Waterloo facts

Explore Canada’s innovation university by the numbers

BEYOND Convention

  • The University of Waterloo has 40,000 full and part-time students cumulatively between undergraduate and graduate programs (Fall 2018)
  • 85% are undergraduate and 15% are graduate students
  • 45,600 enrolments per year in online undergraduate & graduate courses (2017/18)
  • 1000-acre main campus, 100+ buildings with six faculties
  • 1957: University of Waterloo opens with 74 students, with engineering and co-operative education as cornerstones

61%students have an entrance average 90+ per centFall 2018
#1in Canada for computer science and #2 for engineeringU.S. News and World Report 2019
27years as Canada's most innovative universityMaclean's 2019
#13globally for social/economic impact based on UN SDGsTHE University Impact Rankings 2019

Nobel Prize in Physics

Donna Strickland

Donna Strickland

On October 2, 2018, Physics and Astronomy professor Donna Strickland was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics, making her the third woman in history to receive the prestigious honour.

Dr. Strickland was recgonized for her breakthrough work on chirped pulse amplification in lasers, allowing for the development technology used for eye-laser surgery, within laser printers, and scanners sold in retail stores.

Strickland conducted her Nobel-winning research while a PhD student under French laser physicist Gérard Mourou in 1989 while attending the University of Rochester in New York.


BEYOND Boundaries

Waterloo's international community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and partners understand that shared success makes us all stronger.

  • 20% undergraduate and 40% graduate students are international (2017/18)
  • 9,565 donors in 25 countries donated $52.4M to Waterloo in 2017/18
  • $2.6 billion per year in economic impact in Ontario (2013 Economic Impact Report)
  • 63 joint international academic partnerships (2017/18)
  • 56 international delegations with 292 delegates total (including ambassadors, university presidents and Government Minister) (2018)

98.9%international student employment rateJobmine/Waterloo Works
3,900+international student experiences2017/18
203,000+alumni in 152 countries2018

BEYOND Experienced

World-class scholarship deepens with work-based learning in the world's leading co-operative education program.

  • Students graduate with up to 2 years of paid work experience
  • $261+ million reported earnings by Waterloo co-op students (2017/18)
  • 96% of co-op grads employed six months after graduation worked in positions related to skills they acquired at Waterloo compared to 79% of Ontario graduates
  • 53% of all international work terms reported by Canadian universities and colleges in 2017 were from the University of Waterloo

20,700+work terms in 60+ countries with 7,050 active employers2017/18
#1in Canada for career preparationMaclean's 2018
#1In Canada for employer-student connectionsQS Rankings 2019

BEYOND Disruptive

Risk takers with bold ideas make Waterloo a celebrated source of talent and new ventures.

  • #1 school in Canada for venture-backed capital enterprises (Pitchbook 2018)
  • Velocity is Canada's most productive startup incubator, with a company three-year company survival rate of 69%
  • 2,300+ jobs created by Velocity companies since 2008
  • 35+ for-credit support programs spanning the entrepreneurial spectrum
  • 34% of Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) graduates start a business one month after graduation compared to 7% of MBA grads from the top 7 elite US schools

$7.4 billionraised by 408 University of Waterloo entrepreneursPitchbook 2018
$815+ millionraised by Velocity companiesSince 2008
3 out of 5Greenhouse startup founders are women2017/18

BEYOND Disciplines

Changing the world begins with a passion for discovery, broad research intensity and focus on frontier disciplines.

  • Creator-owned intellectual property (IP) rights policy
  • 30+ senate-approved research centres and institutes with world-leading expertise in:
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Automotive
    • Cybersecurity and privacy
    • Energy
    • Global governance
    • Nanotechnology
    • Population health
    • Quantum information
    • Water
  • 74 Canada Research Chairs
  • Canada Excellence Research Chair and 2 Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureates
  • 89 Waterloo students received NSERC graduate awards and 57 received SSHRC graduate awards
  • 5 Killam prize winners

100+ fundedresearch chairs2017/18
$224 millionin research funding from public and private sources2017/18
33%of Waterloo’s research funding is a result of corporate collaborations2017/18

BEYOND the Status Quo

We're committed to addressing the deep structural challenges to gender equity in higher education and in society.

  • 1 of 10 global universities invited to lead the UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative
  • Lead institute in new transgender application form for Ontario universities
  • 31% of first-year students in engineering disciplines are women (Fall 2018)
  • 48% of undergraduate and 44% of graduate students are female
  • Home of the Glow Centre — Canada's oldest student LGBTQ organization

6 Faculties

12 faculty-based schools

CalculatorAccounting and FinanceArts

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SkyscraperArchitecture Engineering

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GovernmentBalsillie School of International AffairsArts

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LaptopDavid Cheriton School of Computer ScienceMath

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Startup cultureEnvironment, Enterprise and Development Environment

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EarthEnvironment, Resources and SustainabilityEnvironment

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Privacy EyeOptometry & Vision ScienceScience

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Mortar and pestlePharmacyScience

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Health carePublic Health and Health Systems Applied Health Sciences

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OutreachSocial WorkRenison

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Intellectual propertyStratford School of Interaction Design and BusinessArts

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4 affiliated and federated institutions

Conrad Grebel University College

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Renison University College

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St. Jerome’s University

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St. Paul’s University College

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