Incoming First-Years & Transfers

4 students, 2 male and 2 female, walking in the REV tunnel

Living in residence means becoming part of a great community with support to make your transition to university life as smooth as possible.

Before you dive in to getting residence guaranteed please select if you are incoming first-year student or an incoming transfer student so we can direct you to the right application!

You can live in one of Campus Housing’s 6 first-year residences or at one of Waterloo’s University Colleges as part of guaranteed residence. Learn more about the 100% residence guarantee for first-year students. As a transfer student you are also guaranteed a spot in residence - learn more.  

Joining the residence guarantee is as easy as 1, 2, 3: 

Important Dates for Residence Guarantee

Date

Action

Thursday February 1, 2024

First-Year Guarantee Residence application opens. Apply before June 3 to guarantee your space in residence!

March 2024

Visit us during March Break Open House for prospective students. Learn more about the event at uwaterloo.ca/future-students/tours-events

May 2024

Students who have received an Offer of Admission are invited to join us for You @ Waterloo day! Details about this event will be available at a later date.

Monday June 3, 2024

First-Year Guarantee Residence application and $500 deposit due by 11:59 p.m. EDT.

If you have a documented need that requires Accessible Housing Supports, submit the Accessible Housing application form by 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 3 at uwaterloo.ca/accessible-housing/

Week of June 3

Missed the first-year guarantee deadline? Check uwaterloo.ca/campus-housing for next steps.

Beginning Mid June 

You’re in! Check your email to find out if you’ve been placed in Campus Housing (a) or one of the University College residences (b).

a) You’re invited to complete the Campus Housing Preference Form. This is your chance to indicate your preferred residence and room style, choose your meal plan, request a roommate, and more! Visit uwaterloo.ca/campus-housing for a video on how to fill out the form.

b) If you are placed in a University College, you will receive a residence offer directly from the university college in your email account. All future residence correspondence will come directly from your university college.

Mid June

Campus Housing Preference Form closes at 11:59 p.m. EDT. 

Late June

It’s time to set up your official University email account and be sure to check it regularly. uwaterloo.ca/office-365/#accessaccount Until you are able to set up your uwaterloo account in late June we will send all communication to the email you applied with!

July

Confirm your residence contract, or lose your room! Room assignments begin and offers will be sent out from now until mid-August. Check your Waterloo email regularly to confirm your contract and secure your room in residence. Once confirmed, check your room assignment via the Welcome Home page.

Move-in Day!

Move into residence by early September. Check your Waterloo email in early August for move-in dates and detailed instructions
Step 1

Step 1: Get Guaranteed!

When?

  • From February 1, 2024 - June 3, 2024

How?

  • Accept your offer of admission from the University of Waterloo
  • Complete the First-Year Guarantee Residence Application by June 3 at 11:59 p.m. EDT
  • Pay your non-refundable housing deposit via Visa, Master Card or American Express
  • Need special consideration for your residence room assignment? Complete an Accessible Housing application and submit supporting documentation by June 3, 2024!
    • Housing accommodations can be made for medical, sensory, physical, environmental, psychological, allergy/dietary restrictions, or mental health conditions. 

What is the First Year Guarantee Residence Application? 

What is the difference between BETWEEN CAMPUS HOUSING, ST. JEROMES, UNITED COLLEGE, AND RENISON?

Campus Housing offers direct on-campus housing at the University of Waterloo with a choice of six different residences; three buildings that offer traditional-style dorms (Village 1Ron Eydt Village, and Claudette Millar Hall) and three buildings that offer suite-style apartment living (Mackenzie King VillageUW Place, and Columbia Lake Village South). Students in their first year are placed together according to their academic streaming and are typically separate from upper-year students. Strong communities are built with the assistance of Dons on each floor. Meals plans are optional depending on the type of community (traditional or suite-style). Meal plans, run by UW Food Services, offer a wide range of dietary options across campus. Meal plan money left over at the end of the year is carried over to the next term. Similarly, if money runs out, additional flex dollars may be added at any time. When you join Campus Housing, you have access to the eateries, amenities and study spaces of all the other Campus Housing residences.  There is so much opportunity to find the perfect study space, the best snack, and the ideal supports and services.  

