Humanities Courses in Canada

Humanities Courses in Canada

Humanities Courses in Canada
Sailesh Sitaula

The field of humanities encompasses a wide range of disciplines that explore the human experience and our understanding of the world. Studying humanities allows students to delve into history, philosophy, literature, anthropology, sociology, political science, psychology, fine arts, cultural studies, and religious studies. Canada, known for its high-quality education system, offers numerous humanities courses for domestic and international students.

Introduction to Humanities Courses in Canada

Humanities courses in Canada provide students with a comprehensive understanding of human society, culture, and intellectual pursuits. These courses emphasise critical thinking, analytical skills, and a broad understanding of human experiences throughout history. Studying humanities allows students to explore diverse perspectives, develop empathy, and gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of the human condition.

Importance of Humanities Education

Humanities education is vital in nurturing well-rounded individuals who can contribute meaningfully to society. It fosters critical thinking, creativity, and a sense of cultural awareness. By studying humanities, students develop strong communication skills, the ability to analyse complex issues, and a deeper understanding of social, cultural, and ethical contexts.

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Popular Humanities Courses in Canada

Here is a compilation of some of the top universities in Canada that offer Arts and Humanities programs:

University of Toronto

Courses Offered: English, Political Science, Journalism, Social Work, Cinema Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, History, Theatre, Geography, Anthropology, and more.

University of Waterloo

Courses Offered: Digital Marketing, Economic Sustainability, Fine Arts, Sociology, Literature, Geography, French, Studio Art, and more.

Concordia University

Courses Offered: Fine Arts, Painting & Drawing, and more.

University of Ottawa

Courses Offered: English, Political Science, Theatre, Fine Arts, Communication, Languages, and more.

University of Calgary

Courses Offered: Fine Arts, Communication.

McGill University

Courses: English, Political Science, Theatre, Fine Arts, Communication.

University of Victoria

Courses Offered: Political Studies, Sociology, Languages, Theatre, Geography, and more.

University of Alberta

Courses Offered: Fine Arts, Music, Science & Technology, and more.

York University

Courses Offered: Fine Arts.

University of Montreal

Courses Offered: History & Sociology.

Simon Fraser University

Courses Offered: Communication & Interdisciplinary Arts.

University of British Columbia

Courses Offered: Media Studies, English, Film Studies, Political Studies, Visual Arts, Journalism, and more.

Western University

Courses Offered: Media & Journalism, Fine Arts.

Benefits of Studying Humanities in Canada

Studying humanities in Canada offers numerous benefits for students:

  1. Critical thinking skills: Humanities courses cultivate critical thinking and analytical skills, enabling students to analyse complex issues, evaluate evidence, and develop well-reasoned arguments.
  2. Cultural understanding: Humanities education fosters cultural understanding by exposing students to diverse perspectives, cultures, and historical contexts. This promotes empathy and tolerance.
  3. Communication skills: Studying humanities enhances communication skills, both written and oral. Students learn to articulate their thoughts effectively, write persuasively, and engage in meaningful discussions.
  4. Global perspectives: Humanities courses often focus internationally, encouraging students to examine global issues, cross-cultural interactions, and global challenges. This broadens their worldview.
  5. Personal growth: Humanities education promotes personal growth by encouraging self-reflection, introspection, and the exploration of fundamental questions about human existence and values.

Top Universities Offering Humanities Courses in Canada



QS Ranking


University of Toronto



McGill University



University of British Columbia



University of Alberta



McMaster University



University of Waterloo



University of Calgary



Queen's University



University of Ottawa



Several universities in Canada are renowned for their humanities programs. Here are some of the top institutions:

  1. University of Toronto: The University of Toronto offers various humanities courses across various departments, including History, English, Philosophy, and Sociology.
  2. McGill University: McGill University's Faculty of Arts offers humanities courses in Literature, History, Anthropology, and Political Science.
  3. University of British Columbia: The University of British Columbia's Faculty of Arts provides a rich selection of humanities courses, including Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, and Art History.
  4. University of Alberta: The University of Alberta offers humanities programs in English, Classics, History, and Religious Studies.
  5. University of Waterloo: The University of Waterloo's Faculty of Arts offers humanities courses that cover a broad range of disciplines, including Fine Arts, Cultural Studies, and Anthropology.

English Language Requirement



Bachelor's Degree

  • IELTS (6.5 or better with a minimum of 6.0 in the writing band or equivalent)
  • TOEFL (Computer Based) 80 - 90 or above
  • TOEFL (Paper Based) 600 or above
  • IB
  • GCE
  • SAT

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Admission requirements and application processes vary among universities and programs. Generally, prospective humanities students need to meet certain academic criteria, including a high school diploma or equivalent. Some universities may require specific prerequisite courses or the submission of a personal statement. It's important to research the admission requirements of each institution and follow the application instructions on their official websites.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Humanities Students

  • The Pierre Berton Scholarship is a $10,000 scholarship awarded to a student pursuing a humanities degree at a Canadian university. The scholarship is open to students who have demonstrated academic excellence and a strong interest in writing.
  • The Canada Council for the Arts offers a variety of scholarships and fellowships for artists and writers, including those working in the humanities. These awards are available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents pursuing a degree in the humanities at a Canadian university.
  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) offers a variety of scholarships and fellowships for graduate students in the humanities. These awards are available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in the humanities at a Canadian university.

Career Prospects for Humanities Graduates

Humanities graduates possess a range of transferable skills that are highly valued in various professional fields. While specific career paths may vary depending on the chosen discipline, humanities graduates often find employment in the following areas:

  • Education and academia
  • Journalism and media
  • Public service and administration
  • Non-profit organisations and NGOs
  • Cultural institutions and museums
  • Publishing and writing
  • Research and analysis
  • Public relations and communications
  • Arts and creative industries

The critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills developed through humanities education are in demand across industries and provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning and career advancement.


Humanities courses in Canada offer a diverse and enriching educational experience, fostering critical thinking, cultural understanding, and personal growth. Studying humanities equips students with valuable skills that can be applied in various professional fields. With top universities offering various humanities programs, Canada provides an excellent environment for students to pursue their academic and intellectual interests.


Are humanities courses only for students interested in pursuing academic careers?

No, humanities courses provide transferable skills valuable in various professional fields, including education, media, public service, and more.

Do humanities courses have a strong focus on reading and writing?

Yes, humanities courses emphasise reading and writing skills, essential for analysing texts, developing arguments, and effectively communicating ideas.

Are there any prerequisites for studying humanities in Canada?

Prerequisites may vary among universities and programs. It's important to check the specific requirements of each institution before applying.

What opportunities are available for humanities students to gain practical experience?

Humanities students can participate in internships, research projects, and community engagement programs to gain practical experience and apply their knowledge in real-world settings.

How can humanities graduates contribute to society?

Humanities graduates contribute to society by offering critical perspectives, promoting cultural understanding, and addressing social issues through their knowledge and skills.

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