Speech Communication

Testing 1, 2, 3. Testing 1, 2, 3.

In this program — the only one of its kind in Canada — you’ll explore the complexities of communication, discover how it creates meaning in our world, and study what makes verbal and non-verbal communication effective.

You’ll learn to master interviewing skills, become adept at public speaking, and communicate effectively as a leader. Study the dynamics of communication in four areas of concentration: intercultural communication, interpersonal and organizational communication, performance studies, and public and digital communication.

Over the course of your degree, you’ll hone your written and oral communication abilities while developing skills in teamwork, research, and analysis — just the kind of skills that employers are hungry for.

Career-relevant workshops

Our professional development workshops give you a head start on careers in public relations, politics, marketing, teaching, or broadcasting.

Make lasting connections

At Waterloo, you’ll enjoy small classes that range from 15 to 35 students, so you’ll have the chance to really connect with your classmates.


Caleb standing in front of brown background

"The work never stops, but with startups, that’s part of the fun and part of the challenge,” says entrepreneur and Honours Arts and Business (Speech Communication) grad Caleb Polley. "My arts degree gives me a unique perspective from more traditional technical founders and I am confident that this perspective will become one of my greatest assets."

About the program

briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

Graduation cap Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor



First-year courses

September to December

SPCOM 100 - Interpersonal Communication
SPCOM 223 - Public Speaking
Arts First requirement 1*
2 additional courses

January to April

SPCOM 101 - Theories of Communication
Arts First requirement 2*
3 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 Speech Communication courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Sample upper-year courses

SPCOM 323 – Speech Writing
SPCOM 329 – Digital Presentations
SPCOM 431 – Crisis Communication
SPCOM 475 – Communication Ethics


Customize your Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications degree

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

Gain relevant work experience through co-op

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. Co-op is available if you study Speech Communication through Honours Arts and Business.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Marketing communications associate
  • Media and publications associate
  • Research analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Human resources co-op
  • Media relations specialist
  • Logistics assistant

Sample co-op employers

  • Microsoft Canada
  • Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • eHealth Ontario
  • PointClickCare
  • MappedIn
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
  • Shoppers Drug Mart

Recent graduates

  • Advancement Coordinator, St. Clement's School
  • Manager of First Impressions, MGI Financial
  • Human Resources Coordinator, Boehmer Box Corporation
  • District Manager, Primerica Financial Services Canada Ltd.
  • Senior Analyst, Accenture Inc.

Learn more about Speech Communication