Research and Supervisors

Waterloo professor looks at object with research student

Finding a Supervisor 

Students in a research-based master’s or doctoral program will work with a faculty supervisor throughout their degree. Your relationship with your supervisor is a key part of your experience and success. Investing time and effort into your search and connecting with potential supervisors prior to applying will allow you a strong start.

Below are some resources to help you learn more about finding the right supervisor for your graduate program. The videos below offer recommendations for researching, contacting and selecting a supervisor. We also asked some of our professors and current graduate students to provide advice on contacting faculty members - scroll down to see what they had to say.

When do I need a supervisor? 

  • Course based programs (MEng/MMSC/MBET) do not require a supervisor.
  • Although you do not need a supervisor to apply to a research-based program (MASc or PhD), you do need a supervisor to receive an offer of admission.
  • Despite being a research program, the MArch does not require a supervisor before an offer of admission can be made.


Advice for contacting a prospective supervisor

Research Areas and Supervisors


Finding Research Areas and Experts

Researchers in robotics discussing

From world-changing AI technology to locking down cybersecurity solutions, Waterloo Engineering researchers are driving innovative discoveries that are advancing knowledge and improving lives globally.

Our extensive research collaborations include partnerships with almost 800 Canadian companies and 300 international companies as well as many leading universities around the world.