University of Waterloo International Master’s Award of Excellence for Study in Canada
Through the International Master’s Award of Excellence, international students are given the chance to receive $2,500 per term. Find out below if you qualify for the award.

The University of Waterloo welcomes interested applicants for the International Master’s Award of Excellence, which offers financial rewards to students who need help funding their study in Canada.

Applications for the said opportunity are currently ongoing.

Benefits Included in the International Master’s Award of Excellence

The International Master’s Award of Excellence is valued at $2,500 per term, for a maximum of five terms. Open to international students of all countries, the master’s award also has no restrictions in terms of fields of study and programs.

Consequently, students will be selected based on academic excellence as demonstrated through their application for admission to the graduate program.

University of Waterloo’s IMAE Details

Effective since May 1, 2019 (spring 2019 admissions cycle), the International Master’s Award of Excellence will be awarded to eligible international master’s students normally entering a research-based graduate program at the University of Waterloo. Furthermore, faculties will nominate eligible students based on the faculty’s award allocation.

Today, with more than 42,000+ students attending annually, Waterloo is #1 in Canada for experiential learning and employer-student connections.

Watch the video below to get a glimpse of how the University of Waterloo spurs innovation on a global scale.

Eligibility Criteria from Waterloo

In order to qualify for the International Master’s Award for Excellence, international students looking to study in Canada must meet the following criteria:

  • International students with a valid Canadian study permit who are registered full time and assessed international tuition fees. 
  • Normally given to students in research-based programs (thesis or major research paper). 
  • Will normally only be given to students entering the first term of their program (term 1.0).
  • Students must demonstrate academic excellence through criteria established by the faculty.
  • Students must meet the academic progress requirements of their program and not have outstanding probationary admission requirements. 
  • This award could be in addition to other internal or external scholarships (e.g., UW Graduate Scholarship, OGS,  etc). 

Note: scholarships are different than sponsorships – see next bullet.

  • Normally, students should not be concurrently receiving foreign government or agency sponsorship (e.g., China Scholarship Council, Libyan sponsorship, etc) or be fully or partially self-funded in excess of the Faculty minimum levels of support.  
  • Students grandparented under the existing IMSA program cannot be nominated for an IMAE; however, a student previously awarded an IMSA for a previously completed master’s degree can be nominated for an IMAE.
  • Students will be automatically considered for this award based on their application for admission. Departments and/or faculty will define their own internal process by which they select recipients based on the eligibility criteria and allocation.
  • Faculties may impose stricter eligibility criteria as appropriate.

How to Apply for Study in Canada

Interested international students can apply to study in Canada from one year before the start date. Ideally, candidates should apply by March at the latest for the Fall intake or September for the Spring intake. Although, if students are applying for a popular course, it is recommended to finish applications earlier to optimize chances of success.

There are two important requirements for international students applying to study in Canada: language proficiency and sufficient finances.

Both English and French are spoken in Canada, with the latter being the official language throughout the Québec province, and Canadian universities offer courses in both tongues.

If the interested parties are not native speakers, they may need to submit proof of proficiency in the language they intend to study in.

Hence, applicants may be required to submit necessary documents like:

  • A certified copy of diploma or certificate;
  • A complete application form for their course;
  • An updated CV (if needed);
  • Letter of Intent (This states the intention to enroll in the college or university and any education course aspiring scholars wish to apply for);
  • Language results that are no more than one year old for English or French:
    • English tests that are generally accepted: IELTS, TOEFL and C1 Advanced
    • French tests that are mainly accepted in Canada are: TEF, TCF, DALF and DELF
  • Proof of funds to show that applicants can support themselves and anyone who immigrates with them during your studies;
  • If someone is applying for a PhD or Masters program, they will need to have two letters of Academic Reference, along with previous Letters of Employment; and
  • If the student did not study in Canada, they will also need to have their education assessed with an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment).

For further information about this award please contact the University of Waterloo’s Department Graduate Co-ordinator.

On the other hand, information regarding international funding programs should be directed towards the Graduate Studies International Funding webpage.


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