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University of Waterloo: Rankings, Courses, Admissions, Tuition Fee, Cost of Attendance & Scholarships

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The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo), located in the heart of Canada’s emerging technological hub “Quantum Valley”, was founded in 1956 by an exceptional group of business leaders. Established with a motto of “In harmony with truth”, the institute serves as a purveyor of ethnic and cultural diversity for over 40,000 students from 120 countries aspiring to study in Canada.

The only university in the world to receive 5+ stars in research, teaching, employability and facilities, the institute offers some unparalleled programs in its 6 faculties and 13 schools. Where its Computer Science, Maths and Engineering courses compete in the list of top 50 in the world, its co-op programs are one of the best in the country and are equally remarkable in every sense. 

Admission to the University of Waterloo are available during the months of April-May and are regulated via a very strict entrance process. Where an acceptance rate of around 53% reflects moderate selectivity, the data shows that nearly 60% of students entering the institute had an average marks of 90 and above. 

Believing experience is the real teacher, this entrepreneurship-oriented institute of higher education in Canada guarantees a beyond classroom learning to its applicants. The employment rate of almost 98.9% acts as a testament to the fact that the institute is guiding its students on a path to a sparkling future.

University of Waterloo Ranking

  • Awarded with the honor of Most Innovative University in Canada for 27 years by Maclean’s Magazine in 2019.
  • QS Graduate Employability Rankings honored it at #1st position in the world under the category of student-employer partnerships.
  • Stands at 1st position as a comprehensive research university for the 11th consecutive year, as depicted by the 2018 survey of Research Inforource.

2. Admission

The University follows a holistic approach towards admissions and demands the best of the best. All the related information relevant for aspirants is compiled as follows:

2.1 Programs

The institute offers diverse range of courses including more than 100 majors at the undergraduate level and over 180 master’s and doctoral programs to its applicants around the world. 

The available courses are distributed under 6 faculties namely, Applied Health Science, Engineering, Arts, Environment, Mathematics and Science.

The various programs offered at the university are comprehensive programs based on real-world experience. Some of the popular courses favourite among students are mentioned below:

  • Computer Science.
  • System Design Engineering.
  • Maths.
  • Mechatronics Engineering.

Program-wise student enrollment for some of the highly-regarded courses at the university is depicted in the graph below.

2.2 Deadlines

Program TypeApplication DeadlineDocuments Deadline
Most programs 27-Mar-203-Apr-20
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics programs31-Jan-2028-Feb-20
Accounting & Financial Management31-Jan-2028-Feb-20

Admission to first-year students are offered around the world only for the term scheduled to begin in the month of September. The upcoming deadlines for seeking admission at the University are as follows:

NOTE: Applications might be considered post the above mentioned deadlines till the availability of seats in corresponding programs.

2.3 Admission Process

Application process for admission in a few easy steps:

  1. Apply online by creating an OUAC account.
  2. Select a program of choice (for every program after 3 choices, additional fee of 36 USD is charged).
  3. Submit the completed application along with an application fee of 117 USD and International student fee of 8 USD.
  4. Keep updated with the inbox of personal email id for application status.

3. Campus and Accommodation Options

3.1 Campus

The university’s main campus lies in the city of Waterloo, Ontario in the huge area of 404 hectares. It is surrounded at the borders by Waterloo Park, Wilfrid Laurier University and Laurel Creek Conservation Area. With 3 numbered roads intersecting the main campus, it is easily accessible via public transport

Majority of the teaching facilities available at the institute are centred on a ring road which lies in its southern area. While most of the campus buildings are new, there are buildings that send nostalgic vibes and are as old as 19th century .

Other University campuses include School of Architecture; Health Sciences Campus & School of Pharmacy and Stratford School of Interaction Design & Business. The institute also has own ‘Earth Sciences Museum’ and a largest Centre for Quantum Research under its ‘Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre’.

On-campus facilities: 

With more than 200 academic, charitable, social, political, sports, and cultural student clubs, and over 100 volunteer services, the university campus is a thriving site of learning and growth. Over a dozen restaurants, cafés, music venues, at a 20-minute distance from campus ensures there is never short of fun and recreational activities for students. On-campus meals comprising halal, kosher, vegan, vegetarian and customised options are a must try by every on-campus resident.

3.2 Accommodation

Offers both on-campus and off-campus accommodation options to its aspirants which are available in different styles and with different facilities at varying prices. Candidates can choose the availability option as per their needs and pocket.


The university guarantees on-campus residence to its 1st year students plus the added benefits of personal and academic support in a culturally enriching environment. The accommodation is offered in either the main residences or the 4 on-campus University Colleges, with the student capacity of 320 to 1,380 and 142 to 360, respectively.

