March Break Open House

This is a reminder that the University of Waterloo holds its annual March Break Open House tomorrow. If you forgot to register for the event, you are still welcome to register and attend. If you have registered but are unable to attend for any reason, you can view pre-recorded versions of the presentations online on our Waterloo Engineering YouTube Channel.

My understanding is that the weather forecast is not ideal for the Region of Waterloo tomorrow. For those attending in person, please take appropriate precautions travelling to and from the event. A weather advisory has been issued by the Meteorological Service of Canada that extends from Saturday morning through to Sunday morning. I recommend checking the weather online tomorrow prior to travelling to campus. The University of Waterloo Twitter Feed is often the first social media channel to announce any closures or cancellations affecting our campuses. I do not anticipate that our campus will close.

Applicants and their families are often most excited to meet our students and tour our facilities. We will be offering lab tours to attendees throughout the event. I encourage attendees to make a plan prior to coming to campus. There is quite a bit to see and do. You won’t have time to see the entire campus. For those interested in our engineering programs, you will definitely want to check out our Pearl Sullivan Engineering Ideas Clinic in E7 and our Sedra Student Design Centre in E5.

During the March Break Open House, I am scheduled to deliver presentations in E7 4043 at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. The presentations are designed to provide prospective applicants with information on admission requirements and the admissions process. The same material will be covered at both presentations. We will setup the neighbouring room in E7 4053 to serve as an overflow room should it be required. E7 4043 only has room for approximately 140 visitors. If you are in the overflow room, we will have a mechanism for you to ask questions during the live presentation. Please note that these presentations are designed for future applicants only. Current applicants will find that their time is better spent on department tours and facility tours.

When I am not delivering presentations, I will be at the Engineering Admissions booth on the second floor of E7 to answer questions. To answer what is likely to be the most popular question, the early admission round will conclude soon. We are currently making early round admission decisions. I am not sure when the results will be communicated. As you can probably imagine, it takes quite a bit of time to process all Admission Information Forms. My team has been working long hours to assess them.

I will leave you with two photographs that I took of the ECE Capstone Design Symposium held this past week. The symposium was well attended. I was thoroughly impressed by the projects and the teams at the symposium.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at our March Break Open House!

18 thoughts on “March Break Open House”

  1. Hi, when would early decisions be out? Also how much of a role do adjustment factors play in this round?

    Thank you!


    1. All early admission offers appear on Quest prior to the end of March. I cannot provide a more precise estimate. Offers could appear earlier than the last day in March. We have to provide our decisions to the Registrar’s Office with sufficient time to spare to allow for the coding of conditions on offers. Also, we have to allow some time for issues that may arise during processing.

      Adjustment factors are a tool that we use to assess the likelihood of success of an applicant. These factors currently play a role in all engineering admission decisions. Adjustment factors are more likely to have a significant effect on highly competitive applicant pools. For less competitive applicant pools, we might admit most, if not all, qualified applicants in the pool.


      1. Hi, thank you so much for your response! I was wondering how competitive Management Engineering is?


      2. I feel that Management Engineering is getting stronger despite the fact that applicant numbers do not appear to be increasing. It seems that more self-selection is occurring.

        We have a few programs that exhibit similar behaviour. Systems Design Engineering, for example, has a small ratio of applicants to spaces but a very strong domestic applicant pool.


  2. I know that there are spaces reserved for domestic and visa students. I ask if Waterloo has quotas like other schools requiring x amount of domestic students to be from Ontario, and y amount of domestic students to be from other provinces? If this is the case could you elaborate on the competitiveness of this subgroup?


    1. We do not have specific quotas for the percentage of domestic students from Ontario and the percentage of domestic students from out-of-province. When we select applicants, we simply try to pick the best, regardless of where they reside. We do a rough split based on applicant numbers and then we adjust the split as we progress through a round.

      This may change in the future. Given changes to tuition fee frameworks, there may be targets set for out-of-province domestic students in the future. It is difficult to predict the future so I will not attempt to do so. I will simply say that things are always subject to change.


  3. Hello professor, I would like to ask if it is possible to receive an offer as a university transfer within the next week? My final examinations are in a month, so I was wondering if I should be looking forward to some news in the next week.


    1. There are some transfer applicants that will receive good news in the early round. I do not know how many as I do not count them, I simply know that I selected a few applicants from post-secondary institutions. Let’s hope you receive good news.


      1. When I went in person and the same question I was told that they will be sending around 45% of the acceptances in March is that right?


      2. Yes, we have attempted to fill approximately 45% of our available spaces for students. The exact show rate is difficult to predict. There can be wide variations by program and wide variations from one year to the next. Overall, a 50% show rate is fairly typical.


  4. Hi sir, was just wondering whether 105 applicants, specifically those that require a study permit (international) are also considered for early decision rounds. Additionally, what is your overall opinion on the applicant pool for Mechanical Engineering this year? Are there more/ stronger applicants as compared to previous years?


    1. Yes, there are many visa applicants from the 105 applicant pool that will receive offers of admission in the early round. The ME applicants are assessed by someone else so I cannot provide an informed opinion on the quality of the ME applicant pool. Given the application numbers, I would expect the quality to be similar to previous years.


  5. Hello, I am wondering if acceptances in the March round for 105 applicants are spread out over multiple days or whether they’re all given on the same day?


      1. Admission offers for 105 applicants have started to appear. Admission offers for 101 applicants will not appear until next week. All admission offers are in the queue for processing. It takes a fair amount of processing. I realize this is a stressful time for many applicants. My best suggestion is to check Quest sometime during the middle of next week.

        Liked by 1 person

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