Frequently asked questions
How many spaces are available in the MSc and PhD programs each year?
Admission to our graduate programs is highly competitive and determined by supervisor availability. Connecting with a supervisor before applying is strongly advised; while this will not guarantee your admission, it will make you far a more competitive applicant.
I am completing my Honours Bachelor of Science degree. Do I have to major in a particular area of study to be eligible for admission to the MSc Pharmacy program?
We consider applications from students with any undergraduate major within the BSc degree — we welcome diversity in our students and their research projects.
In the admission requirements, it states an Honours Bachelor of Science degree is required "or equivalent degree." What does this mean?
Generally, we are referring to a Bachelor of Pharmacy or PharmD degree. Although, students from other degree programs are welcome and encouraged to consider graduate studies in Pharmacy and should contact their preferred supervisor to discuss the suitability of their background to the graduate research conduced within the their lab and the School.
Does the School of Pharmacy offer a tuition waiver?
No, there are no options to apply for a tuition waiver. Funding for graduate students in the School of Pharmacy is competitive and should be applied toward tuition and fees.
Does Waterloo require the General Record Examination (GRE) for admission?
No, the GRE is not required for admission to our graduate programs, but applicants are welcome to submit GRE scores if they have them.
I do not have my official transcript — can I apply?
At the application stage, you can upload your unofficial transcript to Quest if you have not yet graduated or have not received your official transcript, or if you are having difficulty obtaining an official transcript.
Remember to include the grading scale/transcript legend as part of the PDF file you upload.
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 a University of Waterloo accepted English Language Proficiency Test, as outlined in the UW Admissions requirements.
The medium of instruction for my degree was English, but my University is not listed on the exemption list — what can I do?
Even if your program was taught in English, you are not guaranteed to be exempt from an English Language Proficiency test. 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 UW 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 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 list the email addresses of your referees. The Graduate Studies Office will verify the validity of these individuals, and email them a link to a secure, online and confidential University of Waterloo Reference Form.
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.
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 there where there is a delay in receiving research funding or due to 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.
How do I change the admission term of my application?
To change your admission term, please email the Administrator Coordinator, Graduate Studies and Research who will arrange this for you.