Another common question during our admission cycle is whether someone can start a program (let’s assume engineering) at another university, then transfer into Waterloo for 2nd or 3rd year. These might be people who didn’t get an offer to Waterloo, or maybe want to try another place first but keep their options open. The short answer is that yes, it is technically feasible, but the likelihood of successful admission to 2nd year is pretty low. Here are some of the major reasons why:
- Space: as always, capacity in our labs and lecture rooms is a concern, so this can be an issue right at the start.
- Grades: once you start university, we don’t really care what your high school grades are like. It will depend entirely on your university grades. Many of our programs only want transfer students who are in the top half or quarter of their class (typically a 75%+ grade in university). So if things don’t go so well in your first term that will be a significant problem (although we are always willing to consider exceptions and extenuating circumstances).
- Courses: Waterloo Engineering programs are very specific, right from the first day. So if you go to a general engineering year at another university you will probably be missing a number of significant courses. If there is not a good alignment of courses, you can’t start in 2nd year.
- Work Experience: Our 2nd year students have 4 to 8 months of work experience. To be admitted to 2nd year, you need to have an equivalent amount of full-time, quality, relevant work experience. Or you must convince us that you will be able to obtain it before school starts. We won’t admit students without sufficient work experience, because they would be at a disadvantage for our co-op education process, compared to the rest of the class.
- Reasons: We like to be convinced that there is some plausible reason for wanting to transfer into Waterloo. If you’re doing well somewhere else, why bother? Why not just continue there and consider Waterloo for graduate school, perhaps?
So, there are several significant barriers to a successful transfer application. Even if we have the space and you have the good grades, Issues #3 and 4 above will usually prevent transfer into 2nd year. In the past six years, I would guess we might have admitted less than a dozen transfer students into 2nd year. This most recent cycle, we had maybe 300 transfer applicants, and about 2 admissions to 2nd year.
However, we might be able to make an offer for our 1B term, which is the second half of first year. In most programs, students in the 1B term have not yet had a co-op work term, so that eliminates Issue #4. Also, after doing one year in another engineering program, you have probably covered most of our 1A term courses, so Issue #3 is not so significant. The downside is that you are losing a year by going backwards into our first year. Out of those 300 transfer applicants I mentioned above, probably about 10 to 20 were offered 1B admission. Still not a high acceptance rate.
What if you’re not transferring from an engineering program, but from a math, science, arts, business, … program? Issue #3 above (i.e. missing courses) will be a major factor, and admission into the 1A (first) term is usually the only possible route. (Of course you still need good grades in your university program, and have to have the high school prerequisite courses or equivalent university level courses.)
So as I mentioned at the start, transfers are technically possible, but not highly likely. Just something to consider when making decisions.
128 thoughts on “Transferring to Waterloo Enginering”
How stringent is Waterloo when determining if someone has the required courses to match 1A? For example, if one wants to transfer to 1B, has done 5/6 equivalent courses from 1A at another university, but is missing one basic course from 1A, would they have to start back at 1A? Since 1A is mostly high school review, would they be allowed to transfer in to 1B?
Generally, missing one course is OK but it depends on which course and which engineering program. For example, missing the 1st calculus course would be a problem for 1B where there is another calculus course that builds on it. (Also, it’s a dangerous thing to think that 1A is mostly high school review. There is initially some easy-looking review material which can give people a false sense of security, but it quickly starts to push the limits of many sutdents’ understanding and abilities.)
Hi, I am a high school student who recently got rejected from Waterloo life sciences for co-op psychology. Although it isn’t exactly an engineering question I would like to hear your view on my situation. I am deciding whether I should stay back one semester in high school to improve my grades or go to university and attempt a transfer. I really want to get into the co-op program.
Not engineering, so the best I can do is offer some general thoughts. I’m not a big fan of staying in high school if you have other options for university or college and you feel ready to move forward. Staying in high school might, or might not, help you get into a program, but it’s sort of like standing still in a place where not everyone else shares your goals. Other options: 1) start at another university or college and look into transfers after a year; 2) take a year off and get some significant work or volunteer experience, and maybe do an online course or two from university (such as Athabasca U). A decent grade from a university course will often carry a lot more weight than additional high school courses, and you might get transfer credit too.
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When you said that only 10-20 of the 300 applicants were able to switch and start in 1B, does that include both applicants within UW doing internal transfers and those at other universities? Furthermore, is any priority given to Waterloo students vs the others?
Those were offers for transfers into 1B from outside Waterloo. Internal transfers within Waterloo are a different process (applying through OUAC is not required). Internal transfers don’t really have a higher priority, but they are a bit more flexible and easier to deal with because we can give some guidance about course selection that makes the process smoother.
what kind of coop experience is required from computer engineering majors hoping to enter second year at Waterloo? Is a simple programming job at my university good enough? I do not have 4 months of summer vacation, therefore I will need to complete the coop requirement while taking courses.
Programming is a good job experience. You should try to get at least 2 months of “full time” work experience (30 – 40 hours per week) if possible. Additional part-time work is OK, but the more full time work the better. You want to have experience that is equivalent to other students in the class, which would be approximately 500 hours of work (or more).
Hey, I’m a first year engineering student at Ryerson University, and I plan on switching to Waterloo 2nd year. Lets say I am able to attain the required GPA which as, as you said 75+, however if I don’t have all the courses that I need to make it to second year, can I still get accepted as a first year student?
We look at the course alignment to see where the best entry point will be. Typically it will be our 1B or 2A terms (maybe with a requirement to catch up on any missing courses), so 2nd year entry might be feasible. However, the key thing will be to have a summer job lined up so you can match the co-op work experience of our 2nd year.
How about if you are attending another University in Ontario, in a science program, and want to switch into an engineering program at Waterloo; specifically, software engineering? I know that program is very competitive so what are the conditions with that circumstance? Is it possible? Also, it is in terms of starting as a first year student (1A), not from 1B or 2A.
Yes it’s possible, with pretty much the same ideas. We look at the completed courses in university (especially maths and sciences), and programming experience (which is required for software). To be competitive at all for 1A, you would probably need 70%+ in the university course average.
Hello, Thanks for this blog, it is really helpful. I have a problem, I hope you can help me with that. I am a 2nd year computer engineering student(with Software Major) at University of British Columbia. I had to decline the offer of admission from University of Waterloo due to family reasons in 2011. But now I wish to pursue Software Engineering from University of Waterloo. I am currently working at a software firm as a co-op student for 8 months. The problem I am facing is that I have average marks in my first year (73%) and 56% in second year with 3 failed courses due to my poor health in second year. From reading this page it seems highly unlikely that I can get admission in 2nd year at Waterloo.
I need your suggestion at what could possibly be the best way to pursue Software Engineering at Waterloo. Should I apply for first year and ask for transfer credits for some courses? I am also ready to waste 1 or even 2 years for that.
You can apply for 2nd year, and we will work out which admission level is most appropriate (which could be 1st year). To be honest, having failed courses is going to be a problem and you’ll have to provide good reasons and medical documentation with your application for us to ignore or downplay them. In the long term, it’s probably more efficient to finish at UBC and consider doing a Masters degree at Waterloo, if you like.
And what are your views on ‘applying for first year and asking for transfer credits for the courses in which managed to get a good grade.’
It doesn’t really matter whether someone applies for 1st or 2nd year in a transfer case. We always look at the total picture and decide what’s best. If we decide to admit, we will review the possible transfer credits automatically.
For transferring to 1B, if I am already in first year and wish to transfer in the spring term of 1B 2014 after having completed the winter term at another university’s engineering program, into a stream 4 program, how many hours of work experience are needed? By then, the stream 4 cohort will have completed one study term and one work term. Since I will have just finished school and will have had no time to get work experience, would it be okay to only have part-time experience to show? Also, are we required to have the exact number of hours as the other students (500 hours). What if I have less?
Also, I read that, “In some cases, Co-operative Education may allow you to miss one Co-op Work Term, that is, you may be able to start in the Fall with a Stream 8 2A class even though you have no co-op experience.”
Can you clarify this, as to how it applies for transferring into 1B?
Thank you very much
Approvals for work experience are not up to me, but generally they seem to want to see around 14 weeks of full-time employment (maybe 400 to 500 hours) to be equivalent to one of our work terms. The type or quality of job experience matters too. Part-time will generally not be sufficient, but it will depend on the length of time, type of job experience, etc.
