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Credit Requirements and Regulations

Degree and Arts Credit Minimum

In order to earn their degree, students must complete at least 120 B.A.-eligible credits. Of these 120, at least 72 must be taken within the Faculty of Arts, except in cases where the program requires more than 48 credits outside of Arts1 (see below).

A minimum of 50% of total degree credits, 50% of upper-level degree credits, and 50% of upper-level specialization credits (Honours, Major or Minor) must be completed while registered as a student in the Faculty of Arts.

1Second degree students must consult Second Degree Studies.

Granting of Credit

Credit is granted for all courses completed with at least the minimum passing grade (normally 50%).

B.A.-eligible Credit

Credit may be applied toward completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree program as follows:

  • Credit from any course in the Faculty of Arts, with the exception of certain MUSC courses, may be applied to the degree.
    • Note that while all courses in music history, music theory, music technology, ethnomusicology, and music composition are acceptable, a maximum of 12 credits from the ensemble courses in musical performance may be applied. Credit from individual lessons is not applicable to the B.A.
  • Credit earned in Co-operative Work Placement courses is not applicable towards the Bachelor of Arts. See Arts Co-operative Education Programs.
  • No more than 60 credits of Distance Learning courses can be applied towards the Bachelor of Arts, and no more than 42 such credits may be taken in the final 60 credits of the degree program.
  • A maximum of 48 credits from outside the Faculty of Arts may be applied towards the degree. Students in programs that require more than 48 credits outside of Arts will be granted a relaxation of this requirement. For example, students completing a Major in Mathematics or Computer Science or those in the B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies Program with a Primary Category of Science may take more than 48 credits outside of Arts, to a maximum that will allow completion of program requirements.
    • Note that students granted a relaxation of this requirement must complete the maximum number of Arts credits possible within the degree’s 120 credit total and no non-Arts elective credit will be permitted.
    • Note, however, that students with a primary specialization in MATH or CPSC may be granted a further relaxation of the Arts Credit Minimum requirement (up to a maximum of 6 credits) by the Faculty of Arts on the recommendation of the Department(s). Requests must be made prior to course registration.

In the 120 credits required and acceptable for the degree, there may be:

  • a maximum of 60 credits transferred into the Faculty of Arts; see Transfer and Exchange Credit; and
  • a maximum of 72 credits in courses at the 100- and 200-level; and
  • a maximum of two courses, or 8 credits, at the 500-level. See Registration.

Course Equivalency and Credit Exclusion

Students may not earn credit for two courses with significant and pre-defined content overlap. Students are fully responsible for their registration, and are advised to check the Course Schedule for course equivalencies and to review the Science Credit Exclusion Lists to avoid unnecessary registration. Note that credit exclusion does not imply that courses are interchangeable, and meeting specialization requirements may necessitate the completion of a specific course. Students registering in courses dealing with probability and statistics should exercise particular caution.

Credit/D/Fail

Bachelor of Arts students are permitted to take a limited number of eligible elective credits under the Credit/D/Fail grading scheme. The purpose of allowing this grading scheme is to encourage exploration of subject matter outside the student’s program of study, to emphasize learning and academic exploration of the new and unfamiliar, and to expose students to a broader-based curriculum. See Credit/D/Fail. Students should note, however, that many larger programs, such as Honours specializations, may not be able to accommodate this option due to the small number of elective credits in the program.

Students should further be aware that there are strict rules about how credit earned with Credit/D/Fail grading may be applied to a degree. Choosing the wrong grading scheme may result in the need to take extra courses to complete degree requirements. Students considering this grading scheme are strongly encouraged to speak with an Academic Advisor for course planning and to check Degree Navigator after registration.

Credit earned with Credit/D/Fail grading may not be applied toward any of the following Degree Requirements:

  1. current or future specialization(s);
  2. the Writing and Research Requirement;
  3. the Literature Requirement;
  4. the Science Requirement;
  5. the final course for the Language Requirement;
  6. the Upper-Level Requirement; and
  7. the Outside Requirement.

Students who have not yet declared or been accepted into their specialization(s) should be particularly cautious when choosing this grading scheme. Students considering transferring to a new specialization or degree, or those contemplating a future application to Education, Law, Graduate Studies, Medicine, Dentistry, or other professional programs, should check those programs' websites.

Auditing Courses

Prior to the drop deadline, students may seek permission from the course instructor to audit a course. If permission is granted, and the course is completed to the satisfaction of the instructor, the course will appear on the transcript without credit. If the course is not satisfactorily completed, Fail (F) standing will appear on the transcript. Note that not all courses permit auditing and, as no credit is earned, audited courses may not be used to satisfy program or degree requirements.

Double-Counting

Double-counting is defined as applying credit from the same upper-level course towards requirements in two different specializations. Students enrolled in dual specializations are allowed to double-count credits between the two specializations, up to the following limits:

Dual-Specialization combination Double-counting maximum
Major and Minor 6 credits
Double Major 9 credits
Honours and Minor 9 credits
Honours and Major 12 credits
Double Honours 12 credits

Double-counting does not reduce the minimum number of upper-level credits required to complete the degree. See Summary, below.

Note: Applying credit from the same upper-level course towards more than one degree requirement, or towards both a degree requirement and a specialization-specific requirement, is freely permitted, and is not considered to be double-counting. For example, using PSYC 361 to fulfill 3 credits of the Bachelor of Arts Science Requirement as well as 3 credits of upper-level PSYC for the Major in Psychology is not defined as double-counting, nor is using credit from PSYC 361 towards both the Science Requirement and the degree’s Upper-Level Requirement.

Summary

The following table summarizes the minimum credits required for various degree program options. Note that some specializations and combinations of specializations may exceed these minimums. Note also that Cognitive Systems and Interdisciplinary Studies are exempt from the Outside Requirement.

Summary of Credit Requirements for B.A.
  Total Credits of which courses 300+ Total credits within specialization(s)1 of which courses 300+ Total credits outside specialization(s)
Major 120 48 42 30 60
Major+Minor 120 48 42+30 30+18 24
Double Major 120 60 42+42 30+30 24
Combined Major 120 48 30+30 18+18 48
Honours 120 54 60 48 48
Double Honours 120 60 60+60 48+48 24
1 May vary by specialization.

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