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The University of Waterloo (commonly referred to as Waterloo, UW or UWaterloo) is a public research university with a main campus located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on 404 hectares (1,000 acres) of land in "Uptown" Waterloo, adjacent to Waterloo Park. The university offers academic programs administered by six faculties and ten faculty-based schools. The university also operates four satellite campuses and four affiliated university colleges. Waterloo is a member of theU15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada. University of Waterloo is most famous for its Cooperative Education (co-op) programs, which allow the students to integrate their education with applicable work experiences. University of Waterloo operates the largest post secondary co-op program of its kind in the world, with over 19,000 co-op students and 5,200 employers.
The university is co-educational, and as of 2016 has 30,600 undergraduate and 5,300 post-graduate students. Alumni and former students of the university can be found across Canada and in over 140 countries. The university ranked 200-300th in the 2015Academic Ranking of World Universities, 152nd in the 2015–2016 QS World University Rankings, and 179th in the 2015–2016Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Waterloo's varsity teams, known as the Waterloo Warriors, compete in theOntario University Athletics conference of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) specializes in the prevention of illness and injury, and the optimization of health and well-being throughout the lifespan, at work and at leisure.
Transdisciplinary teaching and research activities encompass the full scope of research-to-practice-to-policy and aim to enhance all aspects of quality of life at the individual, community and population levels.
Applied Health Sciences is comprised of three academic units: School of Public Health and Health Systems, Kinesiology, and Recreation and Leisure Studies, and is home to approximately 650 full- and part-time graduate and 1,900 undergraduate students.
The Faculty offers BA, BSc, BPH, MA, MHE, MHI, MPH, MSc and PhD degrees, including online degrees in Public Health, Health Evaluation andHealth Informatics and collaborative PhD programs in Aging, Health and Well-being, and in Work and Health. Our 11,000+ alumni work in the public, private and voluntary/non-profit sectors and are regarded for their innovative, evidence-based approaches to health promotion and disease prevention.
Of the six Faculties at Waterloo, Applied Health Sciences enjoys the second-highest level of research funding per faculty member and boasts collaborative, ground-breaking research groups including the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) and the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP).
Faculty of Arts
Arts offers 24 undergraduate majors and 37 distinct graduate programs. We are extremely proud of our record for outstanding teaching and graduate supervision. In fact, Arts professors hold the greatest number of the university's Distinguished Teacher Awards among the six Waterloo faculties. Our students' learning takes place in classrooms and well beyond. Building on Waterloo's world-renowned co-operative education program, Arts students are also encouraged to participate in other practical and experiential learning opportunities, including a thriving international exchange program, fieldwork, student research positions, and internships.
Faculty of Engineering
When local entrepreneurs established our university, with Engineering as the founding faculty, they approached the task from a business perspective, knowing creativity and innovation were the keys to problem solving. Co-op education, as we now know it, was born.
Today, Waterloo is Canada’s largest engineering school and a pipeline for engineering talent for the world’s leading companies. Ranked among the top 50 engineering schools in the world, our reputation for excellence is built on the foundation of co-op education and a bold history of innovation.
We are renowned as a university that embraces differentiation, named by Maclean’s as Canada’s most innovative university for 22 straight years. We are trailblazers, laying the ground work for others to follow – the most sought after engineering school in Canada.
Waterloo Engineering offers 14 bachelor degree programs, including degrees in emerging multidisciplinary areas such as biomedical, mechatronics, nanotechnology and environmental engineering. All undergraduate programs are 100% co-op, more than 7600 co-op positions are arranged for students annually. Each year, we graduate the largest number of engineers at both the undergraduate and graduate level in Canada.
Faculty of Environment
Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment creates knowledge, nurtures learning and promotes action to achieve sustainable futures in Canada and internationally. Recently, the Faculty has undergone extensive changes to ensure it is focused squarely on developing and implementing the smart solutions needed for the complex challenges facing our world today.
We invite you to explore how our Faculty is making a difference in addressing Canada’s most pressing environmental challenges by taking an in-depth look at our site. We believe we can leave a strong legacy for those who will come after us through the pursuit of knowledge and the application of this knowledge to the most critical issues of environment and sustainability that now threaten health and prosperity around the world.
