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Waterloo facts

Beyond convention

Canada’s innovation university by the numbers

  • 1957: University of Waterloo opens with 74 students, with engineering and co-operative education as cornerstones
  • Today: 31,380 undergraduate, 5,290 graduate students
  • 17% undergraduate and 37% graduate students are international
  • 1,000-acre main campus in Waterloo, 100+ buildings
  • Satellite campuses reinvigorating city cores across our region in Kitchener (health sciences), Cambridge (architecture) and Stratford (digital media)
  • 40,000 enrolments annually in online undergraduate and graduate credit courses through Waterloo's Centre for Extended Learning (2015-16)
  • 58 per cent of students have an entrance average of 90+ per cent (2015)

6 Faculties

  • Applied Health Sciences
  • Arts
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Math
  • Science  

4 affiliated and federated institutions

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

    11 faculty-based schools

    • Accounting and Finance (Arts)
    • Architecture (Engineering)
    • Balsillie School of International Affairs (Arts)
    • David Cheriton School of Computer Science (Mathematics)
    • Optometry (Science)
    • Pharmacy (Science)
    • Planning (Environment)
    • School of Public Health and Health Systems (Applied Health Sciences)
    • School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (Environment)
    • School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (Environment)
    • Social Work (Renison)

    Globally recognized excellence

    • Most innovative university in Canada for 26 consecutive years (Maclean's)
    • #1 in Canada for computer science and engineering (U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities 2017)
    • QS Stars 5+ ranking QS Stars 5+ certification
    • Top Comprehensive Research University in Canada for eight consecutive years (Research Infosource)

    Read more Waterloo rankings

    Beyond experienced

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

    • Graduate with up to 2 years of paid work experience
    • $226 million reported earnings by Waterloo co-op students (2015-16)
    • Two years after graduating, 88 per cent of Waterloo co-op students work in a field related to their degree compared to 75 per cent of all Ontario university grads
    • 18,700+ work terms in 65 countries with 6,700+ organizations

    Learn more about co-operative education at Waterloo

    Beyond startups

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

    • Talent engine of one of the world's top 25 startup ecosystems (Startup Compass 2015)
    • 30+ for-credit support programs spanning the entrepreneurial spectrum
    • #1 school in Canada for venture-backed capital enterprises (Pitchbook)
    • 1,200+ jobs created and $425+ million raised by Velocity companies
    • Velocity is largest free startup incubator in the world
    • 31% of Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology graduates start a business one month after graduation compared to 7% of MBA grads from the Top 7 elite U.S. schools
    • 3 out of 5 Greenhouse startup founders are women
    • 275 patents currently under management with Waterloo Commercialization Office support

    Learn more about entrepreneurship opportunities at Waterloo

    Beyond research intensive

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

    • Creator-owns intellectual property policy
    • 2 Canadian excellence research chairs
    • 40+ senate-approved research centres and institutes with world-leading expertise in
      • Quantum information
      • Nanotechnology
      • Water
      • Automotive
      • Energy
      • Population health
      • Global governance
    • $183 million in research funding from external sources — government, foundations, industry, non-profit (2015-16 )
    • Canada's #1 comprehensive research university for nine consecutive years (Research Infosource)
    • 100+ funded research chairs
    • 4 Killiam prize winners

    Beyond ourselves

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

    • $2.6 billion per year in economic impact in Ontario (2013 Economic Impact Report)
    • 8,195 donors in 24 countries donated $59.7M to Waterloo in
    • 43,700 campers have attended Engineer Science Quest in the past 26 years
    • 235,000+ students in 75 countries write Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) contests each year
    • 195,940 alumni in 152 countries

    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
    • 29.2% of first-year students in engineering disciplines are women
    • 46% of undergraduate and 43% of graduate students are female
    • Home of the Glow Centre — Canada's oldest student LGBTQ organization

    HeForShe website