Applicant FAQ

Before Applying

After Applying

Before Applying

What programs do you offer?

All of our programs can be found on the Discover Graduate Studies website, along with their respective admission and degree requirements.

I completed my degree outside of Canada. How do I know if my grades meet the admission requirements?

Please see the International Admission Equivalencies webpage on the Discover Graduate Studies website.

The academic equivalencies and requirements by country on the webpage are intended as a guideline and are to be used as a reference for admission purposes only. You should meet or exceed the academic requirements listed for your country to be equivalent to the master's admission requirements.

It is important to understand that:

  • Additional grading systems may exist in any country.
  • Departments/Faculties may have higher requirements for their programs and the assessment of any individual may be subject to additional criteria.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply?

If you would like to know if you meet the admission requirements, please see the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar for the program you are interested in applying to.

We can neither consider nor assess prospective students for admission (including offering any opinion on eligibility) without a completed application package; therefore, if you choose to apply, we look forward to receiving your online application with its supporting documentation.

Can the application fee be waived?

No, the application fee cannot be waived and it is non-refundable. 

I am interested in the MASc or PhD program. Should I reach out to the supervisor I am interested in studying with?

If you are applying for the PhD or MASc program, you are strongly encouraged to communicate with a prospective supervisor in the research group that you are interested in prior to submitting your online application. While it is not a requirement that you do this, it is a valuable opportunity to determine whether your research interests align with the faculty member you are most interested in studying with. You are also encouraged to type the name of your preferred supervisor(s) into the appropriate section of the online application.

How do I know if I need to submit and English Language Proficiency score with my application?

Applicants are required to submit an English Language Proficiency (ELP) certification, unless one of the exemptions applies to you. 

I’m interested in multiple programs. Will my application be automatically considered for other programs?

Applications are normally considered only for the program to which they were submitted. As such, an application should be submitted for each program you are interested in being considered for.

How do I apply?

Please see the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs website.

After Applying

I just submitted my application. When will I receive my Waterloo student ID number?

Approximately two to three business days after your application fee has been processed, you will receive an email from which will include your 8 digit Waterloo student ID number and further instructions on how to proceed with your application.

It has been more than five business days since my application fee was processed and I have not received by Waterloo student ID number. What do I do?

Please check your spam and junk folders for the email from If you are unable to locate an email, please contact You must provide your first name and last name as you indicated it on your online application, your date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY), the term and program to which you applied, and the date your online application fee was processed. 

How do I know if I have been accepted?

Admission decisions are posted on your Quest account.

I met the admission requirements, why wasn’t I admitted?

Please note that as we receive a large number of applications from qualified candidates, we are able to admit only a small proportion of candidates that meet our admission standards. Admission decisions are not negotiable or appealable.