Looking for Flexibility? Choose a Bachelor of Arts

By University of Waterloo Modified on November 11, 2020

Learn about the subjects, skills, and opportunities offered through an Arts degree.

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Learn about the subjects, skills, and opportunities offered through an Arts degree.

Do you want the flexibility to study several subjects? Or are you thinking of pursuing further education such as law, teacher's college, business, or a master's degree? A Bachelor of Arts may be the right fit for you. This degree lets you gain expertise in your chosen major and a breadth of knowledge in many subjects.

What is a Bachelor of Arts degree?

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) is a university degree that focuses on subjects within the liberal arts, humanities, social sciences, languages and culture, and fine arts. A bachelor's degree is usually the first degree you would earn in university after finishing high school and takes three to five years to complete.

What you study in a BA

Many BA programs are very flexible, allowing you to study a range of subjects or to really focus on one or two. Taking courses in the arts will allow you to develop critical thinking skills to analyze issues, make persuasive arguments, write well, and speak with confidence — skills that will serve you well in any career path.

You'll have a major which will be your main subject of interest and focus. A large portion of your courses will be on that subject, but you'll have the freedom to take courses in other subjects, too. Majors vary depending on the university. Some of the Arts majors offered by the University of Waterloo include Anthropology, Gender and Social Justice, Legal Studies, Political Science, and much more.

Postpone the commitment

Some universities, including Waterloo, have a general first-year BA program. You'll use your first two terms to explore various subjects. Sample courses like Popular Potter, Psychology and Law, Classical Mythology, and more. At the end of your first year, you'll decide which subject(s) you'll focus on for the remainder of your degree.

If you have several subjects you're passionate about, many universities allow you to choose two majors (a double major) and/or a minor. A minor usually consists of 8 to 10 courses in a particular subject and allows you to include a second area of interest as part of your degree. If you're unsure of what major is right for you, here are some suggestions on how to choose a program in the Faculty of Arts.

Schools may also offer unique programs such as Honours Arts and Business at Waterloo. In this program, you pick the major you're passionate about then layer on business classes that teach you the practical skills employers are looking for.

Graduate with work experience

Many BA programs will offer a (paid) co-op option. By adding co-op to your degree, you can explore careers related to your major. Different universities do co-op differently. At Waterloo, you'll alternate between four months in school and four months as a full-time employee of the organization you're working for. Co-op is an amazing way to learn to successfully interview for jobs, see how your degree relates to real-life problems, make connections with potential future employers, and graduate with valuable work experience.

Although there are many options and decisions to make when applying for university, we know you'll make the right choice! We hope this article helped you better understand what a BA is and the opportunities it can give you.


Browse Arts programs offered by Waterloo

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