Waterloo's School of Accounting and Finance has received the highest level of national accreditation from CPA Canada, providing you with a direct pathway to the CPA designation.
The School's AFM and CFM program are recognized under the CFA University Affiliation Program. As a student, you will receive advance preparation to challenge the 3 CFA accreditation exams as early as Year 4 of the program.
At a glance
- Professional designations
- AFM Student Experiences
- What your AFM experiences can look like
- Applying to AFM
- Tips for navigating your last year of High School
- Application deadlines
- Academic requirements
- Admission Information Form (AIF)
- SAF Top 6 AIF Questions
- Repeated and Non-day school course(s) policies
- AFM Admissions Assessment (AFMAA)
- AFMAA FAQs
- Offers of admission
- Application process
- Admission decisions
- Mature and International students
- Request for more information
Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
In 5 years, you’ll earn:
- 2 degrees - an undergraduate degree in AFM or Biotech/CPA or Math/CPA and a Master of Accounting (MAcc) graduate degree
- up to 16 months of professional work experience which may be applied towards CPA’s 30 months of required relevant practical work experience
- the ability to write the Common Final Examination (CFE), the last exam for the CPA designation, immediately following successful completion of your MAcc
Your AFM or Biotech/CPA or Math/CPA + MAcc degrees fulfill:
- the academic course requirements for CPA Ontario
- the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP, a 2-year program) that includes:
- the 2 CPA core integration modules
- 2 professional areas of study
- all 4 CPA elective modules are offered during MAcc
- the 2 CPA capstone modules
See the visual representation of the CPA accreditation pathway.
SAF Alumni on the CFE Honour Roll
SAF alumni have distinguished themselves on the Common Final Examination (CFE) Honour Roll, formerly the Uniform Final Examination (UFE). The honour roll recognizes individuals with exceptional scores on the three day CPA certification exam.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
The School of Accounting and Finance's AFM and CFM programs are recognized under the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program.
- The AFM and CFM curriculums fulfill a minimum of 70% of the CFA Program Level 1 Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). Covering academic theory, current industry practice as well as ethical and professional standards to provide a strong foundation of advanced investment analysis and portfolio-management skills.
- Access to all levels of the CFA Program sample exam for AFM and CFM students
- Access to 15 CFA Program Awareness Scholarships worth $1,000 each year to help cover enrolment fees and standard registration fees
In 4 years, you’ll earn:
- a unique degree that’s recognized in the marketplace - Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management (BAFM) or Bachelor of Computing and Financial Management (BCFM)
- up to 16 (AFM) or 24 (CFM) months of professional work experience that can be focused in the area of finance
- the ability to challenge the CFA Level 1 and Level 2 designation exams by the time you graduate
See a visual representation of the CFA accreditation pathway.
Learn more about the CFA Level exams.
Chartered Business Valuator (CBV)
Waterloo Master of Accounting (MAcc) students receive advanced standing in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV) program of studies through:
- Successful completion of ACC 606 Business Valuations
- CICBV will grant course exemptions from its Level I - Introductory Business Valuation and Level II – Intermediate Business Valuation courses to students
Learn more about the Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) designation at cbvinstitute.com.
Find out what your academic and professional pathway can look like
What does it take to be successful in the AFM program?
- Read about Kyrie's, a current Grade 12 high school student, journey as she researches university programs and the application process.
- Hear from and get tips from our current AFM students on everything about co-op to academic success to mental and physical well-being.
- Learn where our alumni have taken their careers after graduation.
- What are the extra- and co-curricular opportunities that can help build my business acumen?
- Hear what our current SAF students have done on their co-op work terms.
- Learn how SAF prepares you for your first co-op work term.
- Learn about the types of extra- and co-curricular opportunities available to SAF students.
- Hear from Annu and Jacqueline about how they've leveraged their academic, extra- and co-curricular opportunities to define their future career pathways.
- Check out our Aspiring Professionals website to learn more about:
- Courses you'll be taking as an AFM student.
- What co-op will be like as an AFM student.
- The space with which you'll be calling home as an AFM student.
- Learn more about Waterloo, the city that you'll be calling home as an undergraduate student.
- Hear from successful alumni and how Waterloo and the AFM program has set them up for success.
- Get to you know who you'll be calling colleague and peer as an AFM student.
Annu's AFM journey
Annu's AFM journey is similar yet different from everyone. That's what makes us and our experiences unique. Find out how Annu leveraged his academic, extra- and co-curricular opportunities to create a pathway that's unique to Annu's academic and career goals.
Learn more about Annu's experience in the CEOX1Day program.
