A guide to applying to an engineering program at the University of Waterloo as an Out-of-Province Student

May 11, 2020
A guide to applying to an engineering program at the University of Waterloo as an Out-of-Province Student

As an out-of-province student applying to the University of Waterloo, I found there were very little information online about that application process. Therefore, I thought I’d share an application guide with some tips for out-of-province students applying to the University of Waterloo. For context, I was a second year CEGEP student studying in pure and applied sciences when I applied. For those unfamiliar with the concept of CEGEP, it is the Quebec equivalent of 11th and 12th grade in the other province’s school system.

OUAC Application

First off, you need to apply on the OUAC website. As an out-of-province student, the application to fill is the OUAC 105. This is a very simple, straight forward application in which you will be required to submit some personal information, the program you want to apply to, your transcript and your extracurricular activities.

Admission Information Form (AIF)

Once you have gone through the OUAC application, you will receive an email prompting you to fill in the the Admission Information Form. This form varies depending on which program you apply to, but there a generic one for all engineering programs. In this form, you’ll be asked to provide more information on your extracurricular activities, your motivation for choosing engineering and your choices of engineering programs. Here are screenshots of the form’s questions so you know what to expect and can prepare accordingly. I would advise you to write down your answers to the questions prior to filling the form, allowing you to answer each question properly, to not forget important information and make sure your answers are free of spelling mistakes. There is a question in the form about your programming knowledge. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t have extensive programming knowledge or none at all; I know for a fact a lot of students get admitted having no programming knowledge.

Virtual Interview

There is an optional application component, the virtual interview. Even thought this is an optional component, I strongly recommend doing it as part of your application. This demonstrates you are highly motivated to become a University of Waterloo student and gives you more opportunity to stand out in your application. In short, this component requires you to record short videos of you answering questions. The questions are selected randomly and you will be given a short amount of time to think of your answer before recording the video. Don’t worry, you will be given the option to practice before completing the actual interview.

English Proficiency Exam

If you are graduating from a school that is not part of an English-language school system, you are required to pass an English language proficiency test as part as your application. Here is a list of all english proficiency tests Waterloo accepts. For my application, I took the TOEFL, which had 3 parts: speaking, writing and reading. The goal of the test is to evaluate your understanding level of English. Therefore, if you’re able to properly communicate and understand the language, you should have no trouble passing this test. Your scores are released 10 days after the completion of the test. If you happen to fail it, you can take it again 3 days after the last time you took it. The TOEFL is offered pretty often, so don’t panic if your results aren’t the ones you’ve expected. However, I would advise you to take your results seriously, as if your understanding of English isn’t great, you’ll be adding an extra difficulty to the already challenging curriculum of the University.

What R score will guarantee my admission?

I remember trying to find a conversion rate between the R score and percentage averages when I was building my application. Unfortunately, I am not able to provide a conversion of the Waterloo admission averages to R scores. My best tip would be to keep your grades as high and to get involved in extracurricular activities, at school or in your community, in order to maximize your chances of getting in. I believe if your average R score is considered high for Quebec engineering university programs, then your grades should not be a problem for your admission.

Lastly, I would say the most important thing to keep in mind while applying are the important dates to make sure you plan ahead and set aside enough time to thoroughly complete the application.

Hopefully this guide helped you understand and complete the UWaterloo application process for an out-of-province student and I hope to see you on campus soon!