The University College Residences (St. Jerome's UniversityRenison University CollegeUnited College and Conrad Grebel University College*) are like mini-universities within the larger UWaterloo community. They are located on-campus and offer courses within the Waterloo faculties. In the University Colleges, students are placed together through various methods. Residents living at any of the University Colleges are Waterloo students from across all programs.  Meal plans are included in the price and are provided by the residence's on-site cafeteria (but not flexible across other eateries). There is no declining balance meaning you won't run out of money on your food plan.

*Please note: Conrad Grebel is not part of the 100% Residence Guarantee

How does my gender identity affect my placement into residence?

We have a place for all students. We want two-spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students to feel welcome and safe living in our residences. First-year students are placed in residence communities based on your reported gender on your OUAC application.

All individual first-year rooms and apartments are single gender; however, each floor or house may be single or mixed gender.If you indicated an unspecified gender, we will reach out to you in May or June to discuss our residence room types, building layouts, and roommate options and work with you to find a space where you feel most safe and at home. We will never ask you to specify your gender.

We encourage any students with questions or concerns about the residence placement process to reach out to us at housing@uwaterloo.ca.

First-Year Guarantee Residence Application walkthrough

Remote video URL

What is the difference between Campus Housing, St. Jerome's, United College, and Renison?

Remote video URL
Step 2

Step 2: Share your preferences

When?

  • Opening mid-June

How?

  • If placed with Campus Housing, we will email you the Campus Housing Preference Form (CHPF) that lets you: 
    • rank the different Campus Housing residences and room types
    • choose your preferred meal plan  (check out the meal plan playlist to the right for more information) 
    • submit a roommate request
      • Students may only submit one roommate request. To request a roommate, both students must have a completed Campus Housing Preference Form, be in the same application period (fall/winter or fall/spring) and have the same reported gender . Students in an LLC may not request specific roommates. 

Remember!

  • While the CHPF lets you provide your preferences it does not mean you are guaranteed your top residence choices! You may be placed in any one of our residence communities - all will give you room to grow and change as you experience life at University - with support from our Campus Housing team. Residence is all about being open to new adventures, including trying a room that you never thought you would love!
  • #DYK: 42% of first-year students in Campus Housing live in traditional-style residence buildings and 43% of first-year students living with Campus Housing are in double rooms?

Roommate FAQs

HOW CAN I SELECT MORE THAN ONE ROOMMATE?

We understand you may have a group of friends you want to live with as you begin your journey together as Warriors. While we wish we could offer the option to select more than one roommate, our system is set up to provide you with the opportunity to submit one roommate request. We are dedicated to providing equal opportunity to all students who have applied to residence to have a chance to live in any of our residence types.

IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT MY PLACEMENT WITHIN CAMPUS HOUSING, WHO DO I CONTACT?

If you have any questions about your residence placement, please reach out to us at housing@uwaterloo.ca

WE ARE A GROUP OF 3 – HOW CAN WE PLACED IN A SUITE TOGETHER?

Unfortunately, our system only allows roommate pairs. Your group of 3 will need to discuss whether to pair off or not to select a roommate. We understand living with someone you know will ease some anxiety with your transition to University; however, residence is a highly social environment. We encourage you to take this opportunity to meet new people. All of our residences offer a great experience, and even if you do not all live together, you can visit each other and get to know the other residences! If you have any concerns once you’ve moved into residence, you can work with a Residence Life Don, an upper-year student living in residence, to support you. 

WE ARE A GROUP OF 4 – HOW CAN WE MAKE SURE WE ALL END UP TOGETHER?

The Campus Housing Preference Form is designed for us to get to know you better. We understand that the 4 of you may want to live together. We recommend that the 4 of you pair off and accept each other as pairs of two, and all select the same residence as your top choice. While this does not guarantee the 4 of you will end up together, you have a higher chance of living with at least one of your friends. As a reminder, while your preferences are taken into consideration, we cannot guarantee you will be placed in your top choice of residence or with your selected roommate.

