The University of Waterloo is consistently ranked as one of the most innovative universities in Canada by Maclean. Supporting the environment of risk-taking, inquisitiveness, leadership and entrepreneurship, the university attracts the brightest minds from all over the world. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, which are attended by students from 120 countries each year. The university is focused on a well-thought-out amalgamation of academic brilliance, impactful teaching, entrepreneurial spirit and enriching research work.
Having a world rank of 24 in graduate employability as per QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2023, the university has 42,500+ full and part-time students. With more than 100 undergraduate and 180+ master’s and doctoral programs, international students can leverage the opportunity to study among the world-class peer group. The university also offers the advantage of its strategic location in the technological hub in Canada and helps in shaping the future of its students.
What all courses are available to international students?
The University of Waterloo offers more than 100 undergraduate programs and more than 180+ graduate programs. International students can apply for undergraduate, graduate and PhD degrees, available across 6 faculties at the university 12 faculty-based schools, and 4 affiliated and federated institutions. There are options of both full-time and part-time courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The students can select programs that are offered under 6 faculties outlined below:
The University of Waterloo is one of the leading universities in Canada for research. The University of Waterloo is home to the Nobel laureate Dr. Stricland, who is third woman to win this in the field of physics. The varsity is also home to 1 Canada Excellence Research Chair, 2 Canada Excellence Research Laurate, 5 Killman Prize winners, and 74 Canada Research chair. The University of Waterloo has 30+ senate-approved research centres and institutes with world-leading expertise in; Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Cybersecurity and privacy, Energy, Global Governance, Nanotechnology, Population Health, Quantum Information, and Water.
Eligibility & Documents Required
What are the eligibility requirements?
In order to be eligible for admission to the University of Waterloo, international students need to meet both program-specific and general requirements. Along with academic requirements, the students need to fulfil English language proficiency requirements. The specific eligibility requirements as per the level of the program are given below:
Undergraduate Level Requirements:
For undergraduate level, international students are evaluated on the basis of Grade 10 board examinations result, Grade 11 final school grades and Grade 12 predicted board results from school. The other requirements are as follows:
- First or second division standing in All India Senior School Certificate awarded by CBSE or Indian School Certificate awarded by CISCE or any other pre-university certificate awarded after 12 years of academic studies
- Subject specific percentage and overall Grade 12 percentage requirements as per the program applied for
- IELTS Academic: An overall band score of 6.5 or better; individual component scores of 6.5 in writing and speaking and 6.0 in listening and reading
- TOEFL iBT: Minimum score of 90 overall with minimum 25 in writing and speaking sections
- Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE): An overall score of 63 or better; individual component scores of 65 in writing and speaking
Graduate Level Requirements (Master and Doctoral programs):
- For Master program, a 75 per cent overall standing in a four-year Honours Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent as recognized by University of Waterloo)
- For Doctoral program, a 75 per cent overall standing in previous degree (or equivalent as recognized by University of Waterloo)
- For Doctoral programs, advanced research ability or any other superior qualifications
- English language proficiency requirements (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE scores) as per specific program applied for
Note: International students are recommended to visit the specific program page on the official website and check the program-specific requirements.
What all documents are required for the application?
For applying to the University of Waterloo, international applicants are required to declare all academic education from all past, present schools, universities, colleges and post-secondary institutions. For undergraduate application, the documents are uploaded as a separate PDF file with a maximum size of 5 MB. For graduate applications, the documents are accepted in the file format of pdf, png, jpg, gif, and tif. The maximum size of file is 3.5 MB, except for a portfolio which is 30 MB. Along with filing an online application through Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), the documents which are required to be uploaded are listed below:
Transcripts- Current School
Transcripts- Previous School(s)
Proof of English Language Proficiency
Supplementary Information Form
Admission Information Form
Proof of English Language Proficiency
Permanent Resident Card
Note: Some of the documents listed above may not be required for every program, international applicants are suggested to check the program page for specific document-related requirements.
Application & Tuition Fees
Is there any application fee?
