Pursue your passions. Postpone the commitment.

If you have a wide variety of interests, Honours Arts gives you the freedom to explore them.

In Waterloo's largest and most flexible first-year program, you’ll use your first two terms to test the waters. Sample courses from the humanities, social sciences, fine and performing arts, and languages and cultures. Discover subjects you weren’t exposed to in high school, or delve deeper into your favourite subject at the university level.

Whatever direction you end up taking, Honours Arts will give you the critical thinking skills to analyze issues, make persuasive arguments, write well, and speak with conviction — skills that will serve you well along any career path.

Use paid co-op work terms to explore potential career areas and to earn money to help pay for school. You can also co-register and complete your Waterloo degree through St. Jerome's University or Renison University College, smaller academic communities located on campus.

Admission requirements

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

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 70% is required)

Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors is recommended if you plan to major in Economics.

Grade 12 Mathematics of Data Management is recommended if you plan to major in Political Science; Psychology; Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies; Social Development Studies; or Sociology.

Admission average: Low 80s

We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.





23 Arts majors to choose from


Co-op is also available with any of the 23 majors. 

You'll choose your major at the end of first year. If you decide you don't want to choose a major, you can do a general degree called Liberal Studies.

Stavros, an Honours Bachelor of Arts student at Waterloo, looks smiling into the camera, wearing a shirt and tie

The flexibility of Waterloo's Honours Arts program – along with a first-year course in public speaking and a love for Lord of the Rings – led Stavros to a double major in Speech Communication and Medieval Studies.

briefcaseAvailable through co-op and regular systems of study

Arrow pointing up and clickingStarts in first year: apply directly to this program on your application

Graduation capAvailable through full-time and part-time studies


What can you do with an Arts degree?

The flexibility of Honours Arts and the choice of 23 majors provides an incredible range of possible careers to pursue. Sample careers of our graduates include

  • French teacher - Wellington Heights Secondary School
  • Lawyer - Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP
  • Copy Editor and Designer - Booker Publishing
  • Account Executive, Higher Education - Apple Canada
  • Teacher - Upper Grand District School Board
  • Program Manager - Microsoft
  • Assistant Video Editor - Ubisoft Toronto
For more information on potential careers, check out our page on careers in arts, humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookCombine majors and minors to customize your degree


Choose from 23 majors

At the end of first year, it’s your choice. Pick one of 23 different Arts majors. (Or keep your options open by choosing the Liberal Studies major).

Room for extracurriculars

Honours Arts gives you plenty of time outside the classroom to run for student government, study abroad, volunteer, or explore other interests.


Ready to learn more?