waterloo

Welcome to the
University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is Canada’s innovation university — home to the world’s largest co-operative education program, a research-rich environment and a uniquely entrepreneurial culture that encourages risk-taking and experimentation.

University of Waterloo Profile

University of Waterloo is Canada’s innovation university — home to the world’s largest co-operative education program, a research-rich environment and a uniquely entrepreneurial culture that encourages risk-taking and experimentation. Connected and innovative, Waterloo has spawned thousands of commercial and social enterprises, and provides an outstanding learning and research experience for more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, please visit https://uwaterloo.ca/

Admissions IconAdmissions

  • Overview
  • General Admissions
  • Aboriginal Learner Policy
  • Alternative Admissions and Transition Programs
  • Mature Learner Policy
  • Transfer Policies

Admissions

Below you will find information about Waterloo’s admission requirements, policies, and supports that are available to you.

To find out about Waterloo’s requirements for entrance into each academic program, please visit Waterloo Admissions.

General Admissions

Waterloo’s admission requirements are divided into different types of learners that include secondary school and transfer students. Each type has different requirements and admission policies. Select the category that suits you best and then find the admission requirements specific to your category.

Aboriginal Learner Policy

During the academic year, university recruiters travel throughout Ontario to visit Aboriginal learners in many secondary schools and community organizations. These recruiters are part of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Information Program (APSIP), a collection of Aboriginal recruiters from Ontario and Quebec colleges and universities. They’ll have the most up-to-date information about applying to your university as an Aboriginal learner. The APSIP website includes information on events, resources for students, and contact information for the recruiters.

Alternative Admissions and Transition Programs

Open Doors is an event designed to give you an opportunity to learn more about support services and academic accommodations offered through AccessAbility Services before university classes begin. You’ll also meet other first-year Waterloo students, learn more about AccessAbility Services, and reduce or remove barriers to achieving your academic and personal goals.

Mature Learners

If you haven’t attended a secondary school or college full time for at least two years, you might be considered a mature learner. Check out Waterloo’s Mature Learner Policy to find out how you can transition to university as a mature learner.

Transfer Policies

If you are interested in transferring to Waterloo from another university or college, Waterloo’s website gives you helpful information on its transfer policies and supports. You can also check out your eligibility for course transfers through ONCAT, an organization that provides information on credit transfers in Ontario.

Academics IconAcademic Programs and Supports

  • Overview
  • Academic Programs
  • Academic Supports

Academic Programs and Supports

You can choose from a variety of academic programs at Waterloo and will likely find a program that sparks your interest, if you haven’t already decided on your academic studies. Below are some examples of the academic programs you can take at Waterloo.

Academic Programs

The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences specializes in the prevention of illness and injury, and the optimization of health and well-being throughout the life span, at work and at leisure. Programs you can take include Public Health and Health Systems, Kinesiology, Recreation, and Leisure Studies.

The Faculty of Arts is a vibrant community of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to a broad range of fields in the humanities, social sciences, and creative arts. The driving force behind its teaching, research, and outreach is a deep commitment to curiosity, creativity, and the desire to contribute to a better world. Programs you can take include Accounting, English, Legal Studies, Global Governance, Liberal Studies, and Women’s Studies.

The Faculty of Engineering offers 14 bachelor degree programs, including degrees in emerging areas such as biomedical, mechatronics, nanotechnology, and environmental engineering. Each program involves co-op work terms, so 100% of our students gain real-world experience while earning their degree.

Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment creates knowledge, nurtures learning, and promotes action to achieve sustainable futures in Canada and internationally. Programs you can take include Environment and Business, Geography and Aviation, and Environment and Resource Studies.

The Faculty of Mathematics is a powerhouse of discovery and innovation. Programs you can take include Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics and Actuarial Science.

The Faculty of Science is shaping the future through discovery: from understanding the universe, to protecting our water resources, to improving the health of Canadians, to educating the next generation. You can choose from 18 bachelor degree programs in departments that include Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, and Physics and Astronomy.

Be sure to check out all of Waterloo’s academic programs.

Academic Supports

Waterloo offers a variety of services to help you achieve your goals at university. Below is a list of some of the academic services you can access at Waterloo.

The Student Success Office believes success looks different to everyone, so it offers support to help you be successful in the way you define it.

You can access workshops on campus and online resources to help improve your academic performance and study skills, manage stress or time, get writing assistance, or prepare for your future. You can also make an appointment for success coaching to help you set goals and develop time management strategies, test-taking skills, and more.

