Transferring to Science

Procedure for new students entering 1A:

If you are a new student to University of Waterloo beginning your 1A term in the Fall, please note transfers to Science before 1A are not considered. Students should plan to complete at minimum one term of studies in the program they have been admitted to, but we still encourage students to complete the webform to indicate their interest and begin discussion on the topic.

Students hoping to be assessed for transfer need to meet admission requirements, which include English Language requirements for the Faculty of Science, as well as minimum requirements for your target program in Science based on Waterloo grades.  

The following information is for students currently in a University of Waterloo program interested in applying to the Faculty of Science. If you have been admitted to Science from another post-secondary institution, our external transfers page provides information.

Procedure for students requiring a Non-degree term: 

Note not all students requesting a faculty transfer require a non-degree term.

If you are a student requesting a faculty transfer to the Faculty of Science and require a non-degree (qualifying) term because of your current academic standing, please consider the following:

  1. Minimum 4 (online, blended or on-campus) courses - 2 Science courses from different areas of study (e.g., BIOL and CHEM, or CHEM and EARTH) with associated labs if offered, 2 courses from any faculty, any level; no failed courses are permitted during the term.
  2. Students still need to meet admission requirements, which include English Language requirements for the Faculty of Science.
  3. Completion of the Webform to begin the transfer process is mandatory, the transfer advisor will be in touch to set up a virtual meeting to discuss the next steps.

The official process for transferring to Science starts with filling out the Transfer to Science webform, then having a face-to-face or virtual meeting with our internal transfer advisor. After the meeting, the transfer advisor will determine your admissibility to Science, which the process can take anywhere from a week to a term depending on the assessment of admissibility.

If you are unsuccessful in your first Non-degree term attempt to transfer to Science, there is no guarantee a second attempt will be considered. 

Step 1: Understand your motivations to transfer to Science

Consider the answers to these questions:

  • What is motivating this decision to transfer to Science?
    • If there is a particular program you would like to transfer into, what about this program sparks your interest?
    • Has there been a course that you enjoyed taking? Why?
  • What are your goals?
  • What other options are you considering? 
    • Explore CareerHub to find out more about your interests, values, and skills, and how it all ties into meeting your goals through a Science program. We recommend looking at “Decision-Making” > “Career decision-making” > “The career decision-making process”.
    • Have you considered another University, College or alternate post-secondary options?


  • Consulting with your current academic advisor to discuss what options are available in your current Faculty is a great option and many students are surprised at what options are open to them.

  • The Centre for Career Development is another great place to seek advice, meeting with a career advisor can open doors that you were not aware of. This meeting can also help to ensure that Science is right for you!

Step 2: Explore which Science program meets your goal and determine admissibility

The Science program options are listed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Consider the admission requirements:

Specific program details:

  • Direct entry programs from high school include Biotechnology/Chartered Professional Accountancy and Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP).
  • Students interested in the University of Waterloo’s Optometry and Pharmacy programs must apply as they are professional, second-entry programs.
  • Programs with co-op: Co-op is not guaranteed with a transfer to Science, although students, registered in a co-op program (and not 'non-degree') in the term immediately before transferring, can normally maintain co-op.
  • Recommended that students set up secondary appointments with specific program advisors to understand course sequences and courses to take in their first term.

Step 3: Review UWaterloo academic record

The Waterloo student record is assigned a greater weight than the pre-Waterloo record. A reasonable background in Maths and Sciences is required.

Grades in any completed Science (or equivalent) courses will be taken into consideration. Strong Science grades at Waterloo may outweigh any below-satisfactory standing and similarly, weak Science grades will outweigh a better-than satisfactory standing.

Depending on the Waterloo record, students follow one of two possible routes for transfer:

  1. If you are in satisfactory standing or better in your current program (normally cumulative average of at least 60%) and your current grades would earn a satisfactory standing or better for the target program in Science, then an internal transfer form can be completed. If there are no in-progress courses, it can be reviewed immediately. If any courses are in progress, it will be reviewed as soon as the current term grades are available.
  2. If you are in conditional or failed standing in your current program or your current grades would not earn a satisfactory standing or better for the target program in Science, then a non-degree term of qualifying Science courses will be needed. Course selection is determined by the target program's required courses. A petition for a non-degree study is often required

Internal Transfer Credits

Upon successful transfer to Science, the student’s records will be reviewed and transfer credits equivalents will be assessed and awarded. Where possible lower grades and failed courses will be removed from the student’s average calculation. Internal transfer credits are assessed by the transfer advisor and applied to the record in order that students do not need to repeat courses.

Student’s are encouraged to indicate if they believe they have outstanding transfer credits available from high school, transcripts and test scores can be evaluated at this time

Students who have completed the communication milestone in their current faculty will not be required to take ENGL/COMMST 193.

For course equivalencies, please see below:

Science program courses Other Faculty program courses
CHEM 120 Normally CHE 102 or NE 121
EARTH 121 and EARTH 121L CIVE 153 or ENVE 153 or GEOE 153
EARTH 122 ENVS 195
MATH 114 MATH 115 or MATH 136 or NE 112
MATH 127 MATH 116 or MATH 117 or MATH 137 or MATH 147 or SYDE 111
MATH 128 MATH 118 or MATH 119 or MATH 138 or MATH 148 or SYDE 112
PHYS 121 and PHYS 121L and PHYS 122 PHYS 122L ECE 105 and ECE 106
PHYS 121 PHYS 115 or NE 131 or SYDE 181
PHYS 122 PHYS 125 or SYDE 182

Note: For information only. The final assessment depends on a review of the complete Waterloo record.

Step 4: Schedule and prepare for your internal transfer meeting

Complete the webform below to indicate your interest in learning more about a transfer and to set up a meeting with the internal transfer advisor. This is a mandatory step in the process. Completing this webform is not the same as applying for transfer.

Once you have submitted the webform, the Science internal transfer advisor will follow-up with you to book a meeting.

After you have met with the internal transfer advisor, you must submit a completed Faculty Transfer Form to the Science internal transfer advisor at least one month before the start of the term (see deadlines below for transfer/non-degree requests):

Deadline to submit Faculty Transfer Form:

Spring 2024 - April 1, 2024

Fall 2024 - August 1, 2024 

Winter 2025 - December 1, 2024 

I am interested in the following programs:
I have completed all admission requirements (e.g. high school, pre-university) to Science:
Are you in satisfactory standing or better in your current program (normally means a cumulative overall average of 60% or higher)?