Why you should choose Waterloo over your other options

student holding a Waterloo flag out in front of them
Alexis Written by Alexis (she/her), student

The deadline to accept your Offer of Admission is fast approaching and you still aren’t sure where you want to go. Does that sound familiar?

If that describes your current situation, first of all, congratulations! Receiving an offer is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself. Second, don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Sometimes even when you think you know where you want to go, making the final call is tough to do. So here are five key reasons why Waterloo beats out the competition.

Waterloo Engineering student working on a co-op project

1. It's all about experience

When choosing the university for you, it’s important to keep your future aspirations in mind. Waterloo is a school that helps you gain relevant experience for whatever you want to do.

North America's largest co-op program, international exchanges, clubs, certificate programs, lab work, field studies, and hackathons are all examples of how Waterloo lets you explore your passions.

If you’re in a co-op program at Waterloo, you’ll have the opportunity to graduate with up to 24 months of paid work experience. You’ll have a great résumé and the interview skills to jump into the workforce with confidence.

You’ll also have had the chance to make lasting connections with employers and co-workers, which can pay off when you start job hunting.


I chose Waterloo because of the excellent job opportunities that are available through co-op

Marisa, Biology student

Personally, co-op has helped me explore my interests, learn new skills, and build meaningful connections with my colleagues. And it's because of co-op that I feel more confident that future employment will be more easily attainable.

Learn more about what to expect in co-op →

2. Even the most structured programs can be customized

More often than not, there are opportunities to specialize and enhance your classroom learning. Whether it's through a minor, an option, a specialization, or a certificate, a bit of advanced planning and research will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your education.

You may hear rumours that there are some programs that don't let you customize your degree and it's just not true. It's not always easy and you may feel overwhelmed at all the information, but know that it's possible. We have academic advisors to help you once you get here. You don't need to know your exact path right now though.

Students working together

The ability to add a minor to my arts degree means I don’t have to compromise. I can study both of my interests and still graduate in the same length of time. It's an ideal situation, so once you get to campus, take advantage of it!

I wasn't sure if I wanted to do only business or only economics. However, Waterloo's Arts and Business program gave me the perfect solution of exploring both disciplines

Drishti, Honours Arts and Business student

Discover how to study multiple interests at university →

3. 200+ clubs and a city made for students

Three students at the rock wall

Let me kill the myth that at Waterloo, all we do is study. Wrong. We work hard, but we also play hard.

Spending four or five years focusing on just your studies is not going to be a fun time (or it at least won’t be as fun as it could be). So make sure you sign up for all the exciting clubs and activities available for you to participate in.

With over 200+ student clubs and around 30 athletic leagues — plus residence council and student associations, you’re bound to find something that interests you!

Creating an environment that promotes connectivity and belonging among their students is a core value here at Waterloo. So, if you're worried about what to do while you're here and who to do it with, consider joining a club, you may enjoy it more than you think.

And if you somehow don't find one you like, you can create your own! The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) will support you along the way with whatever you may need.

Learn more about clubs at Waterloo →

The city of Waterloo is home to two universities, a college, and over 50,000 students! That's larger than my hometown by a decent amount.

This means there are lots of shops, restaurants, and services in the heart of our city and around the university — all of which are accessible by public transit, which is free with your student card!

Find out why Waterloo is the ultimate student town →

It's great that there is always something fun to do and ways to meet new people. In first year, I tried out salsa dancing and it was a blast!

Carly, Honours Arts and Business student

4. Put Waterloo's reputation to work

Two students walking outside together

When comparing your options, it’s important to take reputation into consideration. The name of the institution on your degree carries weight in the real world... and I'm not just saying that!

At the end of the day, this factor shouldn't be your top consideration, but it's definitely something to think about when making your decision. Degrees from highly respected universities can open doors for your career.

Waterloo has been named Canada’s most innovative university for the 30 of the last 32 years (Maclean's 2024), and we have strong employer connections with 8,000+ in more than 70 countries.

Any school can give you a degree in computer science, but the opportunities, the networking, and just the feeling of your parents being proud of how far you've reached, it goes to show you that Waterloo can be a dream come true.

Omar, Computer Science student

5. When you finish, you'll be ready

So, thinking about graduate success is another way you can make your final decision. Your degree is only one part of the employability puzzle.

96% of co-op grads employed six months after graduation worked in positions related to skills they acquired at Waterloo compared to 79% of Ontario graduates.

And in addition, 81% of Waterloo co-op grads earn $60,000+ two years after they graduate in comparison to 44% of Ontario grads.

With over 120 programs that offer co-op, the real work experience you gain is invaluable once you graduate and start pursuing a career of your own. 

Waterloo's alumni community is filled with great examples of how graduates are shaping the world we live in. It's also an easy way to see what types of future opportunities there could be for you!

Right now there are more than 246,000 University of Waterloo alumni in 157 countries. They're out there creating start-ups, becoming best-selling poets, performing world-changing research, and much more.

Students walking in the city of Waterloo

So, there you have it. Five examples of how Waterloo can help you get where you want to go.

Spend some time thinking about these factors and see how your options compare. At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Make the one that's best for you and it'll lead you to success. Not your mom or dad, or partner, or best friend — you.

Best of luck! I hope to see you in September.


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