We offer many funding opportunities to graduate students who demonstrate financial need. This funding includes:

While these opportunities are ones supported and administered by Waterloo, funding for these programs is limited; as such, students are also encouraged to seek financial assistance through their banks (e.g., student lines of credit), families/friends or through external agencies.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

OSAP provides various types of assistance based on financial need to eligible students. This assistance is intended to supplement, not to replace, the resources of students and their families. Although assistance is not based on academic standing, students are expected to make satisfactory progress in their studies.

Note: Students from provinces other than Ontario must apply for government student aid through their home provinces.

Detailed information including application forms and deadlines is available on the OSAP website or by visiting the Student Awards & Financial Aid (SAFA) Office website.

Graduate Student Bursary (Managed by Student Awards & Financial Aid)

Bursaries are available to full-time and part-time Waterloo graduate students who are Canadian or Permanent Residents of Canada and are experiencing short term financial need. These bursaries are meant to financially assist with basic needs and educational expenses only.

For further information regarding these bursary opportunities, please visit the Student Awards & Financial Aid (SAFA) website.

Graduate Studies Parental Leave Bursary

The University of Waterloo will provide an eight-month birth and parental leave (includes adoption) bursary to eligible graduate students. The bursary, together with any other continuing support, is intended to maintain income at about 95% of the average level of income received by the student during the three previous academic terms, less tuition.  The maximum value of the bursary is $5,000 for the first term and $3,000 for the second term.   For further details or to apply see the Graduate Studies parental leave bursary guidelines on the Graduate Studies forms website.

Graduate Student Day Care Bursary

Full-time graduate students may be eligible to receive funding to assist with day care expenses. Bursaries are awarded on the basis of financial need. Students interested in applying for this bursary must complete a Graduate Student Day Care Bursary application (Graduate Studies forms website) and submit it to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Graduate Student Medical Leave Award

Eligible research-based master’s and doctoral students who must go inactive for medical reasons (e.g., physical or mental health) may be eligible to receive a Graduate Student Medical Leave Award, valued at a maximum of $5,000. To initiate the process in order to automatically be considered for this award, students must complete a Change of enrolment status form and submit the appropriate documentation. For further information refer to the Graduate Medical Leave Award description in the Graduate funding and awards database.

Graduate Student Contingency Bursary

The purpose of the Graduate Student Contingency Bursary is to provide short term financial assistance to eligible international students. To be considered, complete a Graduate Student Contingency application (Graduate Studies forms website) and submit it to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Emergency loans

Interest-free emergency loans are available to full-time graduate students who are experiencing short-term financial difficulty. These loans are not meant to provide funding for arranging fees to become registered. Loans must be re-paid by the end of the term, and proof of an acceptable form of repayment must be provided.

To be considered for an emergency loan please complete an Emergency Loan Application form and upload the required documents.

Waterloo needs-based awards

These awards are based partially or solely on demonstrated financial need. Many of these awards were established through generous contributions from private donors.

In order to be eligible for the awards below* applicants must:

  • be Canadian Citizens/Permanent Residents of Canada, as well as Ontario residents (must have resided in Ontario for 12 months prior to beginning their post-secondary education);
  • have applied for OSAP in the term in which the award is due unless restricted from applying; and
  • must have demonstrated financial need.

*Exception: Catherine Booth and Michael Kirk Graduate Award, Harvey Bains and Ben Kaak Doctoral Award, Inch Engineering Research Award, and Nihar and Mina Bose Graduate Scholarship in Economics.

Applicants must carefully review the award descriptions in the database and submit the appropriate application and documentation by the deadline to either Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) or Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA). 

Faculty Award Name Spring Term (Due June 1) Fall Term (Due Oct 1) Winter Term (Due Feb 1) Submit to:

Open to All

David Johnston Waterloo Awards for Refugee Students

X (due June 15)

X (due Oct 15)

X (due Feb 15)

GSPA

David Zaharchuk Memorial Bursary

 

X

 

GSPA

James & Elise Devitt Graduate Scholarship

 

X

 

GSPA

Sharon & David Johnston Graduate Award

 

X

 

GSPA

Stella Margaret Callfas Graduate Bursary

X (due June 15)

X (due Oct 15)

X (due Feb 15)

SAFA

Student Life Centre Management Board Bursary

 

X (due Oct 15)

 

SAFA

University of Waterloo Retirees’ Award

 

X (due Oct 15)

 

SAFA

Walter Metzger Memorial Awards

X (due June 15)

X (due Feb 15)

X (due Oct 15)

SAFA
Health

Bob Graham Memorial Scholarship

 

X

 

GSPA

Kitchener-Waterloo Third Age Learning Bursary

 

X

 

GSPA

Robert A. Fern Memorial Award

 

X (due Nov 1)

 

SAFA

Schlegel Award for Research in Aging

X

    GSPA
Arts

Ardeth Wood Memorial Graduate Bursary in Philosophy

X

 

 

GSPA

Bonnie Ho Memorial Award in Masters of Accounting

 

 

X

GSPA

Harvey Bains and Ben Kaak Doctoral Award

X

 

 

GSPA

Kenneth Stollery Memorial Graduate Award

 

 

X

GSPA

NA Engineering Associates Inc. Research Travel Award in Hellenistic Studies

 

 

X

GSPA

Nihar and Mina Bose Graduate Scholarship in Economics

 

 

X

GSPA

Walrus Award in Political Science

 

X

 

GSPA
Engineering

Catherine Booth and Michael Kirk Graduate Award

 

 

X

GSPA

Hira and Kamal Ahuja Engineering Award

 

X

 

GSPA

Inch Engineering Research Award

 

X

 

GSPA
Environment

Bob Graham Memorial Scholarship

 

X

 

GSPA

James and Nora Nelson Bursary in Environmental Planning

X

    GSPA

Lorne H. Russwurm Memorial Award

 

X (due Oct 15)

X (due Feb 15)

SAFA

TD Graduate Bursary in the Environment

X

X

X

GSPA