For undergraduate applicants, there is a non-refundable base application fee of CAD 156 for the initial three program choices and CAD 50 for each additional program choice. International applicants are required to pay CAD 10 as international service fee.
International students applying for graduate programs are required to pay non-refundable application fee of CAD 125 per program. This fee is payable by credit/debit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, VISA Debit or Debit MasterCard) or international payments (Flywire or Western Union Business Solutions).
What is the fee structure of courses offered by the university?
The fee structure of courses offered by the University of Waterloo varies as per the course applied for. The university charges tuition fee one term at a time. Along with tuition, the students are charged with incidental fees which can be compulsory, optional or voluntary. The full-time students are automatically charged for WUSA health & dental plans or the GSA health and dental plans.
Please find below the tuition and incidental fee estimate for international students as per the academic year 2022-2023:
Tuition Fee (in CAD)
44,000 - 66,000 per two terms
27,000 - 47,000
Research/ Coursework Master
7,957 per term
Source: University of Waterloo
Note: International students are recommended to check the exact tuition cost of a specific course from the university website as the tuition and other fees are subject to change.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
Is there any scholarship or financial aid available for international students?
International undergraduate students are eligible for a number of scholarships ranging from CAD 500 for one year to more than CAD 20,000 for four years. Known as Merit-Based Entrance Scholarships, these are primarily awarded to full-time, first-year degree students on the basis of their academic and personal achievements.
When do the admissions start?
The admission process at the University of Waterloo begins almost a year before the program begins. For undergraduate admissions, first-year students are admitted for the term starting in September only. The application deadline for most undergraduate programs is in early February, but it is recommended to check for the same on the official website.
For graduate international students, application deadlines are set by specific departments. Thus, international applicants should refer to the specific department page well in advance regarding exact application deadlines.
What is the application process for UG courses?
If you are applying for a full-time course at the University of Waterloo then you need to apply through the Ontario Universities Application Center, It handles all the applications to each of the universities in Ontario.
After selecting the preferred undergraduate program, international undergraduate applicants need to apply through Ontario Universities Application Centre.
At first, the applicants need to create an account using details such as name, date of birth, email address and password as well as accepting the terms and conditions.
Then, an email will be sent for account verification, which will lead the applicants to main application form as given below:
The applicants will fill information in each section outlined below:
- Personal Information, requiring details such as name, date of birth, gender, citizenship and language information
- Contact Information, requiring contact number and address
- Academic Background, requiring details of all institutions attended along with the level and duration of the study
- Browse Programs, requiring search of preferred programs as per university or geographic area and providing program code
- Program Choices, requiring addition of preferred programs to the application
- Document Upload, requiring upload of each required document as a separate PDF file with a maximum size of 5 MB
- Additional Universities Details, requiring mention about any prior study history with the universities applied for
- Other Academic Information, requiring information about Advanced Placement exam
- Transcripts, requiring upload of transcripts
- Activities/ Employment, requiring applicants to list all extracurricular activities from the time of completion of high school till date
- Review and Submit, giving a chance to edit any information before submitting the application and making a credit card payment of application fee
After submitting the application, international applicants will get OUAC reference number.
The applicants will then receive an email with instructions to create a Quest account. Through this account, the applicants will complete Admission Information Form, required to give an edge to the application. In this form, the applicants will answer short questions, helping admission committee to know more about the applicants and their unique personalities. The applicants will then monitor the Quest account to view application status and accept offers of admission.
What is the application process for PG courses?
International applicants for graduate programs are required to choose the program and check the application requirements before preparing the application for submission. The applicants who are applying for a thesis-based program must find a potential supervisor and connect with the selected department. An application fee of CAD 125 is required per program.
The applicants are required to apply online through Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC)
For initiating the application, the applicants are required to create an account by providing details such as name, date of birth, email address and password as well as accepting the terms and conditions.
