Getting ready for classes

There are a few things you will need to do to prepare for the start of classes. This information will be covered in more depth during International Orientation and Waterloo Orientation. To get ready for the start of classes you will need to:

Get your WatCard

All students at the University of Waterloo must have a student identification card, called a WatCard. This card is the only valid piece of student identification on campus. You can use your WatCard to:

  • sign out materials from the library
  • use athletic and recreational facilities on campus
  • use the Grand River Transit bus services
  • pick up documents from the Registrar's Office or the Graduate Studies Office

Your WatCard will also be used to pay for meals in residence if you have a meal plan. You can load your WatCard with money to pay for parking, photocopying, and food both on and off campus.

To get your WatCard, visit the WatCard office in the lower level of the Student Life Centre and present your acceptance letter and a piece of photo identification. They will take your photograph and issue your WatCard in a matter of minutes. If you lose your WatCard, you will have to pay a fee for a replacement card.

Check your class schedule

The University of Waterloo uses a student record system called Quest. You will use Quest to register for courses, check your class schedule, view your student fees and your transcript. Make sure to update your local address on Quest under your personal information, as this is the address the university will use to mail you important information.

Find your way around campus

After you have checked your class schedule, you should check that you can find all of your classes on campus. The campus map is a good thing to have with you for your first few weeks as you navigate campus and find your way around.

You can also use your Student Portal to help you navigate across from one building to another building.

Buy your text books and school supplies

The University of Waterloo Book Store located in South Campus Hall has all the textbooks you need for your classes. You can look up the books you need for each class on BookLook. You can also buy textbooks from the Feds Used Book Store or online.

School supplies including binders, paper, pens, pencils, and calculators can be purchased at the Write Stuff store on campus, also in South Campus Hall.

Computers, cell phones, and other technology can be purchased from various Campus Tech locations across campus.

Set up your WatIAM

As a student at the University of Waterloo, you will be assigned a WatIAM user ID that you'll use to log into most online systems (LEARN, Portal, Quest, Jobmine, etc) and to access your email. Visit the WatIAM website to change your password or authentication questions.

Additionally, there are multiple computer labs across campus that are available for students use with their WatIAM IDs. For a full list of these labs, as well as information on where to go for computing help, consult the Information Systems and Technology website.

Academic Integrity

At the University of Waterloo, you will be held to the highest standard of academic integrity in your studies, teaching, and research. The Office of Academic Integrity provides detailed information on University of Waterloo policies for students and faculty, how to avoid academic misconduct, and suggested resources on campus for students and faculty to help achieve academic integrity in and out of the classroom.

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