Pharmacy admission requirements
Admission to the pharmacy graduate program is subject to university-wide admission requirements. Additional details about eligibility specific to graduate programs in Pharmacy can be found on the graduate studies academic calendar. Access information about these requirements using the links below:
- Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) in Advanced Pharmacy Practice
- Master of Science (MSc) in Pharmacy
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmacy
Admission statistics for the MSc and PhD in Pharmacy
|academic year||admits||last 2 year CGPA|
|2019-2020||4PhD; 3 MSc||86.82%|
|2018-2019||5 PhD; 9 MSc||84.17%|
|2017-2018||5 PhD; 8 MSc||
Identifying a supervisor (MSc and PhD in Pharmacy)
While it is not a requirement to apply to our programs, prospective MSc and PhD students must secure the support of a research supervisor to receive an offer of admission.
Admission is competitive. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to review our research supervisor profiles and contact the supervisor(s) with whom they wish to work, to see if the supervisor(s) have the interest and capacity to consider them for admission into their research group.
Contacting potential supervisor(s) does not guarantee an offer of admission, but significantly increases your chances of success. MSc and PhD students are only offered admission if they have the support of a faculty research supervisor.
Everything you need to know about the admission process for graduate programs at the University of Waterloo is available on the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs application process web page.
At the University of Waterloo, the calendar year is divided into three academic terms. The School of Pharmacy accepts applications for admission to our MSc and PhD programs in all three terms; however, spring admissions are less common. The MPharm program is only offered with a fall start term.
- Completed applications (including referee forms and all supporting documentation) are due by the deadlines in the table below.
- Students who meet these deadlines will be eligible for consideration for any major awards and scholarships (OGS, tri-agency scholarships and internal uWaterloo awards) to which they have applied.
|Admit term||Application deadline*||Available programs|
|Fall (September - December)||February 1 (same calendar year)||MSc, PhD, MPharm|
|Winter (January - April)||June 1 (previous calendar year)||MSc, PhD|
|Spring (May - August)||October 1 (previous calendar year)||MSc, PhD|
Information for international students
English language proficiency
International students must also have a minimum level of English language proficiency (ELP) to be considered for admission to graduate studies at the University of Waterloo. Information about this requirement and any exemptions can also be found on the following graduate studies academic calendar and discover graduate studies web pages:
International students (i.e. students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada) are required to obtain a study permit before beginning their program. For more information, see the international student experience web page.
As noted in the academic calendar, minimum admission requirements for the MPharm program include that the applicant "must be licensed or eligible for licensure as a pharmacist in Ontario". Internationally trained applicants who are not currently licensed to practice in Ontario should review the information on the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada website before applying.
All MPharm students must be licensed for practice before the end of the second term of the program.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
I met all posted minimum requirements and paid the application fee; why was I not offered admission?
Applications fees are charged for the administrative processing of the application.
Posted minimums represent minimum requirements; applicants who are offered admission to our programs often surpass the posted minimums.
Admission decisions are based on a variety of variables, such as:
- whether the faculty member has the funds to support a student;
- whether the faculty member is interested in supervising the applicant (supervisors are not required to take students and not all students are suited to all supervisors);
- the number of applicants within a given term;
the number of applicants that stand out as exceptional from among the cohort of applicants to our programs for the term to which a student applies.
How many spaces are available each year?
There is no set number of admissions per term; space depends on the capacity that supervisors have available to support students. For the MSc and PhD programs, this includes availability of research funds and whether or not supervisors are actually taking new students. The onus is on the MSc and PhD applicants to contact potential supervisors, to determine if they are taking students.
The admission requirements for the MSc in Pharmacy program states that a four-year Honours Bachelor of Science program "or equivalent" is required; what does this mean?
Generally, we are referring to a Bachelor of Pharmacy or PharmD degree. However, students from other degree programs are welcome and encouraged to consider graduate studies in Pharmacy. Research experience is highly favourable.
Interested applicants should contact their preferred supervisor to discuss the suitability of their background to the graduate research conducted within the supervisor's research lab and within the School.
Does Pharmacy require the General Record Examination (GRE) for admission?
No. Applicants are welcome to submit GRE scores. Submitted scores may be factored into the decision process; however, this will not necessarily provide an advantage to the applicant.
My prior degree is not from Canada; do I need to provide a third party evaluation of my transcripts?
No, the University evaluates international transcripts as part of the admission review process. However, internationally trained candidates for the MPharm program must provide evidence that their prior training is sufficient for them to pursue liscencing in Canada, and should review the information on the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada website before applying.
Can I apply if I do not have my official transcript?
At the application stage, you need only submit your unofficial transcript(s). However, students who are offered admission are required to submit their official final transcript(s) as a condition of their offer, before they start their program.
Can I apply without evidence of English Language Proficiency (ELP)?
If your undergraduate degree is from a university outside of Canada and English is not the only language of instruction as per the English Language Proficiency exemptions information posted by the office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, you must provide evidence that you have completed an acceptable English Language Proficiency Test, as outlined on the general information and regulations page.
The medium of instruction for my degree was English, but my University is not listed on the exemption page; what can I do?
The Graduate Studies Admissions office regularly updates the online list of exempt universities; if your country or institution is not listed, you are required to submit results from an accepted English Language Proficiency Test, as outlined in the University of Waterloo's admissions requirements.
I have post-graduation work experience in English; how do I request an English Language Proficiency exemption?
Review the English language proficiency exemptions information on the admissions website. If you do not qualify for an exemption based on the posted requirements, but still believe you should be exempt, please indicate this on the Supplemental Information Form of the application; if you are otherwise recommended for admission, we will discuss your case with Graduate Studies Admissions team.
What is an academic reference?
An academic reference is provided by someone who is employed as an academic member of your University (for example, a faculty member at the Assistant Professor level or above). If you would like to submit a reference from a laboratory manager or other scientist who does not know you from teaching or research experience, the reference may be included as an additional reference but will not be counted toward the requirement for academic references.
Are written letters of reference accepted?
No. When you apply online, you are asked to provide the email addresses of your referees. The graduate studies admissions office will verify the validity of these individuals, and send them a link to a secure, online, and confidential reference form that they must complete and submit online.
Do I have to find a supervisor before I apply?
No. However, we strongly recommend that MSc and PhD applicants review the profiles of our research supervisors and contact the individual(s) they wish to work with, to see if the researcher has the funding and resources to consider them for admission to their research group, before they submit an online application. However, it is not a requirement of the application process and candidates may still apply if they wish. MPharm students will be matched with a research supervisor for the Research Paper component of the program.
I have contacted faculty members but have not received any reply; can I still apply to a Pharmacy graduate program?
Yes, although your chances of admission are much lower if you apply without the direct support of a research faculty member of the School of Pharmacy. MSc and PhD applicants require endorsement of a faculty research supervisor to be offered admission.
MPharm applicants are considered by an admissions committee and do not need to be endorsed by a faculty research supervisor.
If I apply and am not admitted, can I defer my application?
Applications for admission are only deferred where there is a clear indication from a research supervisor that they will supervise a student, and where there is a delay in receiving research funding or other acceptable and unforeseeable circumstances arise.
What are my career options when I graduate?
The MSc and PhD in Pharmacy programs prepare graduates for competetive careers in academia and industry where they will continue to make significant contributions to global, scientific, academic, and healthcare communities.
The MPharm program prepares graduates as advanced pharmacist practitioners, training them with the expert knowledge to manage complex patients or complex drug therapy in specialized patient populations and clinical judgment and critical appraisal of evidence and treatment goals.