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Transferring to Science

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.

The official process for transferring to Science starts with filling out the Transfer to Science webform, then having a face to face meeting with the 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.

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?

Recommendations:

  • 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 Action 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, Biotechnology/Economics, 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 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

Students will receive transfer credits for all successful or passed courses, they will also have their failed credits cleared. In a sense, it is a fresh start, in terms of cumulative average.

Internal transfer credits are assessed by the transfer advisor and applied to the record in order that students do not need to repeat courses.

Students who have completed the communcation milestone in their current faculty will not be required to take SCCOM 100 or ENGL/SPCOM193.

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. Final assessment depends on a review of the complete Waterloo record.

Step 4: Schedule and prepare for your internal transfer meeting

The webform below will help the Science internal transfer advisor, Lori Labelle, understand your academic goals to help you have a successful transfer. The information that you share will direct the conversation but will only be most helpful if you have followed Steps 1 through 3.

Information and privacy: questions regarding the collection of information on this form can be directed to the form administrator.

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

Non-Degree or Qualifying Term 

Students that need to complete a non-degree term must note and accept the following points:

  • Fees are determined by your current faculty. Please review the fee schedule
  • Course selection is guided by target Science program's required courses
  • Minimum load is four lectures, plus any related or appropriate labs
  • At least two Science lectures must come from different Science subjects: BIOL, CHEM, EARTH, or PHYS subjects
  • No failing or INC grades permitted
  • Use the Schedule of Classes to compose a time conflict-free schedule, noting the above points, and section limits and reserves
  • Co-op should not be expected, so students must be comfortable completing a Science program in the regular system of study
    • EDGE is available to students who are not in a co-op program

Averages required to progress in transfer:

  • Minimum Science average 60% or 70% (determined based on academic standing in current faculty)
  • Minimum Cumulative average 60%