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Lit and Rhet Home | Program | Faculty | Courses | Declare your English major

The Literature and Rhetoric degree brings together the dual strengths of the UWaterloo Department of English. It provides a structured course of study to train you in both disciplines and considerable freedom in exploring your own interests. 

In studying literature and literary theory, you will be grounded in the traditions of British, Canadian, American, and Postcolonial literatures. In studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing, you will explore the history and theory of rhetoric, the nature of professional writing and information design, and digital media.

Literature and Rhetoric is one of three majors offered by the English department.

Degree Options

Students can pursue their literature and rhetoric major via a four-year honours degree or a four-year general degree, and can choose a co-op option that combines academic study with work placement. See the Literature and Rhetoric program page for more information on the degrees and their requirements.

Elements of the degree

Your literature and rhetoric degree will give you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in both of the main areas of the department:


Drawing of crouching person made of words.Your literature courses will introduce you to the breadth and richness of writing in English. Your studies will increase your ability to understand and appreciate all kinds of texts, literary and non-literary, and to express your understanding through writing. Studying literature will also give you insight into yourself, the people around you, and the world you live in.


Photo of person jumping with bullhorn.Your rhetoric courses will give you the tools to influence others and to better understand how others are influencing you. You'll also have the opportunity to examine the cultural, social, and political significance of digital media and examine how to communicate effectively in a variety of professional and workplace contexts.


Want more information?

Contact our undergraduate administrator, Jenny Conroy, or our acting undergraduate chair, Randy Harris.

The English undergraduate office is located in Hagey Hall room 251.