Social Development Studies - a leader in online learning!

Student at a computer

Renison class sizes are under 50 students and, as a result, we have small classrooms. To ensure the best experience for students, and abide by expected Public Health guidelines, SDS courses will be fully online for the Fall 2021 term. This decision was made in careful consultation with faculty and staff. We believe that this decision represents the safest approach to the current health crisis, and complies with public health guidelines. We are anticipating offering as many in person classes as possible for the Winter 2022 term. 

Did you know? SDS has been offering online programming for over a decade!

Social Development Studies (SDS) has been providing alternatives to in-class learning for over 20 years. SDS students have the opportunity to complete their degrees in a variety of ways, based on their personal circumstances. Some students choose to study in traditional in-person classes, while others complete their degree exclusively online. Many SDS students choose to take a combination of in-person and online courses - almost 60% of SDS students were already taking either a blend of online and in-person courses, or were studying exclusively online, before the onset of COVID-19. 

 28.4 per cent of students were taking classes exclusively online, 30.7 per cent took a combination of online and in-person classes, 40.9 per cent took only in-person classes.

Percentages of SDS students taking online learning courses, a mix of online and in-person courses, and strictly in-person courses, pre-COVID-19.  

Since our required courses and many elective courses are already offered in an online format, SDS students are able to begin their degree studies online, and transition to in-person coursework when it is safe to do so. Many students will come to enjoy the flexibility of online learning, and may choose to take a combination of online and in-person courses in the future. There is so much uncertainty in the world due to COVID-19, but we are certain that we can help students begin their education online, and transition to the learning method that is right for them. 

SDS - a longtime leader in online learning. 

Get a glimpse of what online learning at Renison is like. Hear from various perspectives on the format of online learning, its advantages, and the supports you will receive. 

The SDS online learning portal.

Here is a sample of what an online SDS course looks like. See how easy it is to view your lectures, download slides, complete quizzes, and connect with your instructor through our online portal. 


It really made a difference that both of my professors made a point of encouraging students to reach out. They seemed to really care about us students on a personal level and made it clear they wanted to provide as much support to help us be as successful as possible (in online courses).

AMBER, Social Development Studies Student in IntroDUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

Connect with us to learn more about the online experience

We are eager to connect with you, answer your questions, and get to know you before you join the online Renison community in the fall. 

Book a virtual call with a member of our community today! 

Academic Staff

 student experience and online learning.



Connect with a member of our academic team, a current online student, or a recruitment specialist by filling out this form

Student Supports

SDS offers individualized student support, for both online and in-person students. While online, students are supported by SDS academic advisors, who are available via email, phone, or virtual meetings, to help students reach their academic goals. SDS students also benefit from upper-year student mentorship through the SDS Buddies program that matches new students with an upper-year mentor, and through the SDS Peer Leaders who provide virtual support, one-on-one meetings, and organized study sessions. There is also an online support group for new SDS students! And, of course, students are able to connect with professors during their office hours. 

For additional resources, answers to frequently-asked questions, and more - check out the SDS Online Learning Resource page

Here are just a few of the additional resources you can access to help you manage academic life and thrive while learning online:


Interested in living in residence? 

Renison Residence is currently accepting residence applications for the Fall 2021 term. To help keep our community safe, Renison is commiteed to offering single residence room accommodations for students who wish to live on-campus during their studies. 

Learn how to apply to Renison Residence

Stay social. Stay connected.

Be sure to follow @renisoncollege to stay connected to our community and get a glimpse of life as a Renison student.

Student in SDS

Students cooking with Tim

Students on Warrior Tennis team


Want to learn more about Renison? 

Meet Cassidy!


Hi! I'm Cassidy, the Marketing, Recruitment, and Outreach Officer at Renison and I'm here to support you! I can answer all your questions about what to expect as an online SDS student,  or general inquiries about the University of Waterloo. 

You can reach me through: