Gender and Social Justice

Advocate for gender equality, social justice, and positive change

Explore the ways society is shaped by gender. Be an advocate for equity, justice, and positive change. Learn the important role gender and sex play in all aspects of life. Over the course of your degree, you’ll develop a deep expertise in issues of gender, diversity, equality, and social justice.

You’ll be joining a highly-engaged group of students who are active members of their student society, department, and university as well as the student-led Women’s Centre, The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the surrounding community. You'll also have the opportunity to gain work experience through co-op.

Join a global movement

Waterloo is the only Canadian university invited to join the United Nations’ HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 framework to advance gender equity.

Get serious work experience

You’ll also have the option to gain real-world job experience, with paid co-op experience available through the Honours Arts and Business program.


People at a social gathering.

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor



Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Gender and Social Justice as your major at the end of first year.

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First-year courses

September to December

  • GSJ 101 - Introduction to Gender and Social Justice: the Global North
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Three additional courses

January to April

  • Choose two from:
    • GSJ 102 - Introduction to Gender and Social Justice: the Global South
    • GSJ 201 - Gender and Social Justice in Popular Culture
    • GSJ 207 - Entrepreneurship, Gender and Social Justice
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • Two additional courses

*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 Gender and Social Justice courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Sample upper-year courses 

GSJ 262 - Global Queer Cinema
GSJ 307 - Race and Resistance
GSJ 347 - Witches, Wives, and Whore
GSJ 430 - Literary Women in Early Modern Hispanic Culture


icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Social Justice


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By studying Gender and Social Justice through our co-op program, you'll alternate school terms and paid co-op work terms, exploring new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Real estate marketing assistant
  • Digital marketing intern
  • Teaching assistant
  • Customer success lead

Sample co-op employers

  • Taplytics
  • Closing Folders Inc.
  • CIR Realty
  • University of Waterloo

Customize your degree​

You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.

What can you do with a degree in Gender and Social Justice?

Upon graduating, you'll be primed for a career in law, social policy planning, community action, counselling, teaching, human rights, or many other fields. Or take your studies further and pursue a master's program in a variety of areas.

Recent graduates

  • Counselling Co-ordinator - Planned Parenthood
  • Social Worker - Elizabeth Fry Society
  • Teacher - Grand River

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