Start earning a Waterloo degree while improving your English

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.

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. Aug. 30, 2019iBASE student is quick to give back to help new students
    Ryan Connell and Tim Nie

    Renison's 2019 session of the Intensive Bridge to Academic Success in English (iBASE) program wrapped up for another year this past week.

  2. Aug. 2, 2018Make a colourful mess with our iBASE student leaders
    Paint Splash

    Be creative! Have fun! Let your inner artist shine! 

    Student leaders from the iBASE Rep volunteer team are hosting PAINT SPLASH on Thursday, August 9 from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Join us at the Grad House Greens (located near the Dana Porter Library) for a fun evening!

  3. Aug. 8, 2017iBASE volunteers help students shed their 'stress away'!
    Stress Away

    The examination period for Waterloo students is almost coming to a close for this term, and students in our iBASE program want to help you shed the 'stress away'!

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Faculties that offer BASE

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