if they get accepted and what decision they will make if they get denied.

Of course, if you are still on the fence, we will have an event on campus called You@Waterloo Day that will give admitted students another opportunity to visit the campus with their families and learn more about university life.  You will hear more about You@Waterloo Day after receiving admission to the university.  I am scheduled to be on campus for the entire event to help answer questions.  I look forward to meeting with you.

40 thoughts on “Quick Admissions Update”

    1. All faculties get indirectly affected when one is delayed. It is my understanding that engineering was delaying the entire process, unfortunately. It is not at all clear when everything will appear on Quest. I encourage every applicant to be patient.


      1. Hi Professor Bishop!

        I am wondering if all entrance scholarships are mentioned in the letter of offer or if a separate email is sent later? Thank you in advance!


    1. Applicants will likely know when decisions have been released before I do. I am not part of the coding process so I cannot say exactly when offers of admission and rejection letters will appear. I heard that admission offers were being received through multiple posts on Reddit, much the same way that most applicants find out. Be patient and hope for the best.


    1. I cannot answer this question but remember that we do not have a “cutoff” average for our programs. We do individual selection. Please be patient. I expect decisions to continue to roll out over the next couple of weeks.


  1. A lot of people from my school have been accepted into engineering except for me and I was wondering if that meant I was rejected. Also, I was wondering the approximate amount of spots available for syde this year considering the number of applicants significantly increased last year and einfo says the enrollment is just 90.


  2. Hi Professor Bishop,
    Apparently the scholarship for engineering in may round has been sent, but not for those who received an offer in march. So I was wondering approximately when they will receive the scholarships? Thanks!


    1. Scholarships eventually appear on your Quest account. There is a good discussion on Reddit about where to find your scholarship information on Quest. For brevity, I will not repeat it here.


  3. Hi professor Bishop! I was just wondering whether there is a particular order in which acceptances are given out. Thank you!


  4. Hello sir, do you know if Software Engineering gives deferrals to second engineering program choices such as Computer Engineering?


  5. I recently got an offer of admission for Mechanical engineering. I was wondering, how hard is it to transfer to Mechatronics?


  6. Hi Professor William Bishop!
    I was wondering if all of the rejections would also be out by the end of this week. Also, how would one know if they got waitlisted? Are admissions rolling for this week or will they come out as one big wave as they did on Friday?


  7. Hey Professor,
    I am wondering if the Suncor Emerging Leaders scholarship has been announced yet. If not when can we expect it.


    1. I believe all scholarship decisions should now appear on Quest. We had a very large number of highly-qualified students apply for the Suncor Emerging Leaders scholarship this year.


    1. Some deflections have already been made and others are likely still in the queue. It is my understanding that rejections only come out once all admission offers have been made. Some offers still need to go out tomorrow for sure.


  8. Hi Professor Bishop,
    I applied to Software Engineering and still haven’t herd back. How much of a role does sports and part time employment play into admissions?


    1. Part-time employment can play a small role for applicants applying from a jurisdiction where employment is possible. We understand that applicants from certain countries are ineligible for employment due to local laws. Sports can play a small role if there is a significant time commitment and some demonstration of excellence.

      Software engineering applicants are most commonly refused for having insufficient software development experience. This year, I would say the average successful software engineering applicant had at least 2 years of significant programming experience. A single programming course in high school was insufficient without additional evidence of programming experience. Software engineering applicants were sometimes deflected to computer engineering if they had exceptional grades and some programming experience. However, we tried to avoid deflecting too many applicants from one program to another.


    1. I believe so. There were many more software engineering applicants that could have been deflected to other programs. We limited the number of deflections from one program to another program. Some truly exceptional software engineering applicants did not receive offers of admission this year simply due to the competitiveness of the applicant pool.


  9. Hi you mentioned a few days ago that there are a few offers left to be sent out. Is that still the case or are you preparing to send out rejections at this point?


  10. Hey Prof Anderson,

    I was accepted into the electrical engineering program recently. I was just wondering, it says that I have to maintain an 85 average overall for the top 6 courses.

    If my average were to fall slightly below the 85 average, like an 84 or 83, would you guys still take away my offer?

    I’m trying my best to maintain keep above the 85 average, I have a 90 average now.

    Also, on June 30, if you guys take away my offer, would I still be able to accept an offer from other universities?


    1. Every year, a handful of students have their offer of admission revoked for not meeting requirements specified in their offer. If your offer is conditional upon maintaining an average of 85%, you should assume that the offer will be revoked if the condition is not met.

      An offer would not typically be revoked on June 30th. We typically do not receive final grades until a few weeks later and it takes us a few days to calculate averages and check conditions. I would expect offers to be revoked in mid-July. You can always accept an offer from another university if an offer is available but often applicants struggle to obtain offers in mid-July. It may also be very difficult to obtain residence at another university.

      My advice is to continue working hard and to maintain your average. If you are very concerned about meeting a condition for an offer of admission, another university with an unconditional offer would be a safer choice.


      1. Does it matter if the top 6th course used to calculate your midterm average is different than the top 6th average used to calculate your final average?


  11. Hi there,

    I had a concern about admissions for engineering. I originally applied to Soft Eng with my back up program being Comp Eng. I have received a denial from Soft Eng, but I haven’t received any information from Comp Eng. Should I wait for a response, or have I not been accepted? The reason I am confused is because a close friend of min got accepted into Comp Eng with a 2% lower average overall and his AIF did not have as many extracurriculars, activities, awards, etc as my AIF. We go to the same school and have taken the same courses together, so I’m assuming any mark reduction/balancing would be the same for us. Is this because I applied to Soft Eng as my primary with Comp Eng as my backup and he applied to Comp Eng directly, or is it something else?

    Thank you for your time


    1. I am not surprised that you did not get a deflected offer to Computer Engineering. We limit the number of deflections from one program to another. The Software Engineering program had our most competitive applicant pool this year with 1,462 strong applications for 124 available spaces. Quite a few students were deflected from Software Engineering programs to other programs. The deflection from Software Engineering to Computer Engineering is the most popular deflection path so students choosing this deflection path were more likely to run into the deflection limit.

      There are a number of reasons why we place a limit on the number of deflections from one program to another. One motivation is that we want to ensure class cohesiveness. It is not good to have a Computer Engineering classroom filled with students who really wanted to be in another program. Another motivation is that we want to avoid frequent transfer requests after enrollment. Students deflected from one program to another are more likely to ask for a transfer which we often cannot accommodate. Transfers from one engineering program to another are unusual. A third motivation is that limiting deflections makes it easier to predict class sizes. Students deflected from one program to another are very difficult to predict in terms of show rates.

      So yes, in some cases, we accepted first choice applicants with slightly lower averages instead of deflected students with higher averages. This was consistent with our messaging earlier in the admission cycle that indicated we would limit deflections and we would attempt to give a slight preference to students who applied to a particular program.

      There are many comparable Software Engineering programs at other universities in Ontario. In many (but not all) cases, applicants are likely better served by enrolling in a program more similar to Software Engineering than Computer Engineering.


  12. Hi,

    I was wondering how one would apply for the waiting list, in the small chance that all spots do not get filled.



    1. To be added to the waitlist please send your request to enginfo@uwaterloo.ca with “Request for Reconsideration” in the subject line. Please include your full name, UW ID, and the program of interest in the email. An applicant may list one alternate program, if desired. Only applicants who receive an offer from the waitlist will be contacted.

      Should space become available, the selection process will be highly competitive based on the demand for that space. Since it is unlikely for a waitlisted applicant to receive an offer of admission, I recommend moving forward with offers from other institutions.


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