Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my accepted applicant get more time to decide about his/her offer?

    Yes. It is up to you to decide on the length of the extension. Please add a corresponding comment to the applicant’s record in this system. You do not need to get the admissions director involved.

  • Can my accepted applicant defer the starting date?

    Maybe. If an offer hasn’t gone out to the applicant (see the various states of an application below), it’s easy. Simply send an email from the applicant asking for the deferral to the admissions director. If an offer has already gone out, it’s trickier. Here, admission can be deferred once for up to one year for reasons such as medical emergencies, the previous degree being incomplete, Renison ESL being in progress, or being unable to obtain a study permit in time. Other reasons may also be possible. However, financial reasons, employment opportunity/career enhancement opportunity, travel, the study permit application being rejected/denied, and “other reasons where the student is unable to attend by choice” are typically not considered valid reasons by GSO. If your applicant has a valid reason for a deferral, please forward an email from him/her asking for the deferral and listing the reason to the  admissions director. Please don’t have your applicant email the admissions director directly because then the admissions director won’t know whether you approve of the change. Note that GSO will process a deferral request only once the applicant has satisfied any conditions in their offer of admission (like submitting official transcripts or English language test scores) so you should tell your applicant to submit these documents as soon as possible.

  • I would like to accept or have accepted this applicant. Can he/she start in an earlier term?

    Typically yes for domestic applicants. For applicants needing a study permit, you need to take the study permit processing times into account. Please accept the applicant if you haven't and ask the admissions director to move the applicant to the earlier term. Note that if an offer has already gone out, GSO will process the request only once the applicant has satisfied any conditions in their offer of admission (like submitting official transcripts or English language test scores) so you should tell your applicant to submit these documents asap.

  • An applicant wants to visit campus on a different day than Grad Visit Day. Can I get monetary/logistical support from the School?

    Probably. Please contact Monique Bevan.

  • Has an offer for my accepted applicant gone out?

    Yes, if the application is in state “Initial Offer” or later (see the various states of an application below).

  • How long does it take for an offer to go out once an accepted application becomes due?

    This depends on whether the application has to go through supervisor resolution (see the various states of an application below), has been nominated for an award, the workload of GSO, and maybe other factors. For Fall applications, the process typically takes 2-3 weeks. For other terms, it should be faster.

  • I am getting all these emails from Quest alerting me of new applications. Do I need to pay attention to them?

    No. CS is not using Quest for admission purposes so you can ignore the emails. You can also turn them off in Quest (Grad Application Summary -> Reviewer Preferences).

  • I want to look at a particular application (e.g., because I got an email saying that somebody commented on it) but it doesn’t show up in my pile under the “Faculty Interface”.

    The application is probably not yet or not anymore under circulation. In the former case the application will show up as soon as it is under circulation. You can also look at the application by searching for it. Choose “Search Form” in the “Main Menu”. Note that if the application is in either New or Hold state (see various states of an application below), likely no compilation document has been uploaded and there will be only basic information about the application. Update: Searching by name is currently broken. Search by the applicant’s uWaterloo ID number if you know it. Otherwise list all applications that are in the same program as the applicant’s and manually locate the application.

  • I really want to accept this application but the system doesn’t let me.

    The application probably hasn’t been circulated. In its current stage you can only waitlist it. Once it’s been circulated, you can accept it.

  • How much does it cost me to fund a student?

    See the Cost of GRA and Cost of GRS columns in this spreadsheet (PDF).

  • I am currently applying for renewal of my NSERC Discovery grant and am worried that I may get less funding than with my current grant.

    The School will cover you in case this happens (regular CS faculty only). You do not need to ask for funding support when accepting an applicant in this situation.

  • I really want to accept this applicant but don’t have enough funds. I am a regular CS faculty.

    Indicate that you need funding support when accepting the applicant. In case of Canadian PhD applicants, funding support is guaranteed. For other types of applicants, they may be eligible for a Cheriton Type II if they are strong or there may be other money available. The admissions director will get in contact with you.

  • What does the “Quant GRE k%” comment mean?

    Applicants without a Bachelor from a North American university typically need to take the GRE General test. It has three scores: analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. An applicant’s absolute scores are listed on his/her main page. I mainly care about the quantitative reasoning score, since it is arguably the one suited best for comparing applicants with different language backgrounds. I put the percentile score into the comment. It indicates the percentage of all test takers who scored worse than the applicant. Most of our applicants have quantitative reasoning scores of 80% or higher. Update: The percentile scores are now displayed together with the absolute scores on the main page of an application, so the comment is going to mention the quantitative reasoning score only if it is poor and led to an application being downgraded.

  • What happens when I recommend an application to a colleague? Will he/she get an email?

    No, there will only be a note in the application saying that the application was recommended to him/her by you. Since this note may be overlooked, consider also sending an email when you make a recommendation.

  • What is the purpose of the Ctrl-C button at the top of each application?

    This button copies the identification string of an application into the clipboard. You probably don’t need this feature, but it is very useful for the admissions coordinator and the admissions director.

  • What do the various states of an application mean?

    New: The application has just come in and is being checked for completeness by the CS grad office.

    Hold: The application is incomplete. The applicant has been notified.

    Initial Review: The application is being reviewed and ranked by the admissions director.

    Circulate: The application can be reviewed and accepted by individual faculty members.

    Resolving Supervision: More than one faculty member has accepted the application or some issues (e.g., assignment of remedial courses or funding problems) need to be resolved before an offer can be generated. In the former case, the faculty members in question need to figure out under guidance of the admissions director whether there should be joint supervision or whether the applicant should be asked to choose a single supervisor and when.

    Generating Offer: The application has been accepted, and all issues have been resolved. CS is drafting an offer.

    University Approvals: CS has drafted an offer. The offer is on its long and hazardous way to get university approval with stops at the MGO and GSO.

    Initial Offer: GSO and MGO have approved the offer from CS, and the applicant has received it. Yeah!

    Offer Accepted: :-)

    Offer Declined: :-(

    Matriculated: The applicant has matriculated, and you get to meet him/her in person soon.

    Applicant Withdrew: Oh well.

    Applicant Withdrew Late: So much work for nothing.

    Some states may come with an (<n>A) or (<n>W) suffix, meaning the application has been accepted (waitlisted) by n people.