Design Your Degree

Emerging technology and changes to our physical and social environments are allowing us to reimagine products and services. These forces are inspiring new business models, placing new responsibilities on governments, and creating new opportunities in the not-for-profit sector. At SAF, we’re inspiring the next generation of leaders who will help drive change in all areas of society by redefining what it means to be an accounting and finance professional.

The world needs problem-solvers. The future of work requires professionals with outstanding accounting and financial analysis capabilities, data savviness, business and social awareness, an entrepreneurial mindset, and proven people/teamwork skills.

AFM offers you the freedom to design your own pathway through the program by making decisions about academic specialization, elective courses, and testing out co-op employment and co/extra-curricular experiences you find appealing. This flexibility allows you to align your values and interests with a customized learning experience so that you’ll be ready to lead the change and shape the future in whatever area of society that you wish.

Student standing in the Tathem Centre holding a UWaterloo padfolio

Years 1 and 2 - Get 'Choice Ready'

Year 1 and Year 2 of your academic journey is to build your academic foundations in accounting finance and get you choice ready for Year 3 + 4. You'll leverage and integrate your academic, co-op and co/extra-curricular experiences in Year 1 and 2 learn about the opportunities and options you have to futher explore your professional career journey. SAF Advisors, professors and the Performance Management modules aims to support your transition to the SAF community, inspire your engagement in your learning, foster your academic success, enhance your people skills, and prepare you for academic and employment choices/experimentation. Take advantage of the experiential learning opportunities such as events, workshops, interactive webcasts, and team-based problem-solving situations connected to your courses and extra-curricular situations to maximize your success within your first two years as an AFM student.

Your Year 1 Year 2 Roadmap

Fall 1A Term

Get acclimatized to university study and make a healthy transition to the SAF Community


  • Meet your classmates, faculty, advisors, mentors, and upper year students

  • Develop effective team-based study skills

  • Attend Launch Your Career to get prepared for co-op

  • Identify ways to get involved in the Community

Winter 1B Term

Gain the skills necessary to collaborate in teams, understand of the importance of personal and social responsibility, and start to learn about opportunities


  • Work with classmates on class projects and assignments

  • Start to develop your network, meet employers, and learn about professional accreditation and job opportunities at special events

  • Practice personal reflection and giving and receiving feedback to/from others

Fall 2A Term

Get Co-op Ready


  • Get the information and support you need to develop your strategy for your first co-op job search

  • Develop your résumé, practice interviewing

  • Prepare for success on the job

Fall 2B Term

Get Choice Ready


  • Reflect on your progress, learn more about customizing your degree with specializations and elective courses

  • Consider your ongoing engagement in the SAF Community and how you want to make an impact

  • Start to leverage your knowledge and your network to learn about and seize opportunities

Year 1 & 2 Course Roadmap

Year 1 and Year 2 Course Roadmap

In order to build foundations in accounting, finance and business, all AFM students must complete the following courses within their first two years of study.

Fall (1A) Term

  • AFM 111 - Professional Pathways & Problem-Solving
  • AFM 112 - Analytic Methods for Business
  • AFM 132 - Introduction to Business Stages
  • AFM 191 (currently listed as AFM 101) - Foundations for Financial Reporting
  • ECON 101 - Introduction to Micro Economics

Winter (1B) Term

  • AFM 113 - Analytic Methods for Business 2
  • AFM 121 - Introduction to Global Financial Markets
  • AFM 182  (currently listed as AFM 102) - Foundations for Management Accounting
  • BET 100 - Foundations of Entrepreneurial Practice
  • SPCOM 111 - Leadership, Communication and Collaboration

Spring Term

  • Off

Fall (2A) Term

  • AFM 205 - Introduction to Financial Services*

  • AFM 207 - Introduction to Performance Analytics*

  • AFM 206 - Introduction to Tax*

  • AFM 208 - Introduction to Assurance*

  • AFM 212 - Financial Analysis and Planning

  • AFM 273 - Financial Instruments and Capital Markets

  • Elective OR ECON 102 - Introduction to Macroeconomics

Winter Term

  • Work Term 1

Spring (2B) Term

  • AFM 241 - Impact of Technology on Business
  • AFM 244 - Analytic Methods for Business 3
  • AFM 274 -Introduction to Corporate Finance
  • AFM 291 - Intermediate Financial Accounting 1
  • Elective OR ECON 102 - Introduction to Macroeconomics

*Both AFM 205/207 and AFM 206/208 are 0.25 credits each. These courses are taken together in order to fulfill the necessary 0.5 credit requirement: AFM 205+207 = 0.5 credits and AFM 206+208 = 0.5 credits. Each course will run for 1/2 a term, one for the first 6 weeks, and the second for the last 6 weeks.

Years 3 & 4 - Customize Your Pathway

Get ready to lead change and shape the future by customizing your AFM pathway. Choose your Career Specialization(s), test out co-op employment, and engage in extracurricular activities in Years 3 + 4 to accumulate the knowledge and skills you’ll need.

You must select at least one Career Specialization. However, you can take two in order to truly customize your experience. If you decide to pursue one, you can use your remaining electives to mix and match from other fields of study at uWaterloo that interest you. Your goal should be to use your electives to gain the knowledge and skills to launch your career in the area(s) of society you want to impact.

Here is how it works:

You have 13 elective courses that you need to take in AFM. Specializations consist of 5 or 6 courses, but some courses can be applied to meet the requirements for multiple Specializations.

Step 1: Choose a primary Career Specialization. Students' primary Specializations are often Professional Accountant or Financial Markets, and sometimes Entrepreneurial Mindset or Sustainability. 

Step 2 (optional): Use remaining electives to combine your primary Career Specialization with a second one in order to develop breath of expertise or to connect your accounting/finance/business analysis competencies with study in another field of study at uWaterloo.

Step 3: Explore co-op and extra-curricular activities related to your academic choices to test out ideas, build your network and launch your career.

Minors and Studying Abroad

Minors are not a common component of an AFM degree as most require eight courses (0.5 credits each) to complete, and AFM students are required to use either 5 or 6 elective courses to pursue a Career Specialization. Students can use their remaining electives to pursue a complete a second Career Specialization instead of a Minor. The SAF advisor can help you figure out if a minor is a possible addition to your degree.

Studying abroad is an option in 4A and will need to be planned for in advance to allow students to meet the one Specialization requirement. More information can be found on the University of Waterloo's website.