AHSUM: is an acronym for "Applied Health Sciences Undergraduate Members" – a student society that organizes activities and provides services for students in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
AIF: The "Admission Information Form" is part of Waterloo's admissions process – you'll be asked to fill one out after you've applied. It's a great way to distinguish yourself from other applicants, so go ahead and tell us about yourself!
Associate: At Conrad Grebel College, you can be a part of the Grebel community whether you still live in the residence or not. Associates don't live in residence but they can participate in all of the great residence events and activities.
ASU: Waterloo's "Arts Student Union" organizes activities and offers a number of services for students in the Faculty of Arts.
Bomber: Also known as the Bombshelter, this on-campus bar and deli located in the SLC is a popular spot to hang out. The Bomber features a full kitchen, bar, and patio and is known for its "Legendary Wednesdays" when line-ups start as early as 7:30 pm.
Bursary: A bursary is a sum of money awarded to a student and is similar to a scholarship in that you're not expected to repay it, but it's awarded based primarily on financial need rather than on academic achievement.
C&D (Coffee Shop) : A short-form for "coffee & doughnuts," this term is typically used to describe the student-society-run food outlets that sell a variety of food and drinks, often at discounted prices.
CIF: The Columbia Icefield is a newly expanded athletic facility with an ice rink, gym, racquetball court, and varsity therapy centre.
Campus Rec: You don't have to be a pro athlete to get involved in sports on campus. Waterloo's Campus Recreation program has a ton of clubs, classes, and recreational and competitive leagues that you can join.
Campus tour: Bring your family and friends and experience first-hand what it would be like to live and study at the University of Waterloo. On your student-led campus tour, you'll learn about academics, student life, athletics, residence, and more!
Centre for Career Action (formerly Career Services): The Centre for Career Action provides career education, motivation, and support to students and alumni via workshops, events, individual appointments, and career resources.
CECS: The "Co-operative Education & Career Services" department administers the co-operative education system and career-related services for all Waterloo students.
Centre for Extended Learning: The Centre for Extended Learning offers online/distance courses so that you can complete credits, and even a whole degree, without attending classes on campus.
CKMS: CKMS-FM 100.3 is Waterloo’s campus and community radio station.
Colleges: The Colleges are "universities within universities." At Waterloo you have the opportunity to earn your degree in a different learning and living environment through the University Colleges: Conrad Grebel, Renison, St. Jerome's, and St. Paul's.
Community suppers: A favourite tradition at many of the Colleges is the community suppers – a chance for students to come together for dinner and conversation.
Co-op: Co-operative education formally integrates academic study terms with relevant work experience terms. Students alternate four-month study and paid work terms.
Daily Bulletin: The Daily Bulletin is an online news source for students, faculty, and staff at the University of Waterloo.
Dean’s list: Used to recognize outstanding academic achievement each term, the designation "Dean's Honours List" is awarded to exceptional undergraduate students.
Distance education: Also called online learning – through the Centre for Extended Learning, you can complete credit courses online without attending on-campus classes. The courses are prepared by a Waterloo instructor, and you can study when and where it's most convenient for you.
Dons: Dons are upper-year students who live in residence and are there to help you with your 1st-year transition. You'll find Dons in every one of our residences, and if you're living off campus, be sure to look up our Off-Campus Dons. Check out more residence lingo.
Elective: An elective is a course that's not specifically required for your degree but counts toward it. Depending on your program, you can choose your electives either from a specified group of courses or from almost any course offered at Waterloo. You can use your electives to explore other areas that interest you or to add a minor, option, or specialization to your degree. For each program, the Undergraduate Calendar lists the number of electives permitted and, in some cases, the specific electives you may choose.
ELPE: All Waterloo students are required to pass the "English Language Proficiency Examination" in order to graduate; most students complete the ELPE during their first year. In the exam you'll be asked to write a 300-500 word impromptu essay in 50 minutes.
EngSoc: The "Engineering Society" organizes activities and provides services for students in the Faculty of Engineering. EngSoc is also responsible for running the Engineering C&D.
Enrollment appointment: The specific time period during which you can enrol in your classes for the next term. To find out when your appointment is, log on to Quest.
Environment Courtyard: A great place to meet, read, or study, the ENV Courtyard is an enclosed area – with plenty of skylights – in the Environment 1 building.
