Arts co-op programs

Waterloo co-op students at work

 


Accounting and Financial Management

Students in Waterloo’s Accounting and Financial Management program build a strong background in accounting and financial management that prepares them for a CA (Chartered Accountant), CMA (Certified Management Accountant) or CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation. With any of these designations, students are prepared to immediately enter the workforce.

The program provides a blend of arts, business and accountancy training so students build strong numeracy skills as well as communication, research and analysis skills.

Students who specialize in the chartered accounting co-op stream in Waterloo’s Accounting and Financial Management program receive an education that is designed specifically to help them achieve success with public accounting firms.

While students who specialize in the business and finance area of Waterloo’s Accounting and Financial Management program receive an education that is designed specifically to help them achieve success with industry employers, government, and not-for-profit agencies.

Valuable skills and attributes include:

  • strong leadership abilities
  • well-developed communication and teamwork skills
  • technical skills directly related to the field
  • practical experience gained through course work
  • preparing financial statements
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills

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Arts and Business

Waterloo’s Arts and Business program is specifically designed for students of the Arts program who may wish to pursue a career in a business environment. Students gain a strong grounding in the humanities, social sciences, languages, fine and performing arts, politics, history and English. They are also able to study a set of business-related topics such as accounting, economics, computer science, marketing, communication and statistics.

By combining the strengths and features of an arts major with a focus on business-oriented courses, students are provided with an enriched academic background designed for the work environment. This unique and comprehensive program produces intelligent, versatile and highly capable individuals equipped to confront challenging employment experiences as they pursue a wide range of careers

Students from Waterloo’s Arts and Business program bring a broad range of abilities to the workplace.

Valuable skills and attributes include:

  • strong business-oriented skills
  • working knowledge in a second language
  • enhanced oral and written skills in English
  • an understanding of Canadian historical, political and economic institutions and structures
  • an awareness of how changing technological developments impact Canadian society
  • above-average computing ability
  • highly motivated

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Anthropology

The Faculty of Arts seeks to help students live a full life by providing a liberal arts education that acquaints them with ideas shaping our civilization. This education also helps them develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively as well as problem-solve.

Students in Waterloo’s Anthropology program build on these transferrable skills by participating in the study of human evolution and of human cultures, past and present. This education prepares them for further study in specific fields in archaeology, socio-cultural anthropology or physical anthropology, or for positions in an array of industries, including government.

Students in Waterloo’s Anthropology program study human evolution and cultures while learning to apply techniques of research design and field methods. They also learn about the diversity of human adaptations around the world historically and today. Teaching labs, slides and films enhance classes, and field trips and fieldwork opportunities bring classroom learning to life so students can experience and apply their studies comprehensively.

These students’ in-depth understanding of human evolution and culture, as well as their research and analytical experience, provides transferrable knowledge to many workplaces.

Students of anthropology develop strong research skills that can be utilized in the business world for market researching. Understanding of human cultures may also prove beneficial in a variety of workplaces. 

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Classical Studies

Waterloo’s Classical Studies program provides students with an understanding of the ancient world. This world is a parent of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and our modern way of life. Students gain knowledge of people, art, literature, political institutions, customs, language and ways of thinking, so they become aware of how civilizations are built and run.

The study of classical antiquity reveals many ideas and customs that are with us today and have greatly influenced how we think and act and how our society is structured. Students of classical studies learn to analyze and consider  the implications and impact of the past on the present  and future.

Because students are asked to examine many different aspects of culture, a degree in classical studies prepares  them to respond intelligently to the demands of complex modern society. 

Students in Waterloo’s Classical Studies program are strong in communication, the analysis of complex problems and mental liveliness. These students are willing to take risks and learn about areas that, while complex and historical, are relevant to the work and tasks of today’s workplace. 

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Drama

Students of Waterloo’s Department of Drama are committed to the belief that the arts of performing and communication are essential for a rich and complete humanities education. These students receive an education that is rich in both academic and practical work. 

