Traditional or standard admission to a graduate program

Accelerated Master's programs for Waterloo undergraduate students

  • Accelerated Master's programs are open to University of Waterloo undergraduate students only
  • See the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar for accelerated master's programs guiding principles
  • Learn more about how to apply

Direct entry to PhD from a Bachelor's degree

  • Exceptional master's applicants may be considered for direct-entry to the PhD program from a bachelor’s program.

  • For more information please contact the Department Graduate Co-ordinator.

Non-degree admission

When to apply as non-degree:

  • You have already earned an Honours Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the appropriate discipline
  • You want to take one or more graduate courses but are not interested in earning a degree

Before you apply:

  • Confirm with the academic unit that offers the course(s) you are interested in taking, to ensure they admit non-degree students
  • Confirm with the academic unit what application materials are required when applying as a non-degree student

It is important to know:

  • Courses taken as non-degree may not be used for credit toward a degree in a graduate program
  • If you decide to proceed to a degree you will pay fees according to your category at that time
  • You will not normally be granted full-time status as a non-degree student


When to apply for readmission:

  • You were previously enrolled in a Waterloo graduate program but did not complete it

Before you apply:

  • Confirm with your academic unit what application materials are required when applying for readmission

It is important to know:

  • If you reapply to a program and are approved for readmission you will be required to register for a minimum of one full term, without tuition refund, to complete program

  • The online application asks if you are applying to return to a previous incomplete graduate program
    • choose Yes for readmission

Information for admissions for Indigenous students

The University of Waterloo will consider Indigenous lived experiences of applicants from Turtle Island for admissions.  The University of Waterloo offers programs, supports, and scholarships for Indigenous* graduate students.  We work collaboratively on- and off-campus to not only advance the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, but also to create a long-term vision for the University that is grounded in decolonization.

Graduate admissions at the University of Waterloo encompasses a holistic approach to application review. Many graduate programs make a point of taking into consideration the full range of academic, cultural, personal, and professional knowledge that Indigenous applicants bring to their preparation for graduate study. Each program outlines the criteria for standard admission, however, there is flexibility when students have experience that may lend itself to a non-standard admission. If you are unsure whether your experience is suitable for non-standard admission (admission that is outside of the normal minimum requirements), please contact the Associate Director, Graduate Admissions.

* Scholarship criteria may identify specific eligibility requirements. In most instances an Indigenous person is identified a person who self-identifies as First Nations (Status/Non-Status), Métis and/or Inuit as defined in the Canadian Constitution Act 1982. Please check the individual scholarship criteria.