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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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  1. Why Aviation at the University of Waterloo?
  2. Why should I do flight training through the university?
  3. I am interested in an Aviation program but have no flight experience, can I still apply?
  4. I have already started flight school, can I still apply?
  5. What is the difference between "Geography and Aviation" and "Science and Aviation"?
  6. Where does the flight training take place?
  7. What is the cost of the program?
  8. What will the flight program include? When will the flight training take place?
  9. Do I need to live in Waterloo in the summer?
  10. Can I get a summer job or go on a vacation?
  11. How many flight hours will I gain in the program?
  12. How do I get accepted into an aviation program?
  13. What is Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) information session?
  14. What is an Aviation Language Proficiency Test (ALPT)? Where can I get it done?
  15. What is a Medical Category 1? Where can I get it done?
  16. What happens if I do not pass the additional aviation requirements?
  17. Can I go by different names at the University of Waterloo and WWFC?

1. Why Aviation at the University of Waterloo?

Our "Geography and Aviation" and "Science and Aviation" programs are designed for students who love to fly, and who want a university education to supplement their flight training. It is an intensive program, coupling a full university degree with a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). Students with a passion for flying that are able to multi-task and schedule their time well are ideal candidates for either program. In university classes, you will learn concepts that complement your flight training, such as how global positioning systems (GPS) work, geographic information systems (GIS), aerodynamics, atmospheric science, and meteorology.

2. Why should I do flight training through the university?

The Aviation programs allow you to complete a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and undergraduate degree simultaneously. Both programs compliment your flight training by teaching you topics that are relevant to the aviation industry.

Your undergraduate degree will help you compete for jobs after graduation. If you decide to no longer pursue a career as a pilot, your degree will always be there.

Lastly, your professional pilot training courses not only help you attain a Commercial Pilot Licence, they are counted towards your Geography and Aviation or Science and Aviation degree.

3. I am interested in an Aviation program but have no flight experience, can I still apply?

You do not need any previous flight experience to apply to the program. We do recommend that you spend some time in a small plane in order to gauge your comfort level. This can be done through a “Discovery Flight” at your nearest flight centre.

4. I have already started flight school, can I still apply?

As long as you have not progressed past a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) you are admissible. If you have more than a Private Pilot Licence, then you are too advanced to enter the program.

5. What is the difference between "Geography and Aviation" and "Science and Aviation"?

With both programs you graduate with a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). The flight training is exactly the same. The difference is in the academic portion.

In Geography and Aviation you graduate with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES). You will explore aviation from the perspective of a geographer and learn how to interpret weather patterns, identify land formations, read multi-layer maps, and use a range of technical programs in your UWaterloo classes.

In Science and Aviation you graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BSc). You’ll explore aviation from the perspective of a scientist and gain sought-after training in science and technology qualifying you for diverse careers in the aviation and aerospace industries. You can keep a broad science focus or specialize in either Earth Sciences or Physics.

6. Where does the flight training take place?

The flight training takes place at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC). It is located at the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) and has grown to be one of the top flight schools in Canada, with training recognized by Transport Canada.

Transportation to the WWFC is currently not provided, and there are no public transportation routes. Students in the program typically carpool or organize other methods.

7. What is the cost of the program?

See the cost of flight training and academic tuition.

8. What will the flight program include? When will the flight training take place?

See the flight milestones and flight/study sequences.

9. Do I need to live in Waterloo in the summer?

It is not a requirement that you live in Waterloo during your summer term. However, since you will need to fly during the summer term you should at least be able to travel to the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) 3-5 times a week.

10. Can I get a summer job or go on a vacation?

While it is possible to work in the summer during the flight training portions of your degree, you may find it very difficult to meet the demands of your training and the expectations of your employer. Students typically find they need to be at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) 3-5 times a week in the summer to meet their requirements.

However, it is possible to fast-track and complete the required flight training for term in 3 months. After you've satisfied the requirements, you may take on a short-term summer job or go on a vacation for the remainder of the term.

11. How many flight hours will I gain in the program?

You will gain an average of 210-215 flight hours.

12. How do I get accepted into an aviation program?

  1. You must first apply to the University of Waterloo and be accepted based on the academic requirements for either Geography and Aviation or Science and Aviation.
  2. Once you are given an Offer of Admission and have accepted it, you will complete the paperwork and receive an invitation to a mandatory Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) information session.
  3. You will need to complete and pass the Aviation Language Proficiency Test (ALPT).
  4. Before the end of August and prior to your studies, you will need to pass and submit your Transport Canada Medical Category 1 certificate to WWFC.

13. What is Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) information session?

The WWFC information session gives you and your family the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to become a pilot, tour the WWFC’s facilities, and ask any questions you may have. See upcoming WWFC information session.

We highly recommend attending an information session before starting the program. If you live far away from Waterloo and cannot attend a seminar, please contact Sarah Thomson for further information.

14. What is an Aviation-Language Proficiency Test (ALPT)? Where can I get it done?

The ALPT is an English-language or French-language test designed to evaluate your ability to communicate effectively in an aviation context. For more information, see Transport Canada's ALPT test taker guide.

To do the test, contact an ALPT Examiner. When you register with an ALPT Examiner, you will receive a date and time for the test, as well as instructions for the completion of the test.

15. What is Medical Category 1 certificate? Where can I get it done?

In order to fly in Canada, you must receive a Transport Canada Medical Category 1 certification, which is a standardized health screening to ensure you are eligible to become a commercial pilot.

You will need to be examined by an approved Civil Aviation Medical Examiner and submit the medical certificate to Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) no later than the end of August, prior to beginning your academic studies at UWaterloo.

Please note the process may take 2-3 weeks to complete and wait times vary to see the approved medical examiner. It is recommended that you initiate this as early as possible during the admissions cycle.

16. What happens if I do not pass the additional aviation requirements?

If you do not pass the additional aviation requirements, you are still academically eligible to be a student at the University of Waterloo. Learn more about alternate offers of admisssion.

17. Can I go by different names at the University of Waterloo and WWFC?

You need to register at both places using the names that are on your official documents.