Maybe you love history but you are also part of the real world

In our History program, you don't have to choose between the two.

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Regular Academic Study or Co-op?

An Honours History degree can be taken as either regular academic study or co-op. The History co-op program gives students the ability to study and complete their degree while earning income and gaining valuable work experience between academic study terms. The academic requirements of an Honours History degree are identical whether you choose regular academic study or co-op.

Students should apply for entry into the Honours History co-op program near the end of 1B term when you declare a major for second year. You will then complete six further terms of study on campus (2A/B, 3A/B, 4A/B) and at least four work terms with participating employers in fields such as education, archives, business, government, industry, and the non-profit sector.

The University of Waterloo has a world-renowned co-operative education program. There are advantages to taking both regular academic study and the co-op option. It is up the student to decide which path is better, based on his or her own personal preference. The following chart indicates differences between the two paths.

         Regular Academic Study

         Co-op with Academic Study

  • Typically enroll in courses for Fall and Winter terms with Spring terms off.  
  • Can complete an Honours History BA in 4 years.
  • Freedom to take courses in any of the three terms of the year, including spring term if you want to graduate sooner.
  • No term-by-term adjustments between study and work; no moves between cities or residences.
  • Focus on academic study.
  • Do not have to find a job between study terms.
  • A quicker path to graduation, graduate studies, teacher’s college, or professional schools.
  • Alternate work-study terms, with at least one academic term in Spring.
  • Normally requires 5 years to finish an Honours History BA with Co-op.
  • Earn income between study terms.
  • Might enjoy the variety and change of alternating work and study terms.
  • Gain valuable work experience while making connections to a potential career workplace after graduation.
  • Build your resume while finishing a degree.
  • Can work a variety of jobs to discover what you enjoy most.

Co-op Requirements

Students can request co-op when they apply for entry into an Honours History academic plan (at the end of 1B or start of 2A term) with a minimum average of 70% in their History courses. They will then complete six more terms of study on campus and a minimum of four work terms and four work term reports. An employer evaluation is required for each work term undertaken. This chart shows the History co-op sequence:

Honours History Co-op Sequence

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Semester F W S F W S F W S F W S F W
Term 1A 1B - 2A - 2B - 3A - 3B - - 4A 4B
Sequence ST ST OFF ST WK ST WK ST WK ST WK WK ST ST
  • F = Fall semester, September - December
  • W = Winter semester, January - April
  • S = Spring semester, May - August
  • ST= Study
  • WK = work


Which degree options in History are eligible for co-op?

History students at Waterloo can take advantage of the co-op program to get valuable, paid, work experience during their undergraduate degree.

Co-op is available to students in Honours History. Admissions to co-op is based on Year One academic results (grades) and occurs in late May or early June.

Co-op is available to students in Honours History Arts and Business co-op.


How many work terms are required?

Co-op students in the Faculty of Arts must successfully complete four work terms and submit four satisfactory work reports. A work report must be submitted for each of the four work terms.

The first work report, which is to be completed during the student’s first work term, will be satisfied by successful completion of PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace (i.e., successful completion of PD12 equals credit for work report one).

Historians in the Workplace

For real-world examples of historians in the workplace, see our Alumni page where graduates from our History program share their stories about the career path they took after graduation.

To learn about a variety of careers obtained by historians throughout Canada, visit the Canadian Historical Association's website where many graduates are profiled.

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