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University of Waterloo

Ontario, Canada

Est. 1956

Ranked among top 10 universities in CA

About University of Waterloo

Founded in 1957 (in the age of Cold War) in Ontario, Canada, University of Waterloo was established by a group of business leaders to tackle the world's most daunting challenges. The courses offered are in Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences. Today, Waterloo is known to have the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education programs with over 19000 co-op students and over 5200 employers, which allow students to integrate academics with relevant work experiences. It's a top comprehensive research university with a funding of $183 million for research in quantum technology, nanotechnology, water, automotive, energy, population health and global governance.

U Waterloo's School of Engineering


acceptance rate

C$15,000 (~US$11,100) /year
average tuition fee

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C$6,100 (~US$4,600) /year
average living expense

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Engineering graduate courses offered at U Waterloo

See where U Waterloo is located


The University of Waterloo is located in the heart of Canada's emerging technological hub 'Quantum Valley'. On its adjacent is Waterloo Park. Waterloo can be looked at as a city with small town values and large town ambitions. This is the city where 'Blackberry' phones were first made (the founder studied here), in fact, Blackberry building is a part of the campus. On weekends, you can go fishing in the Grand River or go hiking in the Grand River trails.


The University of Waterloo is spread across a 1000-acre main campus and 100+ buildings. To a few students, the campus could seem too far-stretched and not as beautiful as you'd expect. The campus buildings can vary from being brand new to an absolutely 19th century old one. The campus is divided into three parts: South, North and Northwest Campus. South campus is where you'll have most of your lectures. It's mostly academic. The North campus has research centres. The Waterloo Research and Technological Park is on the north campus. Lastly, the Northwest is considered to be the least developed. It has farm fields and even an environmental reserve.
The university has three satellite campuses at Kitchener, Huntsville and Stratford.
The university has 4 libraries with more than 1.4 million books. Out of them, the Dana Porter library runs 24 hours. The University of Waterloo also has its own 'Earth Sciences Museum' which mainly covers the Great Lakes, dinosaurs, mammals and ice-age mammals.
The University houses the largest Centre for Quantum Research under its 'Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre'.

Residing Options

The university houses seven student residencies available guaranteed for first-year undergrad students, and some for upper year students. Graduate students live off-campus. Living off-campus is going to be definitely less expensive than being in Toronto. Renting is easier/cheaper especially in summer. Students say that you'll spend about $500 per month if you cook and about $500-800 on rent depending on what utilities you seek. One can opt for a TA job.


Waterloo is mostly sunny. Summers are usually dry and temperature can go up to 40 degrees Celsius. When it rains, it is treated like a welcome break. Winter is in full force only for 4-5 months except in a bad year.

Faculty and pedagogy

With their student to faculty ratio at 31:1, students believe that most professors are great and ready to put that added effort by staying after work hours to help you out. The Engineering faculty are the most appreciated out of all. They also try to incorporate real-life examples in their lectures. University of Waterloo's math and engineering programs have been constantly ranked as some of the best in the world.
However, it is important to remember that academic excellence will not come easy at Waterloo. Students more often have to work very hard and sometimes even put additional effort for getting nothing much in return.

Financial aid

The fees for in-state students are less than $3000 and for international students, it is between $6000 to $8000 with varying incidental expenses. There are many scholarships specifically set aside for international students but it is highly competitive to get your hands on, as many other talented students are also eyeing it.

Jobs and placements

The co-op program is very good, and many students get the experience of real work by the time they graduate. You can earn about CAD 15000 per semester. And majorly, co-ops make a good resume which increases your chances to get a good job. Overall, it's a little entrepreneurship oriented institution. It helps in building the network you might need in the future. Their startup incubator 'Velocity' is the world's largest free startup incubator.
The university research says that after 2 years of graduating, almost 88% remain in the same field of study, which is great. LinkedIn ranked the University of Waterloo at first in Canada for Software jobs after graduate studies.


  • Robert Mundell: Nobel Laureate in Economics
  • Mike Lazaridis: Founder of Blackberry Limited
  • Heather Moyse: Canadian athlete, Olympic gold medalist

  • Verdict

    The University of Waterloo could be a heaven in terms of academic research because it is definitely one of the best in the world for that. You would find a lot of nerdy people around who would be seen in the empty classrooms studying in the middle of the night. Waterloo as a place and the university is marked as very safe to be in. Overall, the students can't stop mentioning their co-op program which is the main differentiating factor about this school that can take you to even Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Germany, and France if you are good enough. This is why you go to Waterloo.

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