Starting without co-op experience is possible in theory, but rarely happens. The applicant has to be academically outstanding (maybe 90%+ average in university?) and have other qualities that will help them be employable (e.g. good prior work or volunteer experience in high school). Our concern is that if someone starts with a work term missing, and then can’t easily find a job in the next work term, then their graduation will be jeopardized.
Thanks for the blog post and I really appreciate you sharing all these regarding waterloo admissions. Please shed some light on my situation if you could spare the time.I would like to know how I can get back into school to study engineering.
I am a Canadian citizen who obtained a Business Degree in Hong Kong(The chinese univeristy of HK). I also did highshcool in HK and took public exams in HKCEE(2004) and HKAL(2006). rhey were science subjects and Pure math.
May I know how I could gain admission to waterloo engineering with my background?
For example, would starting an engineering school in HK and getting good grades make it possible to transfer to Waterloo?
After graduating from business I had some work experience and came to the realization that I lack practical/professional knowledge. I regretted not getting into a professional program back then plus I didn’t have the resources to move back to Canada to study. Having worked for a few years money is less of an issue now and I am seriously thinking about going back to school. I would say now I am a more mature person and hope being 26 doesn’t affect my chances.
Age is not a factor, but we do like to see evidence of strength in math and science courses in the last 2 to 3 years, so some refresher courses might be necessary. Starting in a HK engineering school might work out, since you already have some work experience, but it’s difficult to know for sure without comparing the HK and Waterloo curricula. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more personalized advice from an Admissions Officer.
Thank you very much for the reply. I really appreciate it.
Good Day Professor,
Thanks for this blog that you have started.. It is really quite informative. I have a problem and wondered if you could guide me.
I have a nephew who recently got admitted to the University of British Columbia in the Chemical Engineering field. He is over here on International Student Visa and is living all alone in Vancouver as his family lives in [redacted]. The only close relatives that he has is us and he is really feeling homesick and depressed and wants to see if he could get his credits transferred over from UBC to Waterloo Univ to live with us here in Waterloo.
I would like your help and advice to see as to who we can get in touch with or what can be done to get a transfer process successfully initiated and for him to be with us. [edited]
It is really frustrating not to be able to get some clear cut directions for us to follow. Please help us out.
(I remove some information to protect privacy). The earliest that we can admit a transfer at this point is September 2014. He can apply through the OUAC website and we will consider it over the next few months. But the UBC curriculum may not be a good match and he might have to start in 1st year (perhaps with a few credits, but those won’t accelerate the program completion). I’m sure our staff will be in touch soon. One thing to note: we can only discuss specific personal details directly with the applicant, not with parents or other relatives, because of privacy legislation.
Good Day Professor,
Thank you so much for your prompt reply. And yes, I completely understand the privacy issue. But other than the personal details, I would very much like to have a meeting with someone so that I could take down (in minute details) what and how we should proceed in going about the transfer process. Dont want to miss anything
Thanks again for your prompt reply. I had also sent an email to email@example.com yesterday along the same context and had included my home and cell numbers. Hopefully someone gets in touch with us soon.
Yes, someone will be in touch soon. We’re just in the middle of some things so it can take a little while.
I have a question about transcripts, do you know long it takes for OUAC to send these transcripts and how long it takes for waterloo to recieve them.
Thank you in advance
If it’s from an Ontario university or college it is electronic, so it shouldn’t take more than a few days I would think. (Although I’m not entirely certain. I see the information, but I don’t know when it was requested or transmitted.)
Hi Professor Andrerson,
I’ve been studying at the University of Toronto for the “1A” term and got exactly a 74.8% average at the moment. I’m looking through the exams so this may change for the better, but I’m wondering how “good” of a chance 75% would give a transferring hopeful. In order words, on average does 75% get you in, or is it a cut-off. An average, or a cut-off? I’m really excited just applying for Waterloo and hope you might be able to give me an average if it isn’t 75%. Also, do you take into account second term marks?
75%+ is not a cut-off, but more of a ballpark estimate. Second term marks will be important, not for admission but the offer will be conditional on achieving a certain minimum average in the 2nd term (generally something similar to the first term average, but it varies). It’s impossible to forecast chances, because of the complicating factors such as space availability, but your marks seem to be in the right area.
Thank you so much. Happy new years!
Just as you take into account the highschool one is from, would yuou say the same about universities?
We don’t have adjustment factors for universities (too little data). It will make some difference whether it is an accredited engineering program or not.
