University of Waterloo

Waterloo, Canada

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Department of Chemical Engineering

The department offers undergraduate and graduate programs in chemical engineering. They provide support and academic expertise to Waterloo's multidisciplinary nanotechnology and biomedical engineering programs. With more than 250 graduate students and 35+ faculty members, the department conducts research covering core areas, such as polymers, reaction engineering and process systems engineering, and emerging areas such as fuel cell research, tissue engineering and nanotechnology.

The university provides these graduate programmes:

  • list items MEng: The Master of Engineering (MEng) program has course content pertaining to biochemical and biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, process systems, polymer science and more. This program is non-supervised and self-funded.
  • list items MASc: The Master of Applied Science (MASc) program focuses on original engineering research with a faculty member.
  • The department also provides a collaborative Nanotechnology and Water programme. 

    Research groups and centres include:

  • list items Centre For Bioengineering And Biotechnology
  • list items Chemical Process Optimization, Multiscale Modelling And Process Systems Research Group
  • list items Computational Multiphysics Research Group
  • list items Institute for Polymer Research
  • list items Water Institute
  • list items Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research
  • list items Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
  • list items Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (Wise)
  • Sprinkles

    Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

    The department is one of the largest combined departments of Civil, Environmental, Geological and Architectural engineering in Canada.

    They have indulged in nurturing a collaborative research environment and conducting multidisciplinary research with students, staff and faculty from the School of Architecture and Planning, and the Departments of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Biology.

    The master’s programmes offered by the department are: 

    Master of Engineering

    It is a course-based degree option, which may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Those students who are registered full-time normally complete the degree in three to four terms. This is a self-funded degree option. Students within the MEng program may also apply to the Master of Engineering - Nuclear Engineering program, which was created in partnership between the University of Waterloo, McMaster University, and the University of Western Ontario.

    Master of Applied Science

    It is a research-focused degree option, which may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. A student who is registered full-time in the MASc will normally complete the degree in two years; the first year is focused primarily on coursework, while the second year is largely research-based.

    Graduate students in the department earn a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering while choosing to focus within one of four major areas of study:

  • list items Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
  • list items Geotechnical Engineering
  • list items Structures, Mechanics and Construction Engineering
  • list items Transportation Engineering
  • Laboratories:


  • list items Undergraduate Water Chemistry Laboratory
  • list items Undergraduate Water Chemistry Laboratory
  • list items Drinking Water Pilot Plant Laboratory
  • list items WasteWater Pilot Plant Laboratory
  • list items WasteWater Laboratory
  • list items Sediment Laboratory
  • list items Field Prep Laboratory
  • list items Microbiology Laboratory
  • list items Microbiology Laboratory
  • list items Microbiology Laboratory
  • list items Chemistry Laboratory
  • list items Sample Storage
  • list items Laboratory Support and Centrifuge
  • list items Chemical Storage
  • list items Wet Chemistry Laboratory
  • list items Analytical Laboratories
  • list items Contaminant Remediation Laboratory
  • list items Flex Lab
  • list items Teaching Laboratory
  • list items Main Hydraulics Laboratory

  • list items BEG HUT Natural Test Facility
  • list items Test Track Laboratory
  • list items CATT Laboratory and Centrifuge
  • list items Dynamics Laboratory;
  • list items Computed tomography Laboratory
  • list items Teaching Laboratory and Machining Workshop
  • list items Main Structures Laboratory and Woodshop
  • list items Concrete Laboratory
  • list items Concrete Mixing Plant
  • list items Concrete Curing Room
  • list items Concrete Casting Areas and Environmental Exposure Facilities
  • list items Fatigue Lab and Technical Workshop
  • list items Secondary Structures Laboratory
  • list items Nondestructive Testing Laboratory
  • list items Workshop, Structures Support Facility
  • list items CPATT Laboratory
  • list items Construction robotics
  • list items 3D scanning Laboratory
  • 3. GEOTECHNICAL (GEO) LABS: Geotechnical Teaching Laboratory; Geotechnical Research Laboratory


    Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

    It is Waterloo’s largest academic department and offers undergraduate and graduate programmes in electrical engineering and computer engineering. The department provides academic expertise and support to Waterloo’s multidisciplinary mechatronics, nanotechnology, and software engineering programs. The department has over 2,500 students, 95 full-time faculty members and 50 support staff.