Fed Hall: Short for "Federation Hall," Fed Hall is the largest student-owned bar in North America. It's an all-ages venue with a wrist-band policy in effect for anyone under the age of 19. Fed Hall is also a popular location for concerts, conferences, banquets, and wedding receptions.
FEDS: The "Federation of Students" – Waterloo's student government – provides services, represents the student body, and runs a number of student-oriented businesses.
Flex dollars: Flexible dollars is a Waterloo term for money that you put on your WatCard for use at participating on- and off-campus locations. Flex dollars can be used to purchase food, photocopies, textbooks, cab rides, and more.
Food Services: Waterloo's main on-campus food provider. If you live in one of the UW Residences and purchase a meal plan, you'll buy your meals at Food Services locations on campus.
Frosh: A slang term for first-year students or "freshmen."
Full-time student: To be considered full-time, you must be taking at least 60% of a full course load. At Waterloo, 5 courses (2.5 units) is considered a full course load; therefore, 3 courses is the minimum required for full-time status.
Graduate studies: Graduate level studies are for students who have already completed an undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree. Students at the graduate studies level are typically pursuing a Master's or Doctoral (PhD) degree.
GRT: Grand River Transit is the transportation system that provides bus service for Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge.
Imprint: The Imprint is the official student newspaper of the University of Waterloo.
Interconnecting room: You'll find interconnecting rooms in Village 1 and Renison. These rooms are separated by a wall so that you and your roommate each have your own sleeping and study space when you need it. Interconnecting rooms in Renison also include a semi-private bathroom.
Interdisciplinary programs: Once you've been accepted into a program at the University of Waterloo, signing up for an Interdisciplinary Program is one way you can customize your degree. Because the packages of courses required for these programs are typically provided by more than one faculty, they give you the opportunity to add a second area of interest to your degree or to take a look at a subject that is totally new to you. Interdisciplinary Programs appear on your diploma.
Internet Café: Most of the campus has wireless access, but you can check your email or surf the web at the computer stations in Columbia Lake Village, Mackenzie King Village, Ron Eydt Village, UW Place, and Village 1. There are also internet stations in various buildings across campus, such as in the SLC.
Lab: A type of class usually held in rooms with special facilities where you’re typically guided by a lab instructor.
Lecture: The most common type of class where you get together with the other students in your course and the instructor talks about the subject at the front of the room.
Living-Learning Community: A community in residence where you'll live with a cluster of students who are enrolled in the same academic program. In a living-learning community, you'll be surrounded by students who are going through the same experiences as you are, and you'll have a chance to enhance in-class learning by participating in academic and social events facilitated by your Peer Leader.
Major: Your major is the main focus of your studies; it will appear on your diploma. Each faculty specifies the requirements for majors, including the number and type of courses. In some programs, such as Software Engineering, your program is already your “major.” In others, such as Honours Arts, at the end of your first year you select and apply for a major, such as History. You’ll find the specific requirements for majors in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Market-style: Shop for the meal you want at the Bon Appetit Food Fair in the Davis Centre, Brubakers in the Student Life Centre, or at Mudie's in Village 1. There are several outlets that offer different dishes so you can combine food from each place to suit your tastes.
MathSoc: The "Mathematics Society" organizes activities and provides services for students in the Faculty of Mathematics. MathSoc is also responsible for running the Math C&D – the largest student-run C&D on campus.
Meal plans: A meal plan is the term used to describe the arrangement you make to buy food at Waterloo. Each residence has a specific meal plan option, and some are mandatory. There are also meal plans available for students who live off campus.
Minor: Your minor is an optional, secondary focus of your studies; it will appear on your diploma. Each faculty specifies the requirements for minors, including the number and type of courses. Generally, fewer courses are required for a minor than for a major. To fulfill the requirements for a minor, you use your “elective courses” that are not required for your major. In some programs most of your courses are required, and taking a minor is not a possibility. You’ll find the specific requirements for minors in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Needles Hall: Needles Hall is the University’s administrative headquarters. Inside are the offices of Waterloo’s top administrators, such as the President. In addition, you’ll find the offices of the Registrar, Student Awards & Financial Aid, Research, Graduate Studies, and Counselling Services as well as Waterloo International, the International Student Office, and the Office for Persons with Disabilities.
Off-Campus Dons: Often shortened to "OCDs," these upper-year students, organized by the Feds, arrange events and provide support to first-year students living off campus.
