Waterloo Engineering offers competitive funding for our graduate students. Financial support is available from many sources, including: graduate research studentships from supervisors’ grants, teaching assistantships, internal awards, federal and provincial government scholarships, institutional scholarships, bursaries, and loans provided by the government of Ontario.
On average, in 2021/22 Faculty of Engineering students received the following funding, including TAs:
- Master of Applied Science (MASc) $30 000
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) $47 000
Minimum funding for graduate students
All full-time students in the MASc and PhD programs are guaranteed a minimum level of funding while they are within their program time limits and in good academic standing. All funding is contingent on satisfactory academic progress throughout the duration of a student's program.
Departments may choose to offer a higher minimum to all students and individual supervisors may choose to support students above the minimum requirements.
Minimum levels of funding are inclusive of vacation pay and benefits.
|Plan||Duration||Amount (per year)|
|MASc||6 terms (2 years)||$18,000|
|PhD-2 (from a complete Master's)||12 terms (4 years)||$25,000|
|PhD-3 (from a Bachelor's)||15 terms (5 years)||$25,000|
100 new awards and fellowships
In spring 2018, we began offering additional fellowships for Canadian and Permanent Resident students entering Engineering Research Programs. The funding initiative includes PhD Fellowships valued at up to $120,000 over 4 years and MASc Fellowships valued at up to $50,000 over 2 years.
There is also a Dean's Entrance award for all top students!
Students with a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) award will get a President's Graduate Scholarship (PGS) top-up of $10,000+ each year.
How awards interact
The minimum funding is just that – the minimum amount you will receive per year in your two years of MASc study or 4 years of PhD Study. This is often paid through a Graduate Research Studentship (GRS) and is funded by your research supervisor. You will use this to pay your tuition and then the rest, if applicable, will be deposited into your bank account. Many faculty members pay higher than the minimum.
Funding that can add to the minimum funding:
- In Engineering, being a teaching assistant (TA) is an option and not a requirement. Eligible students who TA earn that income in addition to any awards and scholarships they are already recieving. Students can make $5,900+/term (click for current TA pay rates) by holding a TA positions. TAships are not a guarantee and a dependant of the number of positions available. Most research-based students who want to TA are able to do so during their programs. Contact your department coordinator for more details.
- Entrance Scholarships (up to $5000) are in addition to minimum funding.
- Departmental Awards (usually $500-$2000) are given out annually to some students in each department.
Funding that replaces the minimum funding:
Any funding that is considered a major award (usually this means over $15,000/year in value) typically replaces the minimum guarenteed GRS funding. This is stipulated in the terms of the awards. In some cases, faculty members will choose to still pay a portion of funds from their research accounts on top of other funding. Awards that replace the minimum funding include:
- (Master's) Engineering Excellence Master’s Fellowship - $25,000/year value
- (Master's) Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) CGSM ($17,500/year value) plus the PGS match from UWaterloo ($10,000/year value) = $27,500/year total value
- (PhD) Engineering Excellence PhD Fellowship - $30,000/year value
- (PhD) Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) PGSD and CGSD (various year values) plus the PGS match from UWaterloo
- (PhD) IBET Momentum Fellowship (see below for details) = $30,000/year value
- OGS/QEII-GSST ($15,000/year value) plus the PGS match from UWaterloo (10,000/year value) = $25,000/year total value
Note: students can only receive one of these major awards at a time, as articulated in the terms of the awards.
Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology (IBET) Momentum Fellowships
PhD Fellowships valued at $25,000 per year (plus an additional $5,000 from the supervisor) will be awarded to eligible incoming black and indigenous* graduate students registered full-time in a Faculty of Engineering PhD program at the University of Waterloo. By providing this financial assistance, we can assist in diversifying the academic landscape within Canadian faculties of engineering and increase the number of role models for future generations of Black and Indigenous scholars. Paid internships through Mitacs are available for those looking to gain real-world experience. For more information, please visit the IBET PhD Project website.
- Canadian Citizens or permanent residents of Canada who self-identify as being Indigenous* or Black
- Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements (normally a cumulative average of 80%) for their chosen Faculty of Engineering PhD program
- Must be admitted into the PhD program in Spring 2021 or later;
- Students transferring from an eligible, incomplete Master’s program to a PhD may also be considered for the Fellowship
- Interested applicants must apply by completing an application form found below.
- The Engineering Graduate Awards Committee (EGSAC), chaired by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Engineering, will select recipients on the basis of information provided in their award application, graduate program application and (for PhD3-tsfr only) any relevant transfer-related paperwork.
*For the purposes of this Fellowship, an Indigenous person is a person who self-identifies as First Nations (Status/Non-Status), Métis, or Inuit as defined in the Canadian Constitution Act 1982.
