Honours Arts and Business

Follow your passion for Arts — and be business savvy, too.

Honours Arts and Business is where the things you’re passionate about intersect with business. Pick one of 23 majors — a subject you’re curious about or something you’ve always loved — then layer on business classes that teach you the practical skills employers look for.

Want your degree to be even more customized? Add on a second honours major or a minor. Choose the regular system of study and finish in 4 years, or add 20 months of serious work experience to your résumé through co-op. You’ve even got the option of studying abroad.

Through the Honours Arts and Business Living-Learning Community, you can live with other first-year students in your program; get to know upper-year students, professors, and alumni; and participate in special academic events.

Offered by the Faculty of Arts, you can also co-register and complete your Waterloo degree through St. Jerome's University and Renison University College, smaller academic communities located on campus.

Admission requirements

Ontario students need 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70% is required)
  • Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)

Recommended courses

Mathematics of Data Management is recommended if you're interested in majoring in Anthropology; Economics; Psychology; Political Science; Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies; Social Development Studies; or Sociology.

If you plan to major in Economics, Calculus and Vectors is also recommended, however you can choose to take a first-year calculus course to acquire additional background.

We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

After applying you may choose to register through Renison University College or St. Jerome's University, both located on Waterloo's campus. You'll earn a Waterloo degree but have a smaller community as your home base. 

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


First-year Honours Arts and Business courses

September to December

  • ARBUS 101 - Business in North America
  • ECON 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics
  • 2 Courses in your potential major(s)
  • Arts First requirement 1*

January to April

  • ARBUS 102 - Accounting Information for Managers
  • ARBUS 202 – Professional and Business Ethics
  • 2 Courses in your potential major(s)
  • Arts First requirement 2*

*The Arts First requirement consists of 2 first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.

After first year

About 30% of your courses will be in business while 40% of your time will focus on your honours major. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Customize your Bachelor of Arts degree

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.


Melissa - Honours of Arts and Business

Melissa chose the Honours Arts and Business program because of the practical aspects the program offered compared to other arts-based programs. She credits her professors and Fine Arts courses with helping her grow into the artist she is today.

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

Arrow pointing up and clickingApply directly to Honours Arts and Business on your application

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in your major


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

In co-op, you'll normally alternate between 4-month school terms and 4-month paid work terms throughout your degree. With thousands of employers hiring Waterloo co-op students each year, you can explore careers by applying to co-op jobs related to your major.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Legal Office Assistant
  • Entrepreneurship Programmer, Trainer, and Coordinator
  • Junior Marketing Writer/Proofreader
  • Human Resources Trainee
  • Marketing Communications Associate

Sample co-op employers

  • Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

  • Waterloo Region Small Business Centre

  • Microsoft Canada


icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookCan include minors and options as part of your degree


23 majors to choose from

An Arts advisor can help you understand the options available to you as a new student and in choosing the major that suits your interests and goals.

What can you do with a degree in Arts and Business?

With expertise in both business and your major, you'll have the skills and knowledge needed for a career in an incredible range of areas such as business, government, marketing, project management, communications, law, human resources, public relations, and more.

Recent graduates

  • Donor & Member Relations Coordinator - Toronto International Film Festival
  • HR Coordinator - PepsiCo Canada
  • Economist - Ontario Ministry of Finance
  • Business Communications Manager - BlackBerry
  • Team Lead - BMO Money Market Operations

14 business courses

Through your business courses, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of accounting, management, economics, marketing, entrepreneurship, ethics, and communication.

23 Arts majors

Pick one of 23 majors in humanities, social sciences, languages, fine arts, or performing arts. You’ll still have room to round out your degree with courses in other areas that spark your interest.


Learn more about Honours Arts and Business