We're very pleased that you've applied to the Doctor of Optometry (OD) program at Waterloo. Here are the next steps you need to complete as part of the application process.
If you're not a Waterloo student, you'll need to create your Quest account before completing your AIF. Quest is Waterloo's online student information system.
There is a list of questions as well as step-by-step instructions on how to access, fill out and submit your AIF and supporting documents if you get confused during any step in the process.
Please ensure your email address is up-to-date on Quest. The majority of our communications to you will be sent by email.
Start by logging in to your Quest account. Select the green Admissions tab and scroll down to the Admission Information Form link at the bottom of the page.
After you have thoroughly read the instructions on the Welcome page, complete all of the questions on the Optometry page.
Most Optometry applicants will see only the Welcome and Optometry tabs. If the About You – Part A/B tabs are visible on your Quest account, please disregard them and complete only the Optometry page.
The Save - Page in Progress button is available if you wish to go back to your answers and modify them. NOTE: The admissions committee cannot access your answers until you have pressed the Submit - Page Finished button.
Amending your AIF
Before you submit the AIF: If you wish to change any of the information you saved in one or more of the rows, please follow these directions.
- DELETE the row(s) you wish to change and click SAVE.
- ADD the new row(s) at the bottom of the chart and click SAVE.
- DO NOT copy and paste any information into these charts. You must delete the rows in question, save, add the new rows at the bottom, and save. The dates will re-order themselves when the AIF is submitted.
- If you receive an error message after following these instructions, log out of Quest, clear your computer’s cache, log back in and start the process again (delete/save/add/save).
- Please be aware that no amendments can be made to the AIF after you submit it, with the exception of the academic record charts in Questions 5 and 6.
- Once you upload your files for Questions 8 and 12, you cannot make further changes.
- Please ensure that all of your information is correct and up to date before pressing the Submit button.
The grade field is mandatory and must be filled out for all of the corresponding courses listed on the AIF or you will receive an error when you attempt to submit the form.
All prerequisite courses must be accounted for in Question 5, including courses you are currently enrolled in, or are planning to take in a future term. Please indicate the future term that the prerequisite will be taken (e.g. Microbiology – MICR XXX – Winter 2024 – IP). If a prerequisite is not accounted for, it is assumed to be missing and you may not receive an invitation to the Meet & Greet on this basis.
NOTE: If your course is in progress, input the grade as IP.
All other courses taken and will be taken in the upcoming year must be listed in Question 6.
Some institutions include the lab as part of the overall course, and do not separate the lab grade from the course grade. If you do not have a separate grade for Biology 1, Biology 2, Chemistry 1, Physics 1, and/or Physics 2, please indicate N/A for the lab grade.
If your course is over two terms, please enter the course as 1.0 credit weight and only enter it once. Leave the second line blank or enter N/A.
If you've taken a course twice, it must be listed twice, with both grades (e.g., Biol 100 Fall 2019 grade of 49 & Biol 100 Fall 2020 – grade of 65).
Please use numerical grades when completing Questions 5 and 6. If your institution uses letter grades, refer to the transcript legend for your institution and convert each letter grade to its corresponding numerical grade. You will find the legend on the back of the transcript or on the institution’s website. You must use your institution’s grade conversion. Do not enter decimal grades.
Many institutions use a numerical range for each of their letter grades. When completing the charts in Questions 5 and 6, please use the median grade if a range is provided. For example, if an A = 84-90%, input 87% as that numerical grade. Do not enter decimal grades.
Letter to Numeric Grade Scale for conversion
If your university does not provide a numeric grade conversion (e.g., University of Calgary), you need to use the following scale.
|Your letter grade||Numeric grade conversion||Your letter grade||Numeric grade conversion||Your letter grade||Numeric grade conversion|
Credit Weight Chart
When inputting the credit weight for each course, please refer to the following chart.
|Credit weights that appear in this column should be entered as 0.25||Credit weights that appear in this column should be entered as 0.50||Credit weights that appear in this column should be entered as 0.75||Credit weights that appear in this column should be entered as 1.0|
|For universities that use 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0||0.25||0.5||0.75||1.0|
|For universities that use 3.0, 4.0, 6.0 or 0.3, 0.4, 0.6||-||3.0||4.0||6.0|
|For universities that use 1.5, 3.0||-||1.5||-||3.0|
|For universities that use 1.0, 2.0||-||1.0||-||2.0|
|For US schools that use semester credit hours 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0||1.0
For example, the University of British Columbia assigns 3.0 and 6.0 credit weights to its courses. BIOL 155 has a credit weight of 6.0, so it would be entered into the chart as 1.0 credit weight.
Numeric Conversions for IB and AP Grades
If you are using a high school transfer credit to satisfy a prerequisite, please indicate the IB or AP course in the University column, and use the following grade conversions.
|Your IB Grade||Numeric Grade Conversion||Your AP Grade||Numeric Grade Conversion|
You must also arrange for an official IB and/or AP transcript to be sent to the University of Waterloo.
You must indicate two Reference Types in Question 12: one is an optometrist and the other is a character reference. When filling out the information for each reference, you do not need to use the Occupation dropdown menu items, as you have already chosen the Reference Type.
When you press the Submit – Page Finished button on the Optometry page, your references will receive an email from Waterloo (normally the following business day) that will direct them to a secure online form that they must submit by November 30, 2023.
Your references will receive a confirmation email after they have submitted the form (normally the following business day), and will be provided with an electronic copy of their letter.
When a reference letter has been received, the Documents section of your Quest account will be updated to show its receipt (normally the following business day).
- Both letters of reference must be submitted using the online reference system. Letters on stationery and hard copy forms are NOT acceptable.
- Relatives are not accepted as references.