Through peer mentorship programs, you can connect you with upper-year mentors, who are a non-judgmental, approachable, and knowledgeable resource for you. Complimentary drop-in tutoring is also available each term for various courses. You can also use Tutor Connect to search for a tutor or register to be a tutor for a specific course.

To find out more about Waterloo’s academic supports, please visit Waterloo’s Student Success Office.

Financial Aid Icon Financial Aid

  • Overview
  • Scholarships and Bursaries
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
  • Work Study Program and Part-Time Work
  • Financial Aid Services

Financial Aid

Investing in your future may require some help along the way. Waterloo offers financial aid to eligible students, as well as a number of scholarships and bursaries specifically for Aboriginal learners.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Financial aid is available to you through scholarships, bursaries, government loans, and Aboriginal specific scholarships and awards. You can find a list of Waterloo’s scholarships and bursaries. You can also visit the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre (WAEC) for information about financial aid available to you.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

A student loan through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is one of the ways that you can finance your postsecondary education. The Student Awards and Financial Aid Office at Waterloo can help you apply for OSAP.

Work Study Program and Part-Time Work

The Work Study Programs at Waterloo can help you find a part-time job at the university. Some of the jobs available to you might include helping professors with research or working at campus organizations such as the Aboriginal Student Centre.

Financial Aid Services

To find information on other financial aid specifically available to Aboriginal students, contact Student Awards and Financial Aid or the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre (WAEC).

Aboriginal Student Services IconAboriginal Student Services

  • Overview

Aboriginal Student Services

Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre (WAEC), located at St Paul’s University College, services the University of Waterloo campus. It strives to be a home-away-from-home for Aboriginal learners. You can talk with counsellors, meet other students, and join in activities and cultural events. Below are just some of the services you will find at Waterloo and the WAEC.

Soup and Bannock days are held every Thursday at noon in the fall and winter terms. You have an open invitation to drop by the centre, enjoy some good food, and relax with friends.

Craft Corner, held weekly, is a space for students and community members to come out and learn how to make Aboriginal crafts such as bead work, jewellery making, dream catchers, etc.

Full Moon Ceremony, held once a month, is a time for women to honour our Grandmother the moon and all that she does for life.

Every year in the fall, the centre hosts a traditional Pow Wow. It celebrates drumming, dancing, and other elements of traditional Aboriginal culture, and everyone is invited to join. There are craft and food vendors on site, and stations where visitors can drop by to learn about different aspects of Aboriginal culture.

The University of Waterloo Directions program invites Aboriginal students in Grades 9 through 12 to spend four days living in a St. Paul’s residence at Waterloo. You’ll attend a science-and-technology conference that focuses on the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical teachings of the medicine wheel. You’ll also attend various hands-on workshops, sit in on special university-level lectures, and tour related faculties. Most of all, you’ll get a glimpse of what postsecondary education consists of and has to offer you.

This Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Workshop program gives selected Aboriginal students in Grade 11 and Grade 12 the chance to be part of a collaborative adventure in entrepreneurship – as well as test-drive the university experience.

The Circle of Life-long Learning is summer camp for Aboriginal youth ages 10 to 12 and their families. The learning experiences for Aboriginal students and their caregiver build on the key concepts of belonging, interdependence, and generosity. The camp will also explore the power and possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and math in an Aboriginal-based setting, and will weave together the wisdom and traditions of the past and the generations of the future. You don’t need any experience or prior knowledge to participate and have fun.

Check out the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre’s complete services.

Student Life iconStudent Life

  • Overview
  • Orientation Week
  • Clubs and Societies
  • Athletics
  • Student Services
  • Security

Student Life

At university, you can explore your interests, inside and outside of the classroom. You will have opportunities to attend social events or join a student club. You might also like to play extracurricular sports or, if you live on campus, become involved in your residence community. Below you will find further information about student life at Waterloo.

Check out more about student life at Waterloo.

Orientation Week

Orientation Week

Waterloo’s Orientation is your introduction to the academic, social, and community aspects of university life. This week-long event during the start of the school year connects you to the university community, your faculty, your residence or off-campus society and, most importantly, other students.

Clubs and Societies

General Clubs

Clubs are a cornerstone of student life on campus. They allow you to come together and share experiences with students who have similar interests, backgrounds, and ambitions. Waterloo’s over 150 student clubs include political and social awareness, cultural, academic, games, religious and spiritual clubs.

Aboriginal Learners’ Clubs

The Aboriginal Student Association (ASA) hosts events for the Aboriginal student community to celebrate heritage and promote awareness. The association welcomes all learners on Waterloo campus to join and expand their knowledge on Aboriginal culture.