Students interested in applying for this fellowship must complete a written application and have a completed application for admission by February 1 for Fall admission, June 1 for Winter admission and October 1 for Spring admission. A selection committee will review the applications and select recipients within 2 months of the application deadline.
Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) Fellowships
WIN Nanofellowships are awarded to graduate students pursuing nanotechnology research at the University of Waterloo. These fellowships are valued at $10,000 CAD each and are awarded to top Canadian and International graduate students at the University of Waterloo. The fellowship funding is a supplement to the Research Studentship support provided by the supervising faculty member. Nanofellowships can be held simultaneously with other graduate awards. The application deadline to be considered for this Fellowship is Feb. 1st.
The Vector Scholarships in Artificial Intelligence are externally adjudicated, merit-based awards for new incoming students pursuing AI-related studies in master’s programs recognized by the Vector Institute or who are following an individualized study path that is demonstrably AI-focused in Ontario, Canada. Awards are valued at $17,500 for 1 year. Eligibility criteria can be reviewed here.
Students interested in applying for this scholarship must complete a written application by March 1.
Awards administered by the Engineering Graduate Studies Office
Doctoral Thesis Completion Award
Carl Pollock Postgraduate Fellowship in Engineering
Application/Nomination Process: Complete NSERC form 200 and with two references, an unofficial transcript and C.V. submit to your department coordinator by the deadline.
Next Deadline: Applications are due to department scholarship coordinators on the last Friday of July each year.
Iron Ring Graduate Scholarship
Application/Nomination Process: Open to any graduate of the University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering undergraduate program if they are in the first three terms of a direct-entry PhD or transfer PhD program. Award criteria along with an application form are sent out to each engineering department for distribution to their graduate students each year.
Next Deadline: Applications are due to department scholarship coordinators on the last Friday of July each year.
Faculty of Engineering Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision
Application/nomination process description: The Faculty of Engineering Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision award recognizes exemplary faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in graduate student supervision. Nominations are collected each Fall through the University of Waterloo Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision nomination process.
Next Deadline: Applications are due to department scholarship coordinators in October for the next competition.
Awards and scholarship resources
The following are a couple sites which may be useful in researching the awards available to students at the University of Waterloo:
- Graduate Studies and PostDoctoral Affairs (GSPA) Awards Database
- OGS, NSERC and other Major External Scholarships
- Mitacs Accelerate
Please contact a Departmental Scholarship Coordinator for more detailed information.
Faculty of Engineering financial support
Graduate Research Studentships
Highly qualified full time thesis students, both at the MASc and PhD levels, will receive graduate research studentships (GRS) from their supervisors $24,504/year for 4 years (12 terms) for the PhD program. All funding is contingent on continued academic progression and success.
A graduate student in the MASc or the PhD program could be assigned one or more teaching assistantship (TA) tasks each year. Each TA task involves an average of 10 hours per week for one term. Please refer to compensation rates on Finance's website.
Faculty of Engineering Scholarships
These scholarships are awarded by the Faculty of Engineering in recognition of special achievements of graduate students. They are normally offered on a term by term basis, at an average value of $1,000/award (additional to income from other sources).
Government agency fellowships and awards
Federal Tri-Council Scholarships
These scholarships are awarded to top domestic (Canadian and permanent resident) students. The value of these awards range from $17,500/year to $35,000/year. For more information on these awards, visit the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs external awards web page.
Ontario Graduate Scholarship
The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) is a merit-based scholarship and is available to MASc and PhD students in all disciplines of academic study. The value of an OGS for one year is $5,000 per term; therefore, students can receive $10,000 (split over 2 terms) or $15,000 (split over 3 terms).
Students must apply for the OGS at the institution where they want to hold it. For more information and how to apply, visit the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs office Ontario Graduate Scholarship web page.
Loans, bursaries, and other assistance programs
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
OSAP provides various types of assistance based on financial need to eligible students. Assistance is intended to supplement, not to replace, the resources of students and their families.
University of Waterloo Bursaries and Assistance
Waterloo provides a variety of bursaries for students who find themselves in financial need, including Graduate Birth and Parental Leave, Research Travel Assistantship, and Day Care Bursaries. For additional bursaries, emergency loans, and graduate scholarship resources please visit the Graduate Studies Office financial need funding webpage or the database web page.
University of Waterloo awards
The University’s central Graduate Studies Office provides information about scholarships and financial aid, and maintains a searchable database of awards for which you may be eligible. To find out more, talk to the funding specialists in the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs office or to your department’s scholarship coordinator.
Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that works with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments to build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. To explore funding options through the Mitacs Accelerate program visit their website and the University of Waterloo Office of Research.