- Location: Waterloo, Ontario
- Funding: Public
- Size: 24,973 undergraduates
- Percent Women: 42%
- Tuition (one year): $16,649
- Greek Life:: Yes
- Most Popular Majors: Engineering, Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantum Physics, Psychology
- Acceptance Rate: 53%
- For more information about concentrations, study abroad, financial aid, and average test scores, visit the University of Waterloo https://uwaterloo.ca/find-out-more/admissions
Why Choose Waterloo?
“I applied to Waterloo because of the location, a small and quiet city not too far from a large city.”
“Love the campus. There’s so much green space, especially near the colleges."
“I chose Waterloo for the unique programs only offered at Waterloo. It has a lot of different programs that are only offered at Waterloo such as; Arts & Business, Global Business & Digital Arts, Pharmacy, Architecture, Science & Business, Environment & Business and many more!”
“I chose Waterloo for the Co-op option because it has the world’s biggest Co-op program giving you many different options for a Co-op placement and the opportunity to try different jobs before you graduate. You also get paid while on Co-op so you have some extra money to pay off student debts.”
“I decided on Waterloo because of the unique programs and majors they offered (ie speech communication).”
“I also chose Waterloo because I am interested in Technology and Waterloo is known as Canada’s best Engineering school. Waterloo always showcases new technology before others even know about it.”
“I applied to Waterloo because of how culturally diverse it is. There are so many people from so many different places that different cultures are constantly celebrated here.”
“I chose to transfer to Waterloo after two years at Wilfrid Laurier University because I realized I wanted to focus on Biological Antropology instead of Archaeology, and Waterloo offered some awesome courses in BioAnth.”
“Waterloo is ranked #1 in the country for innovation for more than 20 years”.
“What I like about Waterloo is that it has the only Math Faculty and Environment Faculty in Canada.”
“What I like about Waterloo is the start-up community, there are constantly new businesses that start at the University. The University is very supportive and offers many resources to help you start your own business.”
“I like how Waterloo’s campus is very compact – it only takes 15 minutes or less to walk from one side of campus to the other. Waterloo students are the only students on campus (even though there is another university nearby). I also liked how each faculty had their on buildings in a specific area on campus.”
“In 2014 there is constant construction- wakes student up early. The local geese are a bit of a nuisance - poop everywhere and wake students up!”
“Not a 'spirited' school, not a lot of fans go to football games or stuff like that – that’s what I don’t like.”
“Faculty's can be 'cliquey' not a lot of meshing of arts & math students etc.”
“Waterloo is really lacking in what they do for present students, especially in regards to mental health. We also have one poorly advertised “mental health awareness day.”
“I think we need to cultivate the idea that not only can women excel in sciences, but also that women’s work in arts is valuable and worthwhile.”
New Collegiette on Campus
“Being a first year student here is scary at first, but then it is amazing! There is an great support system as well.”
“There are a lot of orientation events and the leaders put a lot of effort to make the transition from high school to University easy.”
“During Orientation there are three different types of events: residence, university-wide and faculty wide; Residence: activities with your residence to get to know one another. Faculty: meet people in your faculty and get to learn soft skills needed for university (i.e. time management, study skills) and each faculty has a colour and a mascot. University wide: usually big events as every frist year attends these events. Orientation week is the only week where there is both school spirit and faculty spirit.”
“Special faculty traditions for first years; each faculty has their own secret dance to earn their faculty item (i.e. arts sunglasses, math pink bow ties).”
“It is very easy to get to know upperclassmen, they are usually upper year mentors to first year students.”
“I didn’t have a proper “first year” at Waterloo, since I transferred here in my third year of my undergrad. My first year here, though, I found it really difficult to get to know the people in my program and on campus. Nobody really told me how to get involved or find my way around campus. A better transfer student orientation could help with this.”
All About Academics
“Waterloo is known to be a very academics school. That means tons of studing @ Williams Coffee House, sit-in coffee shops at University Plaza, lots of time spent at DP library (aka the sugarcube) or SLC and of course the lounges in rez!”