I am a 1st year student of Computer science and engineering.I wish to apply for first year at University of waterloo. Can i apply as a regular high school student or not.
i got 91% in high school. but 7.6 pointer in my first semester, then which of these would be deciding of my application.
We will be primarily interested in your university marks. High school is less important in our decisions.
Is there no option that i don’t want to be considered as university student (even if i have appropriate document) . If not, then what are my chances of getting Computer engineering.
No, we can’t ignore your history. If there were extenuating circumstances that affected your performance you can explain it in the AIF and we will take it into consideration.
then what would be chances according to college marks.?
Those are always a case by case analysis, and we don’t have anything specific we can say about those chances.
Sir my only concern in whole thread is that i intend to drop out of present college, and in that case I will not have any transcript of 2nd semester, will that be a issue or not
We will want to see the first semester transcript, and probably some explanation or description of the reasons for dropping out.
I am a first year mechanical engineering student in Ryerson University with a cgpa of 3 which is equivalent to above 75%. What are the chances of me transferring to the second year mechanical engineering in the University of Waterloo after completing my first year?
In general, transfers into 2nd year are relatively rare. But I can’t comment specifically on your case as it requires a detailed analysis of courses and work experience.
I completed my first semester of engineering at another institution, and am interested in transferring. How are university grades of transfer applicants compared with the high school grades of a high school applicant, assuming everything else is constant and the grades are the determining factor?
Also, if you are a transfer applicant, and lets say you are missing one of the required courses in university. If a combination of university grades and high school grade are used, how is the average calculated when you have a mix of high school and university grades?
To compare university and high school grades, we effectively add about 15 points to the university grade, so a 75% in university is equivalent to about 90% in high school.
If I am in a Science program in first year at UW, would I also be able to take any Computer Science or Software Engineering courses along with my Science courses, in hopes of transferring into Faculty of Mathematics or Engineering in second year? By taking the courses simultaneously, I would have issue #3 out of the way? Would that result in higher chance of internal transfer into other faculty?
You can’t take engineering courses, but I think there might be CS courses you can take, and you’ll take Math courses too.
Hi Professor Anderson,
I’ve been admitted into the Life Sciences and AHS programs at UW but recently I’m not sure if I want to go down that path. How would transferring into engineering at UW work? If it helps, I have all the required high school courses needed for engineering.
Thanks in advance!
You can ask for an internal transfer at any time, and we’ll see what can be done. Frankly, it’s difficult because of space limitations and competition for those spaces, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Thanks so much! Where would I go to ask for an internal transfer and would it make things easier if I did it now/over the summer break?
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org can start a request. In July would be good to see if there are any spots open.
How many transfer applicants were there for the 2014 admissions year and how many of those transfer applicants received acceptances? Also, how many transfer applicants were there for electrical engineering and how many were accepted?
I don’t have those stats at the moment, but in total there were probably less than a dozen and none admitted to second year.
Hello Professor Anderson,
Firstly i am extremely thankful to you for helping students in getting know what is actually required to get into their dream university.I applied to University of Waterloo two times in 2012 and 2013 but couldn’t make it although i have Indian high school(CBSE-Indian Education System) with 91.2% marks.Now I am doing my Comp. Engineering at York University and completed first year with GPA of 8.35/9. I want to know that if I still want to get transfer to UW how i can strengthen my application more.
Thanks in advance!
Congratulations on your success at York. Transfers are always made easier by having relevant work experience, and similar courses to what our students have taken. But honestly, I usually recommend finishing where you are and considering Waterloo for a Masters degree. That way you don’t lose time/money with the transfer, and end up with an advanced degree from Waterloo.
