Funding and awards

How much will it cost?


UWaterloo and the School of Optometry and Vision Science make every effort to provide financial assistance to registered full-time graduate students; however, financial support can not be guaranteed. Every student is responsible for his/her own financial solvency.

There are many ways to fund your education. Most of our students fund their studies through a combination of Teaching Assistantships (TA), Research Assistantships (RA) and awards.

Teaching assistantships

Teaching assistantships (TAs) are generally available to full-time students in the Fall and Winter terms. TAs participate in the undergraduate teaching program by spending one full day or its equivalent working as a demonstrator or teaching assistant in a laboratory, a classroom or outside (e.g., preparations for a laboratory, grading reports or exams, etc.). Satisfactory performance as a teaching assistant is required for continuance of support. 

Research assistantships

Research assistantships (RAs) are dependent upon the financial resources of individual professors at the School of Optometry and Vision Science. RAs are offered by a professor who has already agreed to act as the student's supervisor. RAs are available on a term-by-term basis and are subject to the availability of research grants and to the satisfactory research progress of the student.

Note: TA and RA salaries are taxed and subject to other deductions. For International Students, research and teaching assistantships cannot be taken up nor payment made until the student has obtained a Study Permit from Canadian Immigration and a Social Insurance Number from Human Resources Canada.

International graduate student awards


New, full-time international students starting a research-based master's program will receive an International Master's Student Award (IMSA) for 2 years (up to term 6.0). Students who are receiving major external awards or sponsorship are not eligible to receive this award.


New, full-time international students starting a research-based PhD program will receive an International Doctoral Student Award (IDSA) for 3 years (up to term 9.0). Students who are receiving major external awards or sponsorship are not eligible to receive this award.

Waterloo awards

External awards

There are numerous awards and scholarships available from governments and agencies. Applicants are encouraged to investigate awards available to them. International applicants should check with their government and university to see if there are any sponsorships/scholarships/grants for students studying overseas.

Canadian and permanent residents are strongly encouraged to apply to:

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 18 years. Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, we build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. Develop your career through new research connections, experience, and professional skills training. 

Applications can be made before starting the program.

Clinical duties

Students with international degrees in optometry who meet Ontario licensing requirements for academic licensure may be able to perform clinical duties in the School's clinic. Additional information on academic licensing can be obtained from the licensing body:

College of Optometrists of Ontario
6 Crescent Road, Third Floor
Toronto, ON  M4W 1T1
Telephone: (416) 962-4071

Contact information

Postal and fax

School of Optometry and Vision Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo ON  N2L 3G1
Fax: (519) 725-0784

Graduate & Research Coordinator