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. Enrolling in the co-op stream can also help you gain some work experience along the way.

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

Enjoy small classes that range from 15 to 35 students and have the chance to really connect with your classmates and professors.


Caleb, a speech communication major, standing in front of brown background and smiles into the camera

"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."

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 Speech Communication as your major at the end of first year.

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First-year courses

September to December

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

January to April

  • SPCOM 101 - Theories of Communication
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • 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 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


icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications


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

  • 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

Customize your Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications degree

You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices for Speech Communication students include Theatre and Performance, Human Resource Management, French, and Political Science.

What can you do with a degree in Speech Communication?

Graduates often pursue careers in coordination, human resources, management, and marketing. They often work for universities, technology companies, and financial institutions.

Recent graduates

  • Marketing Coordinator – Deloitte
  • Junior Integrated Marketing Communications Manager – Microsoft Canada
  • English Teacher – EF Education First
  • Strategic Planning Officer - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
  • Enterprise Account Executive – Shopify Plus
  • Customer Experience Specialist – Tesla Canada

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

Ready to learn more?