Tackle serious social questions

How does society handle inequality, poverty, and crime? How do social groups interact? How can we improve health care, criminal justice, religion, the economy, and our relationships to one another?

This is a program where you’ll wrestle with pressing questions — and develop the tools to create solutions to local and global challenges.

You’ll explore topics such as age, class, ethnicity, religion, gender, criminality, education, work, social change, and politics. And when you study Sociology at Waterloo, you’ll learn from leading experts committed to creating an outstanding classroom experience, ranked in the top 100 in the world. (Shanghai World University Rankings 2020)

As a sociologist, you’ll find career opportunities in a wide range of fields, including government, the financial sector, health, policy and research, law, academia, policing, and non-profit organizations. Want to explore them early? You can start by enrolling in the co-op stream and gaining up to two years of work experience prior to graduating.

A couple sitting close to each other.

Sociology major = flexibility

Our flexible curriculum leaves plenty of room to explore your interests through minors or double majors, while co-op opportunities are also available.

Academic and social support

The student-led Sociology Society coordinates movie nights, student and prof mixers, academic help sessions, special lectures, and more.


icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor



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

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First-year courses

September to December

  • SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Three additional courses

January to April

  • Choose one or two Sociology courses, such as:
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • Two to three additional courses

*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

40% of the classes you’ll take will be Sociology courses. You can then choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo, such as law, psychology, and social sciences.

Sample upper-year courses

SOC 207 – Sociology of Education
SOC 223 – Deviance: Perspectives and Processes
SOC 418 – Social Theory and Popular Culture
SOC 451 – Global Development


icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology


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

  • Human rights, equity and inclusion support and engagement coordinator
  • Business analyst identity access and privacy
  • Research assistant
  • Technical writer
  • Community relations coordinator

Sample co-op employers

  • United Nations Association in Canada
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Peel Regional Police
  • Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills
  • Scotiabank
  • eHealth Ontario

Customize your Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree

You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular minors for Sociology students include Legal Studies, Political Science, and History.

What can you do with a degree in sociology?

Waterloo Sociology graduates often pursue careers in social work, research, education, human resources, and recruiting. They commonly work for government, social service departments, counselling centres, and a wide variety of businesses.

Recent graduates

  • Social Worker – Counselling Centre of East Algoma
  • Market Manager – Apple Canada 
  • Recreation Therapist - YMCA
  • Digital Project Coordinator – Rogers Communications 
  • Research Associate – Conestoga College
  • Law Enforcement Agent - Canada Revenue Agency
  • Human Resource Manager - Colgate-Palmolive Canada

Learn about the future of careers in the humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.

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