IDEAL Scholar

IDEAL Scholar Logo

The Faculty of Science is proud to introduce the IDEAL Scholar program!

We know that our students are doing amazing things in and outside of the classroom and we want to reward your hard work. To be a part of the IDEAL Scholar program, undergraduate students participate in activities throughout their time in Science at Waterloo that support Innovation, Discovery, Engagement, Application, and Leadership. Students who complete activities in 2-5 of these themes can apply to receive an IDEAL Scholar medallion at graduation to celebrate their achievement.  

Medallion Categories

Once you have completed activities in two of the IDEAL themes, you will receive a bronze medallion. Every additional theme achieved heightens the medallion level all the way up to a special cobalt-coloured medallion: 

  • Complete 2/5 themes, they will receive a bronze medallion 

  • Complete 3/5 themes, they will receive a silver medallion  

  • Complete 4/5 themes, they will receive a gold medallion 

  • Complete 5/5 themes, they will receive a cobalt medallion  

Each activity you take part in can only count toward one area of the IDEAL Scholar program.

What are the categories in the IDEAL Scholar program?

IDEAL Scholars are graduating undergraduate students who participated in activities that go above and beyond their course load during their undergraduate degrees. 

The letters in IDEAL Scholar stand for Innovation, Discovery, Engagement, Application, and Leadership. To obtain an IDEAL Scholar Medallion, students must complete activities in at least two of the IDEAL areas. 



Creating new and exciting solutions to the world’s problems is a big part of the Waterloo experience. Students who participate in problem-solving activities focused on the generation of new ideas will be successful in the Innovation theme. If you are part of Velocity Science, a design team like iGEM, or you’ve created something new that benefits fellow students, you will be able to check off the Innovation theme.



Asking questions about life’s big questions, working on activities that promote undergraduate research and looking at the world with a critical eye are all ways you can achieve the Discovery theme. Your honours thesis project and any paid or volunteer research positions are activities that qualify for the Discovery theme. 




To achieve the Application theme, you will be engaging in activities that promote active learning and mirror learning in the workplace. Being in co-op, the EDGE certificate program, working as a teaching assistant, service learning, or internships are all ways to complete the Application theme



Leadership takes many forms within our student body and there are many ways to get involved in this capacity. Roles that involve providing direction, enhancing communication skills, and decision-making will help you achieve the Leadership theme. You could be a SciSoc executive, a varsity athlete, participate in student government, be a mentor, or be an endowment fund director. 

How do I participate in the program?

If you believe you have achieved at least two of the IDEAL categories, congratulations, you are an IDEAL Scholar! To complete your IDEAL Scholar application for June 2024 convocation, please ensure you have applied to graduate and then fill in the IDEAL Scholar application form below by the updated deadline of 11:59PM April 19th, 2024. You will be asked for specifics about your activities and a verifier's contact information for us to verify your completion, so please have those ready. 

If you have any questions about the program, please email 

IDEAL Scholar Application