Update February 2015

Things are moving along nicely for our Engineering admissions.  The Ontario high school applications are submitted (a few continue to trickle in), and the out-of-province applications will be winding up and closing at the end of February.  Here are a few observations and comments:

  1. Overall application numbers look similar to last year, possibly a few percent higher.  I would anticipate competition levels for most programs to be similar to last year.
  2. Applications to our new Biomedical Engineering program jumped significantly to around 900.  Since there are only 50 spots available, we’re going to have a tough time deciding.  Interesting observation:  according to OUAC statistics, there are about 6.9 applicants per available space for medical schools in Ontario.  We have 18 applicants per available space for Biomedical Engineering!
  3. Our AIF readers are busy evaluating what has been submitted to date (some 6,000+).  AIFs not submitted by now may not get read in time to be considered for the first round of offers.  However, as long as it’s submitted by mid-March it will be OK for the final round of offers in May.
  4. We’re waiting for the Ontario school grades to be available and downloaded, and then we will do some offers in late February.  As usual, we generally aim to give away less than about 30% of the available spaces at that time.  The rest are held until May when the second semester grades are available.
  5. The applications from outside Ontario are being analyzed as fast as we can (it’s all “manual” work).  In early March we will take what information we have and do a few offers, but again most will come in May.
  6. We’re making plans for our March Break Open House.  A very worthwhile event, especially if you’ve never visited the Waterloo campus before.

59 thoughts on “Update February 2015

  1. Dear Professor,

    One of my friends mentioned that if the applicant is from Alberta, Waterloo might not look at the diploma and final mark but base the five entrance grades off of the class mark. Is this true? And for what subjects is this liable?


  2. Hello Prof. Anderson, I as well am an applicant to Biomedical Engineering. I was wondering what is desired or looked for when choosing an applicant? Do they have a wide variety of marks within a program or is it usually those who rank highest?

  3. Hi Prof. Bill,

    I recently heard that if I submitted my AIF after the deadline (Feb 6th) that I would not be considered for early admissions. I submitted mine on Feb 4th, but I updated it earlier today (Feb 8th) to include my DECA Provincials 1st Place win. Since I just updated it, would I still be considered for the early round of offers?

    Also, for calculating early offer averages, does that include the top 6 marks or just (Chem, Calc, English, Functions, and Physics)? (My average with those 5 courses is 95.2)

    As well, are AP courses counted for anything extra? All my courses are AP and my average is slightly lower due to it.


  4. Hello Professor,
    I am an international applicant who submitted his OUAC application on 3rd of Feb. I have applied to Software engineering. Can I get an early offer if I submit my AIF as soon as I get access to it? My US universities have a deadline of May 1, so May decisions are not an option.
    Thank you.

  5. Woohooo 900 for Biomedical Engineering?! That’s really competitive. Never expected it to be that high!

  6. Hello prof
    Is there any statistic about around what percentage of people accepted into waterloo engineering actually accept their offers?

  7. Hi Professor,
    Due to some technical glitches (not sure if they just applied to my school or were Ontario-wide), my classmates and I were only just able to view our grade 12 marks on OUAC yesterday evening (Feb. 12), though many students’ early offers from UofT and automated emails from the OUAC system suggest that they were sent to universities possibly as early as the 9th or 10th (still after the AIF deadline but not long after). Does the timing of mark uploads/downloads work in this case, or are we likely to be excluded from early consideration? Thanks!

  8. Hello Professor,
    Could you please explain how international applicants who take the Cambridge A levels are evaluated ? I have 3A’s and 1 A*; how will my grades be compared to an Ontario Student who has a 90+ average ? Is there a way the university converts them or the grades are assessed as they are ?
    Thank you.

  9. Hello Professor,
    Do you have an approximate date for when the acceptances could start rolling out?
    Also, will the acceptances be done in rounds (that is everyone with an early offer gets it at once), or will it happen over time and some could get theirs earlier than others?
    Thank you!

      • Professor, you’ve said that “Ontario applicant offers come out all at once”, but I have a friend who said he got an offer to Waterloo’s biomedical engineering program on Feb. 11th. Does that mean that different programs within engineering will give out offers at different times?

  10. Hey Prof!

    Just a quick question about the AIF submission date. Was the cutoff to be considered for the first round of offers 11:59 PM on Feb 6th?

    I submitted my AIF at around 12:30 AM Feb 7th so I’m just a bit curious since this posts states that “AIFs not submitted by now may not get read in time to be considered for the first round of offers. ”


  11. Hello Professor,

    I’m a Swiss-canadian and have been in Canada since July 2012. I am enrolled in the IB program in the process of obtaining a bilingual French-English diploma. I am currently taking English as a Higher Level (HL) course. I understood that this higher level course would exempt me from any language proficiency test (such as the TOEFL). This is the case for the University of Toronto, which provides an ‘English Language Test Exemption Request Form’. My interim IB grade for English HL is a 6. What is the stand of the University of Waterloo on this issue?

