What is an AIF
An AIF is required. The Admission Information Form (AIF) is a crucial part of the Waterloo Engineering admission process that factors into admission and scholarship decisions. We review and score all AIFs, combining those evaluations with grade averages to determine an overall admission score for each candidate. It is this score that is used for admission decisions.
Note: not all faculties at Waterloo apply an AIF score in admission decisions.
What we look for
The AIF enables us to form a better picture of your capabilities, asking questions about your interests, goals, hobbies, jobs and other activities you may have been involved in.
We’re not looking for specific extracurricular activities, since many are dependent on individual interest and the opportunities available. Instead, we look for examples of initiative, leadership, time management, people skills and a range of interests and involvement.
Alternative program choice
The AIF allows engineering applicants (excluding Architecture) to list one alternate program choice from within Engineering. If we can’t accommodate you in your first-choice engineering program (as indicated on your OUAC application), we may be able to consider you for your alternate choice. Please note that priority for a program may be given to those students who select it as their first choice.
Due to both the Biomedical and Software Engineering programs being highly competitive, these two programs are not available as an alternate program of choice. Students interested in these two programs would need to apply to one of them directly.
Once an application is submitted through the OUAC, Waterloo will send an acknowledgement email that will contain information about accessing Quest, and the AIF, which can be found within your Quest account.
Be sure to submit your AIF by the deadline. For more information, check Engineering's important dates and deadlines.
FAQ about AIF
For general questions about the AIF, see the central AIF FAQ page.
Application submission time
Q: Does it negatively impact my application if I don't hand in my AIF 3 weeks after applying?
A: It is okay if completing the AIF takes longer than 3 weeks, as long as it is completed by the submission deadline. We only recommend that you complete it within 3 weeks to make sure that it is not forgotten since the AIF is a mandatory part of an application.
Q: Does submitting the AIF earlier affect our chances at all? Will amending your AIF later affect your chances?
A: We begin assessing AIFs after the submission deadline. All AIFs submitted by the deadline are considered equally.
Q: What could qualify me for an offer in March as compared to May?
A: Whether you get an offer in March or May depends on where you sit relative to all other applicants within the pool. We try to get approximately half of all offers out in the March round, and half in May.
Extracurriculars and Employment on the AIF
Q: I was not able to participate in the activities that I wanted to because of COVID-19. How will that impact my application?
A: The Waterloo Engineering Admissions Team recognizes that the global pandemic has had a profound impact on the opportunities available to high school students as they prepare to apply to university. In many regions access to extra-curricular activities has been limited. We will consider all applicants in the context of the current situation and endeavour to assess each applicant fairly knowing that many activities are not available this year
Q: Where can I indicate that I was working but lost a job due to COVID? Should I include this on my AIF?
A: Yes you can include. See above.
Q: Can volunteer job info be filled in the employment section of the AIF?
Q: What types of extracurricular activities do you want to see on my AIF?
A: We do not have a specific list of extracurricular activities that we look for since all of our applicants have different interests and abilities. We want to see examples of strong time management and leadership skills, a range of interests, and employment experience. Having a part-time or summer job is very useful when applying to a co-op program.
Q: How can I demonstrate programming experience?
A: Applicants to Software Engineering are required to have experience developing well-structured, modular programs. See how you can demonstrate that here.