When we make our admissions decisions, we look at other factors in addition to grades. You can use the Admission Information Form (AIF) to
- tell us more about yourself and any extracurricular activities
- explain any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grades and/or which you would like taken into consideration during the admissions process
- brag a little!
What is the Admission Information Form?
The AIF consists of short answer questions and helps our admissions committees learn more about you. It's an online form that you complete once you've applied for admission.
What are some sample AIF questions?
You don’t need to write a personal essay for Admission Information Form. The AIF consists of short answer questions such as
- What extracurricular activities have you participated in? What did you learn?
- If you took courses outside of your regular day school, why?
- Tell us what you've learned through any volunteer experiences.
- If you're applying to any math, engineering, science, and computer science programs, have you completed any of Waterloo's math and science contests?
Is Waterloo's AIF required for admission?
The AIF is required for admission to all programs in the Faculty of Mathematics and Faculty of Engineering, along with the Architecture, Accounting and Financial Management, Computing and Financial Management, and Conditional Admission to Pharmacy programs. It's highly recommended for all other programs.
How do you submit your Waterloo AIF?
- Create an account in Quest, our online student information system.
- Once you have a Quest account, you can log in and complete the questions. Step-by-step screen shots can walk you through the process.
- We recommend preparing your answers in Word, etc., so that you can check for proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar before submitting.
- Review common questions about the Admission Information Form.
The Admissions team will review your information to learn more about you so be sure to put your best foot forward!
What is the deadline for Waterloo's AIF?
- Faculties of Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Environment, Science: April 5
- All Engineering programs including Architecture: March 1
- Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Financial Management: March 1
- Accounting and Financial Management: March 1
- Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP): February 4
We recommend that you submit your responses within 3 weeks of receiving the email from us confirming your application to Waterloo. Submissions will not be reviewed after the deadline.
Details and tips
Faculties of Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Environment, Science
The Admission Information Form is strongly recommended for admission.
Why should I submit an AIF if it's not required?
Strengthen your application
Your responses can help your admission chances, especially if you're near the lower end of the admission range for your program.
Because well-rounded students tend to be more successful, we can take your extracurriculars into consideration when evaluating your application.
Completing your form can mean the difference between getting in and just missing out on an offer of admission.
You can share any personal, medical, financial, circumstances that may have affected your grades.
Sharing this information can help admissions committees to better evaluate your application, providing context for changes in academic performance.
All information is 100% confidential.
By completing your form, you'll have a head start on creating a great résumé for co-op or summer jobs.
The work experience, volunteerism, and achievements that you include are strikingly similar to the things you'll want to put on your résumé.
Information from the forms is used to make scholarship decisions for over 500 scholarships across campus. By completing your form, you may be eligible for additional scholarships.
Faculty of Engineering, Software Engineering, Architecture
The AIF is required for admission for all Engineering programs, including Architecture.
Waterloo Engineering is a world-class, globally competitive engineering program with a large number of applicants for a limited number of spots.
The AIF, which is required for admission, helps distinguish among many applicants with similar (excellent) grades and enables us to select students who have the necessary skills and experience to succeed.
If you apply to Waterloo Engineering and don't submit your form, you will probably not get an offer, even if you have a 99% high school average and meet all the other requirements.
Your friends or relatives may claim that they received an offer in past years without the AIF, and this may be true, but that is no longer the case.
Engineering admissions blog
If you're applying to Waterloo Engineering and haven't seen this blog, you're missing out. The Road to Engineering has great insights about Engineering admissions, including the Admission Information Form.
Highlights and tips
All Engineering students are in co-op, so you apply for jobs starting in your first year. If you haven't had a job before, how can you demonstrate your employability?
- So-called "soft skills" like communication and collaboration count – not only for the co-op jobs, but also for the many projects and labs you'll be in with your fellow students.
- Responsibility and commitment over time are factors. In many cases, an activity that you carried on for a longer period would be looked at differently from something that was just a couple of weeks long. Quality over quantity.
- Use the "Additional Information" fields to highlight what's special or different about your extracurriculars, awards and employment.
Visit the Faculty of Engineering Admission Information Form web page for further details.
Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Financial Management
The AIF is required for admission.
The Admission Information Form is required for admission because of the high volume of applications that we receive and because we are looking for well-rounded students who have had meaningful experiences outside of the classroom. A student who can do well in school while also engaging in other activities is more likely to be successful at university.
The Faculty of Mathematics looks mainly at 4 categories of information.
If you repeat a required course or take a course outside of your regular day school, you may jeopardize your chances of being admitted to the Faculty of Mathematics. You should take all your courses in regular day school and do well in your first attempt.
