Advanced admissions and internal transfers

Advanced admissions

An applicant for admission into Software Engineering beyond 1A must have an academic background and work experience that is judged equivalent to that of the class he or she would join. This means that to be considered for admission, the applicant must have completed the prerequisites for all of the core courses for the term he or she is seeking to enter. Due to the co-operative nature of the Software Engineering program, no student will be admitted above year three, term A level. Any student admitted to this 3A term will be required to enroll in the January term and to complete satisfactorily the final four academic terms and the final three University of Waterloo work terms and work reports.

Credit for previous work experience can be applied only to those work terms preceding the level of admission and cannot exceed three work terms.

Students who are re-admitted to Software Engineering are required to clear all previous failures. 

Internal transfers

Transfer into the Software Engineering program is competitive because it is limited by the available space in the class. Before considering a transfer, you should be aware of opportunities in your own program for studying computing and software engineering, such the Software Engineering Option, the Software Option, and the Mechatronics Option. Many co-op jobs are open to students from any computing program.

We do not admit internal transfers into 1A Software Engineering; positions in 1A are reserved for admissions applicants.

Once we get final exam results, we will determine if there is space for transfer students in the Software Engineering class (which is unlikely). At that point, we will consider your application along with those of the other applicants. You might be missing one or more core courses, which will make transfer more complicated, but if you are among the top applicants, we will work out an alternative. You will be contacted if we can offer you a transfer.

For transfer beyond 1B

Most first and second year Math and Engineering students do not have the background to transfer directly into the Software Engineering program beyond the 1B term. This is because the software engineering curriculum has a heavy concentration of both computer science and digital hardware in the early years, which means that most transfer students don't have the prerequisites for one or more software engineering core courses. Such students, if offered a transfer, will remain registered in their current program until they have completed enough software engineering courses to join one of the Software Engineering classes. As long as transfer students take a full load (2.5 or more credits) and maintain a 70% average in their courses, they will be guaranteed a position in the Software Engineering program as soon as they have completed enough courses to join one of the Software Engineering classes. Note that during these "catch-up" terms, a transfer student will take many courses with software engineering students: some courses with the class of students he or she will be joining, and some courses with the following year's class.

Transfer credit

One of the characteristics of the Software Engineering program at Waterloo is that it is a cohort system rather than a credit system. This means that students in a given term take exactly the same core courses. When deciding whether to accept credits for courses that an applicant has taken in another program or at another institution, the most common approach we use is to determine the term that is the most reasonable for entry, adjust the courses in that term (perhaps adding some missing ones from earlier terms, or replacing ones that have already been taken), and then require the applicant to meet all of the requirements for all of the terms following the admission point. The selection of the most appropriate term for admission may be difficult in some cases. Applicants are encouraged to provide as much information as possible regarding the nature of the courses taken at other universities. This information should include at least a calendar description, and if possible the name of the text used.