Legal Studies

Judge the impact of the legal system (no gavels required)

A student in the Legal Studies program at the University of Waterloo.

Law touches virtually every aspect of society. That makes a degree in Legal Studies great preparation for a career in government, business, the non-profit sector, law enforcement, and (of course!) law itself.

At Waterloo, you’ll enjoy small classes led by highly respected researchers, giving you lots of opportunity for discussion, and you'll also have the opportunity to gain work experience through co-op.

Over the course of your Legal Studies undergraduate degree, you’ll explore the impact of law on society, the origins of legal systems, how the Charter of Rights and Freedoms creates change, and issues such as crime, deviance, punishment, and restorative justice.

You’ll graduate with skills in research, problem solving, critical thinking, and communication, along with an in-depth understanding of law and legal systems.

Program highlights

  • Study law from every angle. Gain a broad perspective on the law by studying political science, history, sociology, philosophy, and peace and conflict studies.
  • Get serious work experience. Choose the co-op system of study and apply your knowledge in law firms, government offices, business, technology companies, and more.

What will you learn?

First-year courses

During your first year, you'll take two Legal Studies courses. Plus, you'll have electives to explore an additional major of your choosing. In upper years, 40% of the classes you'll take will be Legal Studies courses.

Learn about courses you'll take for your Legal Studies degree.

Customize your degree

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

Popular minors for Legal Studies students include Human Resource Management, Sociology, and Psychology.


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megaphone icon"The best things about my program are the amazing staff and students! Everyone is willing to go above and beyond to help each other excel. Plus, networking events hosted by the Legal Studies Society lets you get a glimpse of the various career options."Berrihan, third-year Legal Studies student


Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Legal Studies as your major at the end of first year.

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

  • any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70%)

Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.

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Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

Please contact our Faculty of Arts recruitment team who can answer any questions you have.