University of Waterloo - Overview & Background

The University of Waterloo is located across a 1000-acre main campus and has 100+ buildings with six faculties. It is located in the heart of Canada's technology hub and has a growing network of global partnerships which shape the future by working beyond disciplines.

It opened in 1957 with engineering and co-operative education as cornerstones. It has been ranked the second-best university in  Canada, the best for computer science in Canada and the second-best for engineering. It is also the best university for career preparation. The university has satellite campuses at Cambridge, Kitchener and Stratford.

Former Names

    Waterloo College Associate Faculties (1956–1959)




Ira Needles, Cornelius Siegfried, Gerald Hagey

University Type

Public Research University

University Motto

 In harmony with truth

University City

Waterloo, Ontario
Acceptance Rate


Faculty to Student Ratio



CA$441 million 

Campus Size

450 hectares (1,112 acres)

Graduation Rate


Employment Rate


Official Website Link

University of Waterloo, Ontario

Contact Details

+1 519-888-4567


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The affiliated institutions of Waterloo are:

  • Conrad Grebel University College
  • Renison University College
  • St. Jerome's University
  • St. Paul's University College

University of Waterloo Virtual Tour


The main University of Waterloo campus is in the city of Waterloo, located in southwestern Ontario, with easy access to Hamilton, London, and Toronto. They also have 3 specialized campuses (for architecture, health sciences, and digital media) in the nearby cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Stratford.

The major research centres at the institute include:

  • Centre for Accounting Research & Education (CARE)
  • Centre for Advanced Materials Joining (CAMJ)
  • Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technologies at Waterloo (CATT)
  • Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research (CACR)
  • Centre for Bioengineering & Biotechnology (CBB)
  • Centre for Computational Mathematics in Industry & Commerce (CCMIC)
  • Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE), formerly the Centre for Contact Lens Research
  • Centre for Control of Emerging Contaminants (CCEC)
  • Centre for Ecosystem Resilience & Adaptation (ERA)
  • Centre for Education in Mathematics & Computing (CEMC), and many others

Some of the Laboratories in the Institute are - 

1. Additive Manufacturing

  • Laser Additive Manufacturing LabMulti-Scale 
  • Additive Manufacturing Lab
  • Advanced Manufacturing Research

2. Supply Chain and Logistics Research

  • Data Science Lab
  • Waterloo Analytics and Optimization Lab

3. Operational Artificial Intelligence 

  • Intelligent Human-Machine Systems - 3D Imaging Lab
  • Knowledge Inference in Medical Image Analysis (KIMIA Lab) 

4. Architecture and Design Research

  • DATA lab

5. Energy Storage Research

  • 2D Materials Electrochemical Devices Lab
  • Applied Carbon Nanotechnology Lab

6. Smart Infrastructure Research

  • Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technologies (CATT)
  • Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT) Lab
  • Non-destructive Testing Laboratory

7. Biomedical engineering research

  • Advanced Electromagnetics Research Laboratory (AER Lab)
  • Arami Research Lab
  • Bioelectronic Systems Laboratory

8. Neural & Rehabilitation

  • Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research
  • Waterloo Composite Biomaterial Systems Lab
  • Biomaterials for Skeletal Reconstruction
  • Waterloo Engineering Bionics Lab

9. Connectivity and Internet of Things Research

  • Broadband Communications Research Lab (BBCR)
  • CIARS – Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems
  • Coding and Signal Transmission (CST) Laboratory

Residential Options

The university has residences for students; in fact, there are separate residences for students from different years.

There are single rooms, semi-private rooms, double rooms; lots of study space along with lots of dining options. While some of them are air-conditioned; all of the residences have wireless internet service.

Financial Aid

The university provides the following scholarships for international students applying for the university: 

  • International Master's (IMSA) and International Doctoral Student Awards (IDSA)
  • International Master's Award of Excellence (IMAE)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)
  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarships
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • Bursaries
  • Graduate funding and awards database

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Notable Alumni

Some famous alumni from University of Waterloo include:

  • Michael H. Albert, Rhodes Scholar, associate professor at University of Otago
  • Omer Arbel, Designer and sculptor and creative director of Bocci
  • Romesh Batra, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University professor
  • David Berman, Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada
  • Mike Bradley, Canadian Football League running back
  • Clifford Cunningham, Astronomer

University of Waterloo Location

The closest major airport is Pearson International Airport in Toronto, approximately 100 km east of Kitchener-Waterloo. The easiest way to reach the main campus is to hire an airport limo or airporter service such as Airways Transit.

The Region of Waterloo International Airport is 20 km from Waterloo's main campus. The airport is served by WestJet (direct flights to Calgary). 

Greyhound Canada offers service to major cities in southern Ontario, including frequent service to Toronto. GO Transit offers service to Waterloo’s main campus daily from Mississauga and Milton. If you are travelling, the VIA Rail train station is located at 126 Weber Street West in Kitchener, Waterloo's twin city.
During your recreation time, you can visit the Waterloo Park or the Laurel Creek Conservation Area. You can also visit the Iron Horse Trail; or, maybe the Brubacher House Museum.

University of Waterloo Map Location

Address: 200 University Ave W, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada


Frequently Asked Questions about University of Waterloo

Is it hard to get into the University of Waterloo?

The University of Waterloo has a 53% acceptance rate which means 53 out of every 100 applications are accepted. This demonstrates the school's moderate level of selection. Although the school is more relaxed than other institutions, you must still meet their GPA and ACT/SAT requirements. Your chances of acceptance are excellent if you fulfill or exceed their requirements.

Is the University of Waterloo better than Toronto?

It all depends on how you plan to launch your career. After landing your first job, the university you attended will only be significant till it serves as the foundation for your network and the beginning of your lifelong career-related networking.
The University of Waterloo is a reputable university if you want to work in software and are interested in finding employment in Silicon Valley, the Toronto area, or elsewhere in Canada. The University of Toronto is more well-known if you intend to return to Brazil or another country abroad.

Is Waterloo a prestigious University?

The University of Waterloo is home to more than 100 programs in health, environment, business, math, engineering, the arts, science, and many other fields, making it one of Canada's best universities for innovation.
According to the QS World University Rankings 2021 and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, Waterloo is one of the top 175 universities in the world.

Can I get into Waterloo with a 90 average?

This is one of the most important queries you might have, and as you are probably aware, top students from all over the world come to Waterloo.
Although the entry averages fluctuate a little bit each year, generally speaking, scores in the low to mid-90s for some schools and the mid- to high-90s for others indicate that you are a strong contender.

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