university of waterloo

University of Waterloo; Everything You Need To Know

University of Waterloo (UW, or Waterloo) is a public research university with a main campus in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is on 404 hectares (998 acres) of land adjacent to “Uptown” Waterloo and Waterloo Park.

In 1957, the University of Waterloo opened its doors to 74 engineering students with co-operative education as its cornerstone. Today, the University has developed its campus and facilities with more than 42,000+ students attending annually, Waterloo is #1 in Canada for experiential learning and employer-student connections.

This article informs everything you need to know about the university pertaining to campus and facilities, academic programs, research opportunities and a lot more details about the university.

Campus and Facilities

The university’s main campus lies within the city of Waterloo, Ontario. It sits on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples that is part of the Haldimand Tract, land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

The university has four libraries housing more than 1.4 million books, as well as electronic resources including e-books, serial titles, and databases. Enriched in academic programs, the university has eight student residences: the Minota Hagey Residence, UW Place, Village 1 (the university’s first residence), Ron Eydt Village, Mackenzie King Village, Columbia Lake North and South, and Claudette Millar Hall.

Read Also: Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose Ontario Universities

Academic Programs

The University of Waterloo offers a wide range of academic programs in various disciplines at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Here are some of the major faculties and academic programs offered at the University of Waterloo:

  1. Faculty of Applied Health Sciences: This faculty offers programs in health-related fields such as Kinesiology, Public Health, Recreation and Leisure Studies, and Speech Communication.
  2. Faculty of Arts: This faculty offers programs in areas such as Anthropology, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Social Development Studies.
  3. Faculty of Engineering: This faculty offers programs in various areas of engineering, including Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Systems Design Engineering.
  4. Faculty of Environment: This faculty offers programs in Environmental Studies, Geography and Environmental Management, International Development, and Planning.
  5. Faculty of Mathematics: This faculty offers programs in Actuarial Science, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics.
  6. Faculty of Science: This faculty offers programs in areas such as Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, and Science and Business.
  7. Faculty of Architecture: Architecture and Sustainable Architecture
  8. Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business: This school offers programs in Entrepreneurship and Business, including undergraduate and graduate programs in Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, and Technology Entrepreneurship.

In addition to these faculties and schools, the University of Waterloo also offers joint programs, minors, and options, as well as graduate and doctoral programs in various fields. Check on the university website for more updates on the academic programs and faculties.

Read Also: Step by Step Procedure on How to Apply University of Waterloo

Research Opportunities

At Waterloo, it’s not just about the content you learn, it’s also about the experience you gain. Research opportunities give you the chance to further your understanding of class material and provide you with valuable experience in something that interests you.

Broad range of programs within the faculty of arts for instance makes for incredibly diverse faculty-lead research projects, and there’s a number of research centers affiliated with the arts that have ongoing projects.

Whether it’s in Classical Studies, Philosophy, or Psychology, students are constantly discovering research opportunities. Supported with faculties, researchers help you become familiar with the health promotion-related research occurring within the Faculty of Health, research centers, and institutes.

Faculty and Staff

The University of Waterloo is built on the strength of remarkable Faculties. Some of the faculties include;

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Environment, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Mathematics, Faculty of Arts, Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business.

The University has some notable professors like Naila Keleta-Mae, Associate Professor, Communication Arts, who was awarded a 2023 Dorothy Killam Fellowship that provides support for dedicated research time to scholars “whose superior, ground-breaking, best-in-class research stands to have significant impact on a national or global scale.”

Read Also: Top 10 best Universities in Ontario, Canada

Student Life

The University of Waterloo has a vibrant student life with a wide range of activities and events to participate in. Here are some of the highlights of student life at the University of Waterloo:

  1. Clubs and societies: The university has over 200 clubs and societies covering a wide range of interests and activities, including academic, cultural, athletic, and recreational clubs.
  2. Athletics and recreation: The university has a variety of athletic and recreational facilities, including gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools, and outdoor sports fields, where students can participate in a range of sports and fitness activities.
  3. Events and festivals: The university hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including music festivals, cultural events, art exhibitions, and sports tournaments.
  4. Volunteer opportunities: The university provides numerous volunteer opportunities for students to get involved in the community and make a positive impact.
  5. Campus services: The university offers a range of campus services to support students, including career services, health services, counseling services, and academic support services.
  6. Housing and dining: The university offers a variety of on-campus housing and dining options, including residence halls and dining halls, as well as off-campus housing options.
  7. Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA): The WUSA is the student government organization that represents undergraduate students and advocates for their needs and interests.

Student life at the University of Waterloo is vibrant and engaging, with plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and make the most of their university experience.