I am a student at UW in 1B Electrical Engineering. I applied for an internal transfer last term to go from 1A Electrical to 1B Mechanical, but the request was declined as it was very competitive and very little space (85% average in 1A was required and obviously I didn’t get that high of an average and the same situation with my next choice, 1B Chemical Engineering). The thing is that I struggle very much with programming which there is much more emphasis on in the field of MechEng than in EE/CompEng and I also don’t really have any interest in programming (part of the reason I struggle with understanding it) while I am very good at math and physics which there is a lot less emphasis on in ECE than ME and also looking at jobs and stuff I strongly believe that MechEng is something I would be much more interested in than Electrical Engineering (I chose EE in high school because my friends were doing it and I honestly thought it seemed like a field that would interest me at the time, but then part way through 1A I realized that I am actually not interested in it at all). Anyway, my question is this: do I have a better chance to be able to go 1B EE –> 2A ME than I did to go 1A EE –> 1B ME if I actually try a lot harder this term and get a higher average? Is there usually more space freeing up at the end of the 1B term than the 1A term? And for consideration for 1B to 2A transfer, do they consider 1A grades at all, or is it based on most recent (i.e. 1B) grades? Also, will I be able to still graduate on time (i.e. not delay my graduation due to missing courses that I would have to make up), or are there not too many courses in 1A and 1B Mechanical Engineering that I would need to make up such that I can catch up? I would like to know what you think about situation and if I have a decent chance (if I am able to get, say, approx. 75-80% average in 1B)! Thanks!
Decisions about transferring into 2nd year and up are handled by the individual departments. Your best bet is to approach the ME department and work with them to find out about possible pathways.
Ok thank you!
Thanks in advance for answering my question. I hope you could take some time to look at it. I would really appreciate your feedback.
I graduated with a degree that is not related to science and engineering. I worked for five years in finance. Last year I went back to study engineering near my home while working on side business 30 hours a week to pay for tuition/expenses.
The result of that semester was: I got good grades with two subjects, and failed 3 subjects, while working at the same time. Now I realize this could have serious impact on my future school application. I should be saved up more money before I applied. I could focus on school better if less financial stress is around. I am not looking to transfer those subjects in the future.
What I am doing now
I am still working 30 hours plus on my business per week and decided to quit my current university. I only later on found out that online accredited schools are a way better outlet for me to upgrade and refresh the necessary courses for me due to my working schedule. Asynchronous courses fit my schedule better and I could save time on commuting.
I am hoping my focus on online perquisite classes/online university courses and other verifiable MOOC endeavors (as extracurricular activities related to engineering) could improve my record.
Could I redeem myself this way when I apply to Waterloo? I felt my record is tainted with a semester of school that I paid for with my own money/sweet/tears. More specifically I would like to find a way to get in given my situation, even if it needs to delay 1 or 2 years.
Thank you very much.
Yes, working a lot of hours is not compatible with success in an engineering program. Doing further courses online could improve the situation, along with recognition of what went wrong and how to correct it.
Beside Athabasca University ‘s online courses, do you recommend any other online University courses?
I’m sure there are others, but Athabasca is the only one I’ve looked at in any depth.
Regarding university transfers to waterloo, If I go to UOIT Engineering and am able to maintain an 80%+ GPA, but I dont have job experience nor do the courses get alinged. Will I be able to get a transfer to 1st year UW engineering and what are the odds of that I don’t mind starting all over again and losing a year.
It’s possible, but I don’t want to leave the impression that it’s easy or highly likely. There have been a handful, but not a lot.
Does Waterloo acknowledge credits from First Year Engineering Program from Capilano University? This program is a transition program that enable students to transfer to 2nd year Engineering at UBC. I was wondering if this is possible when transferring to UWaterloo.
Possibly, depending on the course content and grades.
I’m currently a high school student who got accepted into medicinal chemistry at Waterloo for fall 2014. I was wondering if there’s any way for me to transfer into 1A engineering before the fall term begins?
You can ask us (email@example.com), but it’s unlikely there will be spaces available.
I have a question. When you said “The downside is that you are losing a year by going backwards into our first year.”, Am I not loosing just half a year and not a full since I will be immediately starting 1B after my first year or do I have to wait half a year and then start 1B?
By losing a year, I mean delaying graduation by a year.
I have an undergrad degree in General Science(3 year) program from the University of Windsor. I would like to apply to Waterloo for Computer Science(any program.) My cumulative average is 89% but I do have a few repeat courses due to owing to personal circumstances. How will the repeat courses be looked on as? Will it jeopardize my chances for admission into the program?
Computer Science programs are in the Mathematics Faculty, not Engineering. So I don’t know how they deal with your situation.
Thank you for this blog, it gives me hope again to study in the university of waterloo.