The program is unique in Canada because students can select to participate in a degree program in one of two academic areas: drama/theatre or speech communication. In both programs, students study performance and spoken communication. Students may also wish to complement their studies by pursuing a major in one program and a minor in the other.

Students experience the skills, disciplines and commitment necessary to pursue a professional career. They are held to high standards and are encouraged to take part in all aspects of the program.

Students of Waterloo’s Drama program are experienced in a variety of forms of communication, which is necessary for effective work in any workplace.

These students may have experience writing speeches, running technical production equipment and communicating with different cultures and in a variety of situations, including public speaking.

The skills these students learn throughout their studies are highly transferrable to a variety of workplaces.

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Fine Arts

Fine arts students build a solid foundation in the visual arts and gain experience that is analytical and thought-provoking in a creative nature.

Waterloo’s Fine Arts program provides a learning environment that enables its students to think creatively and intellectually while achieving work of high standards. Through exhibitions and visits with professional artists, students have the opportunity to discover how what they learn through their studies can be applied in a relevant way to the working community.

Fine Arts students are part of a program that focuses on spirit and individuality. Students are encouraged to develop individual approaches to their work rather than simply follow current trends. 

Students of Waterloo’s Fine Arts program are trained to think creatively. They utilize out-of-the-box thinking and problem-solving skills. Their education also encourages them to take risks and to be flexible and innovative.  

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French Studies

The Department of French Studies offers students opportunities to specialize in French for career purposes  or to simply improve their understanding and use of  French. An arts education also helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively as well as problem-solve. 

Students of Waterloo’s French Studies program receive a well-rounded and thorough education during which they are immersed in the linguistic and cultural aspects of the  French language. They are encouraged and supported by the faculty so they can strengthen their skills through resource materials and a language laboratory that offers technical and software materials.

In Canada, a vast number of employers require or benefit from working with students who are experts in the French language. Linguistics and cultural diversity are vital in a rapidly globalizing world in which bilingual individuals are expected to play a crucial role.

Students in Waterloo’s French Studies program develop strong abilities in communication, which is essential in any work environment.

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German

Students in Waterloo’s German program specialize in the study of language, applied linguistics, literature, and film and visual culture. While students build their knowledge of German language and culture, they can participate in courses in Russian, Croatian, Dutch and Polish as well.

Students develop a deep competency in German and are also exposed to German culture. In addition to language instruction, students investigate the culture, literature and linguistics of these societies through courses which are taught in German or English. Students also benefit from the unique interdisciplinary nature of the program. Some courses which count toward the German degree are offered by other departments such as Economics, Fine Arts, History and Political Science.

German is one of the four main languages of the western world, so students in this program can offer employers a high level of skill in translation and understanding of a culture that plays a significant role in business. Students are equipped to understand different cultures and their people’s needs.

The study of language also requires the development of analytical, communication and creative skills, which enable students to analyze abstract problems and develop real-world solutions.

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History

History students deepen their understanding of the world while enhancing analytical skills and powers of expression. They investigate many aspects of life and culture, from economics to philosophy, politics, art and music. This education background allows students to analyze causes of change and continuity to understand the past, present and future.

Studying history enables students to make sense of today’s world while developing strong research skills and the ability to think analytically and express ideas clearly.

Students develop these skills through studying Canadian, European, American and international social, political and cultural history. An important part of these students’ learning process is engagement and discussion of issues so that they can think critically about the world around them.

An understanding of the evolution of relationships between nations, government and governed, men and women, and parents and children, is vital for understanding our society today. Students in Waterloo’s History program can use their understanding and analysis of these complex topics to the benefit of a variety of employers.

History students develop important and highly transferrable skills, including critical thinking and problem solving, conclusive research and analysis, and effective communication. Students learn to analyze topics thoroughly while broadening their perspectives and judgment.

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Legal Studies

The Faculty of Arts helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively, as well as problem-solve.

