Your First Year

What to Expect

SFU is the only University in British Columbia with a three semester calendar, giving you the flexibility to select your courses based on availability, your work schedule, and to integrate other experiences like co-op work placements or global study exchange programs. With programs in both Downtown Vancouver and Burnaby, you can experience both campuses during your academic program.

A Typical First Year Schedule

First Semester Second Semester
CMNS 110 - Introduction to Communication Studies   CMNS 200 level
CMNS 130 - Communication and Social Change
CMNS 200 level
Elective Course (Soc, Hum, Sci)
Elective Course (Soc, Hum, Sci)
Elective Course
Elective Course

There are other requirements for your portfolio of study including FAN / FAL and WQB.

FAN/FAL: Foundations of Analytical and Quantitative Reasoning and Foundations of Academic Literacy are required courses in your first year if you do not meet the minimum grade requirement to enroll into W/Q courses. You will be notified during admissions if these courses are required for you.

WQB: Writing, Quantitative and Breadth courses are required electives of your choice. These courses are part of your degree planning across all SFU programs on campus. An example of mandatory W course is CMNS 253W - Introduction to Information Technology: A New Media

Customize Your Degree

Degree Options

At SFU School of Communication, we offer joint major and minor programs with other faculties and departments:

  • SFU Beedie's Business Administration (Bachelor of Business Administration)
  • Interactive Arts and Technology (Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts)
  • English (Bachelor of Arts)
  • Anthropology / Sociology (Bachelor of Arts)
  • and more

Co-operative Education

With a three semester schedule you have the option of taking on a 4, 8, 12 month co-op working term. These working terms are paid full-time opportunities with our portfolio of local and global companies including SAP, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, SFU, CBC Radio and more.

First Year Experience Peer Leader Program

The School of Communication First Year Experience Peer Leader program aims to provide a positive experience for incoming students transitioning into their first year at SFU.

Peer Leaders help welcome new students, connect them to people and resources, and make their first year experience a great one! All incoming Communications students from the Fall 2019 term are welcome to contact a current student volunteer mentor to:

  • Support | Get support & your questions answered from a fellow student who’s been through it before
  • Connections | Make friends and connect with other students, staff, and professors
  • Community | Be part of a community of other first year students and attend events together

Peer Leaders and Student Clubs

We are all about community building and bridging connections. Before you start your classes, you will be partnered up with a 3rd/4th year student to welcome you to SFU. Your mentor will be there to support you in your first year, introduce you to the community and to give you advice on getting started.

Learn how to Get involved


The Communication Student Union represents the vibrant, trend setting young thinkers who will shape the future of how you connect to your world.

Get involved or one day become a member of the board of directors. Meet new friends and gain applied experience with event planning, financial planning, social media strategies and more.

Learn more

Questions about Your First Year?

Zed Chia

Undergraduate Advisor & Recruiter

T: 778-782-2098
Room: K9650 (next to BPK)