Confront some of life's biggest questions.
What is the nature of the human mind? What makes a just society? How can we lead a moral life?
Philosophy has long been a central component of a liberal arts education — and with good reason. It teaches you critical reasoning like no other discipline. It’s also an excellent addition to studies in mathematics and the sciences.
In the Philosophy program at Waterloo, you’ll explore enduring dilemmas of human existence, learn the fundamentals of formal logic, and apply philosophical reasoning to highly topical issues and current events. And have the opportunity to apply it all in your co-op placements too.
Once you graduate, you’ll have a wide range of options. Philosophy is ideal training for a career in law and valuable preparation for just about any field that demands breadth of thinking, careful reading, thorough analysis, and clear argumentation.
September to December
January to April
*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.
After first year
About 40% of the classes you’ll take will be Philosophy courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
Sample upper-year courses
Earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Research assistant
- Junior quality assurance analyst
- Product development
- Help desk representative
Sample co-op employers
- Electronic Arts Ltd.
- Top Hat Monocle
- University of Waterloo
International exchanges in 25 countries
Offered by the Faculty of Arts
Available as a major and minor
Customize your Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy
You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices for Philosophy students include Political Science and Catholic Studies.
What can you do with a degree in Philosophy?
Waterloo Philosophy graduates often pursue careers in program coordination, teaching, and consulting. They commonly work for schools, government departments, and more.
- Citizen Services Officer – Service Canada Centre
- Global Service Provider, Operations Team – Cisco Systems
- Senior Systems Analyst – BMO Bank of Montreal
- Early Childhood Educator – Sacred Heart Day Nursery
- Lawyer - Kim Fullerton, Barrister and Solicitor
- Analyst - Treasury Board of Canada
For more information on potential careers, check out our page on careers in arts, humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.
70+ upper-year courses
Take advantage of an impressive variety of courses after first year, from metaphysics to feminist philosophy to the ethics of end-of-life care.