CAN I SELECT A ROOMMATE WITH A DIFFERENT REPORTED GENDER?

No, you and your requested roommate must have the same reported gender. If you have listed "U" gender on your profile, you will not be able to make a roommate group with others that are "M'' or "F". If this is a mistake, please complete the Gender Update Form and contact the Registrar’s Office to have your reported gender changed.

MY OLDER SIBLING WAS ABLE TO SELECT MORE THAN ONE ROOMMATE WHEN THEY LIVED IN CAMPUS HOUSING

We understand you may have heard from older siblings or alumni that they were able to select or specifically request multiple people as roommates. Our system changed a few years ago, and you are now only able to select one roommate.

SOMEONE TOLD ME THAT IF I CALL OR EMAIL IN, AN EXCEPTION CAN BE MADE, AND I CAN SELECT MORE THAN ONE ROOMMATE

No – exceptions cannot be made. Our system is set up to only allow one roommate selection. If you call or email, we’re happy to answer any questions you have; however, we are unable to make exceptions and allow you to pick more than one roommate.

MY FRIEND AND I ARE IN DIFFERENT STUDY TERMS – CAN WE BE ROOMMATES?

No, if you and your friend are in different study terms, you will be unable to select each other as roommates. Learn more about the compatibility of streams and sequences

I AM IN AN LLC (LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITY), WHY CAN’T I LIVE WITH MY FRIEND WHO IS NOT PART OF AN LLC?

As part of the LLC, you are unable to select your roommate – your floor will consist of many students who are in the same program and faculty as you. If you have any questions about the Living Learning Communities, please email living.learning@uwaterloo.ca 

I MET THE FIRST-YEAR GUARANTEE DEADLINE BUT MY FRIEND APPLIED THROUGH THE VACANCY APPLICATION

Unfortunately, since your friend missed the First-Year Guarantee deadline, an assignment in residence is not guaranteed. Your friend will receive communications throughout the summer on spaces available; however, should you be placed in a double room, you will be placed with someone who has also completed the First-Year Guarantee Application by the deadline.

Step 3

Step 3: Accept your room assignment!

When?

  • July

How?

  • In July begin checking your Waterloo email address for your room offer and contracts
    • All communications will be sent to the email that you used to apply with until your UWaterloo email address is active. In late June, you will receive instructions to access your UWaterloo email address. Please begin checking your UWaterloo email inbox for important information from the University (room offer, contracts and other updates, etc.) as important updates will be sent to your UWaterloo email address, not the email address you applied with. You will need your username@uwaterloo.ca, password and DUO (2FA) to access your UWaterloo inbox. 
  • Make sure you accept your contract before the expiry date!
  • If you do not accept your residence offer by the deadline you will lose your $500 deposit and room assignment.

Remember!

  • We will be unable to change your room assignment once it has been offered out - all of our residences offer unique, supportive experiences. Even if you are not placed in your preferred buildings, a great residence experience is just around the corner. Make sure to learn more about your new residence by clicking through our residences page!
  • Want to learn more about the residence experience? Follow us on Instagram (@UWHousing)!

Room Assignment FAQs

I DID NOT RECEIVE MY ROOM ASSIGNMENT OFFER. CAN YOU RE-SEND?

Your room assignment offer was sent to your @uwaterloo.ca email address. If you have not done so already, please set up your Waterloo email as soon as possible following these instructions: https://uwaterloo.ca/email

I AM UNHAPPY WITH MY ROOM ASSIGNMENT. CAN YOU MOVE ME TO SOMEWHERE ELSE

Unfortunately, now that room assignments have gone out, we are unable to make any changes to your placement based on preferences. Asking for a room assignment change is asking us to move someone out of their room, as all rooms have been booked. We understand this may not be the news you were hoping for however we hope you can still have a positive experience regardless of your residence assignment! Once you’ve moved in, if you’re having trouble adjusting, we have supports in place (including your don on your floor, or Residence Life Coordinators) to help you with the transition into your new home. After you have moved in, please reach out to our Residence Life team for support. Hopefully with the help of our team, you can be able to still enjoy the residence you’ve been placed in!

