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Associate Director, Graduate Admissions

Department: Graduate Studies Office Effective Date: August 15, 2013

USG 13

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Director, Graduate Academic Services

General Accountability

The Associate Director, Graduate Admissions reports to the Director, Graduate Academic Services and is accountable for the development and delivery of policies and services supporting graduate admissions, and ensuring strong relationships among Graduate Studies Office admissions staff, prospective students, departments, Faculties, affiliated Colleges and Universities, Waterloo International and the Registrar’s Office.  The Associate Director contributes to the leadership of the GSO with the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies and the Director through activities such as strategic planning and staff development. 


The Associate Director has senior responsibility for liaison with domestic and international applicants, sponsorship agencies, and Canadian and foreign government offices promoting Canadian education or authorizing immigration status for study in Canada.  The Associate Director is responsible for:

Nature and Scope

By 2017, the University of Waterloo plans to significantly increase the graduate student population. The GSO mission includes leadership and guidance for the development of new programs, and successful execution of strategic initiatives related to international and domestic graduate enrolment as identified as a priority in the University of Waterloo Sixth Decade Plan.


The Graduate Studies Office provides academic service support for a number of functions including program reviews, graduate student recruitment, publications, on-line student and staff services, applications for admission, admissions, class enrolment, academic records and regulations, theses, graduation, internal and external reporting, graduate student financial assistance programs, award and scholarship programs, communications, coordination and promotion of events and professional workshops for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The Graduate Studies Office/Postdoctoral Office services are utilized by graduate students, alumni, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, administrators, external agencies, and prospective graduate students including UW undergraduates.


The Associate Director’s supervisor is the Director, Graduate Academic Services who reports to the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies.  The following positions report to the Director, Graduate Academic Services:


The following positions report to the Associate Director, Graduate Admissions:


The Associate Director, Graduate Admissions interacts with the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, the Faculty Associate Deans, Graduate Studies, the Graduate Operations Committee, Waterloo International, and various university working groups on strategies for enrolment growth, admission systems, regulations and University policies which impact on admissions (e.g., Records Management).

The Associate Director interacts with senior members of the University including the Associate Vice-President International and the Director, International Programs for the development of international agreements and internationalization strategies; the University Secretary on policy matters; Renison University College on ESL course and program placements.  The Associate Director must be able to communicate effectively to resolve problems and reconcile the needs and goals of with the Graduate Studies Office and the University’s objectives.

The Manager, Graduate International Agreements, Recruitment and Admissions reports to the Associate Director of Admissions and is responsible for the execution of international graduate partnerships and international recruitment activities  and for the research of international education systems for admission.

The Graduate Admissions Specialists report to the Associate Director, Graduate Admissions for the administration of various stages of the graduate studies admission processes.  The Graduate Studies Admission Specialists are the key liaisons with the Departments and Faculties for the evaluation of admission recommendations, production of offers of admission, tracking conditions of admission and decisions, management of admission records and communications with prospective students and applicants, monitoring special applications and admissions sanctioned through University agreements with foreign institutions or governments and collaborative or joint programs with other universities and industry.

The Assistant Director, Graduate Communications and Postdoctoral Affairs collaborateswith the Associate Director, Graduate Admissions to determine outreach opportunities to promote graduate studies programs and to liaise on university-wide graduate studies enrollment management practices and policies.

The Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions and Records Systems will work collaboratively with the Associate Director, Graduate Admissions to establish systems requirements for admission business processes including workflow and authorizations, document management, application requirements, regulations for admission eligibility, offer and system update processes.

The Associate Director is responsible for the overall direction of the admissions team. Overseeing the Graduate Studies Office activities for admissions requires meticulous attention for determining deadlines and procedures for application and recommendation evaluation processes, approval of admission offers and communications, ensuring that quality standards and long and short term admissions objectives are achieved. This includes planning and implementing strategies for continuous improvement in processes in admissions.

The Associate Director contributes to the preparation of internal reports and submissions to the Graduate Operations Committee and the Senate Graduate and Research Council; facilitates at University-wide graduate meetings; delivers UW workshops and seminars on international education systems. 

The Associate Provost, Graduate Studies relies on the Associate Director to advance admission issues requiring academic input; develop materials and present issues to members of the Graduate Operations Committee; represent graduate studies on the International Operations Group; provide input on new communication strategies to attract highly qualified students; reviewing and specifying graduate studies requirements for the international study agreements.        


The Associate Director is a member of the Graduate Studies Office senior management team.  The management team has a close working relationship in matters of formulating new regulations and practices.  The incumbent must be able to assess the impact of admission changes on the Graduate Studies Office operations and the activities and processes utilized by departments and Faculties.

Outside the University, the Associate Director maintains positive working relationships with colleagues at the other Canadian universities. The Associate Director is a member of the Ontario Universities Registrars’ Association, the Association of Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the National and Canadian Associations of Graduate Admissions Professionals.  The Associate Director represents Graduate Studies at external conferences on higher education and administration.

The Associate Director, Graduate Admissions is the delegate for the Director, Graduate Academic Services.


Significant Internal Relationships:



Significant External Relationships:

Statistical Data

Statistical Data - Graduate Studies           

Specific Accountabilities

Special Skills, Knowledge and Experience

In order to fulfill the many and varied responsibilities of this position effectively, the following list of skills, knowledge and experiences are required:

Working Conditions