Checklist for new graduate students

Graduate student in an analytical lab.

Welcome to the University of Waterloo. We are very pleased that you have chosen to pursue your graduate studies in the Department of Chemistry. This page lists important action items to complete prior to, and within, your first week on campus.

If you have any questions, please contact the Chemistry Graduate Studies Coordinator, Rm C2-260C.

Pay your Tuition Fees

You will be able to see the amount that you owe for each term, using the “Finances” tab in your Quest account. You will either pay the fees owing outright through your bank, or if you are an MSc or PhD student, you may choose to fill out a Promissory Note in your Quest account to indicate that your tuition will be paid by your Graduate Research Studentship (GRS), and/or awards.

Stipend and TA Payment

In order to receive direct deposit payments from your Student Account (GRS stipend, Awards, Scholarships etc.) you must enter your Canadian banking information in to QUEST.

In or to be paid through Workday (Teaching Assistantship), graduate students, when invited by Workday, are required to provide and upload this information:

  • TD1 Tax Credit information – on-line through Workday self service
  • Direct Deposit Information - on-line through Workday self service 
  • Up to date address information - on-line throughWorkday self service

Important details on how to provide this information can be found on the HR website under Human Resources>Support for employees>Payroll>Information specific to graduate students.

Returning students who have submitted this information previously are encouraged to access QUEST/Workday to review their data for accuracy.  Instructions on how to view your personal information can be found in the Employee Self Service Work Instructions. If your banking information has changed, you will need to submit updated banking information.

Please direct any questions to or 519-888-4567 ext. 35935.

*Please ensure that QUEST/Workday are up to date with a Canadian mailing address. No funds can be distributed without this. 

Meet your supervisor 

If you are an MSc or PhD student, it is likely that you’ve been corresponding with your supervisor(s) via e-mail prior to your arrival on campus.  If you have not met your supervisor in person, please do so now. There is a faculty and staff directory board outside the main Chemistry Office C2-280. Your supervisor will be able to advise you on many topics, including which courses you should register for, where your office will be, and how to get keys. After you have met with your supervisor please contact the Graduate Coordinator at .

Health and Safety

Health and Safety training is mandatory for all MSc and PhD students. Log on to the UW Health and Safety website and complete the online WHMIS and Laboratory Safety courses.  Both courses must be completed prior to any lab or TA assignments. It is necessary you review the Health and Safety package provided to you upon your arrival.


The WatCard is your student identification card at the University of Waterloo. Your card can be used for signing out library books, photocopying, and it can also be used in some restaurants. To obtain your card, go to the WatCard Office. You will need to provide your Waterloo student ID number in order to be issued a WatCard. If you are an International student, be sure to bring your passport with you. Please be aware that a WatCard cannot be issued to you until you’re matriculated (i.e. you’ve accepted your offer of admission and satisfied any and all conditions in your offer letter) and have paid your fees.

Pick up your keys

Visit Chemistry Stores (ESC-109) to obtain a key request for your keys and instructions. If you are in the QNC building please speak to your supervisor.

You will be required to provide the Safety Training form and records of your online safety training. The Safety Training form (accessible PDF) can be obtained online.

How to Log on to a UWaterloo computer 

All communications from the university will be to your university email address.  An email address and account are provided to all students for the receipt of official communications and your participation in an academic program at UWaterloo You may set-up your email address once you have become matriculated.

Please see the Information Systems and Technology website for instructions on how to connect your mobile device to the wireless service on campus.

Register for your courses

Course registration is done through your Quest account. Simply follow the prompts within Quest to register. If you receive any error notifications when you are trying to enroll, you may be able to fill out a Course Drop/Add Form to override the error notification. In order to determine whether you need to complete the aforementioned form, visit the Graduate Studies Coordinator, Cathy Van Esch, for further assistance.

Mailing List

After activating a UW e-mail account inform the Graduate Coordinator ( of your e-mail address.   

Teaching Assistant Information

The Department of Chemistry holds a Teaching Assistant Workshop for all graduate student teaching assistants at the beginning of the  term. This workshop is completed on Learn. The Teaching Assistant Workshop is mandatory for new graduate students in the Department of Chemistry. You will only need to complete the Teaching Assistant Workshop one time and you will receive a certificate of attendance that you will need to keep as proof of attendance for future assignments.

Chemistry Graduate Studies

Check  out the Chemistry Department Graduate Students webpage for information on student and program resources at both the New graduate students and Current graduate students links. 

We look forward to meeting you!