Waterloo Engineering Shadow Program

Shadow Days are not currently running. 

If you are interested in speaking to a current student, we encourage you to register for our EngChats program or sign up for a tour!

Experience a day-in-the-life of a Waterloo Engineering Student!

Attend classes, labs and tutorials with a current student, and learn about their program, experiences and why they chose Waterloo!

After submitting your request, we'll match you up with an ambassador in your program of interest, who will be your shadow day guide. Your guide will contact you directly to learn more about your interests (both academic and extra-curricular), schedule a date, and plan your visit.

Program details

  • It is our goal to match up all Shadow Day requests within 2-3 weeks of the request submission. This is a program run by the Engineering Student Ambassadors, and due to term workload, availability with current students, and high demand, response time may occasionally exceed 3 weeks. In some cases, Shadow Day requests may not be accommodated during the requested time period for these reasons. Special requests can be emailed to: shadowdays@engambassadors.uwaterloo.ca
  • Visits may go beyond classes to include other shared interests, such as clubs and student teams
  • If interested, shadows are encouraged to schedule campus and residence tours during their visit
  • You'll be provided with a customized itinerary before your visit, outlining activities and locations, and contact information (in case of emergencies)
  • You will be provided with a lunch coupon on the the day of your visit
  • Activities outside of classes, labs and tutorials must be approved by the Engineering' Recruitment Team
  • In general, activities will take place on Waterloo’s main campus during regular business hours (8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday)
  • Beyond the visit, shadows and parents/guardians are welcomed to continue conversations with our ambassador team throughout the post-secondary application process

Who can attend

In the Fall term (September-November), Shadow Day opportunities are reserved for Grade 12 students. In the Winter (January-March) and Spring (May-July) terms, Shadow Days are open to both Grade 11 and 12 students.

Parents and guardians will NOT be able to join shadows during their scheduled visits, but may wish to arrange separate tours of our campus and residence facilities, or explore other areas in Waterloo and the surrounding area during the duration of the shadow day. Speak with our Visitors Centre for more information.

The matching process

There are a number of factors that influence our matching process for shadow days, including:

  • Requests — you may request a specific ambassador, and we will do our best to make that match. However, the request is subject to that ambassador’s availability. 
  • Background (gender, high school, municipality, resident status)
  • Engineering programs of interest (see our programs page)
  • Extra-curricular interests (Student Design Teams, international work/study, research, volunteering, etc.)

We hope to match shadows and ambassadors who have common backgrounds and/or interests, based on the information provided by both parties. For example, shadows who wish to try out for athletics teams will ideally be matched with mentors who are varsity athletes (and understand the challenges of balancing academics, co-op, and games/practices). At minimum, matches will be made based on program, which may include the second choice option depending on availability. 


If you have any concerns or questions, we recommend that you submit a registration form for additional contact information (when available).

The University of Waterloo is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals. To view our privacy guidelines and initiatives see the Information and Privacy web site.

Cancelling the match

The comfort, safety, and well-being of all participants is important for the success of individual visits and the shadow day program. Shadows and parents/guardians who are not comfortable with the parameters of the program, or with the behaviour of the ambassador, can cancel their involvement at any time leading up to and during the on-campus visit. Similarly, we reserve the right for our ambassadors to cancel the match if they feel that the shadows and/or parents/guardians are placing unreasonable demands upon them.

Matches can be cancelled by contacting the Shadow Program Director. In extreme cases, please contact the Engineering Recruitment Team, who will speak to all parties to confirm the decision.

Due to constraints of time and availability, shadows who cancel their involvement may not be re-matched with a new ambassador. 

Our student ambassadors

The ambassadors are trained undergraduate student leaders, who have taken an interest in recruiting future students to Waterloo Engineering. They are the same volunteers who support on- and off-campus recruiting initiatives such as guided tours, open houses, and the Ontario Universities Fair. 

Parents and guardians are encouraged to discuss any concerns with the Shadow Day Guide ambassadors ahead of the shadow visits, or to contact the Engineering Recruitment Team if necessary.

For Waterloo Engineering admissions-specific questions, please contact the Engineering Admissions Team.