Student Union

Your student union plays an important role at university. The union advocates on behalf of students on campus and in the community. Members may also organize your Orientation week and student clubs. At Waterloo, you are represented by the Federation of Students (FEDS).

Athletics

Varsity Athletics

Waterloo is home to the Warriors varsity sports that range from basketball, badminton and curling, to hockey, squash, and volleyball. The Waterloo Warriors participate both in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Get more information on varsity athletics at Waterloo  including try-out dates.

Recreation and Intramurals

Waterloo offers recreational sports and leagues regardless of your skill level. Recreational sports include hockey, dodgeball, and ultimate Frisbee. Joining a team is a great way to meet other people and stay active, whether you are continuing to play a sport or starting a new one.

Student Services

Access Ability Services

If you have a disability that requires academic accommodation and support, AccessAbility Services is available to help. It is important to reach out to them as soon as possible to ensure that the appropriate supports are in place for you at the beginning of the school year. For more information about supports that you can access, visit Western’s AccessAbility Services website.

Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (LGBTQ)

The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity is your place to relax, have lunch, and meet people with diverse gender and sexual identities as well as allies. The oldest student organization of this kind in Canada, Glow is run entirely by dedicated student volunteers. You can join in discussion groups, social events, and awareness campaigns, or access resources and information. You can also drop by the centre during peer support hours for confidential peer support from trained volunteers.

Multi-Faith Centre

Waterloo offers Multi-Faith Prayer Spaces on campus for people to practice their faith around campus. Students and larger groups can book these rooms.

Child Care

Three centres operating on Waterloo’s campus offer child care services for children 3 months through to school age. There are full and half-day programs.  Contact each appropriate centre and place your child’s name on a waiting list.

Security

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Waterloo’s Police Services works in partnership with the campus community to provide a safe and secure environment in which to work, study, and live. Officers are on duty 24/7, have implemented safety programs, and do regular patrols.

Aboriginal Student Services IconHousing and Transportation

  • Overview
  • Housing
  • Transportation

Housing and Transportation

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Where you live and how you get to your classes are important to your university life. Waterloo gives you information to help you decide whether you should apply for residence or seek housing off-campus. If you live off campus, you’ll also get information on public transportation options and availability of parking services to help you with your commute.

Housing

On Campus

Waterloo has two types of residences for students. The first is the traditional style, with double, single, or interconnecting rooms in a dormitory setting. The second is the suite style, which offers single or double rooms in an apartment or suite setting.

Off Campus

Waterloo’s Off-Campus Housing is a free resource open to all Waterloo students. It offers you a listing service to help your housing search as well as information on tenant rights, contracts, sub-letting, and other off-campus issues.

Meal Plans

Whether you live in residence or off campus, finding a place to eat is made easier with the university’s meal plans, which give you access to both on- and off-campus vendors. Check out Waterloo’s meal plans and prices.

Residence Life

Residence life is about more than where you live – it is where you will find a community. With a senior student mentor to guide you, you will have the chance to participate in exciting programming that builds on what you’re learning inside the classroom while getting to know students from different programs. Check out residence life at Waterloo.

Transportation

Public Transportation

Waterloo’s Federation of Students provides you with the UPASS, a bus pass that allows you unlimited access to Waterloo’s Grand River Transit system. The cost of the UPASS is included in your student fees if you’re a full-time student at Waterloo.

Parking Services

Waterloo provides parking services for community members and visitors. There are various parking options and rates, plus programs that support alternative transportation such as bikes and car-pooling.

Wellbeing IconWell-Being

  • Overview

Well-Being

Wellness in mind, body, and spirit is important to your success at university. Health Services is staffed by trained service providers (family physicians, personal counselors, registered nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, and wellness educators). Below are some of the services available to you.

Health Services

The student medical clinic provides primary medical care for all students. You can drop in for the dispensary, the lab, or a flu shot, or you can book an appointment for repeat immunizations, allergy shots, TB skin test, and more.

Counselling Services

Mental Health Services provides holistic programming and services to help you to lead a healthier and more balanced life. You can access counselling services and support regardless of your concern, whether you’re experiencing difficulties adjusting to studying or university life, or dealing with depression and bothersome moods.

Wellness Education

Health Education and Promotion equips you with the knowledge you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle while at university. You can access services and programs that cover a range of areas, including responsible drinking, staying warm in winter, sexual health, homesickness, and nutrition.

For more information on the well-being services provided by Waterloo, contact Health Services. You can also visit Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre (WAEC) for information on the cultural aspects of health.