    Thank you!

  12. Hello Professor,
    Do you know how many applicants there are for mechanical engineering? I’m just curious due to the large amount of people applying to engineering, especially the 900 applicants for bio-medical engineering. Also, is the “chances for 2015” line graph you posted earlier still accurate after reviewing the applications these past months?

  13. Hi Professor
    With a 92% average, very-well written AIF but only 1 school related extra-curricular (but lots of community volunteering) do I have a decent chance of being admitted to Mechanical Engineering? Does it matter that almost all the extra curricular curricular I have are volunteer work and not school clubs and teams?

  14. Hi Professor,
    I’ve been a little curious about something you mentioned in your post about AIF. You said that if the admissions committee has any questions regarding your AIF, they can contact you and ask. However, none of my friends or myself have been contacted – is that a good thing? Under what circumstances and when would they contact you? It is just to get proof for something you said? Or just general clarifications?
    Thank you

    • It’s fairly rare that we need to contact anyone about the AIF information during the admissions process, so it’s not surprising that you and your friends have not been contacted. It is usually only necessary if something is unclear about the background or courses.

  15. Hello Professor,
    I was wondering if doing your entire high school online would affect your chances of admission.

  16. Do transfer students from Canadian universities for Biomedical Engineering get less priority than high school applicants? Also, will transfer students’ university marks be considered more than their high school marks for their entrance average?

  17. Hey Professor, I’m an IB student in Alberta, and since I’m taking ELA, Chemistry, and History HL, they are comprised of two courses for my school, the 35 level and the 30 level, and both of them are at the Grade 12 level for 5.0 credits. Would it be possible to use the 35 level course instead of the 30 level one?

  18. Do you have a sense of the male/female applicant ratio (for Software Engineering)? Or perhaps you could offer up information on what the gender ratio for last year’s Software Engineering first year class was. Many thanks.

  19. Hi Professor Anderson,

    I have had the recent privilege of being accepted in Waterloo’s Mechanical Engineering Program for 2015. Upon my acceptance, I have two questions that I would like to ask you.

    1) Upon being accepted, are students still allowed to modify and upgrade their AIF in order to increase their chances of being selected for entrance scholarships (referring to the ones that use the AIF as a deciding factor)?

    2) Is there any way that a student, upon being accepted, can request to see their AIF component score, out of five?

    Thank you for your help. It is greatly appreciated.


    • Congratulations. 1) you can make a limited number of amendments to the AIF for a while yet. 2) no we don’t give out the scores. It’s of no particular use to applicants, and would be a significant staff resource issue for us.

  20. Hi Prof!

    I’ve been studying here in Canada for 4 years now. Already got my Gr12U English but I took 2 ESL courses back at Gr9 2nd sem and Gr10 1st sem with normal Ontario secondary courses. Do I need an English Proficiency Exam?


  21. Hi Professor!
    I’m a from a high school outside of Ontario. On my transcript I have a mark for English 12 and another, different mark for my AP English class. I understand that the processing of applications for students outside of Ontario is manual. So if I have a higher mark for English 12, will that be the only English mark that will be used? Or will there be a blend, or will my AP English mark be used because it’s a higher level course?

  22. Hi Professor,

    What other engineering programs would people be considered for (assuming they put that program as their alternate) if they are rejected from Biomedical Engineering?

  23. Hi Prof Anderson,
    I was wondering if all applications were considered if the subsequent forms were submitted by the deadlines you have mentioned in your post, or if some were skipped for time reasons. A classmate of mine was accepted to the same program I applied to, however, I have a 2-3% higher admission average and am confident I had a very strong AIF. I submitted my AIF mid-Jan and have a mid 90 average. Also, do you release any offers to Ontario Students between now and the May release, or are all withheld for the next 3 months?

  24. It would be clever if the administrators at the University of Waterloo also took into account the number of times an applicant accesses their Quest account (as an indicator of the applicant’s level of interest in the university).

  25. Hi Professor,

    I have a question about early acceptance. My marks have been competitive.

    I am in grade 12 and my school is semestered. I am taking advanced functions, Physics and Data in first semester, and also English online (it works better for my schedule as I am playing competitive sports). By Feb 2016, I will have final marks for Advanced functions, Physics and Data and but only midterm marks for English (as I predict). From your previous post, you have indicated that it requires marks of at least three prerequisites for early acceptance. In my situation, will the English midterm mark be also be taken into account for early acceptance? Or it requires final marks of three subjects?


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