About the Graduate Student Association

Our Commitment


We serve the graduate students of the University of Waterloo with dedication and commitment to enhance the quality of their academic and social experience.


We are leaders facilitating the growth and development of graduate studies at the University of Waterloo.  We are the sole representatives of graduate students on all campuses of the University of Waterloo.


Accountability - Inclusivity - Integrity - Professionalism - Transparency

The Graduate Student Association-University of Waterloo (GSA-UW) was founded in 1964 and is the official representative of graduate students at the University of Waterloo.

The GSA actively promotes and represents graduate student interests to the university administration and all levels of government.  

The GSA provides a number of services for graduate students, such as legal aid, income tax aid, supplementary health and dental plans, GRT bus pass, and student advising.

The GSA operates a club-house featuring food and bar service, supporting local suppliers, graduate student space, and entertainment.

We host on- and off-campus events, including family-friendly events. We also offer financial support for events organised by graduate student clubs and associations.

The GSA and the University of Waterloo have a Memorandum of Agreement that recognizes the GSA as the sole representative of graduate students and outlines the working relationship between the GSA and University of Waterloo.

Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Waterloo and the Graduate Student Association-University of Waterloo.

Our Ends

The Graduate Student Association – University of Waterloo exists to ensure that:

  1. Every graduate student at the University of Waterloo has an overall positive social and academic experience.
    1. Graduate students have a dedicated secure working space, independent of any “wet” research lab, reasonably close to their research group and supervisor, and unrestricted access to a computer.
    2. Graduate students are aware of and have full access to any required accommodations recommended by a medical professional to promote their studies and research, and students who require these accommodations are evaluated equitably.
    3. Research-based graduate students’ net student funding levels (total funding minus tuition fees, mandatory incidental fees, and taxes) are no lower than the cost of living in Waterloo.
    4. Graduate students are not required to take non-academic work to afford their education and living costs.
    5. Graduate students at the University of Waterloo are able to pursue academic and/or nonacademic paid employment from commencement of their studies to completion without negatively impacting their funding.
    6. Every graduate student has equitable opportunity to take leaves without negatively impacting their present or future status in Canada.
    7. Graduate students have access to on-campus housing, and there exists targeted marketing of available social and academic services in residence and off-campus housing related resources.
  2. Graduate students and their interests are represented and promoted in the university community.
    1. Graduate students are actively involved in deliberation and decision-making regarding the legitimate interests of the University and/or the University community.
    2. Graduate students, through the GSA, receive complete information on university proposals, and are not required to financially contribute to any proposal not approved by the GSA.
  3. Graduate students and their interests are represented and promoted to federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government.
  4. Individual graduate students receive assistance with specific problems they face in the university community.
  5. Graduate students at the University of Waterloo are in social, intellectual, and political contact.
  6. Every graduate student at the University of Waterloo has good physical and mental health.
    1. Graduate students are knowledgeable of the signs and symptoms of the most common mental illnesses and have ongoing access to training to increase awareness and support strategies.
    2. Graduate students have work spaces that promote safety and support mental and physical wellness.
  7. The University of Waterloo considers the long-term environmental sustainability of its operations to be a top priority.