“Speech Communication! We definitely have quite a few readings, and it’s a lot of discussion so going to class is generally mandatory, but I get to learn about important issues to me, like feminism, racism, and classism. I’ve also improved my communication skills immensely.”
“I think Dana Porter is my favourite place to study. There’s lots of spaces, normally the atmosphere on the first floor is very chill, and I don’t have to spend all day stuck in my room.”
“I’d say the most popular or well-known major is Engineering. Not being an Engineer myself I can’t speak to the workload. For my major/minor (BioAnth and Psychology, respectively), the workload is heavy without being overwhelming. I still have enough downtime. For Honours Anthropology a thesis is written. General academic requirements are actually fairly low, and I’ve found them quite easy to fulfill. Getting into courses can sometimes be difficult, but my academic advisor is very helpful. Most professors will override a course requirement for you if you ask them about it and explain why you need the course. I think as far as studying habits, it varies a lot. I know I prefer to get work done at home where I can be comfortable, but many people I know need to be at the library or elsewhere on campus in order to not be distracted.”
Learn from the Best
“Well I’m in math, which is one of our more popular programs… but during orientation week I was the only female. Since then I’ve been in classes with a few more, but unfortunately we’re still pretty male dominated. Girl’s need to get more into the STEM programs, everywhere! It’s hard work, but I get to do some pretty cool stuff.”
“My favourite professor is Dr.Barrickman, a physical anthropology professor at Waterloo. Her explanations are simple, and her lectures are interesting to listen to. You can tell she is enthusiastic about her research and she loves what she does, which I think is a huge part of it.”
”Waterloo is full of ethnicity. Ethnicity means lots of different styles! It’s great.”
Interests & Involvement
"Waterloo is big on extracurricular activities. There's an opportunity for everyone to get involved with campus clubs. Whether its pottery, dance, gaming, or sports, Waterloo has got may alternatives to drinking and partying. It's all about meeting new people!"
“Greek life is off campus but very much a part of Waterloo.”
“If you want to join a club or do extracurriculars, a lot of the time you have to search for them yourself. Maybe this is a product of me not having had orientation week at Waterloo, but there is not a whole lot of promotion of extracurriculars at Waterloo, which is a shame because there are so many awesome clubs and extracurriculars.”
“The Waterloo Warrior football team!”
“Renison College which is also a full Residence is home to all first year Warrior Athletes!”
“Although it’s not everyone’s hobby to watch sports, it’s the school spirit that counts!”
“Many students participate in varsity team’s and intramurals. Intramurals are different according to the season.”
"Being a woman in the University of Waterloo is quite reputable. Seeing girls in programs ranging from engineering, arts, math, computer science, life sciences brings a sense of pride to our gender as it shows that we have the ability to be academically strong instead of being known as the ''emotional, more fashionable'' gender."
"Girls are all about comfort in Waterloo. They rock their buns and wear their sweatpants and hoodies like evening wear. We don't oppose this fashion statement as girls at Waterloo are always on the run and what better way to do so!"
"Women on campus are offered a lot of services through clubs, organizations, and academics. Whether its the Because I'm a Girl club, the Women's Center, or various sororities on campus, women at Waterloo have the opportunity to take part in many different extracurricular activities. The Women's Studies Program also gives women the opportunity to bring their passion into the classroom."
"The gender ratio on campus is what makes women at Waterloo feel so empowered. Amidst the world renowned (and highly male dominated) engineering and mathematics programs, women tend to be in the smaller ratio. However, this all depends on the program. Programs such as the Liberal Arts or Women's Studies have our Warrior Women left, right, and center."
“I would say Waterloo is; trendy ~ skater skirts, uggs, knit infinity scarves and plaid button ups under knit pullovers; sporty (many girls here are on sport scholarships) ~ workout wear, runners, nike, sweatpants, hoodies, ponys and pre-wrap headbands; international (foreign) ~ anime style, bright colours, patterns, characters, popular celebs, shows and actors; eccentric ~ long skirts, vintage tops, heeled boots and berets.”
