Computer Engineering

Why choose? Develop software savvy and hardware know-how.

Computer Engineering student typing on a laptop while looking at a robot

Want to design a brain stimulator to combat symptoms of Parkinson's disease? Develop software to protect companies from cyber attacks? Create the next groundbreaking gaming platform?

As an expert in computer hardware-software interactions you will be ready for a career working in cutting-edge technologies.

Between labs and lectures, you'll gain experience with all aspects of computers, from chips and wiring to software, networks, and communications. You will learn the basics of computing engineering in one of the top 75 programs in the world (Academic Rankings of World Universities 2023). And your co-op terms will give you two years of paid work experience.

You’ll graduate ready for a career as a software developer, hardware engineer, IT specialist, systems designer, and more, in a wide range of industries such as enterprise software, automotive, aerospace, automation and robotics, networks and databases, health care, and security.

Program highlights

Follow your passion. With more technical electives than any other computer engineering program in Canada, you’ll be able to explore interests in everything from circuit boards to software security. 

Study in a high-tech hub. Waterloo region is home to more than 1,500 technology companies, including Google and Shopify, providing lots of co-op and career opportunities.


Why Waterloo Engineering?

With its renowned co-op program and a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem, Waterloo Engineering is one of the world’s top engineering schools. You'll have access to emerging technologies, innovative professors, and world-class facilities.

What will you learn?

During your first year, you'll take a mix of electrical and computer engineering, math, and communications courses. In upper years, you'll take mostly Computer Engineering courses.

Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Computer Engineering degree.

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Ask a Faculty of Engineering student about their program, classes, getting involved on campus, and more!


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

Sample co-op job titles

  • AI accelerator
  • Hardware engineering
  • Test automation developer
  • Software developer
  • Full stack web developer
  • Data engineering student
  • Data scientist
  • iOS developer
  • Infrastructure engineering intern
  • QA developer, mobile

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in first year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Your first work term will be halfway through first year (January to April 2025).

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Co-op Study
Second Co-op Study Co-op
Third Study Co-op Study
Fourth Study Co-op Study
Fifth Co-op Study -

or after first year (May to August 2025).

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Study Co-op
Second Study Co-op Study
Third Co-op Study Co-op
Fourth Study Co-op Study
Fifth Co-op Study -

There are two options for co-op sequences. You can request your preference if you receive an offer of admission.

Learn more about co-op →


megaphone icon"I’ve learned so much from my peers, from how to set up a server to ballroom dancing. It’s amazing to be surrounded by people who are passionate about technology and willing to support each other."Maggie, Computer Engineering student
megaphone icon"Little did I know when I first joined Waterloo that I'd be moving every 4 months, travelling to places I only dreamed of to work. It's been an incredible experience and it's all thanks to the co-op program. It's truly changed my life for the better."Yuvin, Computer Engineering student

Computer Engineering admission requirements

Ontario students: six 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)

Previous experience in programming is recommended.

Admission averages: Individual selection from the high 80s to low 90s

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


How to apply

Apply directly to this program on your application.