Virtual Open House

It is hard to believe that it is already November. The Halloween decorations are now being put away for another year. Thankfully, the weather co-operated on October 31st. I cannot say the same thing for November 1st as we received the first significant snowfall of the season in Waterloo Region. Shown below is a photograph of some of the decorations that we put out for Halloween this year.

On Saturday, November 7th, the University of Waterloo will hold a Virtual Open House from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (EST). During this event, visitors will be able to learn more about the programs that our university offers, speak with students, staff, and faculty about the programs, and learn more about the admission process. We will be using the same platform as our previous event. Unlike our previous event, this event will also be using Zoom to allow for better communication between prospective applicants and members of the university community. The event is free to attend.

I am scheduled to participate in three live sessions as follows:

Session 1 (8:30 am to 9:30 am): Live Q&A with Delainey Lindstrom-Humphries

Delainey Lindstrom-Humphries is a Mechanical Engineering student from the Class of 2022. She has served as an Engineering Ambassador and she has served as President of the Engineering Society.

Session 2 (10:30 am to 11:30 am): Live Q&A with Ellen McGee

Ellen McGee is a Systems Design Engineering student from the Class of 2022. She has served as President of the Engineering Society.

Session 3 (1:30 pm to 2:30 pm): Live Q&A with Mary Wells

Mary Wells is the Dean of Engineering. She previously served as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Guelph from 2017 to 2020. Prior to becoming a dean, Mary served as the Associate Dean of Outreach for Waterloo Engineering from 2008 to 2017. Mary will be able to comment on her vision for Waterloo Engineering over the next 5 years.

During the live sessions, we will answer questions about Waterloo Engineering and its programs. We will also discuss many other topics of interest including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Student life (social activities, student teams and clubs, living on-campus, etc.)
  • The co-op program (job applications, interviews, rankings, etc.)
  • The University of Waterloo campus (athletic facilities, things to see, places to eat, etc.)
  • The Region of Waterloo (attractions, shopping, places to eat, etc.)
  • Transitioning from high school (dealing with stress, maintaining wellness, etc.)

We will also try to address some of the questions that relate to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the admissions process and university life. Please keep in mind that we will not be able to comment on what to expect for Fall 2021. We will only be able to comment on the current situation faced by our students, staff, and faculty.

We won’t be able to answer every question posed. We will do our best to address some of the most important questions as well as ones that we feel will add value to event for the majority of viewers. Should you have specific questions about our engineering programs and the admission process, I recommend emailing directly. Our admissions team will do its best to respond as soon as we can.

In addition to the live sessions indicated above, each department will hold live Zoom sessions to discuss their programs. If you have questions on a particular program, you can visit the live Zoom sessions of the departments to have your questions answered.

Don’t forget to register for the Virtual Open House. Registration is free, but required.

12 thoughts on “Virtual Open House”

  1. Hey Professor Bishop,

    I’m not sure if this would be the right place to ask, but I have heard that the Biomedical Engineering program is introducing a new computing option soon. Is this true? Would that mean the BME program would be a viable program if you wanted to work software jobs, but also were interested in biological systems?


    1. Options are approved at the faculty level. It is true that a new Computing Option is being launched that will likely allow students from many engineering disciplines, including Biomedical Engineering to learn more about computing. While a Computing Option is not a substitute for a full program in Computer Engineering or Software Engineering, it may open doors for new co-op experiences that could lead to a career in a computing-related field. Also, it is important to note that some Biomedical Engineers currently spend a significant amount of their time designing software. Many engineers require a knowledge of software design to be successful in their chosen fields.

      On a related note, it is always possible for a co-op student to work outside of their chosen discipline. This actually happens quite often. I know many electrical engineering students who work in banking or law. I know many management engineering students who specialize in software design. The path a student chooses is their own. I believe co-op experiences play a greater role in the career path of a student than the program they have chosen to study.


  2. Hello Professor,
    will you be putting more emphasis on grade 11 marks this year due to the grade inflation happening in online learning?


    1. There are limits to what we can do to assess applicants. We can only use the data that we have available to us. We will certainly look at the grades we receive from OUAC and we will try our best to assess the situation. It may be the case that for some applicants, we will consider Grade 11 marks a bit more than previous years. There is no way to avoid the fact that changes will always benefit one individual over another. Our goal is to change as little as possible.


  3. Will having Calculus in Quad 4, which is a requirement. Have a negative impact on my Application.
    Because I think Quad 4 Midterms are May 11. But aren’t offers sent out like May 16th.



  4. Hello. I’m a prospective transfer student. I applied to computer engineering. Will admissions department evaluate both high school and post-secondary marks equally? Due to new atmosphere for studying, my marks at university have dropped compared to my high school marks. Will this drop affect my chance of admission significantly? Thank you.


    1. For transfer students, we often consider a combination of high school course grades and university course grades to produce an entrance average. When we do so, we compute an adjustment factor specific to the applicant that is the weighted average of the adjustment factors for the high school and the university attended. A grade of 80 in university is roughly equivalent to a grade of 90 in high school. Similarly, the minimum required grade for a university course is lower than the minimum required grade for a high school course on the same subject.

      It is always difficult to compare an existing university student to a high school student. I think we have developed a system that works reasonably well for assessing most transfer students.


  5. Why has the “Circumstances” question the AIF from previous years been removed? I have academic/admission related circumstances that I feel is important to share. Should I write this information in “Part B – Additional Information”?


    1. A new process for requesting special consideration has been adopted by our university. This new process is run by AccessAbility Services and the Registrar’s Office. The new process ensures the consistent handling of accommodations during the admissions cycle.

      The Admission Information Form should not be used to request accommodation for special consideration.


  6. Hello Professor Bishop,

    I hope you are doing well. Recently I have found that due to timetable conflicts, I am unable to take a course next quadmester, meaning I have one spare. Will this be seen negatively? Will admissions care that I am taking a spare in the third quadmester? This is really stressing me out!

    Thank you


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