Students in Waterloo’s Legal Studies program learn how law is a central part of how society functions, from how we conduct business, to how we treat the environment, to how we shape our governments and deal with people.

The Legal Studies program provides students with a comprehensive undergraduate education. It provides an excellent academic background for further studies or training for students who have aspirations of a future in law.

Students in Waterloo’s Legal Studies program may complete their education in a variety of ways. Students may specialize in sociology or criminology, or complete a joint honours degree in most arts disciplines.

Students in the Legal Studies program are well-educated and have inquiring minds. They are trained to analyze all aspects of an issue before identifying conclusions.

They are capable of analytical and critical thinking, and can offer skills like communication, analysis, research and other highly transferrable skills.

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Medieval Studies

Students in Waterloo’s Medieval Studies program gain an understanding of medieval Europe. These students learn how the culture and history of that time greatly impacts our own time. The culture of the Roman civilization, along with innovations and new ways of thinking, helped chart the course of a new world of civilizations.

Students learn of ideas and events from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the modern era (about 500 to 1500 CE). This period is often referred to as the Middle Ages. Students of this interdisciplinary field of study gain knowledge from different disciplines, explore new areas of study and revisit topics that have been relegated to neglected history.

Students in Waterloo’s Medieval Studies program examine many different aspects of a culture, helping them develop the ability to respond intelligently to the demands of complex modern society.

These students are skilled in research and analysis of complex problems, communication and developing detailed perspectives. These students are willing to take risks and learn about areas that, while complex and historical, are relevant to the work and tasks of today’s workplace.

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Music

Students of the Music department at the University of Waterloo are equipped with the skills, knowledge and a multi-dimensional understanding of music that are appropriate to their particular commitment to the discipline. The knowledge that they achieve through their degrees allows them to move successfully into careers in a variety of professional areas.

Music students experience music with a liberal arts character. Intensive study is balanced in the traditional musical disciplines of performance, theory and history with courses offering more breadth, such as popular music, jazz, worship and music, world music, and music and gender. Students consider and explore how and where music intersects with other parts of our lives.

Music is an intensely emotional and psychological part of our society, and students of Waterloo’s Music program are equipped to analyze its impact. A number of skills come into play as students work to achieve degrees in Music, including theory, artistic expression, mathematical analysis, and more. 

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Peace and Conflict Studies

Students in Waterloo’s Peace and Conflict Studies program study peace and justice by investigating the origins and nature of conflict and violence. The program educates, invigorates and mobilizes students to make use of conceptual and practical knowledge to imagine and build a culture of peace between individuals, in our communities, among nations and around the world.

These students engage conflict creatively and use it as an impetus for positive and just social change. Students explore why conflict and violence occur and how conflict can be transformed to accomplish constructive ends. They also learn how peace is maintained as a whole, not as simply the absence of conflict.

Students of Waterloo’s Peace and Conflict Studies program explore why conflict and violence occurs and  use the knowledge they gain to transform conflict  through collaborative decision-making to accomplish  constructive ends.

These students have analytical skills and are able to research and consider causes and impacts of peace and conflict in a variety of realms. Peace and conflict occur in every aspect of society, including the workplace, where the education of these students would prove beneficial. These students can put their constructive decision-making to use in a variety of roles.

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Philosophy

An arts education helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively as well as problem solve. Arts students can critically examine a number of topics and areas in a workplace.

Philosophy addresses fundamental and difficult questions encompassing the nature of reality, free will, the meaning of a “just society” and finding the ideal way to live. Philosophy students attempt to answer these questions with a combination of creativity and analysis of ideas, careful reading and scholarship, and clear debate.

Students learn the habits of critical analysis, clear expression and careful argumentation through studying philosophy. These are skills that apply to virtually every academic and professional context.

Philosophy not only tackles interesting questions, it also helps students gain skills of reasoning and communication that are vital in any workplace.

