Future Students FAQ


Admissions Process

At the School of Architecture, there are two stages for admission as a transfer student: 

Stage 1: Apply via OUAC by the application deadline 

Stage 2: Based on grade averages, a number of applicants will advance to the second stage of the admissions process.  

In stage two you will upload your portfolio, answer short answer "About You" questions, and be asked to complete an English Precis test. You will be invited to participate in an in-person interview at the School of Architecture in Cambridge. If coming to Cambridge presents undue hardship or is logistically not possible, we offer a virtual interview instead. The interviews are considered equally whether they are conducted in person or virtually. In either case, our goal is to provide you with the best opportunity to demonstrate the full range of your creative and intellectual interests and abilities.  

The School of Architecture receives a high number of applications. For consideration to proceed to the second stage of the admissions process, an overall average of low-mid 80’s and at least a grade of 75% (usually 80%) in English and at least low 70’s in Physics and the two required mathematics courses is required. If offered admission, a final term mark of at least 70% in the required courses and 75% in English is needed to maintain the offer of admission. It is also recommended that students take visual arts, history and other cultural studies courses. The course grade minimums and average of applicants invited to attend stage two of the admissions process varies and is determined by the strength of the applicant pool each year. 

Admissions requirements are outlined on Waterloo's Undergraduate Programs website.

What is the site for applying to scholarships?

Is it possible to get my entrance scholarship upgraded? For example, in term 1, I had an average of 90-94% and was given the scholarship for that grade, but say I bump my mark up to 96% by the end of the year--does that upgrade my scholarship amount?

If you bring your admissions average into the next level with your final marks we will adjust the scholarship amount accordingly.

As a student from Alberta, am I able to apply to the Waterloo Entrance Bursary?

Can you transfer your IB HL credits for second year's open elective (in any discipline 0.5 unit) since there are no electives in first year?

One 0.5 credit will be considered; please visit this page for more information.

Are credits transferable from AP courses?

One 0.5 credit will be considered; please visit this page for more information.

Student life in Cambridge

Do all of the classes take place in Cambridge?

All Architecture classes and a selection of architecture electives are in Cambridge with the exception of the 4A term in Rome, Italy. Students do not travel to Waterloo for classes. 

Where do the architecture students stay for residence?

The School of Architecture does not have a student residence but there are many accommodations available within walking distance of the School including Grand House.

There are several resources to help students locate housing - a dedicated section at Off-Campus housing, a list of accommodations that are provided after You@Waterloo Day, and through the Architecture undergraduate office.

Contact us to join the Cambridge Housing Discord server.

Does architecture have a student union?

The Waterloo Architecture Students Association (WASA) is the undergraduate student union elected to represent all undergraduate architecture students. They tackle every issue from tuition policy to campus safety. WASA hosts many exciting events for students every term, as well as run a number of small and student-focused services on campus.

What kind of extracurricular & social activities are available in Cambridge?

Architecture students are a close-knit community who create their own activities based on student interest. Historically there have been ski trips, a rock climbing club, volleyball and other sports and social activities.

Is it safe to walk home at night?

There is a taxi service available to current students to ensure your safety.

Are there opportunities for students to be involved in events in the larger Cambridge community?

There are many opportunities for architecture students to become involved in activities within Cambridge. BRIDGE Centre for Architecture + Design is an initiative committed to engaging the Waterloo School of Architecture, local community and broader network through Art, Design and Architecture.

Questions about first year

What will my class schedule be and do I get to pick my own first year classes?

Students are automatically enrolled into their first year classes in mid July. Students take all classes together as a cohort with the same schedule.  Each semester will include a Design Studio and courses in Visual and Digital Media, Environment and Technology, Cultural History and Landscape and Environment.

What supplies and books will I need?

What type of laptop is recommended for the Architecture program?

A laptop is mandatory for the Architecture program - recommended laptop specifications can be found here.

Will the Fall 2023 semester be online?

At the current time it is we plan to deliver all first-year courses including lectures, studio and tutorials in person for Fall 2023. Please visit the coronavirus website for up to date information.

Questions about co-op

Is there a database where we can find job opportunities?

What happens if we don't find a co-op job in time?

Students need 5 work terms but have 6 scheduled; so, worst-case scenario, if you are unable to find a co-op job for one term, there will be no penalty. To help you find a co-op job, you will have a co-op advisor assigned to you. We also have an entire building with staff dedicated to helping our co-op students find jobs, prepare resumes, and improve your interview skills. You may need to take the initiative to ask for help though. 

How much money is usually earned during a co-op term?

Do co-op applications require references?

This will be company-specific although it's always good to have references available upon request.

Is it possible to take co-op work with the same company if a previous term with them goes well?

Yes, as long as you and the employer agree to it, that's fine (make sure you continue to learn new things though!)

Is there an exchange program opportunity for Waterloo Engineering?

BAS questions

How do electives work? What are open electives and what are non-open electives? How many electives do you get?

There are 6 electives throughout the program. The electives do fall into categories of Architecture and non-Architecture. Of the 6 electives, 2 are open electives, 2 architecture electives and 2 Arch 500 series (upper year electives). The electives spaces start in the 2B semester (the 4th semester). 

How long is the BAS program?

The BAS program is 5 years – it is 8 academic semesters, 6 co-op work terms and one summer term off between 1st and 2nd year. 

How do you qualify for the masters after completing the BAS?

Students qualify for the Master of Architecture (MArch) by maintaining a minimum 75% average in the BAS program. Waterloo Architecture has a commitment to completion, that we will accept all of our Waterloo Architecture BAS grads that meet the MArch requirement.