    Research activities cover a wide range of fields, from high-voltage engineering and sustainable energy to breakthroughs in wireless technology that will enhance communications across our global society. 

    The faculty members and students are creating low-cost digital x-ray imagers to fight tuberculosis in developing countries and building real-time embedded systems which will result n  major advancements in the design and reliability of consumer and industrial products.

    The department offers an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in two core undergraduate programmes:

    1. Computer Engineering
    2. Electrical Engineering

    and four interdisciplinary undergraduate programmes:

    1. Software Engineering
    2. Nanotechnology Engineering
    3. Mechatronics Engineering
    4. Biomedical Engineering

    The graduate programmes include:

    1. Certificate of Completion (Non-Degree) in Electric Power Engineering (course-work)
    2. Graduate Diploma in Electric Power Engineering (course-work)
    3. Master of Engineering (course-work)
    4. Master of Engineering in Electric Power Engineering (course-work)
    5. Master of Applied Science (research)
    6. Doctor of Philosophy

    Master of Applied Science (MASc) programme focuses on original engineering research. The department has the Giga-to-Nanoelectronics Centre, High Voltage Engineering Lab, and an anechoic chamber. Students can choose from 14 different specialisations.

    Master of Engineering (MEng) programme focuses on theoretical information and analysis and design skills for industrial systems. Students can specialise in: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Biomedical Engineering; Computer Networking and Security; Nanoelectronic Circuits and Systems; Nanoelectronic Devices and Materials; Software; Sustainable Energy 

    Areas of research include: 

  • list items Antennas, Microwaves
  • list items Wave Optics
  • list items Biomedical Engineering
  • list items Circuits And Systems (Including Computer-Aided Design)
  • list items Communications And Information Systems
  • list items Computer Hardware
  • list items Computer Software
  • list items Nanotechnology
  • list items Pattern Analysis And Machine Intelligence (Pami)
  • list items Power And Energy Systems
  • list items Quantum Information
  • list items Silicon Devices And Integrated Circuits
  • list items Systems And Controls
  • list items Very Large Scale Integration (Vlsi)
  • list items Wireless Communication
  • Sprinkles

    Department of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering

    The department offers programmes that are designed to produce skilled problem-solvers, leaders and innovators capable of creating mechanical systems and electro-mechanical designs that impact industries and make the world a better place to in. 

    Undergraduate courses:

  • list items Mechanical Engineering programme 
  • list items Mechatronics Engineering programme
  • The department offers programmes leading to the degrees of Master of Applied Science (MASc), Master of Engineering (MEng), Green Energy Graduate Diploma (GDip), or a Graduate Diploma in Design (GDip).


    A full-time student is expected to take three to six terms (one to two years) to complete the degree, however, the maximum time limit for the completion of Master's degree requirements totally on a part-time basis is fifteen terms. The MEng Program can be taken full-time, but students who do not want to give up on their full-time employment can register on a part-time basis. The candidate is expected to fund his/her own education. 


    For the MASc degree, the requirements are a thesis plus the satisfactory completion of four courses and a seminar. 

    Research is carried out in the following fields:

    1. Materials Engineering and Processing 
    2. Solid Body Mechanics and Design
    3. Fluid Mechanics
    4. Thermal Engineering
    5. Automation and Controls

    Department of Systems Design Engineering

    Established over 40 years ago, the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo was the first-of-its-kind in Canada. 

