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OFFICIAL Q/A THREAD: Waterloo Engineering

A photo of mechboyy mechboyy
Hi guys, I am currently in my first term at the University of Waterloo for Mechanical Engineering! I was in your shoes before and I know how stressful it must be to apply for university/pick the one for you. If you have any questions regarding engineering/living at Waterloo OR ANYTHING WATERLOO RELATED, ASK AWAY!

I am pretty active on this forum so I'll do my best to answer all your questions.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
Hey, do you happen to know the male:female ratio for Computer/Software Engineering?

Also, what admission average do you think I'd need (with decent EC's and some programming experience) to be guaranteed admission into SE? :P

Thanks!
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A photo of mechboyy mechboyy

@ninetyfour wrote
Hey, do you happen to know the male:female ratio for Computer/Software Engineering?

Also, what admission average do you think I'd need (with decent EC's and some programming experience) to be guaranteed admission into SE? :P

Thanks!



Hey nietyfour,

The male/female ratio for computer/software isnt really that high in comparison with lets say chemical or enviro/geological. For software/computer the standard male/female ratio applies which is 1:15 haha. For instance in my stream for mechanical there are 10 girls and 125 students in total.

Also to be guaranteed admission youd probably want to aim for high 80s/low 90s. I know that for software engineering, programming experience sets you high in the admissions as people with 85 averages get in solely because of programming experience/what they put on the AIF. I also know that some of my classmates had borderline marks but got in because of the quality of their AIF.

But the number of applicants vary every year. My year had the most # of applicants in the history of Waterloo and thus it was really competitive. Your year might have more applicants or it might even have far less applicants.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
Hi, thanks for the reply :)

Wow, 1:15 is a big difference haha.

I think my semester one average will be 92-94 ish, if I don't screw anything up, and my "programming experience" is taking Grade 11 Computer Science (I hope that's enough D: ). I was going to go to the Engineering Shadow Day thing in November, but then changed my mind; however, I did notice that Software was one of the first programs to fill up..I hope that doesn't mean the competition is high.
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A photo of snowbunny snowbunny
What is a quality aif and what is an average aif?
What is the cutoff for mechanical?
What is ratio of male:female in TRON and the cutoff for TRON?
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A photo of mechboyy mechboyy

@ninetyfour wrote
Hi, thanks for the reply :)

Wow, 1:15 is a big difference haha.

I think my semester one average will be 92-94 ish, if I don't screw anything up, and my "programming experience" is taking Grade 11 Computer Science (I hope that's enough D: ). I was going to go to the Engineering Shadow Day thing in November, but then changed my mind; however, I did notice that Software was one of the first programs to fill up..I hope that doesn't mean the competition is high.




Lol, dont judge the competition by that.

And to answer your question snowbunny, a quality AIF is an AIF that took time to write and is very detailed with respect to the character limit. Im pretty sure admissions can tell when someone tried hard on their AIF and show that they want to come to waterloo as oppose to one that was done 2 hours before it was due. For mechanical, the cutoff was around 85 but the cutoff is really debatable as it depends on what you provide on your AIF. For tron, the cutoff is high 80s and its a bit more competitive than mechanical although they fall under the same department. Like I said before the male:female ratio for tron is just like any other program. its 1:15 the only actual engineering program that high a higher male:female ratio is chemical, enviro, and geo.

The best advice I can give you regarding your AIF is to really think about what youre writing and to spend a lot of time on it as this is all that you can provide that shows who YOU are other than your grades. Yes everyone has the grades but waterloo needs a diversified group of people with personality to bring to the table other than grades. Also try and get at least a couple ECs into your AIF. You really run a risk if you have no absolute volunteer/ECs to add to the AIF (assuming your grades are borderline).

But dont get me wrong, there are people who got into programs that required a mid 80 with grades in the high 80s/low-mid90s without having a single ecs/volunteer experience.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
What are the Waterloo residences like? MKV seems nice but it's the most expensive, so if I get accepted I want to go for UW Place. Do you know what REV and V1 are like? I don't like the idea of the common bathrooms thing.. D:
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A photo of mechboyy mechboyy

@ninetyfour wrote
What are the Waterloo residences like? MKV seems nice but it's the most expensive, so if I get accepted I want to go for UW Place. Do you know what REV and V1 are like? I don't like the idea of the common bathrooms thing.. D:



Th residences are actually really nice. I currently live at REV and its only 8stream engineers that can live here and so a lot of engineers end up getting MKV and V1 or UWP. I know for a fact though that A LOT of 4 streamers are placed in MKV.. there is even a floor with 80% engineers. If you want a really social and active first year, i'd say pick REV (if you are placed in 8 stream) and this is because its really social. Everyone has their doors open all the time and theres always something going on. However, the downside is that you have to be really responsible to know when to work and when to have fun.. you also have to be able to handle a bit of noise as it can get really noisy. If you want silence/quiet study pick MKV/V1/UWP. REV has the best food hands down, lots and lots of variety... V1's caf is okay but the amazing thing about it is that its open till 12, unlike REV that closes at 10. Also, if you DONT see yourself cooking .. i suggest to not pick MKV/UWP. The good thing about UWP is thats its close to the uni plaza and also close to engineering buildings.

ps.. dont worry sharing a common washroom isnt as bad as you think. I used to think like that and I actually got over it the first day I moved in... its super clean and gets cleaned every day. The only thing is that there are no urinal... my floor actually slipt the 4 stalls by having 2 for 'standing' an 2 for 'sitting' lol...
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
A lot of Engineers choose UWP because it's closer to most of the engineering buildings.