I’m a mature student who just started my engineering degree in Ryerson this September. Waterloo would be my first choice but I couldn’t apply because I finished my high school more than 3 years ago. However I’ve always been good at math and science and I’m confident that I would do very well in Ryerson. You said working experience would be an issue but what if I can transfer before the working term starts? It is possible to apply during my first term after midterm with some proves of my ability and transfer into second term in Waterloo? If so, when and how should I apply?
Thank you again for your time.
No, it’s not feasible to transfer into the second term when your 1st term is in progress. There is insufficient time for the application process to work.
I’m currently a second semester student studying engineering.I’m trying to transfer to waterloo engineering, what happens if I have got an average of 80% for university courses but I’ve only got 59% for my first semester maths? If I can get 75% for the second semester maths, will my first semester maths still hurt my chances a lot?
Thanks so much for your blog posts and your time!
For transfers, grades less than 70% can be a problem, but if the second semester grades in the same topic are better that can help.
sir i don’t really know all this stuff about 1A and 1B….the question that concerns me is that , grade is totallu in our hand to maintain, and reason can be any, SPACE is just the luck, but what about course and work experience, is there any college from where we won’t have to face there problems , or at-least the course problem , if yes then which college is best suited .
i am planning to apply for an associate degree from college(which is hardest thing for me to decide, kindly help me out), and then apply for uwaterloo in third year.
Do tell me if anything else needs to be kept in mind.
Transfers into 3rd year of Waterloo Engineering are extremely rare.
I’m doing engineering at another university. I really want to do geological engineering in the future. Would you say it’s better I do my four years of civil at my university and major in geological at Waterloo. Possibly a master’s in geological. Also do you think employers are very picky about choosing a geological engineer vs a civil engineer with some geological background?
Personally I think that it’s usually easier and better to just complete the degree where you are, then consider Waterloo for a Masters degree if you are interested in further education. I’m not really knowledgeable enough to comment in detail on employment in the geological field.
Hello Professor Bill Anderson,
Aha, the last time I read your blog was like, 8 months ago? Really appreciate the time you put into all of this, it’s really informative even till now. Before I was studying in Architecture but now, I am in Software Engineering at Carleton University.
I have a question about my overall grade. Does my overall GPA from my study in Architecture program carry on and average out my current GPA in Soft Eng if i were to apply to Loo for Soft Eng? Last year average was 73%, this semester’s current average is 79%. I was first year in Arch and now I am currently first year in Soft Eng.
I’m also not sure if I can find a coop placement before second year for Waterloo since Carleton’s Cooperative Program begins second year and first work term starts summer of second year. If I try to find an intern ship or work at some firm this summer on my own time, would that help too?
We look at all grades but focus more on the math and science ones, so there’s no strict answer to that question. For transfers, it’s always a case by case basis. Any summer work is potentially good experience, whether it’s an official placement or not.
I am a first year Computer Engineering student at Ryerson University with an A average. I am interested in transferring to UW. If I get accepted into the 1B term, will I start in the winter semester or fall? And for coop experience, does it have to be engineering-related or can it be finance as well?
We generally only accept for the Fall term. Engineering related work experience is preferred, but finance can be good too (depending on the specifics).
I am a high school student who is has a bad year in terms of academics. So my question is through recent years, what are the chances of transferring into Waterloo Nanotechnology?
We get very few successful transfers in general. It’s hard to say about any one program in particular.
Hi professor. I am entering a Canadian university this fall for engineering (not Waterloo). If I do my first semester at that university from Sept 2015-Dec 2015, can I transfer to Waterloo in Jan 2016 and start my second semester in Waterloo? Is this possible?
No, we don’t do January transfers into engineering as there isn’t enough time to evaluate the results from the first semester.
Is it possible for a Masters student in chemical engg to get a co-op .please reflect some thoghts on this .? If so how many per semester and which semester ?
No, co-op does not exist for graduate programs.
In some cases, if relevant work experience is required, does it matter if the work experience is paid or if it is on a volunteer basis? As long as it is quality work and it is meaningful and it satisfies a minimum total hourly limit, would that be considered suitable work experience?
Paid is preferred, but volunteer is OK in most cases. It has to be “relevant” to engineering, not fast food or similar jobs.
If someone is accepted into second year of engineering ,does university of Waterloo offer them some scholorship(if he is an international student studying in a Canadian university)
No, there are no entrance scholarships for transfer students.