    Areas of research:

    Methodological fields

    1. Modeling, simulation, and systems theory
    2. Vision, Image and Signal processing
    3. Machine Learning and intelligence
    4. Optimization and decision making

    Application fields

    1. Biomedical Engineering
    2. Human factors & Ergonomics
    3. Mechatronic and physical systems
    4. Societal and environmental systems

    The department administers two Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree programs - systems design engineering and biomedical engineering.

    The department grants the following graduate degrees

    1. Master of Engineering (MEng)
    2. Master of Applied Science (MASc)
    3. Accelerated Master's Program
    4. Collaborative program in Nanotechnology


    All MEng Graduate Specializations in Systems Design Engineering consist of a set of 4 graduate (0.50 weight) level courses, and this set is comprised of a mix of specified and elective courses.

    Graduate specializations

    1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
    2. Biomedical Systems
    3. Human Factors
    4. Mechatronics and Physical Systems
    5. Vision, Image and Signal Processing


    Students must complete 4 Engineering graduate courses (0.50 unit weight per course) counting towards degree credit.

    Graduate research fields

    1. Biomedical Engineering
    2. Human Factors and Ergonomics
    3. Machine Learning and Intelligence
    4. Mechatronic and Physical Systems
    5. Modelling, Simulation and Systems Theory
    6. Optimization and Decision Making
    7. Societal and Environmental Systems
    8. Vision, Image and Signal Processing

    Computer Science

    The Cheriton School of Computer Science is named after David R. Cheriton, who earned his PhD in Computer Science in 1978 and made a transformational gift to the school in 2005. It has become the largest hub for Computer Science researchers in Canada. It is one of the leading computer science units in the world. It has more than 90 faculty members, 400 graduate students and 3,600 undergraduates.

    The School holds $6 million annually in research grants.

    Research is undertaken in the following areas: Algorithms and complexity; Artificial intelligence; Bioinformatics; Computer algebra and symbolic computation; Computer graphics; Cryptography, security, and privacy (CrySP); Data systems; Formal methods; Health informatics; Human computer interaction; Machine learning; Programming languages; Quantum computing; Scientific computation; Software engineering; Systems and networking

    Many of the faculty have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to research, some of them are—

    1. Eight Fellows at the Royal Society of Canada
    2. Five Fellows at the Association of Computing Machinery
    3. Seven are CS-Can/Info-Can Lifetime Achievement Award in Computer Science Winners
    4. Three are Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
    5. One is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
    6. Seven are Outstanding Young Computer Science Researchers
    7. Two are Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs
    8. One is a Killiam Prize Awardee
    9. One is a Stacie Memorial Fellowship holder

    The School of Computer Science offers graduate programs leading to a Master of Mathematics (MMath).

    Master of Mathematics

  • list items Coursework option in Computer Science (Duration: 12-16 months)
  • list items Thesis option (1-2 years)
  • Additional master's programs

  • list items Master of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (MDSAI): Four terms (16 months) for full-time students, normally comprising of three study terms and one work term. Students may apply for an eight-month work term that would lengthen their program to five terms (20 months).
  • list items Master of Mathematics (MMath) in Data Science: 4 to 6 terms
  • Undergrad courses offered:

    1. Computer Science (BCS/BMath)
    2. Business Administration and Computer Science - double degree (BBA/BCS)
    3. Computing and Financial Management (BCFM)
    4. Software Engineering (BSE)

    Pure Sciences 

    1. Biology

    The Department of Biology offers undergraduate degrees in Bioinformatics, Biomedical Sciences (formerly Pre-Optometry/Pre-Health), Honours Biochemistry, Honours Biochemistry/Biotechnology (Regular and Co-op), Honours Environmental Sciences (Ecology Specialization) and Honours Biology (Regular and Co-op).