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Religious Studies

Students in Waterloo’s Religious Studies program consider questions and ideas that are deeply profound and as old as humanity. Students study religion in all its diversity, including challenging systems of thought, exemplary lives, rituals both familiar and unfamiliar, and patterns  of social life that have played central roles in the history  of humankind.

These students explore the non-confessional study of religion in its historical, cultural, and social contexts. Students can specialize in one of three main areas:

  • World religions: A course of study involving both breadth and depth into religious traditions around the globe.
  • Christian traditions: A course of study focusing on Christian traditions including the Bible, history and  areas of thought and practice.
  • Religion, culture and society: A course of study focusing on religion as a social and cultural phenomenon.

No understanding of modern society, history and humanity is complete without an understanding of the world’s religions. Great and small, ancient and new, Eastern and Western, these religions have influenced politics, economics, culture, art, science and society throughout history, and continue to do so.

Students in Waterloo’s Religious Studies program have the ability to critically explore how aspects of society  interact and impact each other. Their understanding of the world and transferrable skills can be applicable in a variety of workplaces. 

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Russian and East European Studies

Students in Waterloo’s Russian and East European Studies program specialize in the study of language, applied linguistics, literature, and film and visual culture. While students build their knowledge of Russia and East European cultures, they can also participate in programs in German, Russian, Croatian, Dutch and Polish.

These students develop a deep competency in Russian and are also exposed to the cultures of Slavic Europe. In addition to language instruction, students investigate the culture, literature and linguistics of these societies through courses which are taught in Russian or English. Students also benefit from the unique interdisciplinary nature of the program. Some courses which count toward the Russian and East European degree are offered by other departments such as economics, fine arts, history and political science.

Russian ranks among the most widely used languages in the world; 280 million people speak the language. Studying Russian gives students an understanding of the culture, literature and political traditions of one of today’s most interesting societies.

This background helps students understand different cultures and their needs, which is valuable in a variety of workplaces. They think critically, develop worldly perspectives and have highly developed communication skills. 

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Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies

Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which students critically question and examine all aspects of sexuality, relationships and marriages, and families.

An understanding of family relationships and of the way we each interact and react to subjects such as sexuality and marriage provides students with an understanding of who we are, and how and why we relate to each other in certain ways. Students take part in interdisciplinary scholarship and research in fields such as gender, reproduction and relationships. They develop a solid, scientific understanding of sexuality and the social institutions linked to intimate relationships so they can consider historical, theoretical  and ethical ideas.

Students of this multidisciplinary subject combine their studies with psychology, sociology and social work to develop a broad perspective on different relationships.

Through these studies, students develop strong skills in expression, numerical analysis and critical thinking, which prepare them for careers in the helping professions.

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Social Development Studies

Students in Waterloo’s Social Development Studies program study the human condition and human and social development in relation to social issues in local, national and global contexts. Students use the knowledge they gain to explore and discover how human relations can  be strengthened.

Students of the Social Development Studies program examine the human condition using an interdisciplinary approach. The study incorporates psychology, sociology and social work.

Students of this multidisciplinary subject combine their studies with psychology, sociology and social work to develop a broad perspective on different relationships.

Through these studies, students develop strong skills in critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal relations, leadership, civic engagement and global citizenship.

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Spanish and Latin American Studies

The Faculty of Arts provides students with a liberal arts education that acquaints them with ideas shaping our civilization. An arts education also helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively as well as problem-solve. Arts students can critically examine  a number of topics and areas in a workplace.

Students in Waterloo’s Spanish and Latin American Studies program specialize in the study of language, applied linguistics, literature and culture.

Students of Spanish and Latin American studies learn a language that helps them form and express ideas through a different lens. They also explore the literature of the language and develop a sense of the culture of Spain and Latin America. Students also learn how language is used to construct a text. These abilities transfer to a wide range of disciplines and help strengthen problem-solving skills, rhetoric and communication.

Students in Waterloo’s Spanish and Latin American Studies program are valuable in many organizations not only for their teaching and translation abilities, but also because both Spain and Latin America have become important consumers of technology and manufactured goods. Latin America is focusing their interests on development, which creates a need for Spanish-speaking researchers, planners, organizers and executors of a large variety of programs.

