Computer Engineering

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

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?

Between labs and lectures, you'll gain experience with all aspects of computers, from chips and wiring to software, networks, and communications. Meanwhile, your co-op terms will give you 2 years of paid work experience.

You’ll graduate ready for a career as a software developer, hardware engineer, IT specialist, systems designer, and more.

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)

Admission averages: Individual selection from the low to mid-90s

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Computer Engineering.


First-year Computer Engineering courses

September to December

  • GENE 191 - Communication in the Engineering Profession
  • ECE 105 - Classical Mechanics
  • ECE 150 - Fundamentals of Programming
  • ECE 190 - Engineering Profession and Practice
  • MATH 115 - Linear Algebra
  • MATH 117 - Calculus 1 for Engineering
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Milestone*

January to April or May to August

  • ECE 102 - Information Session
  • ECE 106 - Electricity and Magnetism
  • ECE 108 - Discrete Mathematics and Logic 1
  • ECE 124 - Digital Circuits and Systems
  • ECE 140 - Linear Circuits
  • ECE 192 - Engineering Economics and Impact on Society 
  • MATH 119 - Calculus 2 for Engineering

* Milestones and courses with deadlines for successful completion are shown in the terms where they are normally completed. Work-term report courses (WKRPT 201WKRPT 301WKRPT 401) are considered milestones with deadlines for successful completion

Sample upper-year courses

ECE 254 – Operating Systems and Systems Programming
ECE 320 – Computer Architecture
ECE 405 – Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
ECE 452 – Software Design and Architectures


female student working in computer engineering laboratory

As an Engineering student in North America's largest co-op program, you'll graduate with two years of work experience, earn money to help pay for your education, and be able to try out different career areas.

breifcaseGain two years of experience in the co-op program

clickApply directly to this program on your application

grad capEarn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

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 job titles

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

Sample co-op employers

  • Apple
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Mitre Media
  • Connected Lab
  • Public Service Commission of Canada
  • Aviva Canada
  • Ford Motor Company of Canada

#1Engineering school in Canada (US News & World Report 2018)

GearsOffered by the Faculty of Engineering

Money flowerStudents earn $17,800 on average per co-op term


What can you do with a degree in Computer Engineering?

Waterloo Computer Engineering graduates commonly pursue careers in software and hardware development and engineering. They often work in software, technology, and automotive companies.

Recent graduates

  • Engineer – Slack Technologies
  • Software Engineer – Microsoft
  • Firmware Engineer – Tesla Motors
  • Network Administrator – OpenText
  • Engineer, Software – Zynga
  • Innovation Technical Lead – Sun Life Financial 
  • Chief Technology Officer – Rave Media

Possible professional designation

Study in a high-tech hub

Waterloo Region is home to more than 1,000 technology companies, including Google and Kik, providing lots of co-op and career opportunities.

Calling all hackers

Bring your ideas to life at Hack the North — Canada’s biggest hackathon — which attracts more than 1,000 students from around the world each year.


Learn more about Computer Engineering