Jacqueline's AFM journey
Jacqueline summarizes her undergraduate journey through the AFM program.. She discusses the ways her interests transition from high school into university. Listen to Jacqueline speak about her experiences in the AFM program and the how she has built many relationships with other student and companies through her co-/extra-curricular activities.
Learn more about Jacqueline's speech at the June 2019 Convocation ceremony.
Humans of SAF | Rena
Humans of SAF | Nik
Humans of SAF | Alba
Watch Kyrie's, a current Grade 12 high school student, videos offering some helpful tips to prepare for university and to navigate your last year of high school.
Kyrie is also a student blogger. She writes about all the challenges a student faces with decision making and planning her pathway through university processes. You can read her blog here.
|January 15, 2020||
Deadline for submission of your AFM application through OUAC for Ontario high school students (101 application).
All students wishing to be considered for early offers of admission need to submit an application through OUAC by January 15, 2020.
|January 31, 2020||
AIF and AFMAA deadline for students wishing to be considered for early offers of admission.
|January 31, 2020||Deadline for submission of your AFM application through OUAC for all other students (101 and 105 applications) wishing to be considered for May offers of admission.|
|February 28, 2020||
Deadline for submission of your
|March 20, 2020||
Early Offers of Admission will be communicated by March 20, 2020.
All applicants can also check their Waterloo Student Quest account for admission updates and status.
|April 15, 2020||Apply for University of Waterloo entrance bursaries|
|May 15, 2020||
May offers of admission will be communicated by May 15, 2020.
All applicants can also check their Waterloo Student Quest account for admission updates and status.
|June 1, 2020||Deadline to accept an offer of admission via the OUAC website.|
|June 30, 2020||Recommended deadline to apply for OSAP.|
To be considered for the admission to the AFM program, you must minimally meet the following requirements:
Studying in Ontario? 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including:
- Admission average: Individual selection from the mid-80s
- English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 75% is required)
- Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 75% is required)
- Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 75% is required)
- Recommended courses: Principles of Financial Accounting, Mathematics of Data Management
- Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements database.
- Completion of the AFM Admissions Assessment (AFMAA)
Note: Completion of the Admission Information Form (AIF) is required to be considered for many scholarships and the Fellowship program, and is strongly recommended to enhance your application and highlight any extenuating circumstances.
We want to know more about you when we're making our admission decisions. The Admission Information Form (AIF) is Waterloo's way of looking at more than just grades.
The AIF is a highly recommended component to be considered for admission to the AFM program. Your AIF will be used for scholarship and admission decisions.
What we look for:
The AIF is your opportunity to brag about yourself! We want to learn what makes you a well-rounded student, and what you have accomplished before applying to our program. Things to include:
- extracurricular clubs and activities you've been involved with
- participation in organized sports or other recreational activities
- awards and accomplishments
- participation in contests, competitions, workshops and conferences
- part-time job responsibilities
- volunteer experiences
- what you've learned from your extra-curricular activities that have enhanced your personal and academic growth
Please Note: Ensure that you hit the save and submit button for each section. For more information on how to submit your AIF, please follow these instructions.
TIPS ON COMPLETING YOUR AIF - Extracurricular section
Example Scenario - Johnny, Grade 12 applicant:
- Johnny has been involved with many different extracurriculars throughout his high school.
- Johnny is choosing to highlight his experiences in:
- The sport he played during Grade 12
- The school club he's been involved with since Grade 11
- His volunteer work throughout his high school years...since Grade 9
- The hobby he's been passionate about since he was 12 years old but suspended in Grade 11 and 12 to focus on his studies, and
- A new club he joined just for fun in his Grade 12 year.
Tips on completing the AIF:
- Hr/Wk: Enter the average number of hours you've spent doing the activity each week.
- Wk/Yr: Enter the total number of weeks doing the activity within an academic year (September - August).
- Start Date: The day you started the activity.
- End Date: The last day of the activity. If the activity is on-going after you complete the AIF, enter the last day of when you expect the activity to be finished.
A2. Extracurricular Activities
|Type||Description||Gr 10||Gr 11||Gr 12||Hr/Wk||Wk/Yr||Start Dt||End Dt|
Name of sport and position played
i.e.: 3 hrs/wk
i.e.: 6 week/yr
Name of club and your title/role
i.e.: 5 hrs/wk
i.e.: 18 weeks/yr
Name of volunteer organization and your tile/role
i.e.: 3 hrs/wk
i.e.: 52 weeks/yr
Name of hobby
i.e.: 2 hrs/wk
i.e.: 44 weeks/yr
|CLB||Name of club and your title/role||Y||i.e.: 9 hrs/wk
(3 hr mtgs 3 times a week)
|i.e.: 40 weeks/yr
(Fall & Winter semester)
A3. Extracurricular Activities - Additional Information
Please add the following information in this section:
Applicants will be asked to provide an explanation(s) pertaining to any repeated courses, courses taken outside of your normal day school, and/or extenuating circumstances that may have affected your academic performance.