I’m currently in Mechanical Engineering at another University in Ontario going to my 2nd year of engineering in September. Since May, I have been completing a research award with a professor at the University of Waterloo and it is recorded as being CO-OP by the professor. My cumulative average for my first year of engineering was a 3.56 gpa on a 4.3 scale, so about an 80 percent.
I have 2 questions I was hoping you can help me out with:
1. Since I hadn’t applied to transfer into 2nd year engineering, I want to transfer into 3rd year. Let’s assume I get another opportunity to complete a CO-OP research award with the professor for next summer during 2016. Do you believe my marks (Let’s assume I maintain my cumulative average in the 82 range) and my assumed 2 CO-OP terms with the professor in your facility will be sufficient for a transfer into 3rd year engineering, in either Mechanical/Electrical/Computer?
2. I know that some schools only consider the cumulative average in your most recent year of studies for a transfer application, do you do that at Waterloo also? For example, if I applied during January 2016 and I planned to complete my 2015-2016 semesters, would you only consider my cumulative average from the 2015-2016 year of courses or all 4 of my semesters – 2014/2015 marks + 2015/2016 marks
Thanks for your help.
Transfers into 3rd year are rare; I think I’ve only seen one in the past 8 years. Having good grades and work experience is a starting point, but often the course matches are a problem and applicants are missing too many required courses, so they have to start back in 2nd year. Ultimately, transfers into 2nd or 3rd year are up to the department, and they make the decisions after we have done our pre-screening.
For marks, we will usually want to see everything including the current marks before we make final decisions.
I see, I’ll have to think deeper about it but thinking of it now I don’t mind starting 2nd year as long as it’s not first year, but of course what’s left is my ability to get an offer. Do you believe maintaining an 80-84 average at my university while I complete another CO-OP during the summer of 2016 will be enough for a competitive application with a good chance for a transfer to Mechanical/Electrical/Computer Engineering?
Thanks again professor.
80+ grades are a good start, but it always comes down to a case-by-case analysis and space availability.
I am currently at Mac going into second year Civil Engineering. My marks are sitting around 70% with my first year courses. If I were to complete the second year with much higher grades would Waterloo be looking at my cumulative average if I were to apply to 1B? I had applied to Nanotech during high school, but was rejected. Now that I have found what I actually want to do with my life, I’m kicking myself for not applying to Civil as I would have had the grades!
September 2016 is now the earliest we can admit, so you’re better of staying at Mac rather than back-tracking to first year at Waterloo, in my opinion. But, we look at all university marks when considering what to do.
Hi Professor, I got rejected from Waterloo engineering and currently go to Mac (first year) for engineering and am looking forward to applying to Waterloo for the fall of 2016 year again. I am trying to go to Waterloo because I really like the start-up assistance community at Waterloo and the co-op program. I know that Waterloo is not only about percentage but also extracurriculars. I had a 93.4% average in grade 12 and had a really good AIF form but still managed to get rejected. From this data you can tell that the acceptance percentage has gone up and I would expect the same for the transfer percentage as well. If I can maintain a low 90 average at Mac as well and join a lot of clubs, what are the odds of getting transferred and would my credits be successfully be transferred? Or what GPA would you recommend having to have a high chance of getting transferred?
P.S. I am fine with being transferred to first year again!
For transfers from universities, the extracurricular activities don’t play much of a role. Having high marks and a clear reason for wanting to transfer would be most important. Mid-80s marks or better would be recommended.
I am a First year Computer Engineering Student at Simon Fraser University and I want to transfer to Waterloo for second year when I finish my first year. I also have an 12 months engineering co-op experience from Sheridan college in Computer engineering Technology. So is there any chance I would be able to transfer my first year courses to Waterloo engineering. and here are all the courses that are offered for engineering students in http://ensc-scm.ensc.sfu.ca/ in first year. I really want to come back to Ontario. And would my high school courses matter anymore. and also will my courses from Sheridan college also be transferrable
I can’t provide personalized answers to questions like this. But in general, IF an admission offer is made and accepted, only then will we decide on transfer courses on a case-by-case basis. Community college courses are not transferable to Engineering.
I was wondering if one year of study in the mechanical engineering technology-design program at George Brown College and a 4.0 GPA would make me a relatively strong contender for a spot at Waterloo? If i finish my current program, I will be able to bridge into 3rd year at UBC or UVic, but since I am not sure that I want to move to the West Coast, I am considering applying to the Waterloo rather than finishing off my technologist diploma.