Students in this program can offer employers a high level of skill in translation and understanding of a culture that plays a significant role in business. Students are equipped to understand different cultures and their people’s needs.

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Speech Communication

Waterloo’s Speech Communication program is unique in Canada. Students explore how people create meaning and make sense of their lives, identities, relationships and world through interaction with others, and are prepared for the challenges of communicating in a globalized and pluralistic world.

Students develop a greater understanding of theories related to interpersonal communication, leadership, intercultural communication, organizational communication, conflict management, public communication and persuasion.  They develop skills related to listening, interviewing, team communication, leadership, critical thinking and  public speaking.

Students gain mastery and understanding in the following areas:

  • Relationships: understanding of how communication creates, maintains and transforms relationships
  • Contexts: the important role communication plays in community, leadership, professional and civic settings
  • Diversity: respect for the role of culture and diversity in communication
  • Influence: competency in self-reflection and in the analysis of arguments and discourse that influence beliefs, attitudes, values and practices
  • Presentations: skills, confidence and competence in public presentations
  • Research: systematic inquiry, including the process of asking questions, systematically attempting to answer them and understanding the limitations of conclusions

In addition to being the only Speech Communication program in Canada, courses involve a high level of interaction and applied learning. Students in the Speech Communication program have learned and applied their skills in business and communication settings, gaining actual experience in the application and execution of communication skills:

Valuable skills and attributes include:

  • leading others in the completion of projects and events
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • understanding of and ability to manage change
  • interpersonal and team-building skills
  • critical thinking and analytical skills
  • exposure and understanding of intercultural communication
  • understanding and experience in public relations and image management
  • audience analysis and ability to craft a message to diverse audiences
  • project planning, management and evaluation

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Women's Studies

An arts education helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically, and creatively as well as problem solve. Arts students can critically examine a number of topics and areas in a workplace.

Waterloo’s Women’s Studies program helps students develop a new and deep understanding of humankind through the study of women and men, with a special focus on gender based experiences.

These students take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of gender-based experiences. They study how gender and sex play a crucial role in all aspects of our social lives, including feminist criticism, representation of male and female bodies, sexuality, women and the law, women in popular culture and literature, gender and technology, women across cultures within Canada and globally, and women and religion.

Gender and sex play a role in all aspects of social life, for example, in education, religion, work, leisure, health care, law and government.

Courses in Waterloo’s Women’s Studies program provide valuable insights into these critical gender relations. This knowledge enriches a variety of workplaces. Students have a range of career choices in diverse areas such as business, criminology, education, engineering, politics, law, medicine, psychology, recreation and social work.

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Economics

Economics analyzes the factors that influence income, wealth and well-being. It provides useful analytical, mathematical, and statistical measurements and examines the economic dimension of wider social, political and environmental issues.

Recent research and global events have challenged the traditional confines of the discipline. Waterloo’s Economics program equips students with contemporary skills that are applicable to the private and public sectors as well as for further studies.

An arts education emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and research. The Economics program teaches these highly transferable skills together with the added benefit of concentrated study in the specialized area of economics. The extensive mathematical and analytical components of these courses provide practical tools for students to use in a variety of work settings.

Students in Waterloo’s Economics program take concentrated courses in the study of economics. These include learning in the following areas:

  • microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • econometrics
  • environmental economics
  • finance
  • international economics
  • political economy/economic history
  • public policy

Courses students may take include:

  • microeconomics theory
  • macroeconomics theory
  • principles of entrepreneurship
  • monetary economics
  • international finance
  • quantitative finance
  • advanced mathematical economics
  • topics in econometrics

Students in Waterloo’s Economics program are intelligent and systematic with inquiring minds.

