There’s more to communicating than a well-chosen emoji
Love the written word? An English degree at Waterloo gives you all kinds of opportunity to explore that passion, with more than 150 undergraduate courses available in both the regular and co-op streams.
Take rhetoric courses and learn the art of persuasion. Focus on digital media, where you’ll merge the latest technology with enduring principles of effective communication. Or explore the pleasures and insights of English literature, from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf.
At Waterloo, you’ll be learning from the best: the Department of English features internationally recognized scholars. In their classes, you’ll develop all-important skills in communication, critical thinking, analysis, and persuasion.
At the end of first year, you can choose one of three majors within the English program.
- Literature and Rhetoric
- Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication
International exchanges in 25 countries
Available as a major and minor
English degree admission requirements
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)
We recommend complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
How to apply
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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 English courses and beyond
September to December
January to April
*The Arts First requirement consists of two 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
40% of the classes you’ll take will be English courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo – and even spend a semester abroad earning credits toward your degree.
Sample upper-year courses
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Web and corporate communications officer
- Cross-cultural trainer
- Media relations specialist
- Technical writer
- Communications assistant
- Junior editor and marketing associate
Sample co-op employers
- Amnesty International Canada
- Agfa Healthcare
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- RBC Financial Group
- Avidbots Corp
Customize your Bachelor of Arts in English degree
You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the areas of focus in English.
- Creative Writing
- Digital Media Studies
- Global Literatures
- Technical Writing
You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices for English students include Political Science, Speech Communication, and Classical Studies.
What can you do with a degree in English?
Waterloo English graduates often pursue careers in writing, publishing, communications, and education. They often work in the media, schools, financial institutions, healthcare centres, and a wide variety of businesses.
- Marketing and Communications Specialist – Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada
- Communications Coordinator – Glenn Davis Group
- Teacher – Waterloo Region District School Board
- Content and Project Specialist – Impact-Coaches
- Technical Writing Specialist – Manulife Financial
- Digital Publishing Assistant – The Geist Foundation
- Communications Specialist – Union Strategies
Offered by the Faculty of Arts
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in English
Ready to learn more?
- Visit the Department of English website
- Email Samantha Boehmer, our Arts recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions about the program
- Subscribe to our newsletter to get tips and advice from current students
- Related program
Make lasting connections
We cap many of our classes at 40 students, creating an environment where you can connect with your classmates and professors.
Build an awesome résumé
If you choose co-op, you’ll put your education into action during your work terms, explore careers, and earn money at the same time!