University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ont. | Founded 1957

Waterloo University students walking on campus

(Courtesy of Jonathan Bielaski/University of Waterloo)

The University of Waterloo is a research mecca. It’s home to the Science Teaching Complex and the Balsillie School of International Affairs—a collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University. Engineering 7 is home to growing biomedical and mechatronics engineering programs, as well as research on disruptive technologies.

Research leads to entrepreneurship: Velocity is one of the world’s most productive start-up incubators. A study by Deloitte Canada found that the school’s entrepreneurship programs have generated more than $2 billion in revenue and about 7,500 jobs over roughly a decade. The new Science Innovation Hub links science and business, providing research facilities, including a prototyping lab. The school recently became one of the first 5G smart campuses in Canada.

“The University of Waterloo’s world-leading co-op program, outstanding academic programming and highly relevant research equip our students with the experience, skills and knowledge they need to help solve the challenges of today’s changing world,” says Feridun Hamdullahpur, who is wrapping up 10 years as president. (Vivek Goel will succeed him.)

The main campus, with a newly expanded student centre and athletics complex, is enclosed by a ring road, while the southwest campus is home to Laurel Creek and Laurel Lake. Two campuses in nearby Cambridge and Kitchener are dedicated to architecture and pharmacy programs, respectively. A campus in Stratford, dedicated to digital media and information technology, features an ultra-modern building near the downtown.

READ: An insider’s guide to the best live music venue, weirdest tradition and more

Standout Programs
Environment and Business: This unique program blends entrepreneurship and environmental ethics, and covers subjects from finance to field ecology. It features co-op.
Physics and Astronomy: Students use physics and math to understand space, including the formation, structure and evolution of the universe. There are opportunities for co-op and research.
Geological Engineering: Students examine civil engineering and the geosciences. In high demand, grads can tackle the safety of mines, dams and pipelines.

Cool Courses
Bull, Bias, and Bad Arguments: Study information literacy from a social scientific perspective. Learn cognitive biases and skills needed to identify and counter false claims.
The Physics of How Things Work: Learn the physics behind technologies such as microwave ovens and nuclear reactors.

Tuition (includes compulsory ancillary fees)
Minimum Entering Grades
Arts: 80% · Science: 80% · Commerce: 80-92% · Engineering: 88%
Student Body
Undergraduates: Full-time: 33,322 · Part-time: 1,359
Graduates: Full-time: 4,870 · Part-time: 1,354
International Students: First-year: 18.9% · Graduate: 43.2%
Male-female Ratio: 52 to 48
Housing Facts
Residence offerings reduced because of COVID-19
Residence Spaces: 2,514 (6,683 last year with 5,675 reserved for first-year students)
Residence Costs: Single room with meals: $11,056 to $12,942 · Single room without meals: $6,697 ·
Apartment-style: $6,386 to $7,224

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