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University of Toronto vs Univesity of Waterloo

Hey guys!! I need some help here. I just got an acceptance to the University of Toronto and McMaster University and I might get one from Univerity of Waterloo :biggrin: . My field is computer engineering and I'm planning for graduate school (not sure if that was relevant :confused: but I just wanted to provide as much information as possible) I just wanted to know that of the three, which is the best by reputation (for grad school and career), opportunities (research, industrial and career), academic rigour, extracurricular opportunities, etc. I also wanted to know if the coop option (where you get 2 years of work experience after graduation) was worth spending an extra year. I would appreciate any and all replies but please be quick because I need to make my decision as soon as possible. Thanks in advance. :tsr2:
Reply 1
Seriously? No one knows? Damn :frown:
Reply 2
Waterloo, Waterloo, Waterloo.

For comp.eng, Toronto is also very good. But it's still not Waterloo (for comp.eng).

EDIT: For all the criteria you have mentioned, Waterloo is tops for your subject area. And in Canada, (as well as among people in the know in the US) everyone knows this is the case. Co-op may or may not be worth it, depending on which firm you are offered for your placement and what sort of work you would be doing.
Reply 3
Thanks for replying but I have a few more questions if you don't mind. Firstly, I can do research in Waterloo? Also I heard it is the best in computer engineering from other sources as well but then why is it trailing Toronto in the rankings (eg. - the Times Higher Educational Supplement - Technology section)? And why exactly is it better than Toronto? Is it a different way of teaching the same material or just reputation? Also what noteworthy extracurrticulars are offered at Waterloo? For example in Toronto there is the Concrete Canoe club and the Blue Sky Solar Car club, both of which I'm really into. Lastly, are you in university and if so, which one?Sorry for asking so many questions but I'm going to spend the next four years in the university I choose so I want to ensure I make the right choice.
Reply 4
I'm at LSE, a Canadian though. I have many friends at both these universities, although unfortunately none of them study your subject. What I have heard from them though and through meeting reps from each uni at university fairs during application season is reflected in my first post.

Instruction at Canadian universities is pretty uniform, to the best of my knowledge. Lectures, lectures, labs, more lectures, exams. Rinse, repeat. Times Higher Education Supplement: the reason for the difference in ranking is that U of T excels at all fields of science and engineering. Waterloo really excels in particular areas of science and engineering (including yours), but doesn't in others. As for nerdy extracurriculars :smile: , I don't know about differences between these universities.

Why is it better than Toronto for your subject? Reputation is the main reason, and particularly close links with top tech companies and organisations in the US, as I understand (though you may want to look into that in more detail). It also attracts the top computer minds in Canada, and is very selective when considering potential applicants. Toronto is somewhat less selective, but still a top uni (2nd best in Canada for this subject) by any measure. Will you learn more at Waterloo than you would at Toronto? Not likely in your classes, although you may benefit from having truly brilliant (math/computer-wise) people as classmates. Take everything I say with a grain of salt because I haven't actually studied at either of these places. I only know many people who study there or have studied there.

My Waterloo friends tell me it is a very very nerdy place. If that is the environment you are looking for, then I guess you will fit right in.
Hey,

I was accepted to all 3 of your choices at one point or another during my Academic career, and given your particular field, I'd Waterloo is the best choice. Personally, I really disliked the school's atmosphere, but for engineering, I don't think you can go wrong with Waterloo.

On a more subjective basis:

U of T is right in the middle of a big downtown centre, so that maybe a plus or minus depending on what you're looking for. Both Waterloo and McMaster are in smaller cities, but offer very different campus environments. Mac is far more green, and in my experience is a far more progressive school; whereas, Waterloo really struck me as quite institutionalized and more conservative.

Take my opinions for what they're worth. I'd definately suggest going out and checking each campus out, as they're all within a few hours of each other.
Reply 6
sphixter
Hey guys!! I need some help here. I just got an acceptance to the University of Toronto and McMaster University and I might get one from Univerity of Waterloo :biggrin: . My field is computer engineering and I'm planning for graduate school (not sure if that was relevant :confused: but I just wanted to provide as much information as possible) I just wanted to know that of the three, which is the best by reputation (for grad school and career), opportunities (research, industrial and career), academic rigour, extracurricular opportunities, etc. I also wanted to know if the coop option (where you get 2 years of work experience after graduation) was worth spending an extra year. I would appreciate any and all replies but please be quick because I need to make my decision as soon as possible. Thanks in advance. :tsr2:


Absolutely Waterloo...
Bill Gates just visited (again) recently and mentioned in his speech - you can get the link from the Univ of Waterloo web site, that he believes that Waterloo is 3rd in the world for computer sci and maths. His company and Google recruit heavily from Waterloo and provide lots of summer intern jobs. He's even lobbied the US gov't to allow him to hire directly from the Waterloo campus and provide automatic green cards. (Americans get upset that he isn't hiring US talent and have tried to block this move). The university also has an innovative co-op program that you can select. i.e. study for 6 months then they find you a job in that field for 6 months so you can get a "taste" of what it would be like working in that environment/area.
Reply 7
sphixter
Hey guys!! I need some help here. I just got an acceptance to the University of Toronto and McMaster University and I might get one from Univerity of Waterloo :biggrin: . My field is computer engineering and I'm planning for graduate school (not sure if that was relevant :confused: but I just wanted to provide as much information as possible) I just wanted to know that of the three, which is the best by reputation (for grad school and career), opportunities (research, industrial and career), academic rigour, extracurricular opportunities, etc. I also wanted to know if the coop option (where you get 2 years of work experience after graduation) was worth spending an extra year. I would appreciate any and all replies but please be quick because I need to make my decision as soon as possible. Thanks in advance. :tsr2:


Also class sizes at the U of T are HUGE... Undergrad population is 75,000. Some of the first yr classes have over 1000 students in each lecture hall. Prof never gets to know you. In some cases the evaluation is only via multiple choice tests. Very impersonal.
Reply 8
Okay, so what are the class sizes at Waterloo? The 70,000 U of T students are spread across 3 separate campuses, just to put things in perspective here. Virtually all major Canadian universities are notorious for their oversized classes.
Reply 9
Toronto is better over all.
However for computer related things, Waterloo is much better than Toronto.
Computer Science - Average Class Sizes

Includes all undergraduate, credit-weight courses taught at UW in the fall 2006 term. Distance Education courses are reported separately. Generally a course is identified with the year in which that course is typically taken, in most cases 1st-year classes are 100-level courses, etc.