That would be a positive factor, but strong performance in the required high school courses is still required since the college courses have a somewhat different focus.
I am a general first year engineering student at McMaster University and would like to transfer to
Waterloo Computer Engineering into second year. I have about a 90% average this semester and expect to get about the same next semester. I also have arranged for a summer job that is related to engineering, and will be paid. How are my chances to get accepted to second year CE at Waterloo? Also, when should I submit my application? Thanks.
Admission to 2nd year is unlikely, as our programs are specialized from the start. Most transfers have to re-start in 1st year with perhaps a few transfer credits. Applications are due by about March 1.
Thank you for this blog.
I’m a first year at Queen’s Eng, and for my first semester I obtained a 3.6 gpa out of 4.3. From what I understand it is rare to be admitted into 2nd Year. However, how many are of the 300 applicants are accepted into the 1A term? Is there a good chance that if I’m not admitted into 2A or 1B, I will have the option to start from the beginning. My main reason for wanting to transfer is that Queen’s does not have a co-op program, I don’t believe that I will graduate with enough real-world experience and In-addition, a co-op program will help me put myself through university financially. Is that a justifiable reason that would be sufficient for the Admissions Office?
Most of the few transfers we accept go into the 1B term. A few of those ask to start in 1A, which is possible. It all depends on the course match-up, but I think that the Queen’s engineering curriculum makes for a reasonable match to 1B admission. For some of our programs, if the courses don’t align very well we will make an offer to 1A when 1B or 2A are not feasible.
First of all thanks for this blog and for taking the time to respond. I am a second year student and I am enrolled in US university in electrical engineering. I have a 4.0 GPA over 4.0 and I am interested in waterloo co-op program. My downside is my job experience, I have had on campus jobs the past two years and I may get an internship in march. Also I am an international student, and today I talked with a guy from admissions who told me what classes will matter when transferring and I have all of them. He mentioned chemistry, calculus, English and physics. I have 3 calculus classes, 2 physics classes, 3 English classes, 1 chemistry and also one electrical and one computer engineering class. The main reason I want to transfer is because all of these years I have been a student athlete and I was part of the basketball team with scholarship, now my coach got fired and I don’t like the new one so I am thinking on transferring.
How do you see my odds of transferring and if I do in what year you think I would be evaluated?
Thank you very much again
If the grades are very good the odds are a bit better. But it will be for 1st year if there is not at least 4 months of full-time relevant work experience.
Thank you for taking the time to write this blog and answering questions.
I recently finished my first year of engineering at University of Western Ontario with a average of 78% and am specialising in structural engineering for my second year. I am interested in transferring to Waterloo, but am not sure whether my current work experience counts as I interned at an electrical engineering firm (with fluctuating hours between 10-40hrs a week, depending on the clients) for three months.
What would be a competitive average for transferring to the civil engineering department?
Would I have to start from first year if I were to transfer?
Many thanks for your help
Transfer cases are too complicated and multi-factorial to offer any particular answers, but they almost always involve some back-tracking into first year if successful. My generic advice these days is to finish the degree where you are, and consider Waterloo for an M.Eng. or M.A.Sc. degree.
I really appreciate the work you put into updated this blog. It’s a big help to us all.
I am currently in my first year of […] engineering at the University of […]. I was looking at potentially transferring to mechatronics or mechanical engineering at waterloo. My first-semester average was quite good (92%+) but I’m concerned about my work experience. I have about 8 months of full-time work experience (plus whatever I can complete over the summer) as well as a few hundred hours of volunteer experience from high school. The issue is that this work wouldn’t be too relevant to the program. It was primarily construction related.
I recently visited waterloo and was absolutely flabbergasted by the range of facilities available to engineering students. I am also highly impressed by the coop program available through the university. As well, live in Mississauga and would really like to be closer to home.
I know that this isn’t enough detail for you to tell me for sure whether I will get in but, I’ve always aspired to attend school at waterloo and wonder if you think I have good chances of getting accepted at least to 1B if not 2A.
Having excellent university grades is a positive factor. Admission to 1B may be feasible, and doesn’t require work experience. Admission to 2A depends on how courses match up with our first year, which is often a problem, and so 1B is the most common outcome.
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