Courses outside of your regular day school
We do not penalize students for taking courses outside of regular day school, so long as they are not repeated attempts. However, we discourage this practice and ask that you explain your rationale on the AIF.
Admission is competitive, and our goal is to admit students who have the right preparation to be successful in a rigorous full-time professional program, not simply those with the best grades. Taking all courses through your regular day school provides the best preparation for success in university studies.
Due to a high level of competition, we strive to make our admission process as fair and unbiased as possible. Repeating courses in order to improve your average provides an unfair advantage, as compared to students who achieve high marks in their first attempts.
For this reason, repeating courses may result in a reduction of your overall admission score, which may also impact your eligibility for scholarships.
On your AIF, you will be required to provide an explanation for any repeated Grade 12 subjects. Exceptional or extenuating circumstances will be reviewed for an exemption from the penalty.
We understand if there have been extenuating circumstances that are out of your control that may have affected your marks. Provide us with an explanation of the situation/circumstance that had affected your most recent academic year. Note that if you don’t tell us, we can’t take it into consideration during your application review.
The AFMAA is a required online assessment (additional fee required, collected through OUAC) that you will complete after submission of your application. The goal of the AFMAA is to assist the School of Accounting and Finance in the identification of students who will be successful in the AFM program. We are looking for academically strong students with the potential to excel in both the classroom and the workplace.
The AFMAA consists of 2 components, both of which are completed online:
- Interview - To assess your ability to communicate appropriately in a clear, concise, organized, and professional manner. The AFMAA Interview questions are available in advance.
- Trait Assessment - To assess your potential in the areas of leadership, collaboration, adaptability, and problem solving.
Visit the AFMAA Instructions to get full details, tips, and pointers before you complete your AFMAA.
What we look for:
- Communication ability - Can you demonstrate:
- Passion in your response
- Engagement with your audience
- Authenticity in your response and mannerisms
- Articulation in your response
- Advocacy for a position within the AFM program
- Diversity in experience - Can you learn from your peers and teachers and apply it to your learning strategies
Remember: The purpose of the AFM Admissions process is to help you and the AFM Admissions Committee determine if the AFM program and the University of Waterloo is the right fit for you.
Early offers of admission:
To be considered for early admission to the AFM program you must meet the early offers of admission deadlines.
Early offers of admission will be communicated by March 20, 2020
If you do not receive an offer of admission by March 20, 2020, don't panic! It simply means that the SAF requires additional marks before we can confidently make an admission decision for you.
We will hold onto your application file and you will be considered for May offers of admission.
May offers of admission:
May offers of admission will be communicated by May 15, 2020
It is also strongly recommended that you complete and submit your AIF within 3 weeks of application, and no later than February 28, 2020
Our admissions process has been carefully developed to ensure integrity and equity for all applicants.
Your Academic Performance and AFM Admissions Assessment [AFMAA] responses are taken into consideration when making admission decisions. It is highly recommended that you also complete and submit the Admission Information Form as part of your application.
In addition to strong academic performance, we look for examples of a student’s strengths in areas such as communications and teamwork - skills which are key to success as a professional student.
With so many applications from highly-qualified students, the AFM admissions committee cannot consider revised or additional grades received after February 28, 2020.
Once you have applied to the AFM program through the Ontario Universities Application Centre, you'll receive 2 emails:
- An Acknowledgement email from Waterloo's Registrar's Office. This email will provide you with:
- your 8-digit Waterloo ID number
- instruction and link for you to create your Waterloo user ID and password
- instruction and link to completing your Admission Information Form (AIF)
- instruction and link on how to submit your transcripts and English Language documentation if you are a student currently studying outside of Ontario
- instructions and link on how to book a campus visit
- A Next Steps email from the School of Accounting and Finance. This email will provide you with:
Find out when your application and documents are due to Waterloo.
- The AFM program is not open to students who already possess an undergraduate degree, regardless of subject or discipline of major. If you already have an undergraduate degree, there are other graduate programs available through the School of Accounting and Finance that you may be interested in:
- The AFM degree requires the completion of four co-op work terms. If you are a student studying on a visa, please note that some employers may impose hiring requirements. These may include:
- a provincial driver’s license
- prior Canadian work experience
- Canadian citizenship
- or a strong desire to remain in Canada to work.
While there are many relevant co-op paid job opportunities available for students to apply to and many resources available to assist students with their job search strategies, employers ultimately make all co-op hiring decisions and we cannot guarantee placement.
Review the Co-op Education web site, if it is your intention to return to your home country for a work term.