For admission purposes, the University of Waterloo’s definition of a mature student varies by faculty (Waterloo has six faculties).

Mature students are considered on a case-by-case basis, based on academic records, résumés, and other biographical material, such as personal and professional development, formal training, work experience, and community service. Mature student admission is not guaranteed, and we may require academic upgrading in order to have a competitive application.

Additional requirements by faculty are listed below.

If you have previously attended university or college, you are not considered to be a mature student for admission purposes. You will be considered a transfer student and need to meet the regular admission requirements.

Mature student requirements

Not sure which faculty offers your program of interest? See a list of programs by faculty.

    Faculty of Arts

    • You may be considered as a mature student if you have been away from secondary school for some time, normally four years.
    • The Faculty of Arts does not offer admission to mature students automatically. Instead, the Admissions Committee carefully considers previous academic records, résumés, and other biographical material, such as personal and professional development, formal training, work experience, and community service.
    • The committee looks closely at your academic record in courses requiring considerable writing and for background equivalent to that provided by Grade 12 U English.
    • In some cases, the committee will require you to upgrade your English course(s) before considering you for admission.
    • A mature applicant who is not admissible to a degree program (full or part-time) may be considered for, but not necessarily admitted to, non-degree studies. Only in exceptional circumstances will mature applicants be admitted, initially, on a full-time basis.

    Faculty of Engineering (excluding the School of Architecture)

    • Admission to Engineering programs is based on the required Ontario Grade 12 U courses (or equivalents). You may need to update required courses that you completed more than two years ago. The required courses include Advanced Functions MHF4U, Calculus and Vectors MCV4U, Physics SPH4U, Chemistry SCH4U, and English ENG4U. English ENG4U can be more than two years old. In-progress or final grades in the required subjects are needed by the document deadline.
    • An Admission Information Form is required as part of the application process.
    • Experience in developing well-structured, modular programs is recommended for all Engineering programs and required for Software Engineering.
    • Admission to Engineering programs is competitive and decisions are based on individual selection.
    • Email our admissions team for more information.

    School of Architecture

    Faculty of Environment

    • You may be considered as a mature student if you have been away from high school for some time, normally four years.
    • The Faculty of Environment does not offer admission to mature students automatically. Instead, the Admissions Committee carefully considers previous academic records, résumés, and other biographical material, such as personal and professional development, formal training, work experience, and community service.
    • The committee looks closely at the applicant's record in courses requiring considerable writing and looks for background equivalent to that provided by Grade 12 U English.
    • In some cases, the committee will require upgrading in English at the high school or equivalent level.
    • For consideration to Geomatics, Geography and Aviation, International Development, or Knowledge Integration, you must present the required Ontario Grade 12 U courses (or equivalents).

    Faculty of Health

    • You may be considered as a mature student if you have been away from secondary school for some time, normally four years.
    • You're required to have at a minimum the required Ontario Grade 12 U and/or M courses (or equivalents) for your program of interest.
    • All required courses must be completed within five years of the start of classes for the term to which you are applying.

    Faculty of Mathematics

    • If you have been away from high school for more than two years and you do not satisfy minimum admission requirements, you may apply as a mature student. However, at a minimum, you should have covered all the material in the Ontario high school math courses required for admission: Grade 12 U (or equivalent) courses in Advanced Functions and Calculus and Vectors.
    • If it has been more than three years since you completed the Ontario high school math courses, you may be asked to repeat some or all of the required courses before being considered for admission.

    Faculty of Science

    • You may be considered as a mature student if you have been away from high school for some time, normally four years.
    • As a mature applicant, you are required to have at a minimum the required Ontario Grade 12 U courses (or equivalents): Advanced Functions, Calculus and Vectors, English and two of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, or Physics.

    Questions about applying?

    Contact our admissions office at myapplication@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567, ext. 43106.