Honours Arts, Honours Arts and Business

Student typing on laptop.

Are you looking for a way to explore your interests and study a wide variety of courses? Honours Arts and Honours Arts and Business gives you the freedom to explore and find your passion before declaring your major from one of 30 options.

Both Honours Arts and the Honours Arts and Business give you the opportunity to sample a variety of courses, from your prospective major(s). Your prospective major(s) are the subject areas you are most interested in studying.

Why study Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business?

Honours Arts Honours Arts and Business
  • Flexibility to use your first 2 terms to sample a variety of courses across 30 Arts majors, in the humanities, social sciences, fine and performing arts, and languages and cultures.           
  • Gain skills that are essential to any career, including persuasive speaking, analysis, critical thinking, and more.
  • Gain paid work experience through the co-op program.
  • Flexibility to use your first 2 terms to sample a variety of courses across 30 Arts majors, plus business courses such as entrepreneurship, economics, accounting and more. 
  • Pursue your passion for Arts while gaining valuable business skills.
  • Gain paid work experience through the co-op program.

Social Development Studies (SDS) is one of the 30  Arts majors you can study with Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.  SDS offers a variety of courses in areas such as psychology, sociology, and social work. This unique combination will prepare you for a future in which you will create positive change. SDS also provides you with hands on community engagement experience, as well as the option for co-op.

The combination of Social Development Studies (SDS) and business courses has provided me with a strong foundation for success. I am able to integrate my passion for social change with technical business skills to effectively communicate and problem solve, which is an asset to any organization.

MAYA,Honours Arts and Business student, Social Development Studies major


There are a number of pathways for entry into the Honours Arts and Honours Arts and Business programs. Most commonly, applications come from those graduating high school, or transferring from a college program.

The table below outlines some of the most common requirements. 

High School student/recent graduate

Admission average: Low 80s

  • Six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including English 4U (minimum grade of 70% is required)

Recommended courses:

  • For Social Science programs such as Anthropology; Economics; Political Science; Psychology; Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies; Social Development Studies; or Sociology.
  • Mathematics of Data Management is recommended as helpful background for the program.
  • For Economics: Calculus and Vectors is also recommended; however, you may decide to take an introductory calculus course in first year to acquire additional background.
College student/recent graduate

Admission average: Minimum cumulative college average of 80%

  • Any Grade 12 English 4U (minimum grade of 70% is required), OR a college English/communications equivalency
University student/recent graduate

Admission average: Minimum cumulative university average of 65%

  • Any Grade 12 English 4U (minimum grade of 70% is required)
Not studying in Ontario?

Gain paid experience through co-op

The University of Waterloo has the largest co-op program in North America! Co-op is available with all 29 Arts majors, in both Honours Arts and Honours Arts and Business. Co-op gives you the opportunity to gain paid work experience, explore potential career options, and further prepare you for your future.


  • Apply what you've learned in the classroom to real-life work settings
  • Get hands-on experience in your field of study
  • Gain up to two years of meaningful, relevant work experience on your résumé
  • Improve your interview skills and learn how to search for work
  • Create connections through networking with employers and coworkers
  • Explore alternate career paths and different work environments around the globe
  • Earn money to help pay for tuition and costs of living
  • Learn more about yourself and your overall career direction


Sample co-op jobs for Honours Arts, and Honours Arts and Business students

  • Legal office assistant
  • Junior marketing writer/proofreader
  • Human resources trainee
  • Marketing communications associate
  • Research analyst
  • Policy and research assistant
  • Developer community associate
  • Community relations coordinator


To apply to a co-op program, you must check the co-op box on your Ontario Universities' Application Centre application.

If you apply to a co-op program that is also offered through the regular system of study and you're not admitted to co-op, you'll automatically be considered for the regular program if spaces are available.

Co-op and regular systems of study are available to both Canadian and international students.

Co-register at Renison

You can co-register and complete your degree here at Renison University College. By co-registering you will be both a University of Waterloo and Renison student.

As a Renison student you will have access to smaller class sizes, academic advisors, student leadership opportunities, and more! All while still earning a Waterloo Bachelor of Arts Degree.


  Like any Waterloo student, you'll have access to   As a Renison student, you'll also have access to
Campus services

All of Waterloo’s facilities and services: Health Services, Counselling Services, Student Success Office, Co-op, Centre for Career Action, AccessAbility Services, and more


Renison campus services, including a lower student-to-advisor ratio than on Waterloo's main campus, wellness support, libraries, and more

Scholarships Scholarships and bursaries offered through Waterloo's main Student Awards and Financial Aid office PLUS Renison entrance and upper-year scholarships

Waterloo fitness and recreation programs, varsity teams


Intramural teams and wellness programming at Renison

Student Life

All Waterloo student clubs and organizations


Student life programming and leadership opportunities for students of all years at Renison

Student government

The campus-wide Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association


Student unions at Renison and the opportunity to represent the University Colleges on the main campus


Any on-campus Waterloo residence or off-campus housing


Priority for a spot in residence at Renison if you co-register and rank Renison first on your Residence Community Ranking form before the deadline to accept an offer of admission in June

Classes Take classes at Renison and/or at the main Waterloo campus. Renison offers smaller class sizes, a supportive learning environment and additional academic supports, e.g. peer leaders, drop-in help, and workshops.


Honours Arts Honours Arts and Business                

There are two ways to co-register.

  1. Apply directly to Honours Arts at Renison. 
    • Select Renison as your campus on your Ontario Universities' Application Centre application.
    • How to apply for admission.
  2. Apply to Honours Arts on Waterloo's main campus.
  • Apply to Honours Arts and Business (available through Waterloo's main campus only).
  • Email the Registrar's Office at Renison and ask to co-register.
    • You can do this after you apply or receive an offer of admission.                                                                                

Want to learn more about Renison and Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business? 

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