Food & Drink
“Sweet Dream’s Bubble Tea is pretty popular. It’s in the plaza so it’s not far from campus and has a very cozy feel. There is also board games, which are fun. I’m into the hipsterish places I can do my homework in and feel cool at!”
“I never bothered with Res-food after first year. It’s too expensive. Coffee shops are great - Tim Horton’s is a must and so is William’s. I stopped going to Subway on campus after I realized it is more experience here than at other locations.”
“Weekends? Sleep! Due to intense Monday – Friday school schedule.”
"The social scene is definitely inclusive! We're a very tight-knit community here at Waterloo. With Sir Wilfrid Laurier University being right down the street from us, we're all about joining forces to maximize the fun!."
“Waterloo is fun place, like when we have St. Patrick Day parade parties with Laurier university students!”
“I think something people believe about Waterloo is that there are no parties, which is just blatantly untrue. Even in first year, when I was at Laurier, I partied more with Waterloo friends than Laurier friends. I think there certainly is pressure to drink at parties, and it’s pretty prevalent. It is super easy to get around at night, whether it’s walking, busAing, or cabbing. Some alternatives to partying are going to the movies, bowling, just hanging out with friends, or finding a club you enjoy and taking part in their activities.”
"Bomber Wednesdays is the biggest weekday attraction. It's what everyone looks forward to and is a great way to blow off some stream to get you through the rest of the week. The best part is it is right on campus for everyone's benefit!"
"Public transportation is free around campus at Waterloo. Getting around is so easy because of this! And since most students live so close to campus, there's always the option of walking and getting some much needed exercise!"
“Several university colleges give a real community feeling, you get to know everyone.”
“REV has traditional double occupancy rooms and every floor is co-ed. There are 50 people on each floor. V1 has single rooms. UWP/MKV has suite style so it becomes easy to socialize with your suitemates.”
“At Waterloo you can request a roommate when applying for Residence however both people must request each other.”
“Dorms very safe - no incidents in past that I know of.”
“In general all residences are within a 15 minute walk from main campus.”
“Students are not required to live in residence however residence is guaranteed for all first year students. Many off campus options are also available .”
“It’s VERY popular for upperclassmen to live off campus unless they are Don’s or in Co-op.”
“All residences host bonding activities; among floors, the entire residence and the entire campus.”
Exploring the city of Waterloo
“The city of Waterloo is quiet at times but with Laurier and Waterloo so close together, there’s bound to be students around town most of the time. There is lots to do; some favourites are Cha-time (bubbletea) runs, shopping at Conestoga Mall, nightclubbing, and many more!”
“There are lots of restaurants and stores within walking distance. There’s UWP Plaza right across the street from UW Place residences. Walmart and Sobey’s are just a short bus ride away. King Street is a really popular place to go during your free time, or just for food. And for shopping, Conestoga is the perfect place to go for your student budget.”
“Uptown Waterloo is a close bus ride from campus where the nightlife thrives. There are also nightclubs on King Street, very close to Waterloo Campus. Starbucks, Cha-time, and several fast food joints are open past midnight as well, all within walking distance of the campus.”
“The relationship between UWaterloo and the city of Waterloo is great! There are so many places where students can use their Watcard’s to pay. You also get free busing with your student ID. And since there are so many students around with Laurier nearby, the city is completely student friendly, welcomed everywhere!”
“The people in Waterloo are used to students being around, so they’re super friendly!”
“The city of Waterloo doesn’t look very appealing at times, slightly outdated.”
“I love the K-W area. There is so much to do. Restaurants, shopping, hiking, St.Jacobs market, dancing, karaoke…it really is a hub, partially because there are so many students in the area.”
“Octoberfest in K-W is the best!”
HC's Complete College Guide: University of Waterloo
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