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 586 students as of the start of Winter 2023!

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 and has a competitive application process. 

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

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, and these courses are included on participants' official transcripts.

Upon completion of the program, the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) issues a Graduate Certificate to participants in University Teaching. This Graduate Certificate is cited in the "degrees" section of participants' university transcripts.


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 five terms left in your PhD studies

  • express interest by contacting cte-cut@uwaterloo.ca by the third month of a term (for an application deadline of April 1, August, 1 and December 1) for the admission cycle in the next term

  • submit an application form

Program goals and outcomes

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. Locate, summarize and use research on teaching and learning as it applies to their field
  5. Prepare a teaching dossier that articulates their approach to undergraduate teaching and documents their teaching effectiveness
  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.

We will e-mail you once the application form is available. The application deadlines are April 1, August, 1 and December 1, for the admission cycle in the next term.

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

The CUT program is comprised of three Graduate Studies courses.

Course Course Requirements
GS 901: Preparing for University Teaching

Completion of four workshops & four response papers

GS 902: Preparing for an Academic Career

Completion of a Research Project followed by a Teaching Dossier

GS 903: Teaching Practicum

Completion of two teaching observations

Program courses in detail


Contact our Program Coordinator at cte-cut@uwaterloo.ca