Faculty of Mathematics
The University of Waterloo's Faculty of Mathematics has the largest concentration of mathematical and computer science talent in the world. Perhaps the best testimony to Waterloo's standing and exceptional reputation is the quality and many achievements of the Faculty's teachers, researchers, alumni and students. With more than 7,000 graduate and undergraduate students, 240 full-time professors, and 500 courses in mathematics, statistics and computer science, the Faculty is a powerhouse of discovery and innovation.
Faculty of Science
As an integral part of Canada’s most innovative university, the Faculty of Science is a global leader and a preferred destination for those seeking to engage in world-class basic and applied research.
We take this valuable research strength and translate into hands-on education and co-op experiences that prepare Science students for rewarding careers. Student-directed programs such as Velocity Science give entrepreneurial students the opportunity to turn their ideas into businesses while the iGEM team compete at international synthetic biology competitions. Our award-winning Science Outreach events are designed to inspire the next generation of scientists.
From understanding the universe, to protecting our water resources to improving the health of Canadians to educating the next generation, Waterloo Science is shaping the future through discovery.
History of the University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo traces its origins to Waterloo College, the academic outgrowth of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, which was affiliated with the University of Western Ontario since 1925. When Gerald Hagey assumed the presidency of Waterloo College in 1953, he made it his priority to procure the funds necessary to expand the institution. While the main source of income for higher education in Ontario at the time was the provincial government, the Ontario government made it clear that it would not contribute to denominational colleges and universities.
Hagey soon became aware of the steps undertaken by McMaster University to make itself eligible for some provincial funding by establishing Hamilton College as a separate, non-denominational college affiliated with the university. Following that method, Waterloo College established the Waterloo College Associate Faculties on 4 April 1956, as a non-denominational board affiliated with the College. The academic structure of the Associated Faculties was originally focused on cooperative education in the applied sciences – largely built around the proposals of Ira Needles. Needles proposed a different approach towards education, including both studies in the classroom and training in industry that would eventually become the basis of the university's cooperative education program. While the plan was initially opposed by the Engineering Institute of Canada and other Canadian universities, notably the University of Western Ontario, the Associated Faculties admitted its first students in July 1957. On 25 January 1958, the Associated Faculties announced the purchase of over 74 hectares (180 acres) of land west of Waterloo College. By the end of the same year, the Associated Faculties opened its first building on the site, the Chemical Engineering Building.
In 1959, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed an Act which formally split the Associated Faculties from Waterloo College, and re-established it as the University of Waterloo. The governance was modelled on the University of Toronto Act of 1906, which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a Senate, responsible for academic policy, and a Board of Governors exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to act as the institution's chief executive officer and act as a liaison between the two groups.
The legislative act was the result of a great deal of negotiation between Waterloo College, Waterloo College Associated Faculties, and St. Jerome's College, another denominational college in the City of Waterloo. While the agreements sought to safeguard the existence of the two denominational colleges, they also aimed at federating them with the newly established University of Waterloo. Due to disagreements with Waterloo College, the College was not formally federated with the new university. The dispute centred on a controversially worded section of the University of Waterloo Act, 1959, in which the College interpreted certain sections as a guarantee that it would become the Faculty of Art for the new university. This was something that the Associated Faculties was not prepared to accept. As a result of the controversy, Waterloo College's entire Department of Mathematics broke away from the College to join the newly established University of Waterloo, later joined by professors from the Economic, German, Modern Languages, and Russian departments. Despite this controversy, until 1960 Hagey hoped that a last minute compromise between Waterloo College and the University could be achieved. Ultimately, however, the University created its own Faculty of Arts in 1960. It later established the first Faculty of Mathematics in North America on 1 January 1967. In 1967 the world's first Department of Kinesiology was created. The present legislative act which defines how the university should be governed, the University of Waterloo Act, 1972 was passed on 10 May 1972.