Valuable skills and attributes include:

  • excellent numeracy and problem-solving skills
  • ability to perform research, collect statistics and make mathematical calculations
  • high level competence in spreadsheet, word processing and graphic software
  • ability to conduct specialized economic analysis
  • strategic thinking skills
  • presentation skills
  • quantification and design skills
  • ability to frame problems

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English Literature

An arts education helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively as well as problem solve. Arts students can critically examine a number of topics and areas in a workplace.

Students of English build these skills while also delving deeper into the English language and its literature. They become more sensitive to language and its uses, and they hone their writing skills.

Waterloo’s English Literature program gives students insight into our world, our culture and our human identity through an analysis of historical and contemporary literature and theory. Students gain this knowledge through a critical and in-depth analysis of British, American, Canadian and post-colonial literature.

English students have highly transferrable skills that are effective and relevant in any workplace. They are experts in writing and conveying complex ideas, are skilled in communication and have developed the ability to research and critically analyze ideas and texts.

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English Literature and Rhetoric

An arts education helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively as well as problem solve. Arts students can critically examine a number of topics and areas in a workplace.

English students build these skills while also delving deeper into the English language, its literature and its usage. They become more sensitive to language and its uses and hone their writing skills. They also develop skills of influence through studying rhetoric, which is the art and practice of persuasion through written communication.

The English Literature and Rhetoric program gives students the benefit of an education in the dual strengths of the English department. Students gain insight into our world, our culture and our human identity through an analysis of historical and contemporary literature and theory. Students also explore the history and theory of rhetoric, the nature of professional writing and information design, and digital media.

English students have highly transferrable skills that are effective and relevant in any workplace. They are experts in writing and conveying complex ideas, are skilled in communication and have the ability to research critically as well as analyze ideas and texts.

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English Rhetoric, Media and Professional Communications

This innovative degree plan offers students both intellectual challenge and practical insight into rhetoric, professional writing, information design and digital media.

Students who choose to major in English have these skills as well as the added benefit of concentrated study in a specialized field. Students majoring in Rhetoric and Professional Writing receive in-depth training in written and verbal communication. They become a valuable resource for a wide variety of employment situations.

An arts education is designed to emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and research. Waterloo’s English, Rhetoric and Professional Writing program provides these highly transferable skills, well-honed writing skills and basic computer literacy. It produces students who are intelligent, versatile and capable, equipped to make valuable contributions to the work environment.

Students in Waterloo’s English, Rhetoric and Professional Writing program are well-educated and capable of analytical, critical and creative thinking, writing and speaking.

Valuable skills include:

  • analytical, creative and critical capacities
  • editing technical publications
  • drafting press releases and newsletters
  • writing and updating end-user information products
  • leading ESL (English as a second language) tutoring and conversation groups
  • researching and proofreading
  • developing and maintaining communication systems

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Master of Arts - Economics

Students in Waterloo’s Master of Economics program focus on applied economics. They develop skills in applying modern economic theories and advanced empirical techniques to issues in public policy and business.

Students predominantly research areas in public economic policy, including health, natural resources, environment, labour, industrial organization, public finance and other topics in applied microeconomics.

Students of this program are equipped with theoretical and empirical knowledge as well as analytical and  problem-solving skills that are applicable to the private  and public sectors. It provides useful analytical, mathematical and statistical measurements skills, and examines the economic dimension of wider social, political and environmental issues.

Students in Waterloo’s Economics program have a strong understanding of theory, superior research skills and an ability to apply this training to issues relevant to the public and private sectors.

Valuable skills and attributes include:     

  • numeracy and problem-solving skills
  • ability to research, collect statistics and make mathematical calculations
  • high-level competence in spreadsheet, word processing and graphic software
  • ability to conduct specialized economic analysis
  • strategic thinking skills
  • presentation skills
  • quantification and design skills
  • solid ability to frame problems

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Master of Arts - English, Experimental Digital Media 

Students in Waterloo’s Experimental Digital Media program are dedicated to exploring the creative and critical processes provided by new digital media. These students receive an education that focuses on a lab-based and hands-on approach to digital technology. Students in the program learn to use the digital media as a critical tool combining theory and practice in the production of “objects-to-think-with.” These evocative objects focus attention on key cultural and theoretical issues in the humanities.

