Deciphering Your Degree


Degrees Offered by the College of Arts & Science

The College of Arts & Science offers a wide variety of degree options to students. Although not mandatory for earning a degree, most options allow students to complete a minor, recognition, specialization, or certificate within their degree requirements. 

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Three Year

Students must complete a minimum of 90 credit units to earn a three year degree. These degrees allow students to pursue careers requiring completion of a recognized undergraduate level degree in any discipline. Students may also take a three year degree to complement a professional program. Students applying to a non-direct entry college in their senior years, such as Dentistry, Law, or Pharmacy, often find these degrees a good fit while they complete their required prerequisite courses and/or years of study.  

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Four Year

Students must complete a minimum of 120 credit units to earn a four year degree. Students in four year degree programs must fulfill more senior level major requirements as well as more senior level elective requirements compared to three-year degrees. Four year degrees are the most commonly pursued degree in Arts & Science. 

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Honours

Students who would like more intensive training and who meet the higher cumulative weighted average (CWA) requirements may complete an Honours degree. Students must complete at least 120 credit units but require more major related courses and less electives than in the four year degree. Honours degrees are especially suitable for students who plan to study at the graduate level (Masters or Ph.D.). Students can apply to the Honours program once they complete a minimum of 60 credit units with a CWA of at least 70% overall and in the subject of their Honours. 

The Bachelor of Arts and Science (B.A. & Sc.) Four-year or Honours

Students must complete a minimum of 120 credit units and will have the opportunity to study a program with major requirements in both an Arts and a Science subject. The B.A. & Sc. Honours degrees are subject to the same criteria as the Honours degrees listed above. 

The Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) or Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) Honours

Students must complete between 120-126 credit units and can choose to specialize in a number of different fields. Incoming students applying to the B.Mus. degree must complete an interview, an audition, and a theory placement exam. Students interested in one of these degrees are strongly encouraged to meet with the Department of Music to review specific admission procedures. 

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Honour

Students interested in completing the B.F.A. Honours degree can choose between the areas of Drama (120 credit units) and Studio Art (120 credit units plus exhibition). Students interested in this degree are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor in the Department of Art & Art History or Drama to review specific admission procedures. 


Credit requirements by degree type

  Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Science Bachelor of Arts & Science Bachelor of Music Bachelor of 
Fine Arts
  3 Yr. 4 Yr. Hon. 3 Yr. 4 Yr Hon. 4 Yr Hon. 4 Yr Hon. Hon.
36 36-39 36-39 36-42 39-42 39-42 36 36 30-33 30-33 30
24-30 30-69 45-69 24-42 36-60 48-60 54-63 54-63 90-96 90-96 54-69
Up to 30 Up to 54 Up to 39 Up to 30 Up to 45 Up to 33 Up to 30 Up to 30 - 18
Total credit units 90 120 120 90 120 120 120 120 120-126 120-126 120

Please note that many students take more than three years to complete a Three-year degree or more than four years to complete a Four-year or Honours degree. Students may enroll in fewer courses per term so they have more time to focus on their courses, work part-time, or participate in extra-curricular activities. 

If you don’t know what type of degree you want to pursue, don't panic! You do not have to decide right now, and you can always change your mind if your original choice is not right for you. You can, however, use the information in this section to help choose your first year courses for the degree type that most suits you. If you are unsure what degree type you plan to pursue, you can choose your courses to keep a variety of options open.


Program Types and Majors

Your major is the subject area you choose to specialize in.  It is also the subject or program area where you will take the majority of your courses. With over 60 options to choose from, the College of Arts & Science is sure to have something that piques your interest- but where to start? To help you narrow down the field, all of our majors can be divided into the following program types based on subject matter:

Humanities (Program Type A – B.A.)

Humanities programs include the study of people’s history, language, literature, philosophy, and religion. Students majoring in humanities subjects usually enjoy writing and doing library-based research. 

Social Sciences (Program Type B – B.A. or B.Sc.)

Social science programs include the study of how societies and people function. Students majoring in social sciences usually enjoy analyzing human behavior and doing social research projects. 

Sciences (Program Type C – B.Sc.)

Science programs include the study of technology and the physical world. Students majoring in sciences usually enjoy mathematics, experimentation, and laboratory research. 

Fine Arts (Program Type D – B.A.)

Fine arts programs include the study of artistic expression. Students in these programs are artistically talented or are interested in the creative process. This program type provides students with a strong academic foundation in liberal arts, combined with a studio or performance component. 

Fine Arts (Program Type E & F – B.F.A.)

These programs offer a more studio-intensive or performanceintensive experience in the areas of studio art, acting, and theatre design. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in fine arts are encouraged to consider B.F.A. programs. 

Fine Arts (Program Type G – B.Mus.)

The Bachelor of Music is a performance-intensive program that allows students to specialize in Composition and Theory, Musicology, Individualized, or Performance. Students interested in teaching music can complete a B.Mus. in Music Education degree followed by entry into the College of Education and completion of the B.Ed. degree. Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in music composition, theory, or performance are encouraged to consider the B.Mus. program.

Combined Arts & Science (Program Type J – B.A. & Sc.)

This program type is available for students who wish to combine science with one or more of the humanities, social sciences or fine arts. The programs currently available to students are Environment & Society, Health Studies, and Interactive Systems Design.

