The University of Waterloo has a robust co-op program. This means that instead of a traditional two-term fall/winter school year the University of Waterloo runs three terms/year.

  • Fall term is September - December
  • Winter term is January - April
  • Spring term is May - August.

Students in various programs and academic years may have academic terms in any or all of these terms. Typically, most co-op work assignments begin in one’s second year with Fall study, Winter work and Spring study. Since Conrad Grebel is a multi-year residence, we have many upper-year students in residence who study in Fall/Spring terms, but leave for co-op/work in winter term, leaving open residence beds for new students.

Since the mid-nineties, Grebel has offered an OCR (Off-Campus Residence) option to respond to high fall demand and open winter residence beds.

What does that mean?

Good question!

It means that some Fall applicants will be offered accommodations in a host home near Grebel and UWaterloo. We provide the home and Conrad Grebel provides the meal plan at the College. No doubt, you have some questions about this living option. To that end, we've compiled answers to the most common questions we are asked about the OCR program. Read through the Q & A below. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us. You can email Pam or Rebekah ( or