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 work terms, too.
Once you graduate, you’ll have a wide range of options. A philosophy degree is ideal 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.
- 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.
- Get serious work experience. Explore potential careers while earning your Philosophy degree. Choose the co-op system and graduate with 20 months of paid experience.
- Available as a regular or co-op program
- Available as a major and minor
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
- Offered by the Faculty of Arts
What will you learn?
During your first year, you'll take two introductory Philosophy 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 Philosophy courses.
Learn about courses you'll take for your Philosophy 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 choices for Philosophy students include Political Science and Catholic Studies.
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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
What can you do with a philosophy degree?
Graduates often pursue careers in teaching, law, consulting, and program coordination. 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
Philosophy degree admissions
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.
How to apply
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Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?
Please contact Jackie Jones, our Faculty of Arts recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.