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
- Application deadlines
- Academic requirements
- Admission Information Form (AIF)
- Repeated and Non-day school course(s) policies
- AFM Admissions Assessment (AFMAA)
- Offers of admission
- Application process
- Mature and International students
- Admission decisions
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.
Chartered Business Valuator (CBV)
Waterloo Master of Accounting (MAcc) students receive advance standing in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV) programme 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.
APPLYING TO AFM
|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 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 (105 application) 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.
Applicants will be asked to provide 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.
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
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.
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 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.