Waterloo facts

Explore Canada’s innovation university by the numbers

BEYOND Convention

  • The University of Waterloo has 41,000 full and part-time students cumulatively between undergraduate and graduate programs (Fall 2019)
  • 6,438 undergraduate degrees, 1,926 master's degrees and 327 PhD degrees granted in 2019
  • 48,000+ enrolments per year in online undergraduate & graduate courses (2018/19)
  • 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 2019
#2in Canada for computer science and #2 for engineeringU.S. News and World Report 2020
28years as Canada's most innovative universityMaclean's 2020
#16globally for social/economic impact based on UN SDGsTHE University Impact Rankings 2020

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 recognized 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.

  • 21% undergraduate and 40% graduate students are international (2018/19)
  • 9,120 donors in 25 countries donated $38.3M to Waterloo in 2018/19
  • 3,200 international co-op work terms were completed by Waterloo students in 2018/19
  • 63 joint international academic partnerships and 155 student exchange partnerships (2019)
  • 58 international delegations with 252 delegates total (including ambassadors, university presidents and Government Minister) (2019)
98.9%international student employment rateBoard of Governor’s Audit 2018
4,400+international student experiences2018/19
186Kalumni in 151 countries2019

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
  • $285+ million reported earnings by Waterloo co-op students (2018/19)
  • 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
21,800+work terms in 60+ countries with 7,160 active employers2018/19
#1in Canada for experiential learningMaclean's 2020
#1In Canada for employer-student connectionsQS Rankings 2020

BEYOND Disruptive

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

  • Velocity is the most productive incubator by private investment in Canada, with a one-year company survival rate of 91% for Velocity startups (2018)
  • $2.3 billion in revenue and 7,500 jobs generated by Waterloo entrepreneurship programs in the last decade (Deloitte Canada, 2019)
  • 4,200+ jobs created across 300+ Velocity startups from 2008-2018
  • $170 million to Canada's GDP from Velocity and Accelerator Centre companies (2018/19)
  • 21st globally in the category of "top universities for venture-capital-backed entrepreneurs" (Pitchbook 2019)
$10.6 billionraised by 433 University of Waterloo entrepreneursPitchbook 2019
$815+ millionraised by Velocity companiesSince 2008
$80Mto Waterloo region's GDP from Velocity/Accelerator companies2018/19

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
  • 1 Nobel Laureate
  • Canada Excellence Research Chair and 2 Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureates
  • 5 Killam Prize winners
  • 74 Canada Research Chairs
100+ fundedResearch Chairs2018/19
$258 millionin research funding from public and private sources2018/19
28%of Waterloo’s research funding is a result of corporate collaborations2018/19

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 transgender application form for Ontario universities
  • 34% women-identifying enrolment in STEM programs (Fall 2019)
  • 30% women-identifying faculty
  • 32% women-identifying participation in academic and senior leadership roles
  • 48% of undergraduate and 43% of graduate students are female (Fall 2019)
  • Home of the Glow Centre — Canada's oldest continuously run LGBTQ student organization since 1971

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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