Students in this program must have an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English or a degree that supplements an English major with another area of study.

The program’s rich mix of theoretical and practical study prepares students for research in digital media and a variety of careers in the media industries. Students spend time completing work and research in the Critical Media Lab, a centre for the experimental production of digital objects and exhibitions where students, faculty and local digital artists interact.

Students with a background in experimental digital media have highly transferrable skills gained through their English degree that are effective and relevant in any workplace.

The additional training they receive through Waterloo’s Experimental Digital Media program enables them to become experts in writing and conveying complex ideas, communication, critical research and analysis of ideas and texts.

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Master of Arts - English, Literary Studies

Students in Waterloo’s Literary Studies program learn about historical and contemporary areas of  British, American, Canadian and English-language  post-colonial literatures and relevant theories. Students in this program also take at least one course in rhetoric  and communication design.

Students in this program must have an honours degree in English or a degree that supplements an English major with another area of study.

The English Literature program gives students insight into our world, our culture and our human identity through an analysis of historical and contemporary literature and theory. Students gain this knowledge through a critical and in-depth analysis of British, American, Canadian and post-colonial literature.

Students with this background have highly transferrable skills gained through their English degree that are effective and relevant in any workplace.

The additional training they receive through Waterloo’s Literary Studies program enables them to become experts in writing and conveying complex ideas, communication, critical research and analysis of ideas and texts.

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Master of Arts - English, Rhetoric and Communication Design

Students in Waterloo’s Rhetoric and Communication Design program supplement a core graduate course in rhetorical theory and criticism with projects or course work in the areas of rhetoric, discourse analysis, semiotics, multimedia design and critique, composition pedagogy and professional writing. All students in this program take at least one course in literary studies.

Students in this program must have an honours degree in English or a degree that supplements an English major with another area of study.  

Students build on skills they learned in their undergraduate degree, becoming experts of influence through studying rhetoric, which is the art and practice of persuasion.

These students understand and pursue areas that require persuasive communications, such as advertising, technical writing, document design and digital media.

Students with this background have highly transferrable skills gained through their English degree that are effective and relevant in any workplace.

The additional training they receive through Waterloo’s Rhetoric and Communication Design program enables them to become experts in writing and conveying complex ideas, communication, critical research and analysis of ideas and texts. 

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Master of Arts - Political Science

Students in Waterloo’s Political Science program develop a deep understanding of political landscapes that range from the historical to the contemporary, from the Americas to Europe to the Middle East and on to the expanding economies of China and Asia.

Students are encouraged to develop knowledge in a research area that meets their individual interests. Students may consider the following areas:

  • Canadian state and society (students gain information and resources on federal and provincial voting behaviour through the department’s Centre for Election Studies)
  • conflict and conflict resolution
  • political economy
  • contemporary political theory

These graduate students develop the analytical and professional skills required for success in both academic and non-academic job markets.

Students have an in-depth understanding of a variety of political climates and situations and have developed strong skills in analysis and research. Their skills are highly transferrable, and include:

  • problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • ability to perform critical analyses
  • analytical versatility
  • familiarity of policy-making and legislation
  • social awareness
  • communication skills
  • Canadian political system knowledge
  • public policy development abilities
  • research skills
  • ability to analyze information and data to support or reject theories and principles

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Master of Arts - Sociology

Students in Waterloo’s Sociology program participate in diverse research opportunities and rigorous training in contemporary and classical sociological theory and in quantitative, qualitative and interpretive methods. They receive grounding in a range of theoretical orientations.

Students of this program explore areas of research that include theory, criminology, family, gender, social stratification, politics, knowledge and religion, health, work and recreation, social psychology/symbolic interactionism and research methods.

Students hone skills they developed through their undergraduate career that include critical thinking, problem solving, analysis and research.

