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The University of Waterloo (Canada)

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Do your research before considering coming into thisAverageElectrical Engineering
Do your research before considering coming into this program. Waterloo is home to many "top-notch" programs, but you may be terrified about the amount of failures that came from Waterloo as well. In the majority of programs, you need a 60% average to advance to the next semester. Furthermore, most of the programs are coop programs, so you will be applying for jobs at the same time you are studying. Although the passing average seems like a small margin, you will be surprised how much marks drop in these courses. At least 20% of ECE students failed a semester, and have to graduate late, and this adds several of thousands of dollars extra to their tuition.

A large majority of classes will have 40-60ish averages for midterms and finals, and no curve is added. Marking schemes often favour those who ace exams, and part marks are rarely given. Many courses force students to memorize 600 page slideshows and more for exams, yet will test on a specific slide, and weight it 10-20%. The math courses are no different, and they assign large weights to obscure questions. The worse part are the shifted weighting schemes with certain exam marks. If you obtain less than 60 or 50 in some exams, the weight of other work gets drastically reduced. This leads to many people, especially first years failing.

Lab answers and coding assignments are extremely difficult, and no online references are provided.
Professors are constantly hunting for plagiarism, but most professors have plagiarized their lecture material, and assignments from other professors, and make no mention of it. You find for a large amount of courses, the same labs, assignments, and lecture materials have been reused for many years.

Waterloo has many quality professors. They answer student emails, and hold frequent office hours. Nevertheless, a large portion of the professors are tenured. Many of the tenured professors have no concern for their students at all. They would read from slide shows, not reply to emails, avoid student questions, and hold no office hours.

This is not true for all the students, but the vast majority of students are not interested in helping anyone at all, constantly citing plagiarism and being busy as an excuse. Yet these people are constantly skipping classes and tutorials, and going home on the weekends. Office hours are pretty much deserted for most of the time. The vast majority of students only care about themselves. They do not respond to messages, only select partners among their peer group, and only study among their peer group. Avoid the Waterloo subreddit. It has the rudest community I have ever seen.

The arrogance of students especially in engineering and cs is appalling. They think they are the best of the best, when really there are many students in other institutions who are superior to them.

In coop, you will realize there are two categories of students. There are those who can effortlessly obtain jobs, and those who will struggle to get one. Don't sacrifice too much of your time for an interview. Many interviewers have not looked at your resume, and are not serious about the interview at all. It isn't difficult to say someone was rejected because they were not qualified enough. Certain ethnicities, and certain genders will have an advantage over others. Similiar to how admissions work, some employers will pick females over males, and lower your chances if you are east asian. They are not really advocating for gender issues or racial issues, but have prejudices and fetishes. With the declining economy, many companies are choosing to stop hiring coops. Nevertheless, the schools wishes to expand more coop positions. This increases the chance of getting a job dramatically.

Social life is going to take a hit, especially if you are in a STEM field. The demand for STEM courses leave little time for extracurricular activities. Males will inevitably face a lot of rejection.

The campus has been less safe over the years as well. Recently there have been more cases of attacks in the night.Ultimately, staying in many STEM programs in Waterloo is difficult, and I am surprised I made it so far as well. Waterloo isn't all that bad, but it will depend on what you put into it. Don't get too comfortable, and deviate focus on school. Many I know who did had to face unfortunate consequences of repeating and failing out.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2019
Faculty Accessibility: B, Useful Schoolwork: F
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TransferringQuite BrightEnglish
Transferring to UW from Queens was a real eye opener. If your expectations and standards are low, you'll love UW. UW fosters fosters rigid beurocratic administrative environment. They must include include a course course on "passing the buck" for call new employees. It takes multiple emails and phone calls to get answers in the English department, housing and financial office. Unless they can make $$$$$$$$ off you as a foreign student, they won't give you the time of day.The campus is run down and depressing. Couple that with and totally dysfunctional administration and the totally ridiculous beaurocratic BS and you will find yourself questioning your decision to attend UW.
1st Year Female -- Class 2019
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I wouldn't recommend going to this school.AverageEconomics
I wouldn't recommend going to this school. The University of Waterloo has outdated programs, many poorly taught courses, a poor school atmosphere, very little school spirit, is very overpriced and overrated, relatively slow wi-fi internet, large classes (first year classes average 150-180 students) and feeling like a number, in my opinion bad administration, hypocritical behaviour, heavily biased co-op towards employers, and also employees who are complacent with the way things are.
5th Year Male -- Class 1920
Campus Maintenance: B, Collaboration/Competitive: F
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