At University of Waterloo we have a variety of great funding opportunities available to our international students.  These include:

For information regarding payment of scholarships and awards please visit our funding payment information web page.

International Master's (IMSA) and International Doctoral Student Awards (IDSA)

The IMSA program was discontinued effective May 1, 2019 with the spring 2019 admissions cycle. This means that students offered admission for spring 2019 and beyond no longer automatically receive this award. Students who were offered the award prior to spring 2019 will continue to be “grandparented” under this program until their last eligible term based on the details below.

An IMSA or IDSA will be provided automatically to eligible international students registered full time in research-based graduate degree programs at the University of Waterloo. Students must meet the academic progress requirements of their program, not have outstanding probationary admission requirements, and not be concurrently receiving tuition awards (e.g., PSI or Lazaridis Tuition Awards) or funding which exceeds the minimum PhD funding value from any external awards, sponsorships or self-funding.

Interested students can refer to our IMSA and IDSA database descriptions for detailed eligibility criteria and values. 

International Master’s Award of Excellence (IMAE)

Effective May 1, 2019 (spring 2019 admissions cycle), the International Master’s Award of Excellence (IMAE) will be awarded to eligible international master’s students normally entering a research-based graduate program at the University of Waterloo. The award will be valued at $2,500 per term for a maximum of five terms. Faculties will nominate eligible students based on their award allocation and select recipients based on academic excellence as demonstrated through their application for admission to the graduate program and other criteria as identified by the Faculties.

Interested students can refer to our IMAE database description for detailed eligibility criteria. 

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

The OGS program is funded by the provincial government to encourage excellence in graduate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels. It is a merit-based scholarship and awards are available to students in all disciplines of academic study. A small number of these awards are available to international students. Interested students can refer to our OGS web page for eligibility criteria and Waterloo’s internal application process.

Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)

This program is suspended until further notice, effective for the 2019-2020 year. Funding for this program is contingent upon annual confirmation of support from the provincial government. We will not be making any new offers of OTS for this year or any future years until we have this confirmation.

In 2010, the Ontario government announced the introduction of the OTS program as a significant initiative to attract more of the best qualified international students to Ontario for their PhD studies.

OTS are awarded to new international PhD recipients for a maximum of four years. Each OTS is valued at $40,000 annually and is automatically renewable for an additional three years provided the recipient maintains good academic standing and continues to meet OTS eligibility requirements.

Six new awardees are selected every year at Waterloo. Each Faculty will nominate two to three students in the winter term for fall admission (based on their application for admission), therefore no separate application is required. A University-wide committee will then meet to select the awardees.

Interested students can refer to our Ontario Trillium Scholarship database description for eligibility criteria and Waterloo’s internal application process.

Trudeau Foundation Scholarships

The Trudeau Scholars Program grants up to fifteen new scholarships every year to outstanding doctoral candidates in the social sciences and humanities. The Foundation supports doctoral candidates pursuing research of compelling present-day concern, touching upon one or more of the four themes of the Foundation: human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada in the world, and people and their natural environment. Trudeau Scholars are actively engaged in their fields, in which they are expected to become leading national and international figures.

Trudeau Scholars are selected through a process that involves nomination by a university, an application supported by references and transcripts, internal and external review and selection panels, an interview, and the formal approval of the Board of Directors.

Interested students can refer to our Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholarship database description for eligibility criteria and Waterloo’s internal application process.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS)

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) program was created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global center of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health-related fields. Canadian and international students are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier Scholarship, which is valued at $50,000 per year for up to three years

The scholarships are administered by Canada's three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Students wishing to apply for a Vanier CGS must do so through the Canadian university to which they are applying for doctoral studies. In an effort to support students in broadening their research horizons and seeking new challenges, the Vanier CGS program strongly encourages candidates to pursue their studies beyond the university that granted their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Based on university-assigned allocations, universities forward a limited number of nominations to the appropriate federal research granting agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) annually.

If a student is successful in the Vanier CGS competition, they must hold their award at the university that nominated them. The Vanier CGS cannot be taken to another university as it is not transferrable. To determine eligibility as well as how nominees are evaluated, please review the official eligibility criteria and evaluation criteria on the Vanier website.

Please visit our Vanier web page for further details.


For additional scholarship resources please visit our Graduate funding and awards database.