Many of your best university memories will undoubtedly come from late nights chats in residence, joining clubs, or scoring the winning goal for your soccer team.
With guaranteed residence for first-year and transfer students, you'll be in the middle of the action! Be close to your classes, the Student Life Centre, the gym, places to eat, and more. Each of Waterloo's first-year residences offer personal and academic support such as Living-Learning Communities, residence life staff, and social activities to help you adjust to living away from home.
Types of residence
|Waterloo residences||University College residences|
|Located on campus?||Yes||Yes|
|Single and double rooms?||Yes||Yes|
|Suite/apartment style and traditional dorm style?||Both||Traditional style|
|Where do I eat?||At residence or at outlets around campus||At your residence|
|Meal plans||Required for traditional residences;
optional for suite-style
|Included in the cost of residence|
|How many students||Range from 320 to 1380 students||Range from 142 to 360 students|
|Learn more||Waterloo residences||University Colleges website|
More about residence
Applying to residence as a high school student
Guarantee your spot in residence by
- accepting your Offer of Admission by 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on June 3, 2019 AND
- submitting your Residence Community Ranking Form and a $500 non-refundable deposit by 9 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on June 3, 2019, AND
- meeting any conditions outlined on your Offer of Admission
Learn more about the residence process for first-year students. The guarantee does not apply if you miss the June 3 residence deadline.
Conrad Grebel University College is another on-campus residence that requires a separate application.
Applying to residence as a transfer student
Let us take care of finding you a place to live! Reserve your guaranteed residence spot by applying to one of our upper-year residences.
Common questions about residence
Am I required to live in residence?
No, you don't need to live in residence. Our Off-Campus Housing Office can help you find a room or apartment in the community. Or if you have family in the area, you can live with them.
Are the floors co-ed?
Some floors are co-ed, many are not. It varies from residence to residence.
Are residences split according to faculties or programs?
No. If you live in residence, you'll have the opportunity to meet students from many Waterloo programs. However, in our Living-Learning Communities, you can choose to live with students in your faculty/program and benefit from special enrichment opportunities. You'll still be part of a larger residence with students from across campus.
How safe are the residences?
Staff in the Department of Housing and Residences take the safety of students living in residence very seriously. All facilities have been designed for safety and security. Buildings, houses, and floors are locked and students must have a key to get in. Learn more about safety in residence.
How are the University Colleges related to the residence experience?
The 4 University Colleges are smaller, closely knit communities that combine residence and academic life. You can live at a University College, you can take some courses there, or both! You can even do an Arts degree through St. Jerome's University or Renison University College.
The University Colleges are located in the heart of the main Waterloo campus but function as smaller communities within the larger university.
Do I have to be enrolled though a University College to live in that residence?
No, you can live at a University College and take all of your courses on the main Waterloo campus.
Which type of residence is the best fit for me?
Each residence has many services and experiences to offer. It’s more a case of which residence is best for you. Some offer more independence while others offer more social interaction, while others offer more privacy.
Each residence offers a strong sense of community, support for academic pursuits, full-time staff, and many amenities to make it feel like home. Campus and residence tours are a great way to learn more.
Where can I use my meal plan on campus?
You can use your meal plan at the many Food Services outlets on campus. Your meal plan also includes flex dollars, which can be spent at a variety of off-campus locations as well as in vending machines, laundry machines, and photocopiers across campus.
If you live at one of the University Colleges, your meal plan applies to that college and you cannot use it at Food Services outlets.
What is the benefit of having a meal plan if I live in a suite-style residence?
If you are living in a suite-style residence, meal plans are optional. You may wish to purchase one if you plan on eating some of your meals in the food services outlets on campus.
Do I need to have a roommate?
Sharing a room really isn't as bad as you might think. You and your roommate will have very different schedules, so you won't always be in the room at the same time. In reality, roommate relationships usually work out well. Check out this video with tips to ensure a great roommate experience.
Can I select my own roommate?
You can request to room with a friend as along as you are the same gender and you are in the same academic stream.
How am I matched with my roommate?
The allocation process considers your gender, whether you're in school for 4 or 8 months in first year, and the information you provide to the residence where you'll be living, such as your study and sleep habits, personal preferences, etc.
You can learn more about residence by reviewing the frequently asked questions on the Housing website.
Our campus is packed with opportunities to get involved no matter how unique your interests. Between our clubs, associations, societies, and events, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out!
Explore your interests and meet new friends through Waterloo's clubs and student societies.
Athletics and recreation
Keep active with one of the country’s largest sports and campus recreation programs.
A city for students
Enjoy life in our student-friendly city that's home to 2 universities and a college.
Eating on campus
Whether it's burritos and smoothies at Frsh, the all-day breakfast at Modern Language's Diner, or make your own pho at South Side Marketplace, our 28 on-campus eateries mean that you'll always have plenty of choice.
Vegetarian? Observing Ramadan? Have allergies? We can help! See our common questions about eating on campus.
Special dietary needs?
Speak to a residence chef to ensure we're accommodating you. Bring in your own recipe and we'll try to use it.
Eating in residence
Residence cafeterias offer many choices, including crispy chicken wraps – a student favourite! Check out this week's menu!