Community Engagement

The University of Waterloo is committed to community engagement and has several initiatives and programs that promote community involvement and social responsibility. Here are some examples of community engagement at the University of Waterloo:

  1. Volunteerism and community service: The university encourages students, staff, and faculty to get involved in volunteerism and community service through programs such as the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, Alternative Spring Break, and the Community Engagement Certificate program.
  2. Social innovation: The university supports social innovation and entrepreneurship through programs such as the Velocity Social Innovation Lab, which provides mentorship and funding for social entrepreneurs.
  3. Community partnerships: The university has established partnerships with local organizations and businesses to support community development and address social issues.
  4. Research partnerships: The university collaborates with community organizations and stakeholders to conduct research that addresses social and environmental challenges.
  5. Knowledge mobilization: The university supports the dissemination of research findings and knowledge through various channels, such as community-based participatory research, policy briefs, and public presentations.
  6. Outreach and public education: The university offers a range of outreach and public education programs that engage community members in learning and discussion about various topics, such as science, technology, and social justice.

Generally, the University of Waterloo is committed to promoting community engagement and social responsibility through various programs and initiatives. The university values partnerships and collaboration with community organizations and stakeholders to address social and environmental challenges and to promote positive change.

Sustainable Initiatives

The University of Waterloo is committed to sustainability and has several initiatives in place to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainability. Here are some examples of sustainable initiatives at the University of Waterloo:

  1. Climate Action Plan: The university has developed a comprehensive Climate Action Plan, which outlines strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon future.
  2. Waste reduction: The university has implemented several waste reduction initiatives, such as a composting program, a waste reduction and recycling program, and a program to reduce single-use plastics.
  3. Green buildings: The university has several green buildings that incorporate sustainable design features, such as energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting systems.
  4. Sustainable transportation: The university promotes sustainable transportation through initiatives such as the Sustainable Transportation Options Program, which offers incentives for carpooling, cycling, and using public transit.
  5. Sustainable food: The university has several initiatives to promote sustainable food, such as the Sustainable Food Systems Project, which promotes local and organic food, and the Eco-Friendly Catering Program, which provides sustainable catering options for events.
  6. Sustainable energy: The university has several initiatives to promote sustainable energy, such as the installation of solar panels and the use of geothermal heating and cooling systems.
  7. Sustainable procurement: The university has a sustainable procurement policy that requires suppliers to meet sustainability criteria, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using environmentally friendly products.

The University of Waterloo is committed to sustainability and has several initiatives in place to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainability. The university values sustainability as a core principle and strives to promote sustainability through its operations and education programs. The University Impact Rankings, in 2020 ranked the University of Waterloo as number 2 in Canada for social and economic impact based on the United States Sustainable and Developmental Goals (SDGs).

Notable Achievement and Alumni

Waterloo is a school that helps you gain relevant experience for whatever you want to do. North America’s largest co-op program, international exchanges, clubs, certificate programs, lab work, field studies, and hackathons are all examples of how Waterloo lets you explore your passions.

University of Waterloo is ranked #191 in Best Global Universities. Maclean ranked University of Waterloo number 1 in Computer Science and mathematics in 2021. Maclean also ranked the university of Waterloo as the number 1 in experimental learning among comprehensive universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. 

Marked for being excellent, the university has brought up notable alumni like:

  • V. K. Aatre – Scientist and former head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation
  • Michael H. Albert – Rhodes Scholar, associate professor at University of Otago
  • Celeste Anderson – King of the Nerds winner, competitive gamer
  • Gordon Stewart Anderson – Writer 
  • Mohammad H. Ansari – Fundamental quantum theory research

Future Outlook

The good news is Waterloo was built for change. The University willingness to take risks and embrace new approaches distinguished them from the beginning when they established their renowned co–operative education program and allowed entrepreneurial researchers to own their intellectual property.

In its strategic plan, University of Waterloo is building on its unconventional foundation by reimagining three broad themes for impact that will position Waterloo to develop talent for a complex future, secure admission, advance research for global impact and strengthen Waterloo’s sustainable and diverse communities. 

Admission Process

The requirements for admission differ between students from Ontario, students from other provinces in Canada, and international students, due to the lack of uniformity in marking schemes. The minimum averages required for programs are determined each year based on the number and qualification of applicants and the number of available spaces.

Applicants should note that February 1st is the deadline for most programs, hence within two weeks of receiving applicant’s application from the OUAC, University of Waterloo will send an email with student’s number. 


The best and brightest are drawn to the University of Waterloo for its renowned academic programs, its world-leading co-operative education program, and its teaching and research excellence.

Hence, scholars and students who want to solve the world’s deepest mysteries will find a home here. Researchers and entrepreneurs seeking solutions to climate change and other complex health, social or environmental problems will pursue their passions at the University of Waterloo. 

1 thought on “University of Waterloo; Everything You Need To Know”

  1. Pingback: St. Jerome's University: Everything About the University - Schools in Ontario

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top