Online learning: Through the Centre for Extended Learning, you can complete credit courses online without attending on-campus classes. The courses are prepared by a Waterloo instructor, and you can study when and where it's most convenient for you.
Option: An option or specialization is a specified combination or grouping of courses which gives you the opportunity to add an additional area of study to your program. The area of study may be in another academic subject or in a career-oriented area and will appear on your diploma. Generally options and specializations require fewer courses than a minor. Some are available only within your program while others are available to students in any faculty. (See Interdisciplinary Programs). The Undergraduate Calendar lists options and specializations available for each program.
Orientation: Waterloo Orientation is an amazing week of activities where you can meet new people, learn about your faculty, get accustomed to campus, and find out what it means to be a Waterloo Warrior – all while having a blast at events run by upper-year Orientation leaders.
OSAP: The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) provides eligible Ontario residents with various types of assistance based on financial need. You’ll find details on our Financing website and on the OSAP website.
OUAC: The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), located in Guelph, Ontario, is a central office that handles applications to all Ontario universities.
PAC: The Physical Activities Complex is home to Athletics and Recreational Services. Waterloo’s 32 male and female varsity teams – the Waterloo Warriors – are based here. You’ll also find Campus Recreation, which offers more than 100 clubs, leagues, and instructional programs for all Waterloo students.
Part-time student: Your status is part time if you take less than 60% of a full course load – at Waterloo that's 1 or 2 courses.
PAS: The Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology building houses classrooms, research facilities, computer labs, and the departmental offices of the Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology programs as well as the Faculty of Arts Undergraduate office.
POETS: A lounge by day and pub by night. POETS is an on-campus pub often frequented by Engineering students.
Porcellino: The name of the wild boar in front of the Modern Languages building. This statue of Porcellino is one of a few replicas of the one in Florence, Italy, and he is the mascot of the Faculty of Arts. Campus legend has it that rubbing Porcellino’s nose will bring good luck. His nose gets very shiny during exam time!
Quest: Waterloo's online enrollment system, through which you can track the progress of your application, select your classes, view your fee schedule, view your grades, and update your personal information.
Regular system: Studying under the regular system means that you’ll be in school from September to April and will have your summers off each year. You might choose the regular system of study if you’d like to finish your degree more quickly, or if you’d like the continuity of studying for the same period every year so you can take a more active part in campus activities.
Residence Council: A student leadership group made up of 80 floor representatives from all 4 first-year UW Residences. The council organizes and supports various events to improve the community atmosphere within residence.
Residence Suite: An apartment- or townhouse-style residence where each unit includes a kitchen, bathroom(s), and a living room. Suite-style residences include Mackenzie King Village and UW Place.
ResNet: Internet access through the University of Waterloo campus computer network (ResNet) is available in all residence rooms and is included in your residence fees.
Rez: A short-form for "residence."
Ring Road: Ring Road is the street that encircles the buildings of the main campus; on the outside of Ring Road, but still part of the south campus are the University Colleges, Health and Safety, Fed Hall, and the UW Residences. You’ll often see joggers “running the Ring Road.” You’ll find a complete map of the Waterloo campus here.
Rock Garden: The Peter Russell Rock Garden is located between the Biology and Mathematics & Computer buildings on the University campus. It contains more than 25 specimens of Ontario rocks.
Scholarship: A scholarship is a sum of money awarded to a student in recognition of academic achievement; you do not have to repay a scholarship. Most Waterloo entrance scholarships do not require a separate application.
Seminar: University courses can be comprised of lectures, seminars, and labs. The seminar portion is a teaching session that is typically less formal and involves a smaller group of students than a lecture.
Shuttle Service: One of many safety resources on campus, the Shuttle Service is available to students who need a ride after dark. It will meet you at designated stops on campus and deliver you to your destination, from 7:00 pm and until 2:00am, 7 days a week. A shuttle also runs to nearby off-campus locations 7 nights a week, leaving the Student Life Centre every hour from 7:15 pm until 1:15 am. For more information, check out the Shuttle Service website or call 519-888-4949.
SLC: The "living room" of the University, the Student Life Centre is the best place to hang out between classes, read the paper, get the latest about clubs and events, or grab a bite to eat. It’s also the place you’ll find the Turnkey desk (see Turnkey) as well as the offices of the Federation of Students and the Imprint.
