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In these exciting, highly interactive majors, you’ll explore how our everyday forms of communication create meaning and shape our perspective of the world. The majors are 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. Choosing the co-op version will provide insights into possible careers and paid work experience along the way.
Choose one of two majors
Communication Studies: Focus on the art of speaking and communicating to audiences and in group settings. This major is broader and has more courses related to general business than the Communication Arts and Design Practice major.
Communication Arts and Design Practice: Enhance your knowledge and practice of effective communication with hands-on digital design projects and greater focus on visual communication and rhetoric. This major is a really good fit if you're artistic and interested in careers in digital media design.
- Career-relevant workshops. Our professional development workshops give you a head start on careers in public relations, digital design, 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.
- Available as a regular or co-op program
- Available as a major and minor
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies or Communication Arts and Design Practice
- Offered by the Faculty of Arts
What will you learn?
During your first year, you'll take three introductory Communication Studies courses. Plus, you'll have electives to explore an additional major of your choosing. In upper years, 40% of the classes you'll take will be Communication Studies 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 include Theatre and Performance, Human Resource Management, French, and Political Science.
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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
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70%)
Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
How to apply
Connect with us
Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?
Please contact Jackie Jones, our Faculty of Arts recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.