I DID NOT GET PLACED WITH THE ROOMMATE I REQUESTED. CAN WE BE ROOMMATES?

Unfortunately, now that room assignments have gone out, we are unable to make any changes to your assignment. We understand the benefits of living with a roommate (especially someone you know!), however residence is a very social environment, so you will have lots of opportunities to meet new people as you start your university journey. If you do have any concerns once you’ve moved into residence, you can work with a Residence Life Don, who is an upper year student that lives in residence to support you.

I CANNOT AFFORD THE MEAL PLAN AND DO NOT WANT TO PURCHASE IT. CAN THIS BE REMOVED FROM MY FEES?

Campus Housing bases your meal plan on your Campus Housing Preference Form and cannot make any adjustments. If you would like to change your meal plan, please visit WatCard Frequently Asked Questions for details and deadlines. If you are placed in a traditional style residence, a meal plan is mandatory as you do not have a kitchen in your room to cook your own meals.

I AM NOT COMFORTABLE SHARING A ROOM AND NEED TO HAVE A SINGLE ROOM. CAN YOU MOVE ME TO A SINGLE ROOM?

Unfortunately, now that room assignments have gone out, we are unable to make any changes to your placement. Asking for a room assignment change is asking us to move someone out of their room, as all rooms have been assigned. We understand living with someone you have never met before can be daunting, however we hope you will give your roommate a chance. Living in residence is all about meeting new people and having new experiences. With a roommate, you have someone to share a meal with and explore campus as you familiarize yourself with your new home. If you’re having trouble adjusting, we have supports in place (including your don on your floor, or Residence Life Coordinators) to help you with the transition into your new home.

IS THERE A WAITLIST FOR STUDENTS THAT DON’T LIKE THEIR ROOM ASSIGNMENT?

We do not have a waitlist to swap students into specific rooms styles that they are interested in if they do not like their initial room placement. We recommend you accept your contract before it expires, however if you are still worried about your room placement, please let us know of your specific concerns and we would be happy to discuss them with you to get you more excited about your residence experience!

I WANT TO DECLINE MY OFFER.

We understand any concerns or hesitations you may have about your room assignment.

If you have been sent a residence contract and no longer would like to live with us, simply decline your contract offer. If you have not accepted your offer and decline, you will not be financially responsible. If you have accepted your contract and decide you would now like to cancel, please be mindful of our cancellation policy. Your $500 deposit remains non-refundable. In addition, you will see a $500 administrative fee applied to your Quest financial account. The administrative fee is applied to your account to offset your $500 deposit credit, to ensure Campus Housing retains the non-refundable deposit. For more information, please see our withdrawals and cancellations page.

Watch last year's Get Ready for Residence webinar below to help you prepare for residence!

Remote video URL

Are there all-gender washrooms in residence?

We have a place for you. We want two-spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students to feel welcome and safe living in our residences. All-gender washrooms are spaces that individuals can access and use, regardless of their gender identity. Unlike gender-specific washrooms which are designated as being for either women or men, all-gender washrooms are available for use by anyone. 

Each first-year residence building has at least one all-gender washroom in our central complex area to use when studying and hanging out with friends, dining at an eatery or visiting a front desk.  If you are living in Claudette Millar Hall, each floor has all-gender washrooms. Our other first-year residence communities (dorm-style and suite-style) are organized by gender, where students who identify as female live together, and students who identify as male live together.  Washrooms in Ron Edyt Village and Village 1 are designated as being for either women or men. In suite-style residences (UWP, CLV and MKV), room assignments are based on gender and the washrooms are shared by the roommates within the suite. If you wish to not disclose your gender, we will never ask you to.   

If you would like to speak with someone before completing the First-Year Guarantee Residence Application, please email us at housing@uwaterloo.ca and we will connect you with our Residence Life team who are ready to support you and will find you the space in residence that works best for you. 

Do men and women share rooms/bathrooms?

All individual first-year rooms and apartments are single gender; however, each floor or house may be single or mixed gender. Washrooms are always single-gender. 

I missed the guarantee – can I still apply for residence? 

