University of Waterloo Profile
The 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. Read more about the University of Waterloo.
Waterloo’s admission requirements are divided into different categories of learners that include secondary school and transfer students. Each category 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 Indigenous learners in many secondary schools and community organizations. These recruiters are part of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Information Program (APSIP), a collection of Indigenous recruiters from Ontario and Quebec colleges and universities. They will have the most up-to-date information about applying to your university as an Indigenous learner. Read more about APSIP on their Facebook page.
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 will also meet other first-year Waterloo students, learn more about AccessAbility Services and reduce or remove barriers to achieving your academic and personal goals.
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 the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), an organization that provides information on credit transfers in Ontario.
Academic Programs and 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. The following are some examples of the academic programs you can take at Waterloo.
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, and 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 and 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. An Indigenous Studies minor has also been added.
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.
Waterloo offers a variety of services to help you achieve your goals at university. The following are 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 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 website.
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 Indigenous learners.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Financial aid is available to you through scholarships, bursaries, government loans and Indigenous-specific scholarships and awards. You can find a list of Waterloo’s scholarships and bursaries. You can also visit Waterloo’s Indigenous Education Centre (WISC) for information about financial aid available to you.
Aboriginal Student Services
Aboriginal Student Services
The Waterloo Indigenous Education Centre (WISC), located at St. Paul’s University College, services the University of Waterloo campus. It strives to be a home away from home for Indigenous learners. You can talk with WISC staff, meet other students and join in activities and cultural events. The following are just some of the services you will find at Waterloo and the WISC.
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 Indigenous crafts such as bead work, jewellery making, dream catchers, etc.
Every year in the fall, the centre hosts a traditional Pow Wow. It celebrates drumming, dancing and other elements of traditional Indigenous 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 Indigenous culture.
The University of Waterloo Directions program invites Indigenous 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.
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. In this section you will find further information about student life at Waterloo.
Waterloo’s Orientation is your introduction to the academic, social and community aspects of university life. This week-long event at 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
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.
Indigenous Learners’ Clubs
The Indigenous Student Association (ISA) hosts events for the Indigenous student community to celebrate heritage and promote awareness. The association welcomes all learners on the Waterloo campus to join and expand their knowledge on Indigenous culture.
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).
Waterloo is home to the Warriors varsity sports that range from basketball, badminton and curling, to hockey, squash and volleyball. The Waterloo Warriors participate in both Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Find more information on varsity athletics at Waterloo, including try-out dates.
Recreation and Intramurals
Waterloo offers recreational sports and leagues that you can participate in 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.
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 Waterloo’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.
Waterloo offers Multi-Faith Prayer Spaces on campus for people to practice their faith around campus. Students and larger groups can book these rooms.
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.
Housing and Transportation
Housing and Transportation
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.
Waterloo has 2 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.
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, subletting and other off-campus issues.
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 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.
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.
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 carpooling.
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). The following are some of the services available to you.
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, a TB skin test and more.
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.
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 the Waterloo Indigenous Education Centre (WISC) for information on the cultural aspects of health.