We are delighted to have you join our graduate student community.

As you prepare for the start of term, you will receive communications from our office, your program co-ordinator, and some of our campus partners.

Our new student checklist will help to guide you through the coming weeks as you familiarize yourself with our resources and services and plan for your first day.

After you've accepted your offer of admission

International students

Explore these University of Waterloo services and resources for international students, provided by the Student Success Office:

All students

Review study and living costs

Find a place to live

Apply to Waterloo Residences 

Or, explore off-campus housing options

  • Off-Campus Housing is a free resource open to all University of Waterloo students.
  • Find a place to live through this listing service or learn more about tenant rights, subletting and other off-campus issues.

Review the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar

Review resources and services for graduate students

  • There are many services and resources on campus to support graduate students. Familiarize yourself with common services and resources before you arrive.
  • The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is a student-run not-for-profit organization whose membership consists of graduate students of the University of Waterloo.

Register for Graduate Orientation

Keep up to date with GSPA

Explore transportation and parking options

  • Public transit: As part of the Graduate Student Association services, all full-time graduate students taking on-campus courses in the Region of Waterloo receive a Grand River Transit (GRT) Universal bus pass. Visit the GRT website for routes and schedules.
  • Active transportation: The University of Waterloo’s South Campus is located along the Laurel Trail, and is in a great location for many cycling and walking routes.
  • Parking: If you have a vehicle and are planning to drive to campus, you may wish to purchase a parking permit. Visit the Parking Services website for more information.

After you've been matriculated (made active in your program)

Enrol in courses

Pay your tuition and 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.

Add your Canadian banking information to Quest to receive refunds

The fastest and most secure way for us to send refunds from your Quest account is electronically by direct deposit to your Canadian bank account.

  • Be sure to add or update your banking information on Quest to be sure you receive any refunds owing to you. If you are not able to add your Canadian banking information on Quest,  your refund will be held on your student account to be applied to future charges.
  • If you are a student AND a university employee, or a grad student working as a TA for the term, you need to add your banking information in BOTH Quest and the Human Resources payroll system, Workday.

For more information on refunds, visit the Student Financial Services web page.

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. Visit the Information Systems & Technology website for instructions. If you were previously a UWaterloo undergraduate, you will need to activate your Connect account and forward emails from Office 365. 

Add or update your emergency contact information

  • It is important to keep your emergency contact information up to date. View and update your personal information, including your emergency contacts, in Quest.

Register with AccessAbility

  • Whether you have a known or unknown disability, illness, or condition, AccessAbility can help you develop your individualized academic accommodation plan for all components of your academic career. You can apply for academic accommodations once you have received your offer of admission, and you're a registered student with the University.

Upload a photo for your WatCard (student card)

  • If you want to save yourself the worry of taking a good photo during the excitement of orientation, you can upload your photo beforehand so you get the photo you want on your WatCard. Learn more about photo uploads on the WatCard website.

When you arrive

Get connected

Explore campus

Check in

  • 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.

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, fitness facilities, and the Grand River Transit (GRT) system.

  • Visit the WatCard Office (located in Campus Tech, 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.

Update your address in Quest

  • If you have moved, remember to updated your address and contact information in Quest.