Fellowships and Scholarships

Information regarding graduate fellowships and scholarships is posted on the graduate studies bulletin board in the Concourse of the Dr. Alvin Woods Building and at the Careers Information Centre at 232 King Street North, Waterloo. Information is published in For Your Information, a publication of the Careers Information Centre, and in The Cord, the weekly student newspaper. Further information, application forms and advice may be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office.

The success of a scholarship application depends on more than high marks, although an A standing is usually required. Letters of recommendation are extremely important. They should be written by faculty who have taught and know the student's plans, ability and potential. It is necessary that applications be complete in every detail and that the supporting documentation be forwarded by the stated deadline.

Students should apply early in the fall for external scholarships which are tenable in the following year. Most deadlines are in October or November, with notification in April and awards commencing in September.

For a listing of bursaries which are awarded based on need, please refer to the section on financial assistance.

Awards Policy

Since there may be a maximum amount of funds that can be awarded and held by a student, full-time graduate students who accept an award that is not directly administered by WLU must immediately inform their department chairperson and the dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, in writing. This requirement applies to any awards or assistance offered by any agency or institution.

To be eligible for WLU Graduate Scholarships and Teaching Assistantships, which are awarded on a competitive basis, students must be full-time graduate students in good standing who are taking a normal full-time course load as defined by the requirements of their program. If, following admission, students are placed on academic probation, they may, on the recommendation of the department or faculty, be deemed ineligible to receive these awards.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are awarded on a competitive basis to qualified full-time graduate students. Teaching assistants are expected to serve the university in teaching and/or research for an average of 10 hours per week for 13 weeks (130 hours per term). The details of the assignment are specified by the department or faculty to which the assistant is assigned.

Guidelines for Teaching Assistantship Responsibilities

A teaching assistantship is awarded from university operating funds to enable departments with graduate programs to provide (a) assistance to faculty with their teaching or research responsibilities, and (b) graduate students with teaching or research experience. As a result, TAs might be expected to provide informal and formal advice to students; assist in the grading of tests, papers, lab reports and final exams; conduct tutorial or lab sessions; and assist with ongoing research projects. Teaching assistant functions shall not include clerical, technical or administrative work not related to teaching or research.

A teaching assistant cannot work more than an average of 10 hours per week for a maximum of 13 weeks (i.e., 130 hours per term). To ensure that there is a fair, equitable and consistent interpretation of this regulation, the following guidelines are to be employed:

  1. The definition of the number of hours per week includes: attendance at lectures, preparation time if a teaching assignment (e.g., tutorial, lab, lecture, seminar); travel time if engaged in off-campus research; meeting time with the instructor; formal office hours. Voluntary attendance at professional development workshops or seminars does not count toward the maximum number of hours per week or term.
  2. Given variations in course requirements in some weeks an instructor may require a TA to work more or less than 10 hours per week because of the scheduling of such course requirements as mid-term exams, term papers, lab reports or final exams.
  3. Faculty must recognize that graduate students also have graduate course requirements which must be met, and these may be due at about the same time as they are carrying out their TA duties (especially in mid-term or at the end of term). Thus, a TA cannot be required to work more than 15 hours in any one week, or more than 10 hours per three-day period, regardless of the urgency of the task. Any exceptions to this maximum must be agreed to, in writing, by the TA at least three weeks in advance of the particular week in which the 10- or 15-hour limits are to be exceeded.
  4. All TA responsibilities should be completed by the end of the term in which the assistantship is held,  beginning from the official first day of classes. No student may be required to work more than 130 hours per term.
  5. Hours not required in one term cannot be carried forward to a subsequent term.
  6. Where disputes arise, the student shall consult with the immediate supervisor and the graduate officer in an attempt to resolve the matter. Should this process fail to resolve the dispute, written correspondence on the matter should be addressed to the department chairperson by both faculty and student. If the above consultations should fail to resolve the dispute, a ruling will be sought from the dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

WLU Graduate Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to full-time entering or continuing graduate students who achieve high academic standing in their program. All qualified students meeting the current "scholarship" standard for the academic unit are automatically considered. Application is not required. A scholarship is awarded on academic merit, not financial need. WLU Graduate Scholarships have a minimum value of $1,000 and are tenable for study at WLU while enrolled as a full-time student completing coursework and/or research. Normally, scholarships are paid in two equal instalments over two terms. Students awarded a WLU scholarship must sign and agree to abide by the terms indicated on the Graduate Scholarship Contract form.