COVID-19 updates for graduate students

We are in a time of an extraordinary global health challenge, and as things continue to shift, we thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

As a reminder, academic and support units at the University of Waterloo are mostly closed to in-person traffic, and staff and faculty are working primarily remotely; you’re encouraged to review the campus access web page for up to date information. Please rest assured that we will continue to provide outstanding service to you, our graduate student community. If you need to get in touch, we are here for you.


Prospective students & applicants

Conditions of admission - transcripts

If you have been offered admission and need to send us documentation such as transcripts, which cannot currently be processed by your home institution, please know that we will work with you to ensure your documents are received by your start date. 

To clear your conditions of admission:

  1. We will accept electronic transcripts provided by the issuing institution. Please have electronic transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution to gradadmissions@uwaterloo.ca. The documents from your institution must be received in a single PDF and include sender’s institution email address, full name and affiliation.
  2. We will accept official secure electronic transcripts provided by the issuing institution and from services such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, eScript-Safe, or TranscriptsNetwork. Please have electronic transcripts sent to gradadmissions@uwaterloo.ca.
  3. We will accept official hard copy transcripts sent from the issuing institution directly to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

If your institution is closed and/or cannot produce electronic transcripts, we will temporarily accept unofficial transcripts. Please send documentation (a screenshot) proving that the institution cannot produce electronic transcripts at this time to gradadmissions@uwaterloo.ca, along with an updated copy of your unofficial transcript. We will extend the due date on your outstanding conditions as indicated in your student center in Quest. This will allow you to register for your courses and become fees arranged. We will assess and evaluate your official and final documents when they become available.

If your documents have already been mailed, but your Student Quest account indicates that you still have outstanding conditions, please send documentation (tracking number or confirmation that it has been delivered) to gradadmissions@uwaterloo.ca.

English Language Proficiency, GRE and GMAT admission test

We are aware that TOEFL® and GRE® testing centres have been affected in many countries, which have a direct impact on application documents that are required to meet admission conditions. We have alerted all graduate programs reviewing applications to consider the unofficial scores at present and more details will be shared pending resolution of the testing centres opening world-wide.

While testing centres are closed, the following options are available for test takers:

English Language Proficiency:

For those students not able to use the TOEFL at home test:

  • The Duolingo English Test results may be used for possible placement in our English for Academic Success (EFAS) offered online through University of Waterloo, Renison University College, English Language InstitutePlease note that this is not a substitute for the English Language Proficiency requirement, but can assist you in gaining admission to the EFAS program.
  • Duolingo score plus EFAS requirement for results to satisfy ELPC for Graduate Studies of 75% overall in level 400 with at least 75% in writing, oral and academic skills
    • 85-94: 2 terms of English language support (EFAS)
    • 95-104: 1 term of English language support (EFAS)
    • 105+: good candidate for summer intensive support (EFAS)

GRE & GMAT

The GRE® General Test at Home is available everywhere the computer-delivered GRE General Test is offered, except for Mainland China and Iran.

The GMAT Online exam is available in most locations, except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Slovenia due to local data privacy rules.

International student information

For information pertaining to international students (i.e. immigration) refer to the International student support section on the COVID-19 information website.


New students

If you are a new graduate student beginning your program in an upcoming term, we have an orientation program just for you! Head over to our new student web page to learn how to access Waterloo Grad Ready.


Current students

Information that is relevant to current graduate students can be found in the Graduate student information section of the COVID-19 information website. Look to this website for:

  • Access to campus
  • Accommodations due to COVID-19
  • Convocation
  • Health and safety
  • Thesis proposals, comprehensive exams, thesis defences
  • Petitions for exception to academic regulations
  • Practica and internships
  • International student support (i.e. immigration, quarantine, UHIP)
  • Research and supervisory expectations
  • Revised time limits
  • Tips for serving as a Teaching Assistant (TA) during COVID-19
  • Tips for continuing your research during COVID-19
  • Staying well