Paying for School

Without a doubt, Waterloo’s co-operative-study program (co-op) is the single biggest contributor to our students’ financial well-being. Over the course of a degree (six work terms interspersed with eight study terms), our students make $80,500 on average, and some as much as $170,000!

For many of our undergraduates, co-op is the first opportunity for them to manage their own finances, providing valuable experience and a greater sense of self-worth. Whether they live at home, stay in Waterloo, or go someplace entirely new, our students gain an appreciation for what it takes to make it on their own.

Thanks to co-op, many of our students graduate with little to no debt; however, doing so requires that they budget properly and exercise fiscal moderation during both work and study terms. It may take a work term or two, but students who master these skills will find the transition to “the real world” to be much easier when they graduate.

Fees, Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

First-year Fees and Expenses

The following are estimated total costs for an 8-month school year and include tuition, incidental fees, books and supplies, housing, bus pass, gym membership, and other costs ($3,000 for telephone, entertainment/recreation, personal care, and laundry/clothing. This amount will vary, depending on your personal needs).

  • Engineering
    • Domestic: $30,677-35,388
    • International: $53,932-60,214
  • Architecture
    • Domestic: $24,538-26,138
    • International: $57,036-58,636

Approximate first-year tuition and incidental fees

Program Canadian citizen/Permanent Resident International student

Architectural Engineering

$ 16,850.00 $ 54,600.00


$ 10,900.00 $ 59,700.00

All other engineering programs:

Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer,

Electrical, Environmental, Geological,

Management, Mechanical, Mechatronics,

Nanotechnology, Software, Systems Design

$ 17,100.00

$ 61,300.00

To get a better idea of the specific costs you’ll incur at university, check out:

Please note that student fees are subject to change, with tuition increases effective as of the Spring term (May) of each year.

International Applicants

The number of spaces available for students on study permits are limited to about 10% overall in engineering, and competition can be intense. Applicants should be aware of higher tuition fees for international students, and should prepare budgets before applying in order to fully understand the costs to study in Canada.

For American applicants, there are many University of Waterloo scholarships available through You can earn scholarships from over 200 partners for your high school achievements.

More information for international applicants, including scholarships for first-year students, is available on the Find Out More.

First-year Scholarships, Bursaries, and Awards

In addition to co-op, students can take advantage of the many scholarships, bursaries, and awards available through the University of Waterloo and Waterloo Engineering. For undergraduates entering their first year in Engineering, we offer guaranteed entrance scholarships to students with minimum admission averages of 85%.

Student Awards and Financial Aid website can be found at

All incoming first-year students are automatically considered for financial awards, and no separate applications are required (with the exception of the Suncor Emerging Leaders Award). Please note that the Engineering entrance scholarships are based upon both admission averages and the Admission Information Form.

Upper-year Scholarships, Bursaries, and Awards

Current undergraduates looking for information on financial assistance available to upper-year students are recommended to review the following websites:

Suncor Emerging Leaders Award

Students applying to chemical, mechanical, civil or environmental engineering may also wish to apply for the Suncor Emerging Leaders Award. This is the only Waterloo Engineering entrance award that requests a supplementary submission.