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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 23, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies at Laurier

Cultural Studies engages in the analysis of art and literature, science and technology, media and popular texts, and everyday meanings and practices as a way in which to explore larger social issues of class, gender, sexuality, race, power and the shape of history.

This is an interdisciplinary program, borrowing from English, sociology, anthropology, communication studies, geography and music. 

As a student in Cultural Studies, you might deal with topics such as

  • youth and subculture
  • globalization 
  • identity 
  • theme parks
  • music 
  • visual cultural 
  • culture of work and play 
  • analysis of social rituals 
  • values and belief systems
  • popular culture’s role in social change

Program highlights 

  • KS 300: Cultural Studies in Action is a unique, third-year course that allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the practice of Cultural Studies through volunteerism. Placements include cultural organizations such as museums, galleries and theatres, or social justice organizations like the food bank, Habitat for Humanity and literacy programs. 

Courses offered 

First year 

  • Culture in Historical Perspective
  • Culture in Thematic Perspective 

Popular courses

  • Cartoons and Comics
  • Cultural Studies in Action (includes 10 hours of community service)
  • Cultural Studies of Popular Music

Admission requirements 

4U Requirements IB Requirements  Admission Range
English at 60% HL or SL English at 4 

Mid 70s

IB Minimum score: 28 


Cultural Studies, taken in combination with another honours program, provides a diverse knowledge base that is prized by employers. Cultural Studies graduates can find careers in areas ranging from advertising and marketing, to media, journalism, writing, advocacy, and cultural administration and policy.

Student Experience 

0000Foster.jpg“I didn’t choose cultural studies – it chose me,” says Marcie Foster. “I had more fun and learned more in my cultural studies courses than in my other first-year lectures, and the other cultural studies students slowly became a kind of academic family.” 

Foster likes how the Cultural Studies program brings together theory and practice in a way that is both critical and creative. “Learning heavy theory only has a benefit if you can use it to look at the world and see how important critical thought is,” she argues. As the lead reporter with Laurier’s on-campus newspaper, The Cord, an academic mentor, member of the Philosophy Club and president of the Laurier Campus Greens, Foster enjoys applying her studies to the world around her. 

After graduation, Foster is considering either a master’s degree in Philosophy or a career in journalism. “I know my degree has prepared me well for a variety of fields,” she says, “and it’s just a matter of deciding which one fits me and knowing it will take me where I want to go.”

Faculty Experience 

0000Bourtos__Alexandra.jpg“I am a pop culture and digital media junkie,” says Dr. Alexandra Boutros. “I love that working at WLU allows me not only to indulge my addiction, but also to critically explore the workings of media and culture both in my own research and with my students.”

Cross appointed in the Cultural Studies program and the Communications Studies Department, Boutros is interested in the intersection of media, technology and identity within the context of religious, social and cultural movements. Her recent co-edited volume (with Will Straw), Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Mobility, considers city planning, urban culture and social behaviour as a means through which to revitalize the ways we have commonly defined the city.