Start earning a Waterloo degree while improving your English

Due to COVID-19, the University of Waterloo is offering very limited courses in person for the Winter 2021 term. Winter courses, including Winter BASE, will take place online.

Information about the Coronavirus can be accessed on the University of Waterloo's Coronavirus website.

If you meet Waterloo's academic admission requirements, but don’t meet the English language requirement, you may be admitted to the Bridge to Academic Success in English (BASE) program or the Intensive Bridge to Academic Success in English (iBASE) program.

Please note: The BASE program is intended for full-time, first-year students who are beginning university or college for the first time.  For students who meet Waterloo's academic admission requirements for programs in the Faculty of Mathematics, you may only be considered for admission to English Language for Academic Success (ELAS) program.  

What will you do in BASE?

  • Improve your reading, writing, and oral skills with a focus on using English in a university setting.
  • Take a credit course and begin earning your Waterloo degree right away.
  • Have access to Waterloo workshops on research skills, career development, time management, and more.
  • Use university support services, recreational facilities, and a public transit bus pass.

Hear what the BASE program is like for BASE students, the courses studied, the language and academic supports that are available, and the experiences students will have both inside and outside the classroom.

How long does it take to complete the BASE program?

BASE is offered in 3 formats:

What determines your BASE session?

The English language test you submitted to Waterloo and your academic program admission requirements will determine which BASE session you are eligible for. The session you qualify for will be on your offer of admission.

Once you have successfully completed BASE, you can begin studying full-time towards your degree. The undergraduate credit course(s) you take during BASE count toward your degree.

What are the benefits of BASE?

  • Learn to succeed in a North American university environment.
  • Get academic and social support to excel in your studies.
  • Earn credit toward a Waterloo degree.
  • Begin to build your professional and career skills.
  • Make friends and experience Canadian culture.

Nick and Daria describe how BASE prepared them for their full-time degree studies and co-op work terms.

  1. June 2, 2020Fall 2020 BASE program moves to an online format
    Student on a computer

    Due to COVID-19, the world is experiencing a number of unique challenges right now and we recognize that there is a lot of uncertainty. The safety and wellbeing of our students, instructors, and staff will always remain our most important priority.

  2. May 12, 2020iBASE Summer 2020 program will be offered online
    Ceci and Geisson at a laptop

    Due to COVID-19, the world is experiencing a number of unique challenges right now and we recognize that there is a lot of uncertainty.

  3. May 11, 2020Never think less of yourself: advice from a BASE graduate
    Jane, Roger, and Christine

    By Roger Qi, BASE 2015-2016 Graduate and Honours Physics alumnus

    Congratulations and welcome to all students receiving offer to BASE program. I am glad that you have chosen BASE to start your adventure in university life.

Read all news

Faculties that offer BASE

Applied Health Sciences/BASEArts/BASEEngineering/BASEEnvironment/BASEScience/BASE