Literature and Rhetoric

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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 four 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:


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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.


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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.


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You can enrich your Literature and Rhetoric degree through co-op experiences. UWaterloo has the world’s largest co-op program. In their study terms, English co-op students can pursue their interests and develop their skills; on their co-op terms, they can gain employment experience that will make them stand out in the job market.

Want more information?

Contact our undergraduate administrator, Jenny Conroy, or our undergraduate chair, Victoria Lamont.

The English undergraduate office is located in Hagey Hall room 222.