future students

Imagine making an impact on the people around you and the communities we live in. Bring positive change to society – locally, nationally and internationally.

What makes Social Development Studies (SDS) so unique?  Diversity and flexibility.  Learn about social issues in local, national and global contexts, and build the skills needed to enact change, and make a difference.

You will study psychology, sociology, social work and interdisciplinary SDS courses and have the opportunity to focus your learning where your passion lies. 

Get hands on experience through our Research Apprenticeship, where you will work alongside a faculty member assisting them in conducting their research.  Gain valuable experience through our Applied Apprenticeship, where students combine classroom learning with a volunteer placement in a local community agency.

The combination of experiential and classroom learning and connecting with local agencies will help prepare you for a career in professions such as social work, counselling, education, public service, human resources, or law.  Have a look at what SDS grads are doing.

Check out our SDS Spotlight, where we share the stories of our SDS students: current and graduates.  

Advantages of a Close-Knit Community

The Social Development Studies Department is based at Renison University College, which is located on the University of Waterloo Campus. You will receive a University of Waterloo degree upon completion, after taking many of your classes at Renison. If you choose to live in residence at Renison in your first year most of your classes will be in the same building.

Small class size makes for an amazing learning environment. You can ask questions, participate in group discussions, and get to know your classmates and professors. Become part of a close-knit community that supports your academic learning and personal growth!

Living-Learning Community

As a first year student, you will be part of the Living-Learning Community.  You will grouped into "clusters" of 8-16 SDS students living within your residence.

Whether you're staying up late to study for a test or getting together to work on a group project, it's reassuring to know that those around you are sharing similar experiences.

Upper-year peer leaders will organize academic events and study skills workshops throughout the year and be there to show you the ropes. Learn more about Student Life at Renison.


Visit the Renison Awards, Scholarships & Bursaries Page to learn about entrance and continuing scholarships and awards for Social Development Studies students.