Information for

Civil Engineering at Waterloo

Civil engineering deals with the design, construction, and management of city infrastructure, buildings, and transportation systems. As a civil engineer, you might design bridges, highways, airports, tunnels, water supply networks, waste water treatment, and pollution-control facilities.

Waterloo is home to the one of the largest civil engineering programs in Canada, which gives you access to a huge range of courses. You'll also have access to high-tech simulation labs where you can learn how engineers test risks before physically starting a project.

Your education and experience will be among the broadest of the engineering disciplines. You'll have the opportunity to work with students in other Engineering programs to enhance your knowledge and to give you an edge upon graduation.

2 people taking measurements outside modern glass building

You'll alternate 4-month school terms with 4-month paid co-op work terms. Graduate with 2 years of work experience, earn money to help pay for your education, and be able to try different career areas within the engineering profession.

About Civil Engineering

  • Available as a co-op program only
  • Starts in first year so apply directly to this program on your application
  • Earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering
  • Offered by the Faculty of Engineering
  • Waterloo ranks 4th in Canada and top 100 in the world for Civil Engineering (QS World University Rankings 2017)

Admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Physics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Admission averages: Individual selection from the high 80s
  • An Admission Information Form is required
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements database

First-year courses

September to December

CHE 102 Chemistry for Engineers
CIVE 100 Civil Engineering Concepts
CIVE 104 Mechanics 1
CIVE 115 Linear Algebra
MATH 116 Calculus 1 for Engineering
Complementary Studies Elective course

January to April

CIVE 105 Mechanics 2
CIVE 121 Computational Methods
CIVE 153 Earth Engineering
CIVE 199 Seminar
GENE 123 Electrical Engineering
MATH 118 Calculus 2 for Engineering

What other courses will you take?


By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op positions

  • Site Supervisor, Bridgecon Construction Ltd.
  • Junior Project Coordinator, Aecon Industrial
  • Lines Engineering Team Member, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc
  • Junior Project Engineering, Eastern Construction Company Limited
  • Program & Project Management Support, Stantec Inc.
  • Geotechnical Engineering, Hatch Mott MacDonald
  • Construction & Operations Engineering Student, Bilfinger Berger Project Investments Inc

Co-op work/study sequences

  Fall Winter Spring
First year School School Co-op
Second year School Co-op School
Third year Co-op School Co-op
Fourth year School Co-op School
Final year Co-op School  

Fall = September to December, Winter = January to April, Spring = May to August
School = 4-month school term
Co-op = 4-month co-op work term


Recent graduates

  • Structural Engineer, AA-E Engineering Group Ltd.
  • Coastal Engineer, Baird & Associates Coastal Engineers
  • Structural Designer, Blackwell
  • Project Manager, EllisDon Corporation
  • Junior Water Resources Engineer, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.
  • Tunnel Engineer, GHD
  • Subdivision Designer, Counterpoint Engineering
  • Hydraulic Specialist, HydraTek & Associates Inc.

Possible professional designation

Learn more about Civil Engineering