History (BA)

History challenges you to imagine how other people thought and lived in many places and conditions, from the ancient past to recent times. Study the past and its exceptional people through a variety of courses available starting in your first year. From cultural or art history, social or military history, the history of crime or political history, you can focus your studies on the periods, people and places that pique your interests.

New for 2024: Earn your Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History from Wilfrid Laurier University and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Sussex (United Kingdom) in only six years through our new pathway!

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:

  • Study abroad as part of your coursework by taking travel courses, such as the War and Memory summer course, where you'll visit memorials and battlefields across Europe.
  • Apply to live in the history-themed Residence Learning Community in your first year.
  • Volunteer or attend public lectures at the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada and to work and learn with in their fields.
  • Take a course with a Community Service-Learning component and apply what you are learning to the real world.
  • Explore Digital Humanities courses to learn how to critically analyze historical, political and social issues using contemporary digital technologies.
  • Pursue the BA + Master's pathway in History to gain conditional acceptance to our Master's in History program when you complete your undergraduate degree.

Check out the History Experience and Career Guide for more!


2022 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 2022

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term) or January (winter term)     OUAC code: UH (History); ULA (Sussex Law Pathway); UMA (BA + MA Pathway)

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.

Pathway to a Master's Degree

You can apply for a BA + Master's in History to receive two conditional offers of admission: one to undergraduate studies (BA) in History and one to graduate studie (MA) in History. 




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
  • Sport in the Modern World
  • Rise and Fall of the British Empire

Similar Programs

Teaching Option

Interested in a direct pathway to a Bachelor of Education?

Laurier’s undergraduate Teaching Option consists of 4.0 credits throughout your degree: five core half-credit courses offered through the Faculty of Education, plus three elective half-credit courses from an approved list. 

If you're admitted into and complete this Teaching Option pathway, you'll have earned a guaranteed spot in our Bachelor of Education (BEd) program, provided you meet all the admissions requirements, including:

A student writing on the whiteboard with two other students observing.


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

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 548.889.9999 or see all contact information.