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Study Abroad > Canada
University of Waterloo University of Waterloo

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The University of Waterloo celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007, harking back to the first applied science classes offered starting July 1, 1957, by the temporary “Waterloo College Associate Faculties.” Gerald Hagey (left), president of the Lutheran-affiliated Waterloo College, had enlisted support from business leaders in Kitchener-Waterloo, a modest industrial city in midwestern Ontario: they would create a program to train engineers and technicians who were desperately needed for Canada’s growing postwar economy.

The cold war, the space race, and medical and scientific progress presented new needs for trained manpower and technical knowledge. For Hagey and his colleagues, the solution was not just classroom instruction but “the co-operative program,” which offered students alternating terms of paid work in industry to get practical experience. By the time that first class of engineers graduated in 1962, the Associate Faculties had become the University of Waterloo, and its board of governors, led by business veterans such as Ira Needles, had taken the ambitious step of buying a 237-acre parcel of farmland on the edge of Waterloo to build a new campus. (Subsequent purchases would expand the total campus to about 1,000 acres, or 400 hectares.) 

The first building, dedicated to chemical engineering and chemistry (right, next to Schweitzer farmstead), opened in 1958, with a “physics and mathematics” building coming in 1959 and the first arts building in 1962. As low-rise brick structures were built, they began to define a series of quadrangles in which the founders were confident that academic life would flourish. 



Applied Health Sciences:

  • Kinesiology
  • Public Health and Health Systems (School of)
  • Recreation and Leisure Studies


  • Accounting and Finance (School of)
  • Anthropology
  • Balsillie School of International Affairs
  • Classical Studies
  • Drama and Speech Communication
  • Economics
  • East Asian Studies
  • English Language and Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • French Studies
  • Germanic and Slavic Studies
  • History
  • Independent Studies
  • Italian Studies
  • Music
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies
  • Social Work (School of)
  • Social Development Studies
  • Sociology and Legal Studies
  • Spanish and Latin American Studies
  • Women's Studies


  • Architecture (School of)
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Management Sciences
  • Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
  • Systems Design Engineering


  • Environment and Resource Studies
  • Environment, Enterprise and Development (School of)
  • Geography and Environmental Management
  • Knowledge Integration (Centre for)
  • Planning (School of)


  • Applied Mathematics
  • Combinatorics and Optimization
  • Computer Science (David R. Cheriton School of)
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Statistics and Actuarial Science


  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Optometry (School of)
  • Pharmacy (School of)
  • Physics and Astronomy 

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