New students

Ariel image of  campus

Welcome to the community! University of Waterloo is located within walking distance of UpTown Waterloo. This safe, student-focused city is known for its innovation and forward thinking.

Before you get started, take a moment to read this welcome message from our Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

We have put together some information that will help you navigate important information that will be useful before you arrive on campus as well as when you arrive.  See selected highlights as well as full list below:

Things to consider before you arrive

Things to consider before you arrive on campus



    Live Here

    Waterloo Residences 

    Off-Campus Housing is a free resource open to all University of Waterloo students

    • Find a place to live through their listing service or learn more about tenant rights, subletting and other off-campus issues (Off-Campus Housing website).

    Explore the City of Waterloo                                                  

    Waterloo is a safe and vibrant city with a population of 125,00. For more information, visit the City of Waterloo website.

    For international students

    Register for Orientation

    Don't miss the opportunity to familiarize yourself with campus and meet new people! If you have not already done so, register for graduate orientation (Student Success Office website).

    Download the Portal App

    The UW Portal App is your one stop tool for campus related personalized information, including course and exam schedules, bus schedules, food locations and hours, crowd reporting, news, events, etc.  Download the app today!

    Keep up to date with GSPA

    When you arrive

    Things do when you arrive on campus



    Check in with your department/supervisor Check-in with your program/department/school to let them know that you've arrived.  If you are in a research program, check in with your supervisor as well.

    Add or update your emergency contact information

    It is important to keep your emergency contact information up to date on Quest. 

    Set-up your UWaterloo email address

    An email address and account are provided to all students for the receipt of official communications and your participation in an academic program at UWaterloo. You may set-up your email address once you have become matriculated. 

    If you were previously a UWaterloo undergraduate, you will need to activate your Connect account and forward emails from Office 365. For more information, visit Information Systems & Technology’s website.

    Register for courses

    Register for courses through Quest.

    Pay your fees

    The Finance Office will post your tuition fees on Quest approximately one month prior to the beginning of your admit term (if you have been matriculated).

    • On Quest, go to 'Finances' to view your tuition account and your financial aid, scholarships, and awards. For the graduate tuition fee schedule, fee arrangements, payment options, and due dates see Student Financial Services.
    • For more information, review the study and living costs on the Discover Graduate Studies website.

    Pick up your WatCard

    WatCard is your one card to access many facilities and services both on and off campus, including computer labs, libraries, food, photocopying, Physical Activities Complex access.

    • Visit the WatCard Office (Student Life Centre, Lower Level) at the beginning of your academic term to pick up your student identification card.
    • You will need to show a valid piece of photo ID (i.e: Driver’s License, Passport, Canadian Citizenship Card, or another government issued document with your picture and name).

    Complete the Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Grad AIM)

    The Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Grad AIM) is an online course that all new graduate students are required to take through Waterloo LEARN. Students must read the information about academic integrity and then receive a mark of at least 75% on an online quiz. The quiz must be successfully completed within the first 8 weeks of the term.