One of our messages this year is to encourage engineering applicants to do their “homework” before applying, because we have no general first year. This means carefully reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses, interests, aptitudes, career goals, etc. Then carefully examining our different programs, courses, typical career paths, co-op job examples, etc., and selecting the program which seems to be the right fit. Quite possibly, engineering is not the right fit and you should consider something else. In general, people who put some effort into this process will end up in the right program and do well. Why is this so important? Continue reading
An updated version of this popular post, with some revisions for the upcoming September 2018 admissions cycle.
Here is an overview on how the process works and the approximate timelines. As usual, this is specific to Waterloo Engineering admissions; other programs and universities will have their own unique variations. Also, make sure you look through our admissions webpages for exact deadlines and official requirements since this is just an unofficial, quick overview and I can’t cover every detail for every variety of applicant and situation. Continue reading
To start the new academic year and next admission cycle, the 2018 Admissions brochures for Engineering and other programs have recently been uploaded on the Waterloo website. We continue to include a table showing admission probabilities (“chances”) for different programs and grade ranges (at the end of the brochure, and another online version is available here). Many people find it useful for assessing their chances at admission, and then they can plan accordingly and have realistic expectations. This is based on the 2017 results and as usual we caution that 2018 may be different, since it all depends on the number of applicants (which is unknown in advance and can fluctuate).
For convenience and readability in a table, we lump the grades into ranges. Some people find the big jumps in probability between the different grade ranges to be difficult to understand or interpret, so I have been generating graphs that provide interpolations between the various grades in finer detail (see the end of the post for methodology, if interested). As usual, the grades shown below are the raw, unadjusted averages of the Grade 12 required courses (or equivalents), not including any other factors such as scores for extracurriculars, work experience, or awards. Continue reading
It’s been quite a while since last posting, as various higher priority things arose, such as managing the admissions process, teaching various courses, and directing several larger research projects. Things are still quite busy, but there is time for a quick overview of what’s happened as we gear up for the next admission cycle for September 2018.
For the 2017 cycle just finished, in very rough numbers…
- we had around 12,500 applicants for our 1,600 spaces in Engineering. That was a couple of hundred more than last year.
- we had a significant rise in applications from people in the U.S., possibly because of our increasing presence there by alumni, co-op students, and other friends of the university?
- our estimates worked out well and the programs were filled to capacity.
- as in previous years, Biomedical and Software Engineering were highly competitive, and the rest not too far behind. I’ll work on a new “chances” post for the fall, but there probably aren’t going to be very big differences from the Chances 2017 version.
- as always, picking a few applicants from among so many good ones continued to be challenging. As an indication, over 3,000 applicants with 90+% averages did not receive an offer to any engineering program. Unfortunately we just don’t have enough facilities, space, faculty and staff to take any more.
There are lots of other interesting (hopefully?) things I plan to post in the coming weeks and months about admissions, research, our students, and engineering in general.
A brief update on what’s happening in the 2017 engineering admissions cycle.
- Recently we sent out some offers to Ontario high school (OUAC Form 101) applicants. As usual, we only sent enough to fill about 25% of the available spaces in each program, so we leave lots for the major round in early May. Generally these offers go to top-ranked applicants with strong grades across the board, a submitted AIF, and 3 Grade 12 required courses completed.
- Plans are in motion for our annual March Break Open House on March 18. A visit to Waterloo is highly recommended for those within travel distance, especially if you’ve never been here before. It’s a great chance to meet and talk with current students about their class and co-op experiences.
- We’re working away on the non-Ontario (OUAC Form 105) applicant files, which is a complicated and manual process. Tentatively, we hope to send out some offers to this group in early April.
- We continue to review Admission Information Forms (AIFs). Applicants should make sure they pressed “Submit” and not just “Save”, otherwise we don’t consider it and an offer is very unlikely.
- We’re also working away on reviewing the submitted optional interviews. It’s too early to conclude anything, but they seem to be going well.
- Our big push for offers comes in early May, and then all the admitted applicants have until early June to make their final decision. We will start compiling a wait list for any spaces that might open up in June.
Our Engineering programs are “direct entry” (no general first year), so you apply through OUAC to the one of most interest. Our internal online Admission Information Form (AIF) provides a space to select an alternative choice in engineering, without having to spend more money through OUAC. Starting with the 2017 cycle there have been a few changes, so it’s probably a good idea to review some ideas and considerations. Continue reading