If I submit my application right away, will I have a better chance of getting my first choices?

No. This is not a first-come, first-served process. Everyone who submits these forms on time has an equal chance of getting their first choice.

AM I GUARANTEED A PLACE IN RESIDENCE? (TRANSFER STUDENTS)

 If you’re an incoming transfer student we guarantee a spot for you in residence if you apply by June 1, 2023 and if you meet certain conditions. 

  1. Accept your offer of admission online at www.ouac.on.ca.
  2. Meet any conditions outlined on your Offer of Admission.
  3. Apply online for two terms in residence (either fall/winter or fall/spring) using the upper-year undergraduate application - students transferring from another university please send an email to housing@uwaterloo before you apply.

Am I guaranteed to get my first choice of residence or room type

No. The residence guarantee only guarantees you a room in residence. Many students select the same room type and/or residence community, and there are only so many rooms in each residence. Therefore, it is not possible to guarantee every student their first choice. Our process ensures that the maximum number of incoming students are assigned to one of their top choices.

Which residence is closest to my faculty?

Remember that you can have classes in any building, not just those associated with your faculty - so it's hard to say! In general, walking across campus generally takes about 15 minutes. Check out a campus map to see for yourself.

What is included in my residence fee?

Living in residence means all-inclusive living - no worries during your time with us! You also won't have to worry about signing a lease, landlords, or subletting your room while you're away from school.

Residence fees include:

  • a fully-furnished room
  • all utilities
  • 24-hour security and Front Desk assistance
  • high-speed, unlimited Internet (ResNet) in your room
  • cable TV in common areas
  • on-site laundry
  • eateries in the traditional dorms
  • residence life programming (including tutoring and a counsellor in residence)
  • on-call maintenance
  • housekeeping services (varies by residence)
  • access to all amenities in any of our residence facilities - gyms, music rooms, multi-faith rooms etc.

Which residence is the best?

Each residence has many services and experiences to offer students and no two students are completely alike. Some residences offer more independence while others offer more convenience; some offer more social interaction, while others offer more privacy.

Differences aside, all of our residences offer a strong sense of community, support for academic pursuits, full-time professional staff, and many amenities to make it feel like home.

DO I HAVE TO GET A MEAL PLAN?

Meal plans are required for all students living in traditional (dorm style) residences and optional for those living in suite style residences.

The WatCard office can only make meal plan changes during the term for which the meal plan is purchased. Requests to change your meal plan can be submitted from 1 week prior to the start of each term until the end of the first month of the term using our meal plan change request form.

Can I live in residence after my first-year?

Absolutely! Campus Housing reserves spaces for upper-year students each term. Upper-years are also placed into their communities, not mixed with first-year residents. You can still request roommates, and unlike first-years, upper-years may also choose to live in mixed-gender apartments. We offer contracts tailored to academic streams - you only have to sign a contract for the terms you are on campus. We even have spaces available for students who are working locally on a co-op work term.

I won't have access to the Internet this summer - Can someone else submit my contract for me?

Yes. If you are unable to submit your residence contract, someone else may submit it on your behalf. This person is not responsible for any contract infringements that may occur. If someone else submits your contract for you, you will be responsible for any problems. Please refer to your terms and conditions.

Join our mailing list! 

By filling in your information and clicking "Subscribe" you agree to receive emails from Campus Housing at the University of Waterloo. The emails you receive are intended to keep you updated with important dates and residence information. It is recommended you use a gmail or hotmail email address. We have been made aware that our emails may go to spam if you use an icloud email address. Phone number is optional, but will be used to send you texts as important deadlines approach. 

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Fall 2024 Pre Arrival Email Archive

Remember seeing an email but can't find it in your inbox? Not to worry that's what our email archive is for! The email archive is for reference purposes only - please make sure you're cross referencing your email to make sure you receive important communications from us!  Please note this archive is not a comprehensive list of all emails sent to incoming first year students. If you have not received one of the emails below  please email housing@uwaterloo.ca with your full name, student ID# and subject line of the email you did not receive so we can look into this further. 

Email subject line Send date
Emails coming soon! TBD