Scanning and uploading instructions

  • Our accepted file formats are: .pdf, .png, .jpg, .gif, .tif.
  • Our maximum file size is 3500 kb, except when uploading your writing sample which is 5000 kb or your portfolio which is 30,000 kb.
  • File names cannot include brackets ( ) or quotations ' ', and should be kept short.
  • Use the 'file' link on the Documents page to browse for your file.
  • If you upload an incorrect document (e.g. a test score instead of a transcript), send an email to our application support team with your 8-digit Waterloo student ID number. 

It is important to know:

  • A full set of documents must be submitted for each program to which you apply.
  • Our application process is entirely online. We do not accept paper documents that are mailed to us during the application process. 
  • Documents beyond those required for your application such as professional certificates, covering letters, and bank statements are not required for admission.
  • Uploaded documents are considered final and once submitted cannot be replaced or updated. For example, if you have an additional term of marks we cannot update your transcript.

Use the following quick links to learn more about specific document types:


When applying to Waterloo you are required to declare all post-secondary education from all past and present universities, colleges and post-secondary institutions attended, whether complete or incomplete. The chart below clarifies the type of academic education that should be declared and uploaded. Your complete post-secondary education history is required by the academic program in the review and evaluation of your application. Failure to declare all education may delay your admission consideration. The discovery of any concealed information could invalidate your application.

Unofficial transcripts (including awarding of degree/degree certificate) are accepted at the application stage. These can be scans of your official paper transcript(s) or a PDF of your academic record. Applicants are required to upload a copy of their transcript(s) in their Quest Student Centre. Documents must be current dated. Should you receive an offer of admission, official documents will be requested. Please do not send official documents to the University of Waterloo at time of application.

English translation

If the official language of instruction at your institution is not English, please include both the original language document and a certified English translation for the transcript and degree certificate/diploma. Remember to include a translation of the official grading scale or transcript legend.

No translation is required for transcripts issued in French by Canadian institutions.

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Types of education/transcripts

Declare on application Upload to Quest
  • Transcript of all completed degree(s), diplomas showing all courses and grades, and the awarding of the degree, diploma, or post-secondary certificate.
  • Transcript of all in-progress courses and grades for degree, diploma.
  • Transcript for incomplete education showing all courses and grades (i.e., you started a degree or diploma, but did not complete it).
  • Transcript for education that was transferred to another institution (i.e., you received transfer credit).
  • Transcript for non-degree, post-degree, and online university-level education with grades indicated. 
Yes Yes
  • All University of Waterloo education completed or in progress.

No - we will upload a copy of your Waterloo transcript.

  • Exchange courses taken as part of your degree.
  • Courses taken on a Letter of Permission (Canadian Universities) as part of your degree program are not required as they would normally appear on your home institution transcript.
  • CEGEP and other pre-university programs. 
  • Credentials, such as professional designations, certificates, training programs, etc.
  • Free online courses/tutorials (no credit granted).
No No

Note: We will not replace copies of transcripts if new grades are added since you first provided a copy to Waterloo.


  • Copies of transcripts uploaded in Quest must be current dated, and display your full name, academic program and the university's name along with transcript legends/keys/grading scales.
  • All courses and grades, along with the transcript legends/keys/grading scales and degree certificates, if applicable, must be included.
  • One file per institution can be uploaded (if you completed more than one degree at the same institution, both transcripts must be in a single file).
  • Maximum file size is 3500 kb, to reduce your file size, try using a lower resolution and scanning in black and white instead of colour. 


  • Are completed electronically by your referee.
  • Your referees will receive an email from Waterloo with a link to the secure and confidential online reference form (one to two business days after you have completed the graduate online application and the fee has been processed).
  • They will receive two email reminders to complete the form, 7 days and 14 days after the initial email is sent. 

