Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Global Business and Digital Arts FAQS 

Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) is a program that's completely unique to the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business at the University of Waterloo.

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Do you offer co-op?

Starting Fall 2022, GBDA is a co-op program with a unique study/work sequence. We have integrated practical experience directly through the program including:

  • Course-based projects where students work with industry mentors
  • 4-work term opportunities
  • The development of an e-portfolio

Can I do a minor?

GBDA students have 6 elective courses. Most minors require that you complete 8-10 classes in that discipline. GBDA students wishing to complete a minor would be required to take extra courses, and those courses would need to fit into the student's schedule.  

I have to do a second language course - what are my options?

We offer many introductory language courses. You can select classes from Arabic, Latin, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. You can view all the options through the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar

Is there a specific computer I need to order?

GBDA students in class

We don’t require that students purchase a specific computer system or software suite for the duration of the program, however, many courses require the Adobe Creative Cloud. Please ensure your computer exceeds the system requirements to run Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and After Effects (After Effects is the most resource-intensive program). Creative Cloud licenses can be purchased at a significant discount from the W Store.

A few tips when looking for a computer:

  1. Get as much RAM as you can afford (at least 16 GB)
  2. Get the best video card you can afford (at 2 GB of GPU VRAM)
  3. Get the fastest processor you can afford (at least quad core)
  4. Get a Solid State Drive

Laptop Mag has a great write-up on what to look for when shopping for a laptop. Please note that Chrome OS is incapable of running many of the applications used in the program. Expect to spend over $1,000 on a laptop for it to adequately run the Adobe Creative Cloud programs.

We also highly recommend using an external hard drive or cloud-based backup system (students get 5TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and other Microsoft O365 apps). Students have lost months/years of work because their hard drives fail and they don't have a backup system in place. Apple and Windows come with backup software bundled with the Operating System but require an external hard drive.

Please refer to the following documents to configure them:

I'm in another program at Waterloo - can I take a GBDA class? 

Unfortunately no. Due to our differentiated tuition fee structure, and physical space limits, GBDA classes are only available to GBDA students.

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Is there a residence for GBDA students? 

Since 2017 GBDA has offered students the opportunity to live in a GBDA Living Learning Community. Connect with other first year students and upper-year students and participate in programming designed with your suggestions in mind. 

Where will I live when I am studying in Stratford?

Students find off-campus housing in the community - the Off-Campus Housing Office works with students and landlords to provide resources and support in arranging housing. There are a variety of student-focused accommodations in Stratford. Note that if planning to live outside of Stratford during upper years, transportation is the responsibility of the student.

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International Experience

Can GBDA students complete the Global Experience Certificate?

Yes! GBDA students can easily complete the GEC, as they complete many requirements as part of their program (e.g. 2 language courses, an internationally-focused course) and have the opportunity to do an international exchange

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