UWP and MKV are more seclusive residences because they are suite/apartment-style. You'll really only get to know your suitemates (3 other people) and that's pretty much it. It's pretty antisocial. MKV is a little better because it's where V1 and REV are so a lot of parties happen there (since MKV suites can host a lot of people).

If you're looking for a more community, social and traditional-like residence, as the name suggests, choose one one of traditional-style residences: V1 or REV. REV is all double rooms and definitely the most social res but it's definitely the loudest and at times hardest to study in. V1 is mostly single rooms so it's a pretty nice balance of the privacy and social factors. Some V1 floors can be pretty antisocial though.

And as mechboyy mentioned, washrooms aren't that bad.
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A photo of iRamie iRamie
What average should i aim for to get into Computer Engineering/Electrical Engineering?
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A photo of mechboyy mechboyy

@iRamie wrote
What average should i aim for to get into Computer Engineering/Electrical Engineering?



High 80s/low 90s to be safe. However I know that a lot of people got deffered to electrical engineering as they did not get their first choice so im assuming the competition for electrical isn't always too high.
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A photo of cpeister cpeister
I can speak for the 4-stream mech class. We have a similar male - female ratio with 10 out of 122.

I live in a V1 single and really like it. Floor is quiet, although a little antisocial. Food at V1 is tolerable but not the best. However, you don't always have to eat at the V1 Caf. There are a ton of different places to get food.

When choosing a school, don't undervalue co-op. You leave Waterloo Engineering with 20-24 months of work experience. Many grads have jobs lined up when they leave.

And expect to work hard.

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A photo of rmodz rmodz
Does Waterloo look at all 6 of your top 6 marks because I know that U of T only looks at 5 of them (Adv. Fun., Calc,Physics, Chem., English) even though 6 is required.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
I think Waterloo looks at all 6, or atleast that's what they say..

To the OP, does Waterloo look at first semester mid-terms at all for early acceptance (since midterms are in November, as are university applications)? Or are admissions based solely upon first semester finals, and second semester-midterms?
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A photo of cpeister cpeister
According to my guidance counsellor in high school, they do not submit our first semester midterm marks, as OUAC doesn't want them.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
Oh ok. Does Waterloo look at other marks besides Top 6?

All of my marks are 85+ except for this one philosophy-type course that I have to take which I'm doing pretty poorly in.
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A photo of alirezatr alirezatr

@ninetyfour wrote
Oh ok. Does Waterloo look at other marks besides Top 6?

All of my marks are 85+ except for this one philosophy-type course that I have to take which I'm doing pretty poorly in.



If it's not a pre-requisite and it's not in your top6, then they will not look at it. So it's a good thing you're doing poorly in philosophy as opposed to pre-requisite courses such as Calculus or English which they will look at no matter how bad they are.
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A photo of HappyLiz HappyLiz
From what I see engineering is pretty expensive :S

How do most students finance their education? :)

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A photo of plato plato

@HappyLiz wrote
From what I see engineering is pretty expensive :S

How do most students finance their education? :)






At Waterloo, some students can pay for their entire school expenses with the money they earn in coop. This is more true for certain engineering fields than others.

Most students have some residual loans, which are paid off quickly after graduating and working int the field.

Don't let the money hold you back from pursuing engineering.
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A photo of cheers123 cheers123
I'm planning to apply to Waterloo for tron.I don't really get the application procedure though.
After we apply to OUAC, what happens next?Also when we fill in about volunteering in the AIF, do they need some proof or something?
I just did my AS and will be doing ALs in next June, so I'm applying with pending results.So I just wanted to know, whether this is better than applying after ALs.
I would really appreciate any advice given!
thanks =)
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A photo of plaidboy plaidboy
Hey,

does the order in which we list our engineering choices matter? So let's say I put mechanical as my first option, and then chemical as my 2nd. If I don't get into mechanical, would they try to put me into the remaining chem eng. spots left from the people that put it as their first option?

also, my physics teacher told me manufacturing engineers are becoming low demand, and manufacturing's a huge major in mech. Is this true? I'm interested in mechanical but if the job market isn't that great, I don't want a crappy future.

according to my brother, a lot of electrical and mech. students did horrible on midterm exams,e.g. circuits exam. Is mech. really that hard? Is it true you're allowed to fail some courses 1st year?
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