Group of 4 students

In the Faculty of Arts we seek and create original approaches, ask new questions, and foster dialogue about some of the most daunting challenges facing us today. From language development to environmental economics to user experience design, there’s something for everyone in the Faculty of Arts.


Graduate Programs

Accounting and Finance | MAcc | MTax | PhD

The School of Accounting and Finance's graduate programs prepare students for professional practice, industry, commerce, or university faculty positions. The MTax program is taught in downtown Toronto and its curriculum is well supported by financial leaders in the city. All our programs benefit from strong ties with the profession, providing unique opportunities for both scholarship and career development.

Read about one PhD student's unconventional journey from biology to accounting →

Anthropology | MA

Students and researchers in public issues anthropology engage with public discourse, concerns of civil society, and a wide range of governance issues. You'll learn to apply anthropological methods to examine current issues that impact and concern our public lives. From social media to human-animal relationships, the field of public issues anthropology encompasses archaeological, biological, physical and socio-cultural anthropology.

Read about an MA student's journey to the Anthropology program at UW and she's been supported throughout her research →

Classical Studies | MA

Classical Studies is a discipline that studies the range of human experience attached to the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. To study and understand these peoples is to understand the foundational civilizations of the West and of our own cultural origins. Students build a broad foundation for the interdisciplinary study of ancient cultures surrounding the Mediterranean basin, while developing the linguistic, analytic and communication skills necessary for future academic or non-academic careers.

Read about how one MA graduate aims to make ancient materials accessible to modern society →

Economics | MA (Co-op)| MA - Water (Co-op) | PhD | PhD - Water

Our programs focus on the application of contemporary economic theories and advanced empirical techniques to issues in public policy and business. Faculty and students conduct research in public economics, including environment, health, labour, natural resources, and public finance. Students graduate as well trained research economists, prepared for advanced careers within the private and public sectors.

Read about how a graduate degree in economics has prepared students for entering the workforce →

English Language and Literature | MA - Experimental Digital Media (Co-op) | MA - Literary Studies (Co-op) | MA - Rhetoric and Communication Design (Co-op) | PhD

The English department is the only one in North America where the study of literature is mixed with rhetoric and the creative application of digital media. Our literary research and teaching covers all periods of British, American and Canadian, and Postcolonial Literature. We offer graduate students a wide range of opportunities to examine rhetoric, the creative and experimental use of digital media, writing and professional communication.

Read about how one PhD student is combining rhetoric and politics to examine how social media is impacting democracy →

Fine Arts | MFA

The MFA program in studio art specializes in drawing, painting, sculpture, and computer imaging. Graduate students benefit from the Win Shantz Summer Internship which funds our MFA students to travel anywhere in the world to live and work in a professional artist’s studio for six weeks during their degree. MFA students also have opportunities to teach undergraduate courses, show their work and to collaborate with other researchers or artists from around the world. The MFA degree gives accreditation to teach fine art in post-secondary institutions.

Read about the first student in the MFA program to create a thesis presented entirely in performance art →

French Studies | MA | PhD

French Studies covers the literature of France, Quebec and worldwide Francophone communities. Graduate students can specialize in French cultural studies, the history of the French language, French linguistics and electronic archiving, editing and publishing. Research activities involving both faculty and graduate students include the MARGOT Groupe de recherche du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance - Informatique et textes, the monthly Café-rencontre series, biennial conferences as well as opportunities for students to develop teaching skills.

Read about how one student intertwined her love of french and psychology for her research on bilingualism →

Germanic & Slavic Studies | MA | MA - Intercultural German Studies | PhD

Our programs combine literature, cultural and film studies, and applied linguistics. We’re committed to interdisciplinary approaches, both within the department and with other departments. Graduate courses, research and teaching opportunities are closely linked to ongoing faculty research interests and the community-oriented Waterloo Center for German Studies. We have a long-standing partnership with Universität Mannheim and offer a joint MA program with their institution. Our Department is home of Germano-Slavica, a refereed Canadian journal of Germanic and Slavic comparative and interdisciplinary studies.

Read about an immersive education experience shaped the degree of one PhD student →

Global Governance | MA | PhD

Students tackle real-world problems such as conflict and peace-building, humanitarian crises and intervention, international economic inequality and instability, and global environmental change. Based at the Balsillie School for International Affairs, the Global Governance graduate programs explore important questions around these issues through an interdisciplinary examination of power and authority in the international arena. Students consider the policies and practices of international rule-making that affect billions of ordinary lives around the world.

