- Can you tell me if I am I eligible to apply?
- Can I apply to ECE without an ECE Bachelor's degree?
- Can I apply for the PhD program without a Master's degree?
- Does my degree need to be complete before I apply?
- Can I apply to more than one program?
- Do I need to provide GRE scores?
- It is past the deadline, can I still apply?
- Is there co-op for graduate students?
- Can I be an exchange student in ECE?
- Can I transfer credits to my program?
- Do I need a supervisor before applying?
- Is there funding or scholarships for PhD students?
- Is there funding or scholarships for MASc students?
- Is there funding or scholarships for MEng students?
- Do all of my references have to be academic?
- What English language proficiency (ELP) score do I need for admission to ECE?
- My English language proficiency (ELP) test isn't until after the deadline, can I still apply?
- What if I can't get all of my documents uploaded by the deadline?
- Will you pre-assess me?
- What average do you need from the country where I completed my previous degree?
- Can you waive the application fee?
- Can I update my documents after I have submitted my application?
- I have applied and paid the application fee so where is my ID number?
- Should I send you my official documents now?
- My referee has not received an e-mail yet!
- Is my application is complete?
- When can I get a decision on my application?
- What is the status of my application?
- What is the difference between the MEng and MASc programs?
- What is the difference between the two Nanotechnology options for MASc and PhD?
- What is the difference between the two Quantum Information options for MASc and PhD?
- Can I complete the MEng in one year?
- Do I have to enrol in the Graduate Diploma option before I begin my MEng program?
- How do I find a supervisor for my MASc/PhD?
Thinking of applying
See "Will you pre-assess me?"
If you have already completed or are in the process of completing an undergraduate program in an accredited engineering program or another related program (e.g. computer science, physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, etc.) at an accredited degree-granting institution, you may apply for a research-based Master of Applied Science (MASc) or a course-based Master of Engineering (MEng).
The minimum admission requirement for our PhD program is a Master of Applied Science (MASc) degree from the University of Waterloo or an equivalent research-based Master's degree in engineering, applied science or mathematics.
We recommend applying to the MASc program if you do not already hold (or are in the process of completing) a Master’s degree with a research thesis component. Students who perform exceptionally well in the first few terms of the MASc program and who have the support of their academic supervisor can request to transfer into the PhD program, prior to the completion of their third academic term in the MASc program.
You may apply to multiple programs, however please note that a separate application and fee payment is required for each. A full set of documents, including references, must be provided for each program.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering does not require scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).
Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications for a given term after the deadline. You are welcome to apply to future terms, however.
Co-operative education (co-op) is only offered to undergraduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Neither the MEng, MASc nor PhD students are eligible for this form of study. Likewise, we do not offer internship programs or have any arrangements with outside companies for such programs.
You must be enrolled at one of our Exchange Partner institutions in order to come to Waterloo as an exchange student. If your university does not appear on the list of Exchange Partner institutions, you may wish to consider applying to the University of Waterloo as an International Visiting Graduate Student, or a full degree student. Please note that the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering does not admit students on a non-degree basis if they are ineligible to apply as an exchange student.
Course credits may be transferred from other academic institutions upon registration provided that the courses have not been used to satisfy the requirements of another degree. Credits must have been completed in the last five years to be valid for transfer.
The maximum number of credits that may be transferred from external academic organizations varies by program:
- MEng: 3
- MASc: 2
- PhD: 1
Transfer credit will not be assessed prior to admission.
No. Some potential applicants want to ensure that a faculty member will accept them before they pay the application fee; however, most faculty members will not consider a potential applicant until they have applied and submitted a completed application package (even if you are just inquiring as to whether they are accepting new students). For more information on finding a supervisor, see How do I find a supervisor for my MASc/PhD.
Students enrolled in the MEng program do not have a supervisor and, therefore, do not need to contact any faculty members as part of the application process
All students (international and domestic) admitted to our PhD program are guaranteed minimum funding of $23,043 per year through a Graduate Research Studentship (GRS) paid by the student's academic supervisor, except those who are funded through an approved external scholarship or sponsorship. There is no separate application process or forms required for a GRS. Unfortunately, we do not accept self-funded full-time students into our PhD program.
International students receiving a GRS will also receive the International Doctoral Student Award (IDSA). This award is subject to the terms and conditions as specified on the International Student Funding web page.
Additional financial support may be provided through a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). You may apply to the department to be considered for a GTA assignment once you are a registered student.
Please note that GRS and IDSA funding amounts are meant to help cover the cost of tuition but are often not enough to cover annual living expenses. Review the Study and Living Costs web page for more information. Study Permit applicants typically need a minimum of $30,000 CAD per year for tuition and living expenses.
