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The University

Classes at the University of Waterloo commenced in July, 1957, with the introduction of the Co-operative Engineering Program. In March, 1959, a Private Bill was approved by the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario incorporating the University of Waterloo as a degree-granting institution offering courses at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. The University is co-educational and non-denominational. Programs are offered in Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Independent Studies, Mathematics, and Science. The University is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.


The Campus

The University is situated on a beautiful 900 acre (365 hectare) campus in the northwest section of the City of Waterloo. Waterloo and its twin city Kitchener are located in mid-western Ontario and have a combined population of approximately 240,000.

Since the opening of its first permanent structure on campus in 1958, the University has experienced continuous development of its campus environment. The now more than 40 buildings on campus provide excellent facilities to support the University's teaching and research programs. These include extensive library and computing facilities and a variety of student accommodation in University and Church College residences. In addition, the campus provides accommodation for a broad range of student social, cultural, recreational and athletic programs and activities.


University Colours

The official colours of the University of Waterloo are gold, black and white.


University Arms and Motto

The Arms and Motto for the University of Waterloo, as first adopted in October 1961, and as officially granted in August 1987, by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, are described as follows:

Or, on a chevron Sable between three lions rampant Gules a Chevronel Argent. Above the Shield is placed an Helm suitable to an Incorporation (VIDELICET: - a Salade Proper lined Gules) with a Mantling Sable doubled Or, and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest between two maple branches in saltire a trillium displayed and leaved all Proper, and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "CONCORDIA CUM VERITATE" - In Harmony with Truth.


The University Mace

The symbolic theme may be described as follows:

The fundamental concept is unity amid diversity and tension in the creative intellectual process that strives to bring forth a new individual.

The design of the mace interprets this theme in the idiom of the life process: from the seeds at the base of the stave the mace grows in unity and strength until it differentiates by a four-fold separation into diverse elements.

The four-fold diversity is significant because of the four Faculties existing at the time the Mace was presented to the University and as well, of the four church-related colleges federated and affiliated with the University. These diverse elements together form a crown, and the points of the crown, while tending toward a union do not quite touch but remain as individuals suspended in tension and yet engaged in a deep harmony. This creative process is focused not on the traditional spherical orb of static perfection but rather on an elliptical silver ovum - the egg-shaped symbol of creativity - the marvellous potential of a new individual life.


University Academic Regalia

The academic regalia chosen for the University of Waterloo is patterned after that of the University of Oxford (except where noted).


Degree Hoods

  1. For the Bachelor's degree, hoods are black silk in the Oxford Bachelor shape, with a border in a colour which indicates the faculty or degree. Degree colours or colours of a specific discipline are:
  2. For the Master's degree, hoods are black silk in the Oxford Master shape, lined with the appropriate degree colour and turned over 1/2", trimmed with two rows of white soutache braid (except where noted), 1/2" from the coloured edge.
  3. The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) hood has a white silk lining, banded 1/2" inside and outside edges in green silk, trimmed with white soutache braid.
  4. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) hood has a green shell with off-white taffeta lining patterned after the University of Cambridge hood. The Doctoral hat is black velvet in the Oxford style with gold cord trim and tassel.
  5. Honorary Degrees



  1. Bachelor and Master degree gowns are black with the Oxford cut and trim.
  2. Doctor of Philosophy degree gowns are of the Oxford cut and trim and are red, with facings and lower third of sleeves green.
  3. Honorary degree gowns are of the Oxford cut and trim, each with its own distinctive colour (following the configuration of the honorary degree colours above). The facings and lower third of the sleeves are black.


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