Message for Incoming Students in the Fall

Welcome to the University of Waterloo! Whether you’re a returning or incoming student we are delighted you’ve decided to join our school! With a faculty of 3500+ staff and 40000+ students were here to support you in any way we can! We hope you love it!  

As you enter the Waterloo community, we’d like to aid you any way we could and make this transition as smooth as possible for you. We here at the Arts Computing Office strive to provide  students, faculty, and staff in the Faculty of Arts community with computer lab and printing access, technical support, and more. 

The University of Waterloo has been focused on simplifying and creating modern technical platforms and services for students. We hope help students better understand, navigate, and utilize educational resources.  

Whether you’re a brand-new student, or just need a refresher, here is a look into some of the platforms you’ll be using as a student this fall! Let’s dive in! 


Quest is the University of Waterloo’s student information system. 

Available on a desktop computer or a mobile device, the Quest system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for Wednesday morning from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. EST. 


What ways can you use Quest? 

Future students can view personal contact information, application status, transcripts, and undergraduate test scores. Current students can enrol in courses, change personal contact information, and view your class schedule, tuition fees, tuition account summaries, tuition tax receipts, financial aid, and student record information. 

Though you will mainly use Quest to deal with finances, course selection, and obtaining your grades, there are plenty of uses that will come up over your time as a student here. 



Waterloo LEARN is a web-based learning management system that enables instructors to manage course materials, activities and assessments and to interact easily and efficiently with their students outside the physical classroom. It can function both as a component of on-campus blended courses and as a platform for fully online learning. This Waterloo LEARN Support site provides general as well as role-specific instruction and information. 

You’ll see all your courses here, and usually will be able to check grades through this platform, though it depends on the professor. It is one of the easiest and well-designed platforms that the University of Waterloo offers. 



Your Waterloo Identity and Access Management (WatIAM) credentials provide access to University of Waterloo services such as Quest, LEARN, Workday, SharePoint, Nexus, and more. 

Faculty, staff and students are assigned credentials (username and password) for logging in to these and other campus systems. 

If you have never created a WATIAM, you can do so here; you will need your U of W student number to do this. 


Student Email

All newly enrolled students are provided with a Microsoft Outlook account for school use. This will be your primary means of contacting professors or other staff at the University. It will also be connected to all your other services such as Quest, Learn, and more.  

How to gain access to your account as an admitted student: 

  1. Account creation 

Accounts for all new students and employees will be auto-created once the Registrar's Office, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, or human resources system recognizes the individual as an employee or student. 

  1. Enroll in Duo two-factor authentication (2FA) 

All students and employees must enrol in the University's two-factor authentication (2FA) service powered by Duo Security. 

2FA provides an extra layer of security to your University accounts. Verifying your identity using a second factor (like your mobile device) prevents others from accessing your accounts, even if they know your password. Enrol using the Duo Mobile App for the most secure and convenient 2FA experience. 

  1. Enter a password recovery email address 

Please log in to WatIAM to enter a password recovery email address. This must be an external email i.e. you cannot use a email address. 

  1. Access your Microsoft 365 account 

  1. Go to 

  1. Enter your email as  

  1. You will be redirected to Waterloo's sign-in page 

  1. Enter your WatIAM password and click Sign in 

These four services are the ones you’ll use most as a student, but there will certainly be others you will use over your time as a student at Waterloo. You can view a complete list of services offered by the University of Waterloo here.  

The Arts Computing Office is here to help students with technical problems at our helpdesks in HH161E/F and ML110, and if we are unable to help, we will refer you to the right people. We also offer assistance with student services such as email, nexus accounts, computer labs, as well as printing services. We are ecstatic that you’ve decided to join us at the University of Waterloo and can’t wait to see you in the fall!