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Admission for Waterloo Computer/Software Engineering Program

A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
[size=6]Hello!

Okay, so I'm in Grade 11 currently, and I know that I really want to go to Waterloo for Software Engineering. However, I'm really worried about my marks, because I've heard that the program is difficult to get into.

I've finished 1 pre-requisite of the program. I was wondering if these marks (if upheld in my grade 12 courses) would get me admission into the program when I apply next year.

Physics 12U - 90%
Functions 11U - 94%
Chemistry 11U (midterm mark) - 98%
Computer Science 11U (online, midterm mark) - 95%
English 3U (midterm) - 85%

Other Mid-term marks:
French - 85%
Biology - around 90%

I also am involved with a lot of extra-curricular activities, and write Math contests every now and then.

Do I have a chance?[/size]
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27 replies
 
A photo of iRamie iRamie
Buddy i'm in the same situation as you, except my marks are lower and my average is like 87 (Grade 11 First Semester so far). I do wonder the same thing.

How are your extracurricular activities and your experience in programming?
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I think I'm okay with extra curriculars. I'm on the Link Crew team (leadership, helping grade 9's in the school), Treasurer for a philanthropic group at my school, and editor of events for the yearbook. For sports...not so much. I've got curling (if that counts..).

As for experience in programming, I'm currently learning Java through my Computer Science course, and I did try to learn C++ last summer, and I think I'm going to pick it up again soon. That's 2 languages, I don't think that's enough D: I feel so incompetent in programming, but I really want to learn more and go into the Software program...I just don't think I'll get in.

How about you?
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
Grade 11 marks don't really mean much. Get your 90 in grade 12 and you'll be set.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
I'm also a part of the IB program, and am deciding whether or not to take Higher Level Math (which is extremely difficult) or Standard Level. Waterloo asks for HL, but would I still be considered if I took SL?
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A photo of Sapper1815 Sapper1815
HL is preferred, but SL is still considered.
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A photo of jeong747 jeong747
Lol you will def get in unless you kill yourself or just bs your exams lol
But with those marks I'd consider Engineering Science at UT
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A photo of iDream iDream
MAKE SURE you have a strong background in highschool CS :cheese:
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A photo of pepper pepper
Those marks are high enough to get you in. And with extra circular activities you should be accepted. The only thing is you did not list your math marks and in grade 12 math gets harder and Waterloo really looks at those marks so if you have a math mark higher than a 88% you will get into waterloo. Just attend their sessions when they come to visit you in grade 12.
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Woah, I definitely did not receive emails for when more people replied, lol.

Alright, so I've finished my first semester of IB and I'm worried because my English mark is dropping my average. A question on the average though, is it simply calculated base don the pre-requisites of the program, or all your courses? Because I'm taking irrelevant courses such as History because of IB that are not my strong points...

Semester 1 Marks:

Chemistry 3U - 96
English 3U - 86
French 3U - 85
Biology 3U - 94

My online computer science course is my "background in programming", so hopefully that will suffice. I haven't posted any math marks yet, because I just started Advanced Functions this semester. I decided to try out Higher Level Math because Waterloo recommends it...

@jeong747 Is Engineering Science at UT harder or easier than Software at Waterloo? (i.e. Did you recommend it because my marks aren't high enough? :P)

The more I look at other forums, the more I see people with like 97-98% averages...it's freaking me out. :P
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles
Engineering Science at UT probably has a much bigger workload that software eng at Waterloo...the thing is in EngSci for your first two years you will basically be covering every single type of engineering (electrical, mechanical, even some biology). In your 3rd and 4th years you choose your "specialty". One of the options available is computer engineering I think, or ECE. It's supposed to be one of the most intense programs in Canada in terms of workload, so if you're up for it you could do it. You also have to consider if you wanna do co-op or not, because UW is co-op only for its engineering programs.
In response to your original post, you won't have any problem getting in if you can keep up those marks for grade 12 :)
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@iliketurtles wrote
Engineering Science at UT probably has a much bigger workload that software eng at Waterloo...the thing is in EngSci for your first two years you will basically be covering every single type of engineering (electrical, mechanical, even some biology). In your 3rd and 4th years you choose your "specialty". One of the options available is computer engineering I think, or ECE. It's supposed to be one of the most intense programs in Canada in terms of workload, so if you're up for it you could do it. You also have to consider if you wanna do co-op or not, because UW is co-op only for its engineering programs.
In response to your original post, you won't have any problem getting in if you can keep up those marks for grade 12 :)




Thanks :) I'll definitely keep EngSci on my list of programs to apply to.