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Supplementary Information Form (SIF)

  • The SIF contains questions specific to your program, typically about why you want to enrol and your experience in that field.
  • You will have access to the questions your program would like you to answer once you have begun the application. You may then work on them until you are ready to submit your application.
    • Note that the SIF will time out after 10 minutes of inactivity in Quest, so prepare your answers in advance.
    • Enter your answers in the text box for each question or prepare your answers in Microsoft Word and then cut and paste into the SIF text box.
    • The SIF has word count of 500 words, but some software programs (i.e. Microsoft Word) may increase word counts based on additional characters. You can re-count your words by using a word-count website or edit your answers to have fewer words.
  • Sometimes the questions your program would like you to answer may include a personal statement, letter of intent or statement of interest. If a statement or letter is required by your program, review the writing your personal statement resources for helpful tips and tricks on completing this if it’s required. This information can also be helpful in guiding your responses to the other questions if this specific format of statement is not required. 

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Resume, letter and writing sample

  • Upload a copy in Quest (if required).
  • Maximum file size for your resume or letter is 3500 kb.
  • Maximum file size for you writing sample is 5000 kb.

Proof of English Language Proficiency (ELP)

  • If test score information has been added to your application you will be able to upload a copy of your test score (TOEFL, IELTS, CAEL, PTE, Cambridge English or EFAS) in Quest. Should you receive an offer of admission, official documents may be requested at that time.
    • Maximum file size is 3500 kb.
  • Please note that you cannot enter future dated test scores on your application.
  • When ordering your TOEFL from the Education Testing Service (ETS) use:
    • Institution code - 0996 (University of Waterloo).

    • Department code - 01 (Graduate Studies).

  • When ordering your IELTS from the agency:
    • Name of Institution: University of Waterloo.
    • Waterloo receives results electronically, so you do not need to courier us a paper copy of the results.
  • When ordering your Cambridge English test results from the agency:
    • Go to the Candidate Results Online portal
    • Enter your Candidate ID and Secret Number from your Confirmation of Entry
    • then click on Send my result.
  • ELP scores are valid for two years from the test date.
  • Letters from your university stating the medium of instruction is English do not satisfy our admission requirements. Please do not upload them.

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If your program requires a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for admission consideration:

  • If test score information has been added to your application you will be able to upload a copy of your GRE or GMAT results in Quest. Should you receive an offer of admission, official documents may be requested at that time.
    • Maximum file size is 3500 kb.
  • Please note that you cannot enter future dated test scores on your application.
  • When ordering your GRE from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) use:
    • Institution code - 0996 (University of Waterloo).
    • A Department code is not required for Waterloo.
  • GRE and GMAT scores are valid for five years from the test date.

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Permanent Resident Card

  • Indicate your immigration status on your online application.
  • Upload a copy of your Permanent Resident Card (front and back in a single file) or signed Record of Landing/Confirmation of Permanent Residence document in Quest.
    • Maximum file size is 3500 kb.
  • Please note, Record of Landing/Confirmation of Permanent Residence documents cannot be accepted until they signed upon arrival in Canada. 

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If you are applying to a graduate program at Waterloo with sponsorship from your home country, please follow these instructions.

  • Within the Other Information section of the graduate online application, under International Agreements, choose your sponsorship agreement from the drop down menu. If your scholarship agreement is not among those listed, choose “Other scholarship” from the drop-down menu.
  • Some agreements provide a preliminary sponsorship or scholarship letter, if applicable, email a PDF copy to Graduate Studies at Remember to include your full name and your 8 digit (numerical only) Waterloo student ID number.
  • If you are applying with a sponsorship that includes funding for English language studies, conditional admission may be offered. Learn more about sponsorships with English Language Training.

It is important to know:

  • The sponsorship documentation must detail the approved program, financial support amount and the number of years the funding has been granted (a minimum two years for a master’s research program and a minimum of four years for a PhD program).
  • Please refer to the Promissory Note / Third-Party Sponsorship section on the Finance website for the information required in the official sponsorship documentation. If there is any change in your funding situation, the University of Waterloo may re-evaluate your Offer of Admission, and reserves the right to withdraw your Offer of Admission or withdraw you from your graduate program.

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