Specialization: An option or specialization is a specified combination or grouping of courses which gives you the opportunity to add an additional area of study to your program. The area of study may be in another academic subject or in a career-oriented area and will appear on your diploma. Generally, options and specializations require fewer courses than a minor. Some are available only within your program while others are available to students in any faculty. (See Interdisciplinary Programs). The Undergraduate Calendar lists options and specializations available for each program.
Stream: The term “stream” refers to the sequence of study and work terms in a co-op program. If your first co-op work term begins in January of your first year, you’re in a "stream 4" program; if your first work term begins in May of your first year, or later, you’re in a "stream 8" program.
Student Life 101: Student Life 101 is a two-day, overnight program for incoming first-year students to experience life as a Waterloo student. Offered in July and August, students are matched with an upper-year mentor from their faculty, sleep in residence, attend a lecture, write the ELPE, pick up their WatCard and make new friends to get a jump start on their first year.
Student Success Office (SSO): The Student Success Office (SSO) helps students excel both in and out of the classroom. As a first-year student, the SSO can help with the change from high school to university with programs like Student Life 101 and Orientation. If you’re an international student, SSO advisors can help you make the transition to living in Canada. At any point during your university career, you can look to the SSO for help in improving your studying habits, sharpening up your writing, developing your leadership skills, or getting some advice on your business idea.
TA: A Teaching Assistant (TA) is an upper-year or graduate student who works closely with your professor to help teach your course. A TA may mark essays or tests or teach a tutorial.
Term: At Waterloo, the school year is divided into 3 terms, each lasting 4 months: Fall – September to December, Winter – January to April, and Spring – May to August.
TOEFL: The "Test of English as a Foreign Language" is one of the tests you can take to fulfill Waterloo's English language requirements.
Toga party: Tie on a bed sheet (your "toga") and get ready for the largest toga party in North America – just one of the many fun-filled events that take place during Orientation.
Tuition: Tuition is the money you pay to the University for your classes and administrative costs related to the operation of the University. In addition to tuition, there are smaller amounts, called incidental fees, that you’ll find on your fee statement. Some of these incidental fees are refundable; others are compulsory. The total amount you pay, also called fees, depends on your program. You’ll find a complete listing of Undergraduate fees on the Financial Services Office website.
Turnkey: Need an answer? Just ask the friendly staff at the Turnkey Desk located in the Student Life Centre (SLC). They know just about everything there is to know about what's going on around campus and in the community, and they’re open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Tutorial: A type of class where you’ll meet in smaller group sessions and are expected to participate in discussions and ask questions, and for which you might have assignments. Tutorials are usually associated with other classes for the course, called lectures.
Undergraduate student: An undergraduate student is working toward a Bachelor's (or undergraduate) degree, the first level of university you enroll in after completing high school, such as a BA (Bachelor of Arts), BSc (Bachelor of Science), BMath (Bachelor of Mathematics), etc. An undergraduate degree is usually required before you can continue your studies as a graduate student to work on a Master’s or Doctoral (PhD) degree.
University Plaza: Located right next door to Waterloo, near the southeast corner of campus, is a shopping plaza full of convenient places to eat, shop, and hang out.
Uptown: Uptown Waterloo is the equivalent of most cities' downtowns; however, since Kitchener-Waterloo is practically one big city, the locals distinguish between the 2 downtown cores by calling one "uptown" (Waterloo) and the other "downtown" (Kitchener).
Varsity team: Varsity athletes represent Waterloo in competitions with other universities. Waterloo has 32 men’s and women’s varsity teams, called the Waterloo Warriors. Competitive athletic leagues within Waterloo, such as those among residences, are called intramural teams, and are available through Campus Recreation.
Warriors: Refers to the Waterloo Warriors, Waterloo’s athletic teams.
Warrior Weekends: Warrior Weekends are monthly events that offer free movies, contests, dance lessons, prizes, games, food and beverages, and much more – all in the comfort of the Student Life Centre (SLC).
WatCard: Your WatCard is the most important piece of I.D. you'll have as a student at Waterloo. Bring your fee bill and a valid piece of government-issued photo I.D. to the WatCard Office in order to pick up your card. You can use your WatCard so that you can participate in Waterloo activities, sign books out of the library, and get great student discounts!
WatPubs: WatPubs are social gatherings of University of Waterloo co-op students who are on work terms in cities such as Toronto, London, and Ottawa.