Graduate exchange eligibility

In order to participate in an international exchange program at Waterloo, you must be enroled at one of our exchange partner institutions. Contact your international office for information on the application process and selection requirements. Eligibility is first determined by your home institution.

Exchange students who qualify to study at the University of Waterloo for one or two terms enrol as graduate non-degree exchange students. Normally, credits from courses that are successfully completed are transferable towards your degree at your home institution.

To meet the eligibility requirements, students applying for the exchange program must:

  • have completed a minimum of 4 years Honours Bachelors’ degree or equivalent (8 semesters of studies at their home institution) prior to the commencement of their exchange,
  • 75% (or equivalent) overall standing in the past 2 years of study,
  • be currently enroled at one of University of Waterloo’s exchange partner institutions,
  • be nominated by their home institution as an exchange applicant,
  • meet University of Waterloo’s graduate English language proficiency (or equivalent). 

If your university is not among those listed as a University of Waterloo exchange partner institution, you may wish to consider applying to Waterloo as a non-degree student, as an international visiting graduate student, or a full degree student. Program restrictions may apply.

Application procedure

First, your home institution must submit the online student nomination form. Once they have done so, all incoming graduate non-degree exchange students must complete a Graduate Studies online application

There is no application fee for students applying as an incoming exchange student. To have the fee waived, go to the application and under 'Select Programs' choose the 'department', choose 'non-degree' and select the applicable exchange agreement.

After submitting, you will receive an email within a few days with instructions on how to upload your documents in Quest, our student information system. The documents you will need to submit are:

  • Transcripts (with English translations)
  • Supplementary Information Form listing the graduate courses (See the course selection guide for assistance)
  • English language proficiency certification (official test score or English language equivalency letter)
  • Resume/CV (if required by the department)
  • Reference(s) (if required by the department)

After submitting, you will receive an email within a few days with instructions on how to upload your documents in Quest, our student information system. See the 'My Documents' page on Quest for a complete list of documents you need to submit. 

If applicable, an English language equivalency letter is emailed with the Nomination Form to the global learning coordinator. If you would like to improve upon your English language skills, the English Language Institute (ELI) at Renison University College is University of Waterloo's home for English language classes. You can visit ELI to register for credit courses in spoken or written English or to find out more about how to increase your English language proficiency.

Please note that non-degree exchange students may not be approved for some graduate/professional programs/courses. For example, the following programs are restricted: Accounting, Clinical Psychology, Public Health and Health Systems, Social Work and some Master of Engineering courses.


Graduate applications must be received by the exchange program deadline below.

Admission term

UW exchange program deadline

Fall 2022: September - December

April 1, 2022

Winter 2023: January - April

September 1, 2022

Spring 2023: May - August

December 1, 2022

Admission results

The application processing time is up to eight weeks or longer from the date that all required documents are received by the departmental graduate coordinator, to the completion of the application according to the departmental review application process. If admissible, once your complete application has been reviewed by the department of choice, an Offer of Admission and a Letter of Acceptance from the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs will be uploaded to your Quest account.

Contact information

Email your questions to Tara Dosman, Global Learning Coordinator.