Read about why the Global Governance program was the best fit for an MA student interested in helping refugees →

History | MA | PhD

The Tri-University Graduate Program in History integrates the scholarship and experience of over sixty faculty members of the history departments of the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. With 150 students enrolled, the Tri-University program collectively offers MA and PhD students a substantial range of courses and research opportunities in both traditional and innovative approaches to history. Through the Tri-University program, students enjoy both the intimacy of smaller departments and the resources and academic community of one of Canada's largest history graduate programs.

Read about how a student found a photo of herself in public immigration records and how it shaped her graduate research →

Peace and Conflict Studies | MPACS

The Master of Peace and Conflict Studies is based at Conrad Grebel University College and governed by the Faculty of Arts. This interdisciplinary professional program prepares graduate students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to contribute to nonviolent peace building efforts. Placing a unique focus on the pivotal role that individuals within civil society play, the MPACS program explores the potential of civil society to advance peace through principled advocacy, effective programming, and dynamic engagement with the state and marketplace. 

Read about one MA student decided to dedicate his life to peace after experiencing war in Congo →

Philosophy | MA | PhD | PhD - Applied Philosophy

Collaborate with experts in Cognitive Science & Philosophy of Mind, Ethics and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and Mathematics, Language, Logic and Metaphysics, and Feminist Philosophy. We offer an excellent faculty to student ratio that permits close and frequent contact between them. Students also benefit significantly from faculty members' well-established affiliations with other UWaterloo departments including Systems Design Engineering, Psychology, Political Science, International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies and Math.

Read about a PhD student's work on theoretical ethics of Medical Assistance in Dying for mature minors →

Political Science | MA (Co-op) | PhD (Co-op)

Our master’s program fosters a deeper understanding of political landscapes that range from the historical to the contemporary, from the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to the expanding economies of China and Asia. Our graduate students develop the analytical and professional skills required to succeed in both academic and industry job markets. We offer three primary research specializations: Canadian Politics, Conflict and Conflict Resolution, and Political Economy. Our grad students benefit from our department’s strong links to the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) located in Waterloo.

Read about how one MA graduate's co-op experience helped her land a job after graduation →

Public Service | MPS (Co-op)

The MPS is a professional graduate program that seeks to build upon Canada’s strong civil service reputation by providing students with the training they need to hit the ground running in government careers. Open to students from a wide range of undergraduate disciplines, the MPS program provides an advanced education in government structure and function, policy implementation, historical contexts and current public issues. Students develop necessary critical and applied skills in communication, finance, leadership, and management.

Read about one MPS student hopes to be able to support a continuum of care across the health system →

Psychology | MASc - Development and Communication Science | MASc - Industrial and Organizational Psychology | MA | PhD

Students in psychology focus their learning in one of six key research areas: Cognitive Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Industrial and Organizational and Social. For Masters programs, choose between the flexible MA program or pursue one of the 1-year MASc programs for fast-tracked and focused learning. Psychology graduate students have access to some of the most advanced research groups and labs in the world, based right here on campus. Our graduate students are recognized for their success with national and international scholarship awards, and we continue to maintain a reputation as one of the top Psychology departments in North America.

Read about how one PhD student's research empowers child refugees → 

Religious Studies | PhD

Waterloo’s Department of Religious Studies has teamed up with the Department of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University to deliver an outstanding PhD specializing in Religious Diversity in North America. The program prepares students for careers in both post-secondary teaching and research, as well as in the community and government as specialists in religious studies and cross-religion communication. Within its specialization, the program offers expertise in South Asian, South East Asian, Islamic, Jewish, and Christian traditions and communities, as well as new religious movements, religion and the media, politics, and ethics. 

Read about how one PhD student combined religion and social innovation for her investigative research →

School of Interaction Design and Business | MDEI

The MDEI is a project-intensive program that provides experiential-learning opportunities and can be completed either full-time or part-time. Students develop project and product management skills, leadership skills, and the ability to navigate the fast-moving and complex digital media industry. Our graduates leave the program with appreciation for and experience with technical skills of digital products and implementation.

Sociology | MA (Co-op) | MA - Social and Legal Studies (Co-op)| PhD (Co-op

Our graduate programs are distinguished by diverse research opportunities and rigorous training in contemporary and classical theory, and in quantitative, qualitative and interpretive methods. Students develop the professional skills to practice as sociologists in academic and non-academic sectors and benefit from highly personalized and flexible instruction throughout their graduate studies. 

Read about a PhD student's research on peer influence on crime →