It’s true – residence is for all students! With dedicated spaces and exclusive programming to get you job ready, we’re certain the experience will enhance your time at UWaterloo. Why live here as an upper year, exchange or transfer student?
- Jobs & Leadership opportunities
- All-inclusive living (includes all utilities and unlimited high-speed internet)
- Reliable and trustworthy maintenance services (with a great landlord!)
- Study and meeting rooms
- Staff and peer support
If you’re an incoming exchange student, you can see information below on residences, contracts and our application process. If you’re an incoming transfer student, please see our FAQ on our transfer student guarantee below.
How to Apply
Three Step Process
1) Do Your Research and Decide
We have lots of options: traditional style, suite style, or a hybrid option (dorm style with an optional meal plan). Compare available residences to find the one that's best for you. Next, decide if you're applying with or without roommates (mixed gender requests welcome!).
Note: not all residences and room types may be available every term to all student types.
When you accept an offer, you are agreeing to be financially responsible for your entire residence contract. This means that while fees are not due until the fees arranged deadline for the term you apply for, you will be required to pay your full residence fees and will not be refunded if you decide to cancel your contract before its end date.
Check your UWaterloo email often, as we will be sending offers soon after you submit an application. If you're an exchange student, you should check your home institution email that you used to apply.
Accept your contract offer by clicking the link in the offer email and submit your $500 deposit, which is used to offset your residence term fees. You're all set!
Frequently asked questions
Can Upper Years live in a first-year building?
Yes! As of Fall 2023, Upper Year students can apply to live in single rooms on first-year floors. This mixed-community program will be available at Claudette Miller Hall and Village 1. Throughout the residence contract, the upper year student will provide informal mentorship, being approachable and understanding to the first-year students who they share a floor with. Following the end of the term, these Upper Year students are eligible for a $500 credit, paid to their WAT card after completing an experience survey. If you are interested in living in these single rooms, please indicate this on the Upper Year application opening in January.
Will I be living with first-year students?
We try to maintain upper-year clusters for our upper-year and exchange students as much as possible in our communities so that you can be surrounded by your peers.
However, as of 2023, upper-year students can apply to live in single rooms on first-year floors. We are calling these floors, ‘Mixed-Year Communities’ and the upper-year students will act as a peer mentor to incoming students, sharing advice and ways to maximize ones first year on campus.
Transfer students that join the guarantee will be assigned with upper-year students. We typically try and assign older transfer students with upper years.
Where are upper-year students placed in residence?
Our space use changes year on year, see our Compare Residences page to find out what buildings are offered for the term you’re looking for.
Upper-year students in Mixed-Year Communities will be placed in single rooms in Village 1 and Claudette Miller Hall in the fall of 2023.
I AM IN A CO-OP PROGRAM, CAN I LIVE IN RESIDENCE WHILE WORKING ON CO-OP?
Yes. You can live in residence while on co-op for any term, as long as you have a co-op job that is approved by CACE. Residence contracts match your academic stream so you only pay for the terms you’re on campus – no worries about finding a subletter!
CAN I CHOOSE MY OWN ROOMMATE?
Yes! On your application form you will be given an option to select one or more roommates. If you are looking to live in a 3-4 bedroom suite, you can request, 3-4 roommates. So long as you and your roommate both request each other and are on the same stream we will do our best to place you together. Mixed gender requests welcome!
CAN I CHOOSE A ROOMMATE WHO IS IN FIRST YEAR?
No. We do not allow upper-year students to request to live with first-year students. We feel that it is important for first-year students to experience residence life with others who are in the same situation as they are. Occasionally we may allow some residences to house both first years and upper year/exchange students.
WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT LIVING IN RESIDENCE? CAN I CANCEL MY RESIDENCE CONTRACT?
Our terms and conditions states that students who have accepted their residence contract are held financially responsible for the full length of their contract.
This means—should you choose to cancel your contract—you will be required to pay your full residence fees. Learn more about the process to cancel or withdraw from residence.
DO I HAVE TO GET A MEAL PLAN?
Any changes to your housing meal plan selection for spring 2023 must be requested on or before April 11 by contacting email@example.com. Otherwise, you will have to wait until the meal plan change form is available May 3.
I LIVED IN RESIDENCE AND I AM NOW LIVING OFF CAMPUS. CAN I CONTINUE THE MEAL PLAN PROGRAM AS AN OFF-CAMPUS STUDENT?
Yes. If you have unused meal plan dollars from a previous year they will roll over to the following term. You can also add a new meal plan to your Watcard as an off-campus student. For more information on the meal plan options for off-campus students, visit the Food Services website.
DO I NEED TO PAY A DEPOSIT?
Yes. There is a $500 deposit required at the time of confirming your housing contract for residence. This deposit will be applied to your residence fees once they are posted to your Quest account.
CAN I HAVE THE SAME ROOM I HAD IN FIRST YEAR?
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee these requests. If you really enjoyed a previous residence community you can rank it as your first choice, but we cannot guarantee that you will be placed exactly where you want. Our space use changes year on year, see our Compare Residences page to find out what buildings are offered for the term you’re looking for.
CAN I LIVE IN A LIVING-LEARNING COMMUNITY OR ACADEMIC CLUSTER AS AN UPPER-YEAR STUDENT?
All Living Learning communities are for first-year students as they focus on material in the first-year courses. If you are looking for academic support in residence, you can find more information on our academics in residence page.
MY FRIEND IS A DON. CAN I LIVE ON HIS OR HER FLOOR?
Unfortunately, we cannot take specific floor requests. You can rank the building as your first choice, but we cannot guarantee that you will get exactly what you request.
CAN I MOVE IN EARLY / LATE?
I AM LOOKING FOR HOUSING AT THE LAST MINUTE. IS LIVING IN RESIDENCE STILL AN OPTION FOR ME?
My off-campus housing arrangements are not working out. Can I move into residence part way through the school term?
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.
- Accept your offer of admission online at www.ouac.on.ca.
- Meet any conditions outlined on your Offer of Admission.
- Apply online for two terms in residence (either fall/winter or fall/spring) using the upper-year undergraduate application.
- You must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before you apply with your full name, 8-digit UWaterloo ID number, notifying us if you are a transfer student.
We do not guarantee residence for upper-year or exchange students. We do encourage you to apply early for the best chance at getting the room you’re hoping for.