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In this exciting, highly interactive program (formerly Speech Communication), you’ll explore how our everyday forms of communication create meaning and shape our perspective of the world. This degree is unique within Canada for our experience-based study of verbal, non-verbal, visual, and digital communication practices.
You’ll learn to master interviewing skills, become adept at public speaking, and communicate effectively as a leader. You'll also study the dynamics of communication in your personal interactions, your classrooms, workspaces, in your use of online and digital spaces, and more broadly in media and public communication.
Over the course of your degree, you’ll hone your written and oral communication skills while developing expertise in teamwork, research, visual and digital literacy, and critical analysis — just the kind of skills that employers are hungry for. Enrolling in the co-op stream will provide insights into possible careers and paid work experience along the way.
International exchanges in 25 countries
Available as a major and minor
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Questions? Ask a student!
Contact an Arts student ambassador to learn about their experience.
Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.
First-year courses and beyond
September to December
January to April
- SPCOM 101 - Theories of Communication
- Arts First requirement 2*
- Three additional courses
After first year
40% of the classes you’ll take will be Communication Studies (formerly Speech Communication) courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
Sample upper-year courses
Customize your degree
You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices for Communication Studies students include Theatre and Performance, Human Resource Management, French, and Political Science.
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore different career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Marketing communications associate
- Media and publications associate
- Research analyst
- Business analyst
- Human resources co-op
- Media relations specialist
- Logistics assistant
Sample co-op employers
- Microsoft Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
- eHealth Ontario
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
- Shoppers Drug Mart
What can you do with a communications degree?
With the explosion of information in recent decades, a degree in communications has never been more valuable. Our program will set you up for an exciting range of careers in marketing, public relations, advertising, teaching, the media, and human resources. Graduates work in a variety of settings – including interpersonal, organizational, and public – for businesses, non-profit organizations, universities, technology companies, and financial institutions.
- Marketing Coordinator – Deloitte
- Junior Integrated Marketing Communications Manager – Microsoft Canada
- English Teacher – EF Education First
- Strategic Planning Officer – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
- Enterprise Account Executive – Shopify Plus
- Customer Experience Specialist – Tesla Canada
Offered by the Faculty of Arts
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
Ready to learn more?
- If you have some questions about the program, please contact Samantha Boehmer, our Arts recruitment co-ordinator
- Subscribe to our newsletter to get tips and advice from current students
- Read about what communication is all about on our Waterloo Stories website
- Related program
Our professional development workshops give you a head start on careers in public relations, politics, marketing, teaching, or broadcasting.
Make lasting connections
Enjoy small classes that range from 15 to 35 students and have the chance to really connect with your classmates and professors.