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Program Details

Rather than describing the International Education Studies (IES) program requirements here, we encourage you to become familiar with the Academic Calendar. Please make note that you must follow the academic calendar for the year that you started the program. An additional tool for you to keep track of your progress is MyDegree. Start consulting it early in your degree, and make sure you know how to interpret it. MyDegree offers some powerful tools for you to plot out your degree plans, see what courses are required, and get a rough idea of when you will be finished.

It is also important to access academic advising during your program. You should make a point of getting to know the IES Program Administrator, who can answer questions about degree requirements, help you chart your progress, and explain the process for third-year placements. The Program Coordinator is also available to provide further academic advising. Just send an email to and we will make sure your query goes to the right person.


One thing you will notice in the academic calendar is a required language credit. This requirement ensures that students in the program understand the benefits and challenges of learning another language. The minimum is 1.0 credit in non-English language courses. Usually this should be taken in the first year of your program, but it can be taken later if necessary. If you are an ESL learner during your degree, you may be eligible to have this requirement replaced with courses that are focussed on writing and academic skills.


Our partnership with Conestoga College provides an excellent opportunity to earn a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), while earning your Bachelor of Arts degree. Students who choose this option complete the TESL certificate by enrolling for one term as full-time students at Conestoga, normally in the fall of year 3 in their program. The TESL certificate is offered at the Conestoga College campus, just two blocks from Laurier's Waterloo campus.

To enrol in these certificate courses at Conestoga College and have them also count toward your IES degree at Laurier, you must obtain a Letter of Permission by submitting the online request form.

If you decide not to do the TESL certification, you will instead need to complete an additional 1.0 language credit, along with 1.5 credits that you can use for other electives.


International Education Studies does not lead to an Ontario teaching certification, but our education-focussed courses and placements make it an excellent preparation for you to apply to a Bachelor of Education program (BEd). You can apply to a BEd at Laurier, or to other such programs in Canada, or even abroad, depending on where you want to teach.

Laurier’s Faculty of Education is excited to be able to offer IES graduates a preferential application pathway to its BEd program. To qualify for the pathway at time of application, you must meet the requirements listed in the academic calendar.

BEd programs are available at Primary/Junior (grades K-6), Junior/Intermediate (grades 4-10), and Intermediate/Senior (grades 7-12) levels. Laurier offers only the first two of these.

To be considered for admission to a BEd program in most Ontario Universities, Junior/Intermediate applicants require 3.0 credits in a teachable subject specialization. Intermediate/Senior applicants usually require 5.0-6.0 credits in their first teaching subject specialization and 3.0 credits in their second subject specialization. Primary/Junior applicants are not required to have a subject specialization unless they wish to pursue French as a Second Language. For more details on becoming an Ontario teacher, please refer to the Ontario College of Teachers webpage 'Becoming a Teacher'.

Certification in the following teaching specializations is available to IES students at Laurier: Math, English, French as a Second Language, History, Music (Vocal or Instrumental) and Geography. Some conditions apply, so do research about your eligibility ahead of time. Students in the IES program can organize their elective courses to complete one Junior/Intermediate teaching specialization, but to complete the two required specializations for Intermediate/Senior BEd programs, you would need additional semesters of undergraduate study.


Taking the credits for a teaching specialization is very similar to taking a minor, and in many cases you will be able to declare a minor if you are taking the credits for a teachable subject. You may also decide to pursue a minor in other subjects, especially if you are considering a career path other than teaching.

In addition to minors, at Laurier you can also pursue an Option. Options are specialized areas of study that supplement our major programs. Some of the Options that IES students might consider include the Social Entrepreneurship Option, International Policy Option, Muslim Studies Option, Child and Family Studies Option, or Intercultural Understanding Option. See the Minors and Options pages of the university website for more information.

Note that the Education minor and the Teaching Option are not available to IES students, since you are already studying an education-focussed curriculum.