Students in Waterloo’s Sociology program are capable of analytical, critical and creative thinking, writing and research. They have an expert understanding and perspective on how to build, examine and maintain different relationships in our society. This understanding is relevant and vital in a variety of workplaces.

Valuable skills and attributes include:  

  • understanding of research methods, analysis and statistical techniques
  • ability to make reasoned oral and written arguments
  • knowledge of social, public and civil policy
  • ability to apply sociological theory to various institutions and organizations
  • appreciation of complex and diverse social situations

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Master of Public Service

Waterloo’s Public Service program provides students with the knowledge, skills and on-the-job experience they need for a successful career in public service. The program provides an advanced education, covering important subjects such as government structure and functions, current public issues, policy development and values and ethics. Students also develop critical and applied skills in communication, finance, leadership and project management.  

In a world of complex policy challenges, professional public servants are essential to good government. This program is designed to prepare students from different undergraduate backgrounds with the knowledge and experience to effectively design and implement policies and deliver services to Canadians, at all levels of government.

Hiring students in Waterloo’s Public Service program offers many benefits to government units, such as:

  • pool of highly educated, skilled and motivated employees
  • cost-effective solution for short-term hiring needs
  • adaptable workforce to complete special projects
  • evaluation of potential future recruits
  • injects a fresh perspective and innovative ideas
  • aligns graduate programming with public service needs

Students are equipped with a variety of transferable skills and focused knowledge in areas including:

  • critical thinking and analysis
  • problem-solving and decision-making
  • social awareness
  • public policy development
  • structure and functions of the Canadian political system
  • principles of economics and cost/benefit analysis
  • working effectively in diverse teams
  • leadership and management
  • project management
  • communication styles and media awareness

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Political Science

An arts education helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively as well as problem solve. Arts students can critically examine a number of topics and areas in a workplace. 

Students in Waterloo’s Political Science program study relations between citizens and government and the impact these relations have on race, gender, nationalism and capitalism.

Students explore fundamental issues concerning citizenship and rights. They may specialize in areas of constitutional and criminal law, public policy and administration, and international relations.

Students in Waterloo’s Political Science program learn critical thinking, analysis and communication skills. These skills are highly transferrable to many professional worlds.

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Psychology

Students of psychology, the study of the mind and behaviour, cover a broad range of topics. These include the nature of consciousness, the development of reasoning in children, the origins of racial prejudice, causes of social anxiety, behaviour in the workplace and many others.  

Through a wealth of educational experiences in the classroom, the laboratory and the field, students in Waterloo’s Psychology program are exposed to the cutting edge research methods, theories and experiments in the science of the mind that now appear in news headlines on an almost daily basis.

Students can specialize in one of six major areas of psychology:

  • clinical
  • cognitive
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • developmental
  • industrial/organizational
  • social

An educational background in psychology enables students to effectively consider why we think and behave the way we do, and why people react to certain situations. This knowledge and understanding is beneficial not only in everyday life, but it also helps prepare students to be leaders in the workforce.

Students also develop highly transferrable observational, analytical, communication and numeric skills through the investigation of minds and behaviour.

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Sociology

An arts education helps students develop their ability to think clearly, critically and creatively, as well as problem solve. Arts students can critically examine a number of topics and areas in a workplace.

Honours sociology students may choose co-operative education, either through the regular departmental co-op  or as part of the Arts and Business co-op program in the Faculty of Arts.

The Department of Sociology maintains active programs of research and writing. Students learn about topics including sociology, theory, criminology, family, gender, social stratification, politics, knowledge and religion, health, work and recreation, social psychology/symbolic interactionism and research methods.

Sociology students learn critical thinking, analysis and communication skills through their studies. These skills are highly transferrable to many professional worlds.

Valuable skills and attributes include:

  • strong critical thinking and analytical skills
  • ability to apply sociological concepts to work and social situations
  • well-developed communication and teamwork skills
  • ability to research, analyze and evaluate information

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