Then, an email will be sent for account verification and main application page will open up as given below:
The application will have the following sections:
- Welcome, including few helpful tips to start the application
- Introduction, explaining the two-part application process
- Select Your Program, showing the list of programs available
- Program Choices, including selection of a program to the application
- Personal Information, requiring details such as name, gender, date of birth, citizenship details and language
- Contact Information, including mailing and home address, email address and telephone numbers
- Other Information, including external funding information or prior study history with the University of Waterloo
- Academic Background, requiring declaration of your entire academic history
- Test Scores, including details of English language proficiency, GRE or GMAT scores (if needed by the selected department)
- Professional Background, including employment history
- Referees, requiring two or three referees' email addresses
- Review and Submit, requiring to verify every detail before finally submitting the application fee
After the application fee has been processed, the applicants will receive an email from the university. The email will have instructions to access Quest, the student information system by the University of Waterloo. For logging into Quest, the applicants need to activate their user ID and password. After this, required application documents will be uploaded on Quest. The applicants can view, accept or decline admission decisions only through the Quest account.
When will I hear from the university after I submit my application?
The University of Waterloo aims to issue admission decisions as quickly as possible. However, the completed applications are reviewed following the application deadlines, and application processing timelines vary as per the faculty applied for. For graduate admissions, the application is first reviewed by the academic department concerned, followed by a supervisor review process. The selected candidates are then recommended and sent to the Faculty Associate Dean’s Office for review. As the last step, approved applications are reviewed by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs for final approval.
For undergraduate programs, the offers of admission are made between January and May. The duration of processing an application depends on the program applied for, the applicant’s grade average and any special admission requirements such as the portfolio or video interviews. For international applicants, the offers of admission are made on a continuing basis as and when the university receives updated documents and transcripts. As the offers of admissions are normally made in May, the applicants will have to accept the offer latest by June 1.
Student Diversity & Preferred Profile
What are the chances to get into this university?
The chances to get into the University of Waterloo depend on the grades of the students, seat availability and the number of applications received. The university offers admission on the basis of competitive average which generally ranges from low 80s to mid-90s. The highly competitive programs may have higher admission averages, admitting students with higher academic qualifications.
How many Indian/international students are studying at the university?
There are more than 30,000 international students from almost 120 countries at the University of Waterloo. According to the estimate of fall 2018, there were 1,031 Indian students studying at the University of Waterloo and 282 Waterloo alumni were living in India. Also, 21 per cent of total undergraduate students and 40 per cent of the graduate students at the university were international.
The university strives to make international students welcome at the university through its various services such as the International and Canadian Student Network and International Peer Community. The number of international students by citizenship accepted in Fall 2018 is given below:
Source: University of Waterloo
Part-Time Work While Studying
Can I work while studying here?
The eligibility of international students to work in Canada depends on a valid study permit. Also, a Social Insurance Number is required for every worker in Canada.
International students who are registered full-time with the University of Waterloo and hold post-secondary study permits can work part-time inside the campus or part-time up to 20 hours per week off-campus. There is no restriction on hours worked for off-campus employment. International students who opt for off-campus employment can work full-time during scheduled breaks.
Note: International students are recommended to refer to the Government of Canada website for specific details on work and permits.
Campuses & Accommodation
How many campuses does the university have?
The University of Waterloo has four campuses which are outlined below:
Is on-campus housing available?
The University of Waterloo offers two types of on-campus residences:
Main Waterloo Residences: These residences include both suite/apartment style and traditional dorm-style rooms with around 320 to 1,380 students in each residence. Depending on the number of rooms and facilities, the cost of these residences varies from approximately CAD 2,000 to CAD 5,000 per term.
University College Residences: Having up to 145 to 360 students in each residence, these include only traditional dorm-style rooms. The cost of each room varies from approximately CAD 5,000 to CAD 7,000 per term.
International students who opt for off-campus housing can expect to spend around CAD 2,400 to CAD 3,200 per term.
Note: Cost is subject to change with progressive years. It is recommended that international students must confirm the exact residence cost from the university or the specific residence before deciding on the accommodation.
There are a few other additional costs for international students. Please see below an annual estimate of basic expenses incurred by an international student living in Waterloo, over a four-month academic term:
Source: University of Waterloo
University Contact Information
Whom should I contact in case of any doubts?
In case of any doubt, international students may connect with the university using the below-mentioned details:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Postal Address: University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1