The available residencies have various alternatives like single and double-sharing rooms, apartments or suites and traditional dorm-style rooms to choose from. The on-campus accommodation depending upon the term, hall and room of choice is:

Cost of accommodation: 1,875 to 3,575 USD, per term.


The institute also provides off-campus housing and homestays option to candidates who want to live near campus yet experience their privacy by not exactly staying on campus. The average rent in the city is cheap and easy, especially in the summers, and quite affordable for the ones who can cook their own meals. The estimated cost of off-campus housing with basic utilities is as mentioned below:

Off-campus housing cost: 451 USD per month.

4. Cost of Attendance

4.1 Tuition Fee

Tuition fee for various programs varies as per their level and duration. The estimated range for international applicants hoping to enroll into a program at the university is: 26,550 to 40,500 USD per academic year.

Subject-wise tuition cost for some of the undergraduate and graduate programs is tabulated below.

Undergraduate Courses:

Tuition fee for various programs varies as per their level and duration. The estimated range for international applicants hoping to enroll into a program at the university is: 26,550 to 40,500 USD per academic year.

Subject-wise tuition cost for some of the undergraduate and graduate programs is tabulated below.

Name of programTuition fee (in USD, per academic year)
Faculty of Engineering, Software Engineering40,950
Accounting and Financial Management26,550
Computer Science, Business Administration (Laurier) and Computer Science (Waterloo) Double Degree40,875
Global Business and Digital Arts28,725
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and Arts26,475

Graduate Courses:

Name of ProgramTuition fee (in USD)
Most courses (research & coursework master)5,2822 per term
Electrical & Computer Engineering- MEng2,963 per course
Management Sci- MMSc3,454 per course

4.2 Other Expenses

An estimated cost of living in Canada to be considered, apart from tuition fee, in order to survive a term at the university (as per the data of 2019) is as tabulated below. 

Type of ExpenditureCost (in USD)
Accommodation1,800 to 2,400
Books and Supplies375 to 750
Other personal expenses1,155
Total4,035 to 5,010

5. Scholarships

The university offers international students financial aid in the form of bursaries and scholarships to study in Canada. Various awards offered are merit-based and can be availed by any candidate in need of financial help. Some of the Scholarships available at the time of admission are described below:

University typePublic Research University
RankUnder top 10 Medical Doctoral University, Canada
CoursesAround 900 undergraduate courses
No. of Campuses3
Application Fee68 USD
International Students3,000
English Language Proficiency TestsTOEFL/IELTS or equivalent
Financial Aid for International StudentsAvailable as Scholarships and Awards

NOTE: The institute also provides multiple application-based scholarships. Students can avail these awards by filling their respective forms.

6. Conclusion

UWaterloo has an excellent academic syllabus and goes the extra mile to ensure its students are well-prepared to tackle the unsettling challenges of the real world. Waterloo as a city is equally awesome and offers some great fishing and hiking opportunities, while simultaneously being one of the safest and affordable places in Canada. 

However, candidates applying to the university must remember that being empty sponges will lead them nowhere. The university requires its applicants to put in additional effort and hard work in order to achieve academic excellence, and promises to reciprocate the gesture in equal measure.


Master of Applied Science [M.ASc] Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering$ 10,5632 YEARSTOEFL 80IELTS 6.5
Bachelor Computer Science$ 28,4254 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Applied Science [B.ASc] Software Engineering$ 40,950 4 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Science [B.Sc] Science$ 27,9754 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Master of Arts [M.A] Economics$ 10,5631 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Mathematics [B.Math] Statistics$ 28,4254 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Applied Science [B.ASc] Mechanical Engineering$ 40,9504 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Arts [B.A] Speech Communication$ 26,4754 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Master of Applied Science [M.ASc] Chemical Engineering$ 10,5632 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Science [B.Sc] Chemistry$ 27,9754 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Master of Architecture [M.Arch]$ 14,1154 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Master Taxation$ 7,0842 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Applied Science [B.ASc] Electrical Engineering$ 40,9504 YEARSTOEFL 80IELTS 6.5
Master of Engineering [M.Eng] Civil Engineering$ 17,2621 YEARSTOEFL 80IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Arts [B.A] Psychology$ 26,4754 YEARSTOEFL 80IELTS 6.5
Bachelor of Science [B.Sc] Psychology$ 27,9754 YEARSTOEFL 80IELTS 6.5
Master of Public Health [M.P.H] Public Health$ 10,5632 YEARSTOEFL 100IELTS 7.0
Bachelor of Arts [B.A] Legal Studies$ 26,4754 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5
Master of Applied Science [M.ASc] Systems Design Engineering$ 10,5632 YEARSTOEFL 80IELTS 6.5
Bachelor Accounting and Financial Management$ 26,5504 YEARSTOEFL 90IELTS 6.5

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