This page describes the following aspects of applying to our graduate program:
- Pharmacy admission requirements
- Identifying a supervisor
- Application process and deadlines
- Information for international students
- Frequently asked admissions questions
Admission to the pharmacy graduate program is subject to university-wide minimum requirements. Additional details about eligibility specific to the MSc and PhD in Pharmacy programs can be found on the graduate studies academic calendar. Access information about these requirements using the links below:
All students who are interested in pursuing graduate studies at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy must secure the support of a research supervisor to be admitted into our program.
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 they have the funding, resources, and interest to consider them for admission to their research group.
Everything you need to know about the admission process for graduate programs at the University of Waterloo is available on the discover graduate studies 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 graduate program in all three terms. However, spring admissions are less common.
- Application forms and supporting documents 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 UW awards) to which they have applied
|Admit term||Application deadline*|
Fall (Sept - Dec)
Winter (Jan - Apr)
Spring (May - Aug)
February 1 (same year)
June 1 (previous year)
October 1 (previous year)
International students (i.e. students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada) are required to have a study permit. For more information, see the international student experience web page.
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:
How many spaces are available in the MSc and PhD programs each year?
There is no set number of admissions per term; space depend on the funding that supervisors have available to support students.
In the admission requirements, it states an Honours Bachelor of Science "or equivalent degree" 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. Interested students 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 the School of Pharmacy offer a tuition waiver?
No. Funding provided to graduate students at the School of Pharmacy is competitive and should be applied toward tuition and fees.
Does Pharmacy require the General Record Examination (GRE) for admission?
No. Applicants are welcome to submit GRE scores; however, this will not necessarily provide any advantage to the student.
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 transcript(s) as a condition of their offer, before they can be officially admitted.
Remember to include the grading scale/transcript legend as part of the uploaded transcript.
Can I apply without evidence of English Language Proficiency (ELP)?
If your undergraduate degree is from a university outside of Canada and is not listed on the English Language Proficiency exemption list, you must provide evidence that you have completed an acceptable English Language Proficiency Test, as outlined in the University of Waterloo Admissions requirements information.
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 Office regularly updates the online list of exempt Universities; if your country or institution is not listed, you will be required to submit results from an accepted English Language Proficiency Test, as outlined in the University of Waterloo 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; if you are otherwise recommended for admission, we will discuss your case with the Graduate Studies Office.
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 experience, the reference may be included as an additional reference but will not be counted toward the requirement for academic references.
Can I provide a reference from an employer?
Yes, we will accept a "professional" reference from an employer in addition to the required number of 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 Office will verify the validity of these individuals, and send them a link to a secure, online, and confidential University of Waterloo reference form that they must complete and submit online.
Your referees will have 14 days from the time they receive the email to complete the form.
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.
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. Admission decisions are based on a variety of variables, such as:
- the faculty member has the funds to support a student
- 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; posted minimums are just that-minimums
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 administrative delays.
If there is no research supervisor for a student at the end of the admission period, and no deferral has been permitted, then the administrative coordinator will deny the application.