Interdisciplinary Majors (Program Type varies)

Instead of choosing one specific discipline, interdisciplinary majors allow students to take a variety of courses across disciplines, making connections between them. A list of interdisciplinary majors can be found in the table below. 

You may already know which area you wish to major in, or you may have only been able to narrow it down to a program type.  You do not have to choose your major right now, but if there are subject or program areas you are interested in, it is important to take introductory courses in those areas in your first year.  This way, you will have the required prerequisites to take seniorlevel courses in these areas in your later years of study.  The following are subject areas that you can major in, listed by program type.

A Humanities B.A. Classical, Mediaeval & 
Renaissance Studies* English
Modern Languages
Philosophy Religion & Culture
B Social Sciences B.A. Aboriginal Public
Business Economics* Economics
Indigenous Studies
International Studies*
Northern Studies*
Political Studies
Regional & Urban Planning*
Women’s & Gender Studies
C Sciences B.Sc. Anatomy & Cell Biology
Applied Mathematics
Biochemistry & Biotechnology*
Biotechnology, Microbiology &
Computer Science
Environmental Biology
Environmental Earth
Food Science*
Mathematical Physics*
Microbiology & Immunology
Physiology & Pharmacology
D Fine Arts B.A. Art (Art History) Art (Studio Art) Drama Music  
E Fine Arts B.F.A.   Art (Studio Art)  
F Fine Arts B.F.A. Drama (Acting) Drama (Design)  
G Fine Arts B.Mus. Music (Composition & Theory) Music (Individualized)
Music (Music Education)
Music (Performance)
Music (Musicology)
J Combined B.A. & Sc. Environment and Society* Health Studies* Interactive Systems Design*

*Denotes interdisciplinary majors

For more detailed information on the programs and majors offered by the College of Arts and Science, please refer to the Course and Program Catalogue. 


Fulfilling Your Degree Requirements

Before a B.A. or B.Sc. degree can be awarded, the College requires its students to complete specific courses and meet certain regulations. All students pursuing a B.A. or B.Sc. must fulfill 7 different requirements to complete their degree. These requirements can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Requirements #1 through #5 are called Distribution Requirements. Distribution requirements expose students to all areas considered important in a liberal arts education. Whether you are pursuing the B.A. or B.Sc. degree, you must complete a variety of courses outside of your specialization. Many first year students choose to take a mix of distribution requirements to help them narrow down areas of interest for their major. When choosing your distribution requirements there are a couple of restrictions to keep in mind:

    For each of the Requirements 1 to 5, students must choose from a list of acceptable courses to fulfill the required number of credit units. For the full list of acceptable courses for each Program Type, go to the Course and Program Catalogueand select the Academic Information & Policies tab to view the B.A. and B.Sc. Degree Requirements. Please note, many majors will list specific courses that must be completed within the distribution requirements, so always consult the Course and Program Catalogue.  

    No course may be used simultaneously in two or more of the Requirements 1 to 5. For example, if FREN 122.3 and FREN 125.3 are used to fulfill the Language requirement, they may not be used to fulfil the Humanities requirement as well.      

    No more than 6 credit units from one subject may be used in Requirements 1 - 4 in Program Types A, B, D, or in Requirements 1 - 5 of Program Type C. For example, if ENG 110.6 is used in the Language Requirement, no other course in English may be used in the Humanities Requirement.

  2. Requirement #6 refers to the senior (200-level and higher) courses required in your major. Normally students cannot take senior level courses until they have completed the 100 level prerequisites or a minimum number of university credit units, so don’t worry about these until after your first year. Please note that for B.A. programs there are a maximum number of courses that you can take in any one subject. For a Four-year or Honours degree it is 60 credit units and for a Three-year degree it is 42 credit units

  3. Requirement #7 refers to your electives. These are courses you choose because of interest or because they will strengthen your understanding of your major.  Some departments require you to take certain electives (cognate courses) as part of your degree requirements. Electives may also be used to complete a Certificate of Proficiency, minor in another subject, receive recognition in a language, or meet admission requirements for another college.  




A-Humanities B-Social Sciences C –Sciences D – Fine Arts
1 12 c.u. Humanities 12 c.u. Social Sciences 15-18 c.u. Sciences 12 c.u. Fine Arts
2 9 c.u. Languages 6 c.u. Humanities 6 c.u. Humanities (Writing) 6 c.u. Humanities
3 6 c.u. Sciences 6 c.u. Sciences 6 c.u. Social Sciences 6 c.u. Sciences
4 6 c.u. Social Sciences 6 c.u. Languages 3-6 c.u. Math/Stats 6 c.u. Languages
5 General Electives General Electives General Electives 6 c.u. Social Sciences
6 Senior Courses in your Major Senior Courses in your Major Senior Courses in your Major Senior Courses in your Major
7 Arts & Science Electives Arts & Science Electives Arts & Science Electives Arts & Science Electives

* Note, most degrees in Arts & Science are structured around these 7 requirement areas; however, there are exceptions. The B.F.A. Honours., the B.A. & Sc., and the B.Mus. all have slightly different program structures, as do the combined B.A. & Sc. programs. For information about their exact degree requirements, you can look in the Course and Program Catalogue online or speak to an advisor for more information.