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.

The BASE program is intended for full-time, first-year students who are beginning university or college for the first time. If you are not a first-year undergraduate student, you can visit the English Language Institute for more program options to improve your English.

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. If you cannot view the video on YouTube, you can also watch the video at this alternative link

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 8, 2021This Fall, you can decide to study online or in person for BASE
    Students in a science lab

    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. Apr. 26, 2021Leading with Love
    Ceci with her Honorary Peer Leader Award

    The Story Of BASE & University of Waterloo Graduate Iliana Cecibel Tacuri Siguenza

    By Willow Carmount, ELI Programs Assistant

  3. Feb. 12, 2021iBASE Summer 2021 will be offered online
    Students on 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. The safety and wellbeing of our students, instructors, and staff will always remain our most important priority.  The University of Waterloo is offering very few in-person courses this spring and summer. All courses, including iBASE, will take place online.

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