Although the coat of arms was in use since the 1960s, the arms were finally registered with Lord Lyon King of Arms in August 1987. In February 1995 the former president of the university, James Downey, signed the Tri-University Group (TUG) agreement between Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Guelph. Signed in a period of fiscal constraint, and when ageing library systems required replacing, the TUG agreement sought to integrate the library collections and services of the three universities.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Ontario
- QS Stars 5+ ranking
- Top Comprehensive Research University in Canada for eight consecutive years (Research Infosource)
- Top 25 in the world for Computer Science and Mathematics (QS Rankings)
- Top 50 in the world for Geography (QS Rankings)
- Top 100 in the world for Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Sociology, Architecture and Built Environment, Psychology, and Statistical and Operational Research (QS Rankings)
- One of the world’s top 50 engineering schools (Academic Ranking of World Universities)
- #19 for Computer Science (U.S. News and World Report)
- #47 for Engineering (U.S. News and World Report)
Student life at UWaterloo
The university's two main student unions are the Federation of Students for all undergraduate students, and the Graduate Student Association for graduate students. The Federation of Students was created in 1967. It operates seven businesses and eight student services, and encompasses nearly 200 clubs. The federation also oversees the university's Orientation Week, Welcome Week and other special events and concerts held on campus. The organisations and clubs accredited by the Federation of Students cover a wide range of interests including academics, culture, religion, social issues, and recreation. Many of them are centred on the university's student activity centre, the Student Life Centre. As of June 2007, neither the university administration nor the student union recognise fraternities and sororities.Alpha Epsilon Pi,Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Chi operate as non-accredited off-campus fraternities, and Alpha Omicron Pi and Kappa Kappa Gammaas non-accredited off-campus sororities.
The official student newspaper at the university is the Imprint, which publishes a weekly edition during the fall and winter semesters and a biweekly edition for the spring semester. The Chevron was previously the official student newspaper. Conflicts with the Federation of Students and the perception of an increasingly left-wing agenda lead to the removal of its official status, by referendum, in November 1978.The university's Journalism Club, made up of former staff from The Chevron along with other students, created another newspaper known as the Imprint, which was officially recognised by referendum in 1979. The university also operated a campus radio station, CKMS-FM, now known as SoundFM. The radio station was officially incorporated in 1977 but following several referenda, in 2008 the Federation of Students and the University withdrew all financial support for the station and it transitioned to a community radio model.
Student Success Office
Success looks different to everyone. The Student Success Office helps Waterloo students find their own path to success.
Success coaches can help you find your individual path to success and stick to it, while learning workshops and peer tutors can enhance your academic performance.
We also can help you transition to Waterloo, whether it’s supporting you in your first-year experience with Orientation or helping you adjust to Canadian culture as an international student.
We also want to help you connect with the campus community, meet new people, and develop your skills as a leader at Waterloo. For instance, student entrepreneurs at VeloCity are creating the next generation of mobile, media, and web technology – and you can be a part of it.
Centre for Career Action
Research and plan your perfect career through the Centre for Career Action. Take advantage of these helpful services:
- Resources for career planning, further education, and work/study abroad programs
- Workshops for improving résumé and letter writing, interviewing skills, negotiating job offers, and more
- Events – Career/Job/Volunteer Fairs, Employer Information days, and Post-Degree days
- How to get a job – part-time, co-op, full-time
Take advantage of the Library’s services and resources available to you.
- Contact your subject librarian or take a Library workshop when you need research help
- Study in one of the Library’s locations or book a group study room
Student Life Centre
Considered the "living room" of the University, the Student Life Centre(SLC) is one of the best places to hang out between classes, catch-up with friends, get the latest about clubs and events, or grab a bite to eat.
You'll find a bank branch, places to eat, student government offices,Imprint student newspaper, physiotherapy clinic, pharmacy, dentist office, and 24/7 Tim Hortons!
Food is a very important part of university life! Waterloo has a wide variety of food locations to meet all your cravings and tastes.
- Food Services eateries – numerous locations including Tim Hortons, market-style eateries, and diner-style shops
- Residence cafeterias have tasty, inexpensive food that's close to home
- Bombshelter Pub – restaurant in SLC by day and pub by night
- Student-run Coffee & Donut Shops (C&Ds)
- Grad House – daily specials are the best deals around!
- University Club – for the real-restaurant feel
At Retail Services store locations, you can find textbooks, Waterloo clothing, stationery and school supplies, computers and mobile phones, and photocopying services.
- Book Store
- Waterloo Store
- Write Stuff
- Campus Tech
Waterloo service departments
Dozens of departments on campus provide services to Waterloo students, staff, faculty, and the community. Examples include
- Parking Services
- Campus safety