Admissions Information

Now that the application deadline has officially passed, I can confirm that we received a total of 14,548 applications for admission to undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Engineering. There are a total of 257 applicants that appear twice in the count. This happens when an applicant applies to both the architecture program and an engineering program. Some architecture applicants, but not all, apply to engineering programs. Applicants are not allowed to submit applications to two or more engineering programs at the University of Waterloo. This means that there are 14,291 individuals who have applied to one (or more) of our programs.

I have also received the official undergraduate intake targets for the Fall 2022 admission cycle. Table 1 summarizes the new admit targets for the Fall 2022 admission cycle.

Architectural Engineering82890
Biomedical Engineering85590
Chemical Engineering12320143
Civil Engineering10015115
Computer Engineering19045235
Electrical Engineering10020120
Environmental Engineering651075
Geological Engineering24428
Management Engineering801090
Mechanical Engineering18525210
Mechatronics Engineering18525210
Nanotechnology Engineering10510115
Systems Design Engineering85590
Software Engineering11015125
Table 1: New Admit Targets for Fall 2022

Intake targets should not be confused with class sizes. The number of students enrolled in our first year programs will often be slightly larger than the intake targets. There are some students who are required to repeat first year. However, our class sizes often differ from the number of students enrolled. Some departments blend students from several programs in first year classes and some departments subdivide classes into separate co-op streams in first year. There is also the practical issue of admitting the right number of applicants to achieve the intake targets. These issues can lead to our class sizes being smaller or larger than the intake targets. In first year, typical class sizes in our engineering programs range from 80 students to 140 students.

Intake targets can be controversial. We have some programs that are in very high demand and other programs where demand is lower. I often get asked why we do not increase the targets for high demand programs. There are many factors that affect the intake targets. Some of the important factors include the following:

  • Applicant demand
  • Availability of qualified instructors
  • Availability of support staff
  • Class sizes
  • Lab room capacities
  • Long range plans
  • Government grant funding
  • Co-op employment opportunities
  • Post-graduation employment opportunities
  • Effects on other programs

No significant changes were made to our intake targets for this admission cycle. No new programs were added. No existing programs were removed. Small changes were made to the targets for Biomedical Engineering and Systems Design Engineering in an effort to ensure that the first year classes in these programs do not exceed 100 students.

I am sure that many of my blog readers would like to know exactly how many applicants applied to each program. This is not information that I feel comfortable sharing. There are a number of reasons for my reluctance:

  1. Applicants should always apply to programs based on their interests, not based on their likelihood of receiving an admission offer.
  2. Application numbers are not a good indication of the competitiveness of a program. A program with 100 strong applicants may be more competitive than a program with 200 applicants.
  3. Some applicants will withdraw their applications between now and our final admission round in May. This may happen when an applicant receives an offer to another university that they prefer to attend. It can also happen for other reasons such as an illness delaying completion of high school degree requirements.
  4. Some applicants will not complete the Admission Information Form by the deadline. These applicants are removed from the applicant pool.

On the subject of the Admission Information Form, February 18th is the hard deadline for submitting the Admission Information Form for applicants who have applied to undergraduate engineering programs. I just wanted to remind our applicants of the importance of completing the Admissions Information Form (AIF) on time. Every year, we have a handful of applicants that miss submitting the Admissions Information Form (AIF) by the deadline. Applicants who do not submit the Admission Information Form (AIF) are not be eligible for admission. If you have not already submitted the form, I encourage you to do so soon. You do not want to risk missing the deadline due to a computer problem or unexpected illness.

I will leave you with an image of South Campus Hall at the University of Waterloo. I took this photo about a week ago on a day when the sun was shining. It shows the welcome sign that faces University Avenue as you enter the campus. I have no doubt that many of our undergraduate students saw this sign for their first time this past week as in-person classes resumed on campus.

14 thoughts on “Admissions Information”

  1. Hello Professor,
    Thank you for your detailed posts, I truly appreciate them as they give us applicants a stronger understanding of what to expect from the application process.

    I had a question regarding the early acceptance rough happening at the end of this month. Like many of peers, I have only completed 2/5 of the required courses for engineering at UW (101 Applicant). Does this mean that I will not be considered for the early round as there is not enough information and a minimum of 3/5 required courses need to be completed? Further, is there any variance in this situation depending on the competitiveness of a program that one applies to? For example, if an applicant has 2/5 required courses but they apply to a less competitive program such as Management Engineering they will still be considered for early acceptance if their average is quite high, whereas the same situation for a more competitive program such as Software Engineering won’t be true?


    1. We have ways of predicting missing course grades. We trust our predictions. The probability of an applicant with final grades receiving an admission offer should be very similar to the probability of an applicant with predicted grades receiving an admission offer. In some cases, applicants will receive admission offers with 6 predicted grades.


  2. Will all the offers for applicants within the same pool be released at the same time or over a number of days? Also, would you be comfortable sharing the date(s) in which offers will be given out for the upcoming March round?


    1. I expect all early round admission offers to be given out by the end of March. We are on schedule for this to occur. As I indicated previously, some offers are sent in bulk while others require manual intervention. The bulk offers will all be sent at the same time. The offers requiring manual intervention will come out over the course of several days.


  3. Hello Professor,

    I truly appreciate your blog, thank you! I wanted to ask about how engineering looks at spares and online courses. Personally, I took 7U courses this year in person (and 1 spare), and MHF4U online last year. Will the spare and the online course affect my application? All things considered, will this prevent me from getting a March offer?


    1. A spare will not have any impact upon an admission decision. Online courses are now part of the standard OSS curriculum. These courses are fairly commonplace. Applicants with online courses will receive early round admission offers.


  4. Hey Prof!

    Saw some people get ECE offers today, I was just wondering if all the March ECE offers are out and whether we had to wait till May to hear back for the rest. Thanks!


    1. Admission offers will go out over several days.

      Try not to stress if you haven’t received one yet. If you are able to do so, turn off the computer and relax for the weekend. There should be a good F1 race to watch on TV this weekend. Or better yet, you could read a book.

      If you must have the computer on, I recommend learning a hardware description language such as Verilog using the following website: HDLBits. It’s a bit like Leetcode for Verilog.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Professor,

    Just wanted to ask how is it determined which offers require manual intervention. If we do not receive anything today, hypothetically speaking. Can we expect anything over the next few days?


    1. The manual intervention offers start coming out first and continue coming out after the bulk offers. In the past, all Non-Ontario Secondary School offers required manual intervention. Now, it should just be a portion of the Non-Ontario Secondary School offers. The Ontario Secondary School offers should come out in bulk.


  6. Hello sir, have all SE early round offers been sent out for 101 applicants or will more be coming next week? Thanks for keeping us updated.


    1. I have no way of knowing. Once we hand off the offers to the Registrar’s Office, they control the timeline for release. If they could send them all out at once, they would. It is not our university’s desire to make an already stressful situation worse. I am sure there will still be offers going out on Monday to all engineering programs.


  7. Dear Mr William,
    I am a grade-12 student IB program in the GTA area. Also, I consider myself bilingual (French DELF program – B1 Level). I was wondering if the IB program & French Bilingual carries any value in the Waterloo Computer Engineering & software engineering admission process.


    1. These programs have no significant affect upon how applicants are assessed. Our admissions process attempts to fairly assess all applicants. Most applicants in Ontario do not have access to these programs.


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