University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ont. | Founded 1957

University of Waterloo students

Student design teams work on various vehicles for upcoming competitions at the Engineering 5 building at the University of Waterloo.


The University of Waterloo is a research mecca. The Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre opened in 2012, as did a campus in Stratford, Ont., dedicated to digital media and information technology. There’s also the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University. The prestigious Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is nearby as well. The Science Teaching Complex opened in January 2016, and the university has begun construction of Engineering 7, a building that will accommodate growth from the highly popular mechatronics engineering program. Research leads to entrepreneurship, and that includes Velocity, a residence for student entrepreneurs that creates a collaborative setting for mobile and digital media start-ups. Meanwhile, Waterloo has the largest post-secondary co-op program in the world. “Our mission is clear: The University of Waterloo will be one of the world’s top innovation universities,” says president Feridun Hamdullahpur. The main campus is mostly low- and mid-rise buildings enclosed by a ring road, while the southwest campus is home to Laurel Creek and the small Laurel Lake. The Stratford campus features an ultra-modern building with open-concept classrooms near the downtown core.

READ: Where to find the best campus food and more

Standout Programs
Environment and Business: Equips graduates to help businesses be both profitable and environmentally responsible. Students learn core business skills while acquiring expertise in environmental economics and corporate social responsibility.
Biotechnology/Chartered Professional Accountancy: Prepares students for careers in the accounting profession while providing the technical experience needed to interact with modern technology-intensive industry.
Arts and Business: Earn a B.A. with two areas of expertise: an arts major and practical business courses, including accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship.

Cool Courses
• Knowledge Integration: The Museum Course: Students design and build their own museum exhibit for an on-campus show after visiting a major museum city for inspiration. Previous trips have been to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Berlin.
• User Experience Design: Covers the theory and practice of user experience design as it applies to the design of interactive digital media. Topics include user-centred design, personas, and prototyping.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Average class size Undergraduate students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 85%
Arts: 80%
Science: 80%
Commerce: 80% to 90%
$7,132 Not provided Full-time: 29,643
Part-time: 1,371
6,447 (5,158 reserved for first years) Graduation: 79.1%
Retention: 92.3%

More Schools: Western UniversityQueen’s UniversityWilfrid Laurier UniversityUniversity of TorontoMcGill University


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