Communication Studies

 Testing 1, 2, 3. Testing 1, 2, 3.

Caleb, who is pursuing his communications degree, stands in front of brown background and smiles at camera

"The work never stops, but with startups, that’s part of the fun and part of the challenge,” says entrepreneur and Honours Arts and Business (Communication Studies) grad Caleb Polley. "My arts degree gives me a unique perspective from more traditional technical founders and I am confident that this perspective will become one of my greatest assets."

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.

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 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.

  • 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.

Program highlights

  • 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.

What will you learn?

First-year courses

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.

Learn about courses you'll take for your Communication Studies degree.

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.


Get tips from Waterloo students

Join our newsletter for tips such as choosing a program, life at Waterloo, and finances.

Questions? Ask a student!

Ask a Faculty of Arts student about their program, classes, getting involved on campus, and more!



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

Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Communication Studies or Communication Arts and Design Practice as your major at the end of first year.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

Please contact our Faculty of Arts recruitment team who can answer any questions you have.


Related programs