For Waterloo's Software Engineering Program, I don't have a lot of programming experience. I'm only taking one ICS course and it's online - my programming skills are extremely basic, ESPECIALLY in comparison to MANY other people who can program with their eyes closed. Is this going to butcher my chances for getting into the program?
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles
I doubt that'll stop you from getting into the program...my brother had to take a programming course in engineering at Waterloo in his first year, and he said you should have SOME background in programming before going into any engineering program. He said (and his friends too) that highschool programming courses should be enough to help you ease into first year programming courses so you should be fine. :)
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A photo of aimango aimango

@iliketurtles wrote
Engineering Science at UT probably has a much bigger workload that software eng at Waterloo...the thing is in EngSci for your first two years you will basically be covering every single type of engineering (electrical, mechanical, even some biology). In your 3rd and 4th years you choose your "specialty". One of the options available is computer engineering I think, or ECE. It's supposed to be one of the most intense programs in Canada in terms of workload, so if you're up for it you could do it. You also have to consider if you wanna do co-op or not, because UW is co-op only for its engineering programs.
In response to your original post, you won't have any problem getting in if you can keep up those marks for grade 12 :)


the workload is kind of hard to compare if you havent been to both schools. both schools have a high workload for engineering IMO.

im not sure if ive talked to you before but you dont need a 97 average to get into software engineering. of course there are people that do have that who get accepted, but thats not really important here. if you have outside experience (not from school) then itll benefit you in the long run for coop. so try to get involved with computer related stuff in your community, if you keep your average at mid 80s or above youll be fine for admittance.

there are a ton of coop opportunities at waterloo, esp. for the compsci / software engineering disciplines. its actually amazing how many opportunities we get compared to other faculties, and as you get into 3rd and 4th year, companies will contact YOU before you even apply to them because by then, you will have about 3 or 4 work terms at various companies under your belt.

when youre at waterloo, marks dont count as much if youre in coop. and thats the biggest perk of waterloo. if youre going to UofT, marks will count throughout your 3 or 4 years of undergraduate (since theres PEY at UofT).

so yeah TVBH if you know you want CS/Software Engineering, dont do UofT track one. itll be a waste of time taking irrelevant courses (kinda like what youre doing right now with IB).

good luck!
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i agree with this guy^^^^^ if you want to get into software waterloos the place to go. Just because eng science might be harder to get into doesnt make it a better program. Not to mention like the above states ull do useless courses that are very difficult.
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@aimango wrote

@iliketurtles wrote
Engineering Science at UT probably has a much bigger workload that software eng at Waterloo...the thing is in EngSci for your first two years you will basically be covering every single type of engineering (electrical, mechanical, even some biology). In your 3rd and 4th years you choose your "specialty". One of the options available is computer engineering I think, or ECE. It's supposed to be one of the most intense programs in Canada in terms of workload, so if you're up for it you could do it. You also have to consider if you wanna do co-op or not, because UW is co-op only for its engineering programs.
In response to your original post, you won't have any problem getting in if you can keep up those marks for grade 12 :)


the workload is kind of hard to compare if you havent been to both schools. both schools have a high workload for engineering IMO.

im not sure if ive talked to you before but you dont need a 97 average to get into software engineering. of course there are people that do have that who get accepted, but thats not really important here. if you have outside experience (not from school) then itll benefit you in the long run for coop. so try to get involved with computer related stuff in your community, if you keep your average at mid 80s or above youll be fine for admittance.

there are a ton of coop opportunities at waterloo, esp. for the compsci / software engineering disciplines. its actually amazing how many opportunities we get compared to other faculties, and as you get into 3rd and 4th year, companies will contact YOU before you even apply to them because by then, you will have about 3 or 4 work terms at various companies under your belt.

when youre at waterloo, marks dont count as much if youre in coop. and thats the biggest perk of waterloo. if youre going to UofT, marks will count throughout your 3 or 4 years of undergraduate (since theres PEY at UofT).

so yeah TVBH if you know you want CS/Software Engineering, dont do UofT track one. itll be a waste of time taking irrelevant courses (kinda like what youre doing right now with IB).

good luck!