  • list items Research Areas - Bioinformatics, Systematics And Evolution; Ecology And Environmental Biology; Microbiology; Molecular Genetics; Physiology, Cell And Developmental Biology; Active Research Groups And Labs
  • list items Laboratories - Canadian Phycological Culture Centre (CPCC); Molecular Biology core facility; FACS facility; Plant growth facility; Electron and confocal microscopy; Aquatic ecology; Molecular Microbiology and Bioinformatics facility; Wet-lab facility
  • The Department of Biology offers thesis-based graduate training at the M.Sc. (Master of Science) level. At least two of the required courses must come from within the Biology Department listings.

    All programmes require that graduate students take the Graduate Academic Integrity Module. This is an online course that must be completed within the first 8 weeks of your first term

    2. Chemistry

    The department has more than 150 graduate students and 39 faculty members thus making its graduate studies one of the largest in Canada. Research in chemistry covers a broad range of topics related to the development of new materials and nanotechnology. 

    The M.Sc. programmes in Chemistry and Biochemistry offer exposure to world-class research in many subjects including the core areas of analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, materials, nanotechnology, organic, physical, polymer and theoretical chemistry. In the M.Sc. Programme with Thesis Option, students must successfully complete at least three graduate level courses plus the M.Sc. seminar course and submit and defend an acceptable thesis. 

    For the M.Sc. course-work-based option, students must successfully complete six graduate courses plus the M.Sc. seminar course and the M.Sc. Research Paper. The research paper is experimental and should be completed during one term of full-time research. Three of the six graduate courses may be taken through other departments within the university. The minimum period of the course-work-based M.Sc. is six terms.

    For the Co-operative thesis option, the academic requirements are the same as that for the regular-thesis Option, but at least two of the required four courses must be completed during the first two terms in the program.

    Following the second term, the student will spend two terms (eight months) working in an industrial or government laboratory, upon the completion of which they must present an acceptable work report. 

    Some of the facilities in the department are:

    1.Waterloo Advanced Technology Labs (WATLabs)

    2.Waterloo Chemical Analysis Facilities

  • list items University of Waterloo Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • list items University of Waterloo Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility
  • list items University of Waterloo Single Crystal X-Ray Diffraction
  • 3.University of Waterloo Centres and Institutes affiliated with the Department of Chemistry

  • list items Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB)
  • list items ​Institute for Polymer Research (IPR)
  • list items Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC)
  • list items Water Institute
  • list items Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN)
  • 3. Earth and Environmental Sciences

    The department offers several Honours Specializations at the undergraduate level. All programs can be taken as either a regular four-year program or as part of the highly-ranked co-op program.

    1. Geology
    2. Geophysics
    3. Hydrogeology
    4. Geochemistry (joint with Chemistry)
    5. Environmental Sciences

    The department offers the following graduate programs:

    1. Master's (MSc) programs in Earth and Environmental Sciences
    2. Graduate degree designations in the Collaborative Water Program in Integrated Water Management (offered jointly with the Water Institute)

    They have over 100 graduate students supervised and co-supervised by the Earth Sciences faculty. The department provides a minimum amount of financial support each year to all the graduate students in the MSc who finish the programme within the stipulated time frame. 

    4. Physics and Astronomy 

    Highlights of 2018-19 for the department include the first image of a supermassive black hole, captured by Professor Avery Broderick and his team, and Professor Donna Strickland awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.

    The undergraduate programmes include:

    1. Honours Physics
    2. Physics & Astronomy
    3. Mathematical Physics
    4. Life Physics
    5. Materials and Nanosciences

    The department offers thesis-based graduate courses and provides the M.Sc. (Master of Science) degree.

    Students are eligible to enroll in:

  • list items MSc in Physics
  • list items MSc in Nanotechnology
  • list items ​MSc in Quantum Information
  • Research is undertaken in the department in the fields of:

    1. Astrophysics and Gravitation
    2. Photonics and Atomic Molecular, and Optical Physics
    3. Biophysics
    4. Quantum Matter
    5. Quantum Information and Computing
    6. Soft Matter

    Students must complete 4 one-term courses (0.50 unit weight) acceptable for graduate credit.