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 4 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 6 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.


Pursuing a history degree provides valuable skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

About the History program 

briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in History

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor



First-year undergraduate History courses

September to December

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

January to April

One 100-level history course
Arts First requirement 2*
3 additional courses


*The Arts First requirement consists of 2 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


Customize your Bachelor of Arts in History degree

You can choose one of four specializations in history or add additional interests by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

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

Gain relevant work experience through co-op

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

Recent graduates

  • Financial Advisor, Scotiabank
  • Lawyer, Children's Aid Society
  • Membership Manager, Directors Guild of Canada
  • Director of Government Relations, Hewlett-Packard
  • Policy Advisor, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario
  • Historian/Researcher, City of Sarnia

Learn more about History