All students (international and domestic) admitted to our MASc program are guaranteed minimum funding of $17,500 per year through a Graduate Research Studentship (GRS) paid by the student's academic supervisor, except those who are funded through an approved external scholarship or sponsorship. There is no separate application process or forms required for a GRS. Unfortunately, we do not accept self-funded full-time students into our MASc program.
Additional financial support may be provided through a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). You may apply to the department to be considered for a GTA assignment once you are a registered student.
Please note that GRS funding amounts are meant to help cover the cost of tuition but are often not enough to cover annual living expenses. Review the Study and Living Costs web page for more information. Study Permit applicants typically need a minimum of $30,000 CAD per year for tuition and living expenses.
Unfortunately, no, MEng students must be fully self-funded. No financial support is provided by the department, the Faculty of Engineering, or the University of Waterloo.
Ideally, yes, we recommend that all of your references are academic. However, we will accept one (1) professional reference from your manager or direct supervisor if you have been away from school for several years.
The referees you choose should be able to describe your academic, research and/or professional abilities and potential for graduate-level study. Review the references web page for more information, including reference requirements and tips for selecting your referees.
Waterloo's accepted ELP examinations and required minimum scores are outlined in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar — English language proficiency section. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering accepts the examinations and required minimum scores in the Table of Graduate Studies accepted examinations and alternative minimum scores.
If you know the date that you will write your English Language Proficiency (ELP) test, indicate this in your online application. If you do not know the date, indicate the date when you think you might write your ELP test. It is important to declare a test date so that you are able to upload your test scores when you receive them.
Please keep in mind that the advertised deadlines are for a complete application package, meaning all documents uploaded, including references and ELP test scores. Applicants are still able to upload materials after the deadline; however, if an application is incomplete at the time of review, we cannot guarantee a positive response. If your ELP test isn't until after the deadline for a given term, you may want to consider applying for the next available term to ensure we can consider your application.
The advertised deadlines are for a complete application package, meaning all documents uploaded, including references and English Language Proficiency (ELP) test scores.
Applicants are still able to upload materials after the deadline; however, if an application is incomplete at the time of review and the deadline for a complete application package has passed, a decision of Deny will be applied to the application. Admissions decisions are final once applied to an application.
If you know that you cannot meet the deadline for a specific term, we encourage you to apply to a later term to ensure we can consider your application. In many cases, a faculty member can accept you for an earlier term, and we can change the start date on your application at that time.
Regrettably, we can neither consider nor assess prospective students for admission (including offering any opinion on eligibility) without a completed application package; therefore, we look forward to receiving your online application with its supporting documentation.
There are many factors taken into consideration for admission to our graduate programs:
- Previous academic record: courses taken, degree(s) received, overall standing, etc.
- For course-based programs: your resume, references, any relevant industrial experience, and the overall strength of the applicant pool.
- For research-based programs: previous areas of research and study, published papers (both journal and conference papers), grades, references and experience.
- Every faculty member has limitations with respect to funding, space considerations and time commitments; therefore, each faculty member will make every effort to select those applicants who most closely match his or her current areas of research.
Please review the Application Process, Admission Requirements, and ECE Future Graduate Students - Programs web pages for more information on how to apply for graduate studies at Waterloo and the requirements for your documents.
Please refer to the International Admission Equivalencies web page for a breakdown of minimum admission requirements by country. You should meet or exceed the academic requirements listed for your country.
Unfortunately, no. The non-refundable $100 CAD application fee is charged by the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) and as such, it cannot be waived.
After you have applied
Once your application documents have been submitted they are considered final and cannot be updated.
If you are applying to the MASc or PhD program, you are welcome to attach any updated documents to your e-mails when contacting potential supervisors.
A few business days after the processing of your application fee, you will be sent an e-mail from email@example.com which will include your 8 digit (numerical only) Waterloo ID number and further instructions on how to proceed with your application. You may wish to monitor your spam/junk folders for this e-mail.
Official documents are only required if an offer of admission is made.
Referees are contacted via e-mail at the same time that you are sent your Waterloo ID number. Please ask your referee to check their spam/junk folders. They are also sent two reminder e-mails. You should verify in Quest that you have provided the correct e-mail address. All references are due by the application deadline of the program to which you have applied, regardless of the due date on the reference form.
If you need to change a referee, update their e-mail address, or have the reference request e-mail re-sent, please visit the After You Apply section of the References web page for helpful instructions.
You can determine if your application is complete by reviewing your Documents List on Quest. All required application documents must be marked as Completed. Review the instructions for uploading your application documents for more information.
The below timelines are estimates only and are subject to change during the review process based the complexity of each application package and fluctuating application numbers.
Please keep in mind that decisions may be available sooner; the end of the months listed below are the latest possible date we estimate decisions will be available for applications to a given term.