Average Class Sizes
On Campus Primary Components
Yr 1 Yr 2 Yr 3 Yr 4
Lecture 83 60 58 34
Reading 1

On Campus Non-Primary Components
Yr 1 Yr 2 Yr 4
Discussion 26
Laboratory 57 22
Practicum 36
Tutorial 36 35 25

Distance Education Primary Components
Yr 1
Lecture 55
Reply 11
sphixter
Hey guys!! I need some help here. I just got an acceptance to the University of Toronto and McMaster University and I might get one from Univerity of Waterloo :biggrin: . My field is computer engineering and I'm planning for graduate school (not sure if that was relevant :confused: but I just wanted to provide as much information as possible) I just wanted to know that of the three, which is the best by reputation (for grad school and career), opportunities (research, industrial and career), academic rigour, extracurricular opportunities, etc. I also wanted to know if the coop option (where you get 2 years of work experience after graduation) was worth spending an extra year. I would appreciate any and all replies but please be quick because I need to make my decision as soon as possible. Thanks in advance. :tsr2:

hi there
ive applied to both Universities for fall 2008
U of T for Engineering Sciences (major Aerospace Engineering)
UW for Geomatics with co-op
i would just say that toronto besides beeing ranked no 1 in Canada is also ranked higher than Waterloo all over the world for both IT and Engineering and hence has a slight edge over Waterloo.
Reply 12
First I just want to say thanks for all the advice. The general opinion seems to be overwhelmingly towards Waterloo but I'm still worried about the fact that there doesn't seem to be any "formal" reputation for the school (meaning in any rankings out there) just word-of-mouth rep. Toronto is still the safer choice because of its all-round reputation.

jsp13
hi there
ive applied to both Universities for fall 2008
U of T for Engineering Sciences (major Aerospace Engineering)
UW for Geomatics with co-op
i would just say that toronto besides beeing ranked no 1 in Canada is also ranked higher than Waterloo all over the world for both IT and Engineering and hence has a slight edge over Waterloo.


Where did you get that information from? I ask because I looked fairly extensively but didn't see any rankings specifically for IT engineering anywhere. Only the more general "Technology" area in the Times ranking
Reply 13

well i got this info from the applicant session which both unis had in my country
toronto claim to be ranked 11th in IT all over the world and no 1 in canada
there are many Engineering world rankings in which toronto is ranked above waterloo

though waterloo has a better co-op system and they claim to be the first uni to have started the co-op system. they r also better than toronto in terms of research facilities.

i think both unis are on par with each other with toronto having a slight egde .
Reply 14
I do think it's fair to say that Toronto is better overall, but Waterloo is clearly ahead for pretty much anything related to computers. I've been through the Canadian university process, and seriously Canadian universities will say anything to make you think theirs is the "best" university with the "best" opportunities and the "best" programs. A lot of it isn't true, and a lot of foreigners applying don't realise this.

Toronto is the stronger university for engineering in general, but for anything related to computers, Waterloo is where you want to be.

If you are planning on working outside North America, the Toronto name may get you farther; in Canada employers care about the program you graduated from and its content (Waterloo wins in your case), while in the UK, Middle East and Asia it seems that the only important thing is the brand name of the university overall (Toronto wins). Such that even if you did a horrible course of study at Oxbridge, the fact that you went to Oxbridge will open countless doors for you regardless.
Reply 15
hi again
i received an email from waterloo telling me that i have been conditionally admitted for the geoinformatics program
ill be receiving the conditions soon
i just want to know what r the conditions generally like in terms of A level??
are they similar to those of UK unis?
sphixter
Hey guys!! I need some help here. I just got an acceptance to the University of Toronto and McMaster University and I might get one from Univerity of Waterloo :biggrin: . My field is computer engineering and I'm planning for graduate school (not sure if that was relevant :confused: but I just wanted to provide as much information as possible) I just wanted to know that of the three, which is the best by reputation (for grad school and career), opportunities (research, industrial and career), academic rigour, extracurricular opportunities, etc. I also wanted to know if the coop option (where you get 2 years of work experience after graduation) was worth spending an extra year. I would appreciate any and all replies but please be quick because I need to make my decision as soon as possible. Thanks in advance. :tsr2:


No duh...Waterloo is the best! Isn't that obvious? :rolleyes:
Reply 17
Original post by jsp13
hi there
ive applied to both Universities for fall 2008
U of T for Engineering Sciences (major Aerospace Engineering)
UW for Geomatics with co-op
i would just say that toronto besides beeing ranked no 1 in Canada is also ranked higher than Waterloo all over the world for both IT and Engineering and hence has a slight edge over Waterloo.



Hi! I'm considering learning geomatics in Canada.

How is UW's geomatics? How did you decide which school to study geomatics in?

Does UW have a good reputation for academic research or employability? Are related internships plentiful (since UW has plenty of cs-related internships)? Thanks in advance:smile:
Reply 18
Hey! may I know how it worked out for you? Do you regret your decision or are you happy because I'm stuck in the same dilemma right now? Thanks

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