Did you take more than the minimum number of courses required for admission? There's no penalty for only taking the minimum number of courses but the ability to do more may improve your chances of admission.
We're keen to learn about your activities outside of the classroom, as we place a high value on well-rounded students. We evaluate performance and involvement in clubs, sports, music, arts, leadership, volunteerism, and employment. No one activity is more important than another. What we're looking for is excellence outside of the classroom that complements excellence within.
Contest participation is not required for admission, but strong performance on math contests can help earn you a place in the Faculty of Mathematics and writing the Euclid Contest and/or the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest is an important factor in awarding most of our Math scholarships.
The Canadian Computing Competition is most relevant for Computer Science applicants, but if you wrote it, don't hesitate to include your score even when applying to other programs.
If there is other information that you think we should know about, tell us in the appropriate places on your form.
A team of readers, consisting mainly of retired high school math teachers, scores most of the submissions. There are many advantages to using this group; they understand high school students and they have a passion for math.
The scorers are trained and then evaluate submissions. You can never hurt your chances with the AIF.
Highlights and tips
- Show us how you are involved in activities outside of the classroom and in the world around you.
- Demonstrate the ability to manage multiple activities and priorities while performing at a high level.
- Use the "Additional Information" fields to highlight what's special or different about your extracurriculars, awards and/or employment.
- Even if you haven't already been writing the mathematics contests, strongly consider writing the Euclid Contest and/or the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest.
Accounting and Financial Management
The AIF is required for admission.
The School of Accounting and Finance carefully selects students from among a large pool of highly qualified students. We make use of the AIF, along with your academic performance, and the results of your Accounting and Financial Management Admissions Assessment (AFMAA) online assessment.
Our goal is to admit students who have the right preparation to be successful in a rigorous full-time program, not simply those with the best grades. We are interested in your initiative, leadership, time management, people skills, and understanding your interests and involvement.
We also ask about courses taken to augment the information on your transcript. Questions include:
- Did you repeat any courses?
- Did you take certain courses at night school or summer school?
- Do you have more than the minimum 6 courses required for admission?
Admission is competitive. Normally, we expect you to take courses through your regular day school. Success at university is easier if you are able to manage all university courses in the prescribed terms.
We understand that there may occasionally be good reasons for taking courses outside of regular day school. Students are required to provide an explanation.
We consider whether applicants have taken repeated courses. We prefer that you not repeat courses, but we consider reasons why it was necessary to repeat a course, paying particular attention to exceptional or extenuating circumstances. On your form, you have an opportunity to provide an explanation for any repeated Grade 12 subjects.
A team of readers from the School of Accounting and Finance reviews submissions. We're interested in the quality of your activities as well as the diversity of experiences. These evaluations are included along with your academic performance and your AFMAA interview to reach an admission decision.
- Show us how you're engaged and involved in the world around you.
- Demonstrate the ability to manage your activities and priorities while performing at a high level.
- Some students will engage in many activities while others may focus intensively on a smaller number of activities; interest and quality are most important.
- Use the "Additional Information" fields to highlight what's special or different about your extracurricular activities, awards, and/or employment.
- Accurate and concise writing will be critical for your career – prove that you can deliver these things with a well-written and error-free submission.
Learn more about School of Accounting and Finance Admission Information Form, AFMAA, and more.
Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP)
The AIF is required for admission.
Admission to Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) is highly competitive. The AIF provides the School of Pharmacy with a broader base of details about you, so that they can make these early conditional admission decisions from among many impressive candidates. The AIF is your chance to differentiate yourself.
In addition to questions about courses, extracurricular activities, and achievements, we'll ask you to provide 2 references, any pharmacy-related experience you have, and a personal statement about why you want to become a pharmacist.
We ask for references (one academic and one work/professional) to help understand who you are and why you might make a good pharmacist. These references will be contacted directly by the University of Waterloo.
We ask for information about any pharmacy-related experience because one of the conditions for CAP status is that you must have already achieved, or are willing to pursue, 200 hours of pharmacy-related work or volunteer experience by the middle of second year of undergraduate studies at Waterloo.
Starting your undergraduate career with some or all of this experience "in the bank" is a distinct advantage, so that you are aware of what the profession entails, and can provide assurances to the selection committee that you are committed to becoming a pharmacist.
This is your opportunity to make a sincere personal statement about why you wish to become a pharmacist and to prove that you know what you're getting into as a practicing pharmacist.
You have up to 1,800 characters (across 2 sections) to make your case. The best approach here is to ignore advice on "college admission essay" websites and instead focus on telling your real and personal story about your connection to the profession, your ambitions, and your understanding of the profession.