The University of Waterloo has long been recognized as a leader in online education in Canada and is committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching and research.

Course features

Waterloo's online courses allow you to interact with a variety of rich learning materials. Through the use of online discussion boards, email and social networking options, you can interact and work with your peers and instructors while maintaining the flexibility to study when and where you want. 

  • Some courses may require Internet research, the use of library facilities, and/or field work and these details can be found in the descriptions in the online course database.
  • All courses require Internet access.
  • To learn more about the structure of our courses, please view our course features page.

Many of our online graduate programs are delivered using our online course-management system, LEARN.

Time frames

Online courses are flexible, convenient and allow you to work around other commitments. When and where you study are up to you. However, you're required to dedicate approximately 10 to 12 hours per course per week to your academic work (specific requirements vary by course).

Waterloo's structured academic schedule is one reason our online education program is so highly respected. Just as in on-campus studies, there are three terms: fall, winter, and spring. Assignments and activities are due at set times throughout the term. Final examinations are written on designated dates.


You complete and submit assignments by set due dates. Some courses may also include learning tasks which are not graded, but are intended to help reinforce learning.


Final examinations are scheduled at the end of each term. Be advised that Waterloo reserves the right to make changes to the examination schedule. You'll receive information a few weeks before the respective exam date. Arrangements can be made if you're not able to write on Saturdays for religious or other non-elective reasons.

The Centre for Extended Learning has many exam centre locations throughout Ontario and across Canada. If you live within 100 km of an established centre, you'll write your exam(s) there. If you're living outside this 100 km radius, you'll write your exam(s) with the supervision of a proctor.