History (BA)

Study the past to understand how and why change happens. This dynamic discipline challenges you to imagine how other people thought and lived in many places and conditions, from the ancient past to recent times. What sets Laurier apart is the program’s flexibility and variety of courses available starting in your first year. Focus your studies on what interests you: cultural or art history, social or military history, the history of crime or political history.

Apply Your Learning

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you’ll have access to in the History program:

Check out the History Experience Guide.


2020 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies


Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*


students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UH
Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: low 70s.
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: low 80s.
  • English at 60%.
Canadian Admission Requirements (Outside of Ontario)

Students applying to this program from a Canadian province outside of Ontario are encouraged to review our course equivalents by province chart. This chart will show you what courses from your province are equivalent to the admission requirements listed under Ontario High School Admission Requirements.

International Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program from an international curriculum are encouraged to review our curriculum-specific requirements; you must also meet all program-specific requirements listed under the Ontario High School Admission Requirements section.

English-Proficiency Requirement

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

If you do not meet Laurier's English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for Laurier applicants who have to prove English proficiency. If you have received an offer to Laurier with a condition to meet our English- proficiency requirement, you can meet that condition by successfully completing the LEAF program.

College Pathways

Graduates from a two-year general Arts and Science diploma program can apply to History within the Faculty of Arts on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. To be considered for admission to the Faculty of Arts, graduates must have an overall average of 75% in their program, as well as have achieved a minimum of 60% in a 4U English course or equivalent.

Learn more about our college transfer agreement.

Other Admission Requirements

Visit our admission requirements section to find specific requirements for university students, indigenous applicants, mature learners, homeschooled applicants, senior citizens, refugees, and more. 

Program Details

About the Department

Our History department offers a well-structured program designed to assure a breadth and depth of learning that will help you adapt to the rapidly changing modern world. Each year has its own academic objectives, and each year builds on the preceding year. In addition, the department offers a number of specialized travel and digital skills-building courses that are designed to enhance the Laurier study experience and build resumes.

Travel Courses

Our selection of field courses, often taught in collaboration with the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, are based on decades of providing experiential-learning travel course instruction to hundreds of students. Courses are led by full-time Laurier faculty, who take small groups of students to study abroad at sites of historical importance. In recent years, faculty have led tours to Russia, France and China.

Digital Skills Courses

Our department is the administrative home of the Faculty of Arts' Applied Digital Option, which combines the humanities and social sciences with the latest digital technologies. In our digital courses, you'll learn to use programs and apps to carry out research, create and edit documentary films, publish open source texts, and build websites.

Specialized Themes

Our program is built around specialized themes and focused historical research. Most History courses, from first to third year, involve lecture and discussion components. In third and fourth years, we work to provide small class sizes. Upper-level courses cover topics such as American Protest Music; Crime, Sex and Scandal in Victorian England; and the History of International Relations.

Fourth-Year Seminars

Fourth-year courses are seminars that represent the crowning experience of our honours History program. These courses promote discussion of historical literature and research on specific historical periods and themes. The classes are small and have an optimal size of about 15 students.

Seminars are double-weighted, which allows you to focus your attention on these engaging classes, reducing the number of courses you take in fourth year while maintaining your credit load. The research terms of the seminars give you an opportunity to engage in your own project (usually based on primary sources), and to really get to know your professors.

Program Options and Courses

Thematic Tracks

Take courses that focus on your interests. Our program is divided into thematic "tracks," including:

  • Culture
  • Peace and War Studies
  • Politics, Power and Law
  • The Arts and Society
  • Social Issues and Globalization

Options and Minors

In addition to your history courses, you can add an option or minor that allows you to dive deeper into your major area of study or broaden your knowledge:

  • Applied Digital Option
  • Legal Studies Option
  • Management Option
  • Music and Cultural History Option
  • Research Specialization

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

First-Year Courses

There are no required courses in the program; you can work in the areas of history that interest you most.

In your first year, you will take 1.0 credits in History courses; below is only a small sample of the first-year courses we offer:

  • Age of Extremes: Europe's 20th Century
  • Ancient Heroes: Story and Tradition
  • Great Battles in History
  • History and Popular Culture in the Modern World
  • Pirates! A World History
  • Revolution in the Modern World
  • The History of Alcohol
  • War, Conflict and Rebellion in the Middle Ages, 730-1500

In addition, you'll choose 4.0 elective credits in courses that interest you.

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Military Revolutions
  • Ottomans, Armenians and Genocide
  • The Ancient World in Contemporary Culture

Similar Programs


Co-op is a way to integrate what you are learning in the classroom with practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, earn money, develop your network, and graduate with work experience.

You can apply for admission to co-op in your first year and may be eligible for an admission interview early in your second year. As a student in this program, you will be eligible to complete paid work terms lasting 12 to 16 weeks.

Interested? Learn more about co-op.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.


"The History program at Laurier has so many opportunities that, quite frankly, you’re not going to find elsewhere. You’re so much more than just a number and professors take a genuine interest in not only your studies, but you as a person, as well. The History department has some of the most incredible, knowledgeable, passionate and kind professors at Laurier. Classes are small and you really get to know your professors."

Stephanie Plante, History graduate

"I currently work in a high-tech corporate environment and when I tell people that my background is in history, they're often shocked. History students at Laurier are trained to be a valuable addition to any workplace."

Caitlin Mulroney, History graduate

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • director of communications
  • diversity officer
  • foreign service officer
  • lawyer
  • public policy advisor
  • historical site administrator
  • museum curator
  • politician
  • teacher

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

"Laurier is a community. And the History program allows you to be your own historian and find your passion within the field. There are multiple opportunities to engage in history inside and outside of the classroom. Many professors offer research placement opportunities, there is a residence learning community (RLC) floor for History and many dinners and social events for the program."

Emma O’Toole, History graduate

Interested in More Info?

Email chooselaurier@wlu.ca, call 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.