Information for

Computer Science at Waterloo

Study computer science in one of North America's leading technology centres.

Waterloo professors and graduates have created 300 spin-off companies and the surrounding region is home to more than 600 technology companies that have $18 billion in annual revenue. Companies with offices in the region include Google, OpenText, Dalsa, Certicom, BlackBerry, Waterloo Maple, and iAnywhere Solutions.

Learn from 70 professors with various research interests to help you explore this vast field. Tailor your studies by choosing courses, options, or electives specific to your interests.

You can also gain 2 years of paid work experience through our co-op program, the largest of its kind in the world, or fast track your degree by choosing the regular system of study.

After first year, you can choose to major in Data Science.

Waterloo graduates are found in leading technology companies and as professors at other top universities around the world, including Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California at Berkeley.

Student using computer

The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science is largest academic computer science research centre in Canada, ranking 10th in North America and 31st in the world.  

About Computer Science

briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

Arrow pointing up and clickingApply directly to this program on your application

Graduation cap Earn a Bachelor of Computer Science or Mathematics

Admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Advanced Functions
    • Calculus and Vectors
    • Any Grade 12 U English
    • One other 4U course
    • Recommended: Grade 11 U Introduction to Computer Science
  • Admission averages: Individual selection from the low 90s.
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements database.
  • You're strongly encouraged to write the Euclid Mathematics Contest.

First-year courses

Students may also select the advanced-stream courses for algebra, calculus and computer science if they meet the requirements.

September to December

CS 135 - Designing Functional Programs
MATH 135 - Algebra 
MATH 137 - Calculus 1
1 communication skills course
1 elective

January to April

CS 136 - Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction
MATH 136 - Linear Algebra 1 
MATH 138 - Calculus 2 
2 electives


After first year

The majority of the required courses you’ll take will be Computer Science courses, with additional courses in the Faculty of Mathematics. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of all the courses required for your degree.

Customize your degree

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.



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. You can choose from 4 different co-op sequences.

Sample co-op positions

  • Web Developer/Architect, The Steele Group
  • Mobile/Cloud Developer, Clearbridge Associates Limited
  • Bioinformatics Database Developer, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Data Management Officer, Ontario Ministry of the Environment
  • Software Engineering, General Dynamics Canada
  • Software Design, SeaWell Networks
  • Software Development Engineering, Microsoft

Careers in Computer Science

  • Risk Modelling Analyst, TD Bank
  • Business Analyst, Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Agile Engineer, Pivotal Labs
  • Developer Advocate, Google
  • Product Manager, Dropbox
  • Program Analyst, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Programmer, Harry Rosen Inc.
  • Quality Assurance Analyst, IBM Canada
  • Lead Developer, BMO Bank of Montreal

Possible professional designation

  • Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)

Helpful links