Global Business and Digital Arts

Have a mind for business and a flair for design?

Hone the creative, technical, and business skills you need to thrive in a fast-evolving world.

In this unique program, you’ll spend your first year at Waterloo's main campus, where you'll gain a solid foundation linking creative design, globalization, business ethics, economics, and marketing.

For your final three years, you'll move to our Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, located 45 kilometres west of the main campus. There, you'll develop design-driven solutions to social problems and create new forms of cultural expressions in a global context. And thanks to our project-based approach, you’ll also hone your collaboration and project management skills.

Program highlights

Drool-worthy tech. Waterloo’s Stratford School boasts facilities that include a recording studio, video editing suites, a UX observation room, and more.

Study overseas. Want to see the world and gain a more international perspective? Spend your third year studying in England, Hong Kong, or Australia — to name just a few options.


Waterloo’s Global Business and Digital Arts program features internships, classroom learning, study-abroad opportunities, and more.

What will you learn?

During your first year, you'll take foundational courses in Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) as well as Computer Science and Economics. Plus, you'll have electives to explore additional interests.

Learn about courses you'll take for your degree.

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


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

Sample co-op job titles

  • Design Intern UX/UI
  • Social Media Manager
  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Graphic Design and Animation Associate
  • Web Developer and Design
  • Videographer
  • Marketing Communications Coordinator
  • Interactive Designer
  • Business Development Manager

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in third year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience. 

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Study Off
Second Study Study Study
Third Co-op Study Co-op
Fourth Study Co-op Co-op
Fifth Study - -

Your first work term will be halfway through third year (September to December 2026).

Learn more about co-op →

megaphone icon"Professors in GBDA care about each student and really want to see you succeed. There's lots of hands-on work. You'll meet people with different skills which you can embrace and learn from. Be open to learning you'll be surprised by what you discover!"Jessica, fourth-year Global Business and Digital Arts student

Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (Minimum final grade of 75% is required)

4U Mathematics of Data Management is recommended.

Admission average: Low 80s

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply

Apply directly to this program on your application.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, the program, requirements, careers?

Email our GBDA recruitment and admissions coordinator who can answer any questions you have.