Certificate in University Teaching

Since its launch in the Fall of 1998, The Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program has been open to PhD students interested in pursuing an academic career, and has been completed by over 300 students!

How it works

The Certificate in University Teaching program is of no cost and is open to currently enrolled PhD students from all faculties at Waterloo.The prerequisite for participation in the CUT program is completion of the Fundamentals of University Teaching program. Enrolment in the program is limited to approximately 15 new participants per term. 

The CUT program can be completed at participants' own pace and typically takes between six to nine terms to complete. 

The CUT program comprises three courses in Graduate Studies (GS): GS 901, GS 902, and GS 903 - which provide a comprehensive teacher-development experience. Each individual course must be completed within three consecutive terms.

Upon completion of the program, participants receive a Certificate of University issued by the Graduate Studies Office (GSO) and receive a citation in the "degrees" section of their university transcript.


To apply, you must:

  • be a PhD student officially registered at the University of Waterloo (students in joint programs are ineligible)

  • have completed the Fundamentals of University Teaching certificate program.

  • have a minimum of four terms left in your PhD studies

  • submit an application form


The overall goal of the CUT program is for participants to be self-aware, critically-reflective teachers who have gained both theoretical knowledge and skills that contribute to success in an academic career. 

By the end of the program, participants will:

  1. Begin to apply theoretical knowledge about teaching and learning in higher education
  2. Adopt a reflective approach to teaching through collecting feedback and continually modifying instructional approaches
  3. Develop and implement active-learning teaching methods
  4. Prepare a teaching dossier that articulates their approach to undergraduate teaching and documents their teaching effectiveness
  5. Locate, summarize and use research on teaching and learning as it applies to their field
  6. Feel more confident and knowledgeable as an instructor in higher education

How to apply

To apply for the CUT program, please contact cte-cut@uwaterloo.ca to indicate your interest. We will email you once the application form is available and provide you with the submission deadline. 

Admission Considerations

Applications are reviewed based on participants’ interest in applying teaching strategies to their own practice, their understanding of Fundamentals program concepts, and the feasibility of their CUT program completion based on time to graduation and teaching observation opportunities.

Overview of the Program

GS 901 Preparing for university teaching

Requires completion of 4 workshops & 4 response papers: 

  • Understanding the Learner (CTE068)
  • Interactive Teaching (CTE165)
  • Assessing Student Learning (CTE020)
  • Course Design (CTE073)
GS 902 Preparing for an academic career

Completion of a Research project & Teaching dossier:

  • Research Project:
    • Attend Research Projects Workshop (CTE146)
    • Attend a one-on-one consultation session
    • Complete a written research project and present your findings
  • Teaching Dossiers:
    • Attend Teaching Dossiers Workshop(CTE113) 
    • Attend Teaching Dossiers Consultation Session (CTE193)
    • Create a Teaching Dossier
GS 903 Teaching practicum

Completion of 2 teaching observations:

Each observation includes:

  • Pre-observation meeting
  • Teaching observation
  • Post-observation meeting
  • Short response paper

Program components in detail

Program Notes:

  • The CUT program must be completed by end of graduate studies.
  • Participants accepted to the program are added to the UWaterloo CUT pages in LEARN. These pages provide further details and resources on each course component and its requirements. 
  • GS 901 and GS 903 may be taken at the same time, but GS 901 is a prerequisite for GS 902.
  • CUT courses are included on official transcript.

Fast fact: 
To date, 404 graduate students have completed CTE's Certificate in University Teaching program.