Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

What is Two-Factor Authentication and how do I set it up?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your University accounts by requiring you to verify your identity using a second factor (like your phone or other mobile device). You are encouraged to enrol in this service using the Duo Mobile App for the most secure and convenient 2FA experience.

How do I access my student email?

As a new graduate student, your Microsoft 365 account will be auto-created once Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) recognizes you as a student. To access your account, you must:

  1. Enrol in Duo two-factor authentication (2FA);
  2. Log into WatIAM to enter a password recovery email address. 

Log into your Microsoft 365 account by entering your email as and your WatIAM password.

How do I access a virtual event after registering on Portal?

After finishing registration on Portal, there are two ways to access a virtual event: 

  • To find the event link in your email inbox, check the confirmation email from Portal ( for the session link. The confirmation email will be sent to your Waterloo student email address. Click on the session link to join the event. Note that if you have registered for multiple events, the event link will be different every time.
  • To find the event link on Portal, follow these steps: 
    1. Navigate to the Calendar function 
    2. Select My Calendar 
    3. Choose the date of the event (e.g. Jan. 1) 
    4. Click on the event (e.g. Welcome to Graduate Studies Webinar) 
    5. The event link will be displayed in a pop-up window 

How do I access the Grad Ready modules?

Log into LEARN with your WatIAM username and password to start exploring Grad Ready modules.

Only students who have accepted their offer and been matriculated in the University’s records will be able to log in. LEARN access is updated weekly based on these records.

If you’re unable to log in right away, try again the following week. If you’re still unable to access LEARN, email for help.

What does it mean to become "fees arranged"?

Fees arranged means you have shown the University how you intend to cover your fees for the term and have made a commitment to pay all fees charged to your student account, even if financial aid is denied or reduced. To become fees arranged, you must:

  1. Pay the entirety of your term balance by the tuition deadline; or,
  2. Pay all or part of your term balance at a later point by using the Promissory Note process.

How do I become a teaching assistant?

Teaching assistant (TA) positions are arranged by your academic department and paid through Human Resources. If you're interested TAing, a good first step is to express your interest to your department's graduate coordinator.

Who can I speak to about which courses align best with my research and career goals?

This is a conversation to have with your supervisor; they are in the best position to provide guidance on which courses will set you up for success. You can also review the graduate studies academic calendar to find more information about required and elective courses for your program.

How do I get my WatCard?

What does the GSA Health and Dental Plan cover?

Full-time and part-time graduate students are automatically covered by the GSA Health & Dental Plan, including eligible international students. Health Plan allows you to access a variety of health professionals and receive coverage for prescription drugs, vaccinations, diagnostic services, and medical equipment. Your plan also extends to vision coverage, travel coverage, dental care, and a new mental health and wellness support service, Empower Me.

Please note: During the change-of-coverage period at the beginning of the term, you'll have an opportunity to opt-out of the plan (if you’re already covered by an equivalent health plan) or enrol your spouse/dependent children. Graduate co-op students who wish to self-enrol may also do so during this period.

How do I apply for academic accomodations?

Accommodations at the graduate level can be complex, but the accommodation consultants at AccessAbility Services will work with you, your instructors, and others to ensure your accommodation plan is successfully implemented.

Register early for your accommodations by following these steps:

  1. Complete your online application and select that you are a graduate student.
  2. Once your supporting medical documentation has been reviewed, you will be invited to attend a Graduate Student Registration Appointment.
  3. Meet with your Accommodation Consultant to discuss your eligibility for accommodations during your graduate career.