Collaborative Aeronautics Program (CAP)

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When you imagine a sustainable future for aeronautics, what do you see?

The big challenges facing the future of the aviation, aerospace, and space sectors will require collaborative solutions. No single institution or field of study can address these issues alone. We must equip future leaders, experts in their chosen academic disciplines, with the aeronautical training to apply their research towards impactful solutions.

Supported by academic units from all 6 faculties at the University of Waterloo, and the rich industry and government network of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics, the Collaborative Aeronautics Program (CAP) is an entirely new approach to Master’s and Doctoral studies in aeronautics.

Graduate students apply directly to their chosen program, and select the Aeronautics admission option. While completing their degree requirements in their home unit, they also complete aeronautical training alongside CAP students from other fields. The CAP will uniquely equip the next generation of leaders with the interdisciplinary skills needed to align innovation with impact.

Master's Programs

  • Master of Arts in Global Governance – Aeronautics
  • Master of Applied Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Aeronautics
  • Master of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering – Aeronautics
  • Master of Arts in Geography – Aeronautics
  • Master of Arts in Planning – Aeronautics
  • Master of Arts in Psychology – Aeronautics
  • Master of Environmental Studies in Planning – Aeronautics
  • Master of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management – Aeronautics
  • Master of Mathematics in Applied Mathematics – Aeronautics
  • Master of Science in Geography – Aeronautics
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology – Aeronautics
  • Master of Science in Vision Science – Aeronautics

Doctoral Programs

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics Aeronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering Aeronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geography Aeronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology Aeronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainability Management Aeronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Design Engineering Aeronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Vision Science Aeronautics

How to apply

  • Visit the University of Waterloo’s Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) website for additional information.
  • Review the academic units and programs participating in the CAP at the University of Waterloo by searching the word Aeronautics in the search bar
  • As CAP students apply directly to their chosen unit/department/school, review the admission requirements in your field of interest
  • Gather the admission documents required to apply
  • Complete your online application, indicating your interest in the Aeronautics option
  • Upload your documents in Quest, the University of Waterloo’s student information system.


I want to get a Bachelor’s degree and learn to fly, to become a professional pilot. Should I apply to the CAP?

No, the CAP is exclusively for research-based graduate studies (Master’s and Doctoral programs).  if you’re looking for our undergraduate aviation programs, please visit the University of Waterloo Aviation page.

What degree will I get when I graduate from the CAP?

Your degree will be linked to your program of study, with completion of the CAP indicated by the addition of “ – Aeronautics” to your degree title.

What does ‘interdisciplinary’ mean?

​​​​​​This means that during your studies you’ll be collaborating with students and professors from other fields of study.  This is the important as real-world problems don’t always follow academic disciplinary boundaries – the CAP will equip you with both a rich expertise from your home unit and the experience interacting with students and faculty from other fields.  You will also have the opportunity to work with aviation and aerospace industry professionals.  This collaboration will help you develop new perspectives on challenges.

Why can’t I find the Aviation/Aerospace/Space department at Waterloo?

​​​​​​​There isn’t a ‘Department of Aeronautics’ at Waterloo.  The CAP is different by design – based on the perspective that a collaborative approach to graduate studies is most impactful.  The CAP is an entirely new approach, connecting departments from across campus (including their unique resources, faculty, and students) rather than having a single aeronautics department.  Explore the CAP programs, each of which would give you a different perspective and skillset to develop your research.

What courses will I take?

In addition to your home department’s requirements, CAP students will complete the following requirements specific to the CAP to earn the “ – Aeronautics” designation on their diploma. The courses can be found here


Do the two CAP courses count as electives in my program, or do I have to take extra courses?

​​​​​​​Each academic unit participating in the CAP has defined the unique requirements for CAP within their field of study (for example, in some units the 2 CAP courses [AVIA 601 + AVIA 602/802] are counted as electives within the program while in other units the CAP courses must be taken as two additional courses).  In all units, you will work under the supervision of a faculty member supervisor who will oversee your studies.  You will also apply your Master’s research or Doctoral dissertation to aeronautics (aviation, aerospace, and/or space).

The degree program I’m interested in isn’t listed as part of the CAP. Can I still apply and focus on aeronautics?

WISA members conduct aeronautics-related research in a variety of disciplines. While some units participate in the CAP, others do not offer dedicated aeronautical studies, but may still have opportunities for you to pursue graduate studies under their faculty’s supervision.
Check out what WISA members are working on and feel free to reach out directly to discuss potential graduate student supervision.

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