Develop a world view that goes back centuries

Today, the past is more relevant than ever. At Waterloo, you’ll explore history to make sense of the present.

Our small classes create lots of opportunity for animated discussions, while the co-op option offers relevant work experience before you graduate.

In your upper years, an impressively wide range of courses let you focus on the events, themes, or historical time periods that intrigue you most. Delve deep with four possible specializations, or broaden your education with courses from other disciplines.

Whichever way you shape your degree, you’ll develop an invaluable set of skills — technical, creative, critical, and analytical — that will serve you well in almost any career.

Award-winning teachers

Our professors have racked up a number of honours for their teaching and research, including six student-nominated Distinguished Teaching Awards.

Study in China

Take a portion of your degree at Nanjing University, where you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of China.


History at Waterloo

Earning a Bachelor of Arts in history provides valuable skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration while pursuing your interests.

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 History as your major at the end of first year.

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First-year undergraduate History courses

September to December

  • One 100-level history course
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Three additional courses

January to April

  • One 100-level history course
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • Three 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.

What other courses will you take?

About 40% of the classes you’ll take will be History courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

Sample upper-year courses

HIST 224 – Food, Culture, and History
HIST 239 – History of Modern China, 1911 to the Present
HIST 282 – History of Modern South Asia 1750-2000
HIST 369 – The Politics of Decolonization


icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in History


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms, you can explore new career areas and employers as your interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Archives assistant
  • Marketing and publishing assistant
  • Technical writer
  • Web content publisher
  • Tutoring and learning coordinator

Sample co-op employers

  • OpenText Corporation
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Scotiabank
  • George Brown College
  • The Corporation of the County of Simcoe

Customize your Bachelor of Arts in History degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the areas of focus within the program.

  • Global Interactions
  • Revolution, War, and Upheaval
  • Applied History
  • International Relations

You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. A popular area of focus for History students is English Language and Literature.

What can you do with a degree in History?

Waterloo History graduates commonly pursue careers in writing, teaching, and research, often working in museums, schools, and libraries.

Recent graduates

  • Museum Educator – Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum
  • Teacher – Waterloo Region District School Board
  • Lawyer – Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Corporate Account Manager – CDW Canada
  • Senior Public Relations Consultant – The iPR Group
  • Educational Assistant – Waterloo Region District School Board

Learn about the future of careers in arts, humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.

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