- Spring (May) 2019 applications: December 2018
- Fall (September) 2019 applications: April 2019
- Winter (January) 2020 applications: August 2019
The status of your application is always available on Quest. Review the instructions for viewing your application status for more information.
Your application status will appear as “Application” until either an “Admit” or “Deny” decision is applied.
If you are being recommended for admission to a research-based graduate program by one of our faculty members, the admissions coordinator will send you an e-mail notification.
Specific program questions
A course-based Master’s (MEng) is intended to increase knowledge, generally to specialize technically or develop complementary skills (e.g. management). This degree is often intended for working professionals.
The research-based Master’s (MASc) will also increase technical knowledge, but additionally develops other skills related to the research project such as creativity, flexibility and analytical skills. The research focus also facilitates continuation to a PhD.
The MASc and PhD “Regular” programs are run by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with research focused on one of fourteen areas of specialization (one of which is Nanotechnology). When you complete your degree, you will be awarded the degree of Master of Applied Science or Doctor of Philosophy.
The MASc and PhD in Nanotechnology programs are collaborative programs that are run by several different departments across campus. You are required to complete courses which are to be selected from a list of approved core courses and electives and complete the required milestones. When you complete your degree, you will be awarded the degree of Master of Applied Science in Nanotechnology or Doctor of Philosophy in Nanotechnology (the word “Nanotechnology” will actually display on the diploma).
The main difference is that the Nanotechnology collaborative program is very specialized and is more limited in the courses that you can take towards your degree requirements in that you must choose your courses from a pre-determined list.
The MASc and PhD “Regular” programs are run by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with research focused on one of fourteen areas of specialization (one of which is Quantum Information). When you complete your degree, you will be awarded the degree of Master of Applied Science or Doctor of Philosophy.
The MASc and PhD in Quantum Information programs are collaborative programs that are run by several different departments across campus. You are required to complete courses which are to be selected from a list of approved core courses and electives and complete the required milestones. When you complete your degree, you will be awarded a Master of Applied Science in Quantum Information or Doctor of Philosophy in Quantum Information (the word “Quantum Information” will actually display on the diploma).
The main difference is that the Quantum Information collaborative program is very specialized and is more limited in the courses that you can take towards your degree requirements in that you must choose your courses from a pre-determined list.
It is possible to complete the MEng program in one (1) year. An example would be, two (2) courses in your first term and then three (3) courses in each of your second and third terms. However, most students complete their full-time studies in four (4) terms. For details on the maximum duration of the program as well as the number of courses permitted per term, please refer to our web page.
No, you do not have to declare your interest or enroll in a Graduate Diploma (GDip) before you start your MEng studies. Each GDip has compulsory and elective courses, so ensure that you are meeting the requirements prior to completing your MEng program. Once you have completed the required courses for the GDip, you will need to contact the Masters Program Coordinator/Advisor before applying to graduate so it can be added to your record.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recommends that you apply, upload all of the required documents, and then start contacting potential supervisors. Before submitting your application, we encourage you to spend time reviewing the profiles of our faculty members within your proposed area(s) of specialization to determine those whose research would be a good fit with your proposed research. It may be helpful to read some of their publications to familiarize yourself with their work.
We recommend that you list the faculty members you are interested in working with in the “Potential Supervisors” field on your application form when selecting the program. ECE does not require you to communicate with a potential supervisor in order to list their name, instead we encourage you to do so. Many faculty members specifically look for applications which have their name listed as a potential supervisor, so this helps to get your application noticed. Unfortunately, we are unable to add names of potential supervisors to your application once it has been submitted.
Once you have applied and all of your documents (including references) are uploaded, approaching a potential supervisor using the Faculty of Engineering's Contact a Faculty Member web form is a good next step and is the most effective way of initiating contact with a potential supervisor.
Here are some additional tips you may find helpful:
- You are welcome to contact any faculty member in your area(s) of specialization, even if you have not listed their name on your application.
- Use proper letter format, formal salutations – Professor/Dr. (last name) and close with “Yours sincerely” followed by your full name and contact information—don’t forget to include your 8-digit Waterloo ID Number!
- Let them know what program (MASc or PhD) and term you have applied to.
- Attach your CV and current transcripts.
- Tell them why you are interested in graduate studies, include career goals, and be sure to highlight any research or leadership skills.
- If you have funding through one of Waterloo’s formalized graduate studies partnerships, advise them of the source, the value and the duration.
- Let them know why you have chosen them, why your research interests are a good match. Refer to specific published articles (by the professor) that interest you. Show your potential supervisor why you want to work with them specifically
- Offer an opportunity for further discussion, (teleconference, video conference, or perhaps a meeting in person)