The University of Waterloo integrates teaching and academic excellence, experiential education, entrepreneurial spirit, and curiosity- and impact-driven research to create one of the most relevant, connected, and innovative institutions in the world.
We offer professional and research programs at the master’s level, and a full range of doctoral or PhD programs.
Course-based master’s degree programs are designed to help prepare you for advanced professional practice. Courses may involve a project, such as a major research paper. Waterloo offers both on-campus and online professional master’s programs.
Thesis-based master’s degree programs have a research focus. You need to be self-motivated and interested in building your knowledge in a specialized area. This can provide a foundation for pursuing research at the doctoral or PhD level.
Research graduate students work closely with a supervisor and their research team. You will work with a faculty supervisor who will oversee your research and the development of your thesis. Search UW Space for graduate student theses in your areas of interest.

Accelerated Master's programs for Waterloo undergraduate students

  • Accelerated Master's programs are open to University of Waterloo undergraduate students only
  • See the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar for accelerated master's programs guiding principles
  • Learn more about how to apply

Direct entry to PhD from a Bachelor's degree

  • Exceptional master's applicants may be considered for direct-entry to the PhD program from a bachelor’s program.

  • For more information please contact the Department Graduate Co-ordinator.

Non-degree admission

When to apply as non-degree:

  • you have already earned an Honours Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the appropriate discipline
  • you want to take one or more graduate courses but are not interested in earning a degree

Before you apply:

  • confirm with the academic unit that offers the course(s) you are interested in taking, to ensure they admit non-degree students
  • confirm with the academic unit what application materials are required when applying as a non-degree student

It is important to know:

  • courses taken as non-degree may not be used for credit toward a degree in a graduate program
  • if you decide to proceed to a degree you will pay fees according to your category at that time
  • you will not normally be granted full-time status as a non-degree student


When to apply for re-admission:

  • you were previously enrolled in a Waterloo graduate program but did not complete it

Before you apply:

  • confirm with your academic unit what application materials are required when applying for readmission

It is important to know:

  • if you reapply to a program and are approved for readmission you will be required to register for a minimum of one full term, without tuition refund, to complete program

  • The online application asks if you are applying to return to a previous incomplete graduate program
    • choose Yes for re-admission