Thank you! I'm glad to hear that my marks will probably be okay, so I want to focus more on work experience. Can you suggest some "computer related stuff" I can get involved with? (i.e. places to work/volunteer, etc). Can you also recommend a few programming languages that I should become familiar with in order to have a good programming background when it comes time for me to apply? (:
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A photo of iRamie iRamie
Do some web Design and Web development in PHP and keep a portfolio of all your programs.
Believe it or not, i will be applying to CS and Soft Eng. Next year and i have a portfolio of over 40 programs (Almost 600Mb).
Also, volunteer and do some programming related stuff for free to Non Profit organizations, they will appreciate that and welcome you to do more for them, and there you have your programming experience :D

OT: I'm completely the opposite of you now LOL, i have the experience you don't. You have the grades I don't. :(
FML
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Yeah I'll definitely do that this summer. I don't know about the volunteering for Non Profit Organizations thing though lol, I don't think I have enough experience for whatever it is they'd need me for :P
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A photo of Fasih Fasih
Yeah those are great marks. Don't worry too much about getting into software. Although I must warn you, competition in that program is really intense, and some people I know with 90+ averages didn't get in.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
What! People with 90+ averages didn't get in? D:
What was your average when you got in, and what extra curriculars/experience did you have?
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A photo of arviny arviny
I know one other person with a 89% he got in and my top6 was 86 and I got in as well, don't worry too much.
As long as you have leadership ECs and coming from a good school.
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A photo of Fasih Fasih
I'm not sure why they were rejected. I got in with an overall average for my top 6 of 88%. I had ok ECs, nothing really until gr12 where I joined up for a lot of clubs.
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A photo of arviny arviny

@Fasih wrote
I'm not sure why they were rejected. I got in with an overall average for my top 6 of 88%. I had ok ECs, nothing really until gr12 where I joined up for a lot of clubs.


I think just being a member of a club isn't good enough.. feel like they want people who are leaders in relevant clubs (for example I was vice pres of computer club) or leadership qualities elsewhere like volunteering or work (ex. lifeguard/swimming instructor or any relevant work experience working/volunteering at an IT company) Also a knowledge of a few programming languages in depth.
As for the school thing marks also get adjusted with those sometimes along with the AIF adjustment.
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A photo of Fasih Fasih

@arviny wrote

@Fasih wrote
I'm not sure why they were rejected. I got in with an overall average for my top 6 of 88%. I had ok ECs, nothing really until gr12 where I joined up for a lot of clubs.


I think just being a member of a club isn't good enough.. feel like they want people who are leaders in relevant clubs (for example I was vice pres of computer club) or leadership qualities elsewhere like volunteering or work (ex. lifeguard/swimming instructor or any relevant work experience working/volunteering at an IT company) Also a knowledge of a few programming languages in depth.
As for the school thing marks also get adjusted with those sometimes along with the AIF adjustment.



Yeah well if you are taking Computer Science classes in HS then the programming knowledge you learn will be good enough. I only did the mandatory volunteering, but it was heavily community involved and involved computers. Idk I guess they didn't look at my ECs as much :P
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A photo of greygoose greygoose
The main reason people who have reasonable marks and ECs don't get in is because they don't apply early. It becomes a crapshoot when 8000 people apply for a number of spots less than a quarter of that, and the majority of them have marks 85+ with ECs. You are much more likely to get in if you do this, because you will be considered for early acceptance, and if they don't outright reject you but don't decide to accept you right away, you will probably be considered again in the normal round. At the same time, nothing is really a guarantee unless you have a 95+ average (and even so, Math/CA might still not accept you :P).

Early bird gets the worm, kiddies!
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A photo of waazup waazup
I think you should relax.

You don't need extreme programming skills to get in. In fact, it is sometimes better to not do it at all in high school, because it is Completely different from what they teach you. Although, it is good to get a feel of programming in HS.

Writing that you have "worked with more languages" won't really have a significant increase in the chance you will get in. What will is your marks and EC's. There are many people who go without taking comp sci or programming exp. In fact, isn't that true for like, almost, every program anyone applies to?

EG. Accounting in high school is nothing compared to uni
Any tech courses are hardly anything of what engineering is in uni
Computer science is taught pretty "bad" as they say, in HS - different from uni
HS sciences are a little bit of an introduction to uni sciences

So basically, whatever you go to, you will be learning it all new, and they will teach you everything you need to know. GL.
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