- Your character reference may be an employer, coach, volunteer supervisor, professor or instructor.
All applicants must complete or have completed the OAT.
For September 2024 admission, the OAT must be written between August 31, 2021 and August 31, 2023. The scores do not have to be received by August 31, but it is the last day to write the OAT for September 2024 admission. If the OAT is repeated during this time, the best scores are used.
You are responsible for forwarding your OAT scores to the University of Waterloo.
Transcripts are required from all post-secondary schools attended. If you are currently attending a university, please ensure that an interim transcript indicating your fall and winter courses is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office (or uploaded to your Quest account) by October 27, 2023. If invited to the Meet & Greet, you will then follow up with a transcript by January 31, 2024 when your final fall grades are available. If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to order an official final transcript, to be sent directly by your post-secondary institution to the Registrar's Office.
- If you requested your transcripts through the OUAC when you applied to Waterloo (by checking “End of fall term” and “End of winter term” on the application), you need not send/upload duplicate copies. If you did NOT request your transcripts through the OUAC, please ensure that your Registrar’s Office forwards the documents directly to Waterloo. Alternatively, you can upload one copy of each transcript to your Quest account.
- High school transcripts are not required for admission (you can disregard the high school upload field in your Quest account). The exception is for students who received transfer credit for IB, AP or A-level courses. If you fall into this category, please submit your official examination results to the Registrar’s Office.
- You may upload ONE unofficial transcript per institution per day in the Documents section of your Quest account. This is also where you can view the receipt of your transcripts, English language score report (if applicable) and Reference Letters.
- If you have already completed all your post-secondary studies, please order an official transcript to be sent to the Registrar's Office.
- Find out more about submitting documents to Waterloo, as well as a tutorial on uploading your transcripts to Quest.
Current and former Waterloo students are not required to forward official transcripts because we will access a copy of your Waterloo record (including any applicable transfer credit information).
If the last four years of your education have NOT been taught COMPLETELY in English, you must provide a score from an acceptable test of English proficiency. View Waterloo’s official English language policy, acceptable tests and required scores.
NOTE: If you were educated in English in a country outside of Canada, you may be asked to provide evidence of the language of instruction at that institution.
All applicants to the Doctor of Optometry program, at University of Waterloo are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer), to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.
CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.
In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. CASPer can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy the aforementioned requirements. No exceptions will be made for applicants unable to take CASPer online due to technical issues.
All applicants must take the CASPer (Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) by October 20, 2023.
To schedule your CASPer test, visit the Acuity Insights website and register.
CASPer test dates
These are test dates for the Optometry CASPer for September 2024 admission (all times are in EDT):
- Aug 8, 2023 – 5:00 p.m.
- Aug 29, 2023 – 5:00 p.m.
- Sep 14, 2023 – 8:00 p.m.
- Oct 5, 2023 – 8:00 p.m.
- Oct 12, 2023 – 5:00 p.m.
- Oct 19, 2023 – 8:00 p.m.
Please note that these are the only testing dates available for your CASPer test. There will be no additional tests scheduled. Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule.
About the CASPer test
The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time limit. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program. No studying is required for CASPer, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test.
CASPer test results are valid for one year. Applicants who have taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to re-take it.
8. Submitting and checking your documents
Please do not send transcripts and other documents to the School of Optometry & Vision Science. All documents not uploaded directly into Quest must be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office.
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. West
Waterloo ON N2L 3G1
Please include your full name and Waterloo ID number in all communications to Waterloo.
Checking your documents is your responsibility
You can check if we've received your transcripts, references, AIF, OAT scores, and English language test scores by using the Documents section of your Quest account. CASPer test reports will automatically be transmitted to Waterloo, and will not be included on your Quest account. You may view the transmission status of your CASPer results through your Acuity Insights account.
It is your responsibility to check to see that all of your documents have been received.
After your supporting documents are received, the Admissions Committee will conduct an initial review of your file. After the initial review, the Admissions Committee may invite you to a Meet & Greet, in which case you will be contacted via email during the week of December 11, 2023.
If you do not receive a Meet & Greet invitation, you are no longer being considered for admission.
The in-person Meet & Greet will take place on January 13, 2024.
If you are invited to the Meet & Greet, please ensure that a transcript with your final fall grades is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office or uploaded to your Quest account by January 31, 2024.
Offers of admission
Final admission decisions will be communicated via email by the end of March. If you are offered admission to the OD program, please have your institution forward an official final transcript to Waterloo's Registrar’s Office by June 24, 2024.
Police Records Check
All candidates who are admitted will have to provide a Vulnerable Sector Criminal (VSC) Records Check.
As outlined on Question 3 on the AIF, all candidates who are admitted are required to submit an up-to-date immunization record for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), tetanus and diphtheria, hepatitis B, a TB skin test, and COVID immunizations.
Deadlines and important dates
By August 31, 2023
- You must have written the OAT by this date.
By October 20, 2023
- CASPer test must be completed.
By October 27, 2023
- Deadline to submit your
- Online letter of reference from an optometrist
- Online letter of reference from a character reference
By January 31, 2024 (if invited to the Meet & Greet)
- If you're currently registered at a university, today is the deadline for
- submitting transcripts indicating final fall 2023 grades, and
- updating final fall 2023 grades on your AIF.
By June 24, 2024 (if admitted to the OD program)
- Deadline for submitting transcripts indicating final winter 2024 grades.
- Admission requirements, important dates and frequently asked questions for Optometry.
- For program and administrative information, email Lucy Le, Admissions Coordinator at the School of Optometry and Vision Science.
- For technical questions about your application, AIF, and/or online references, you can email the Registrar's Office admissions team.
- For Quest support (e.g., resetting your password), you can email the Student Service Centre.