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Semester in Dialogue 2016 brochure

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

When are applications due?

Application deadlines are:

Summer 2018: February 1
Fall 2018: March 15

What if I am not an SFU student?

Non-SFU students must apply to SFU prior to applying to the Semester in Dialogue.

The SFU admission deadlines are:

  • September 15, 2016 for Spring 2017 admission
  • January 31, 2017 for Summer 2017 admission
  • February 28, 2017 for Fall 2017 admission

How competitive is the application process?

The selection process is competitive, with more applications received than spaces available. Applicants who match our evaluation criteria and have clearly thought through their personal goals for taking the class have a reasonable, but not guaranteed, chance for success.

How are applications evaluated?

Twenty students from diverse departments and faculties are selected for each program through a rigorous application process. We seek students interested in disciplinary and experiential breadth, and our admission criteria emphasize motivation, community engagement, and accomplishments in addition to academic achievement.

What should I write in my statement of intent?

Please include a description of your personal goals and reasons why you are interested in taking the program.

Do I need letters of reference?

We recommend including letters of reference to illustrate a student’s depth of character and accomplishments. This step is optional, however, as we understand that lower division students may lack work experience and/or direct personal relationships with instructors.

Please encourage all reference letters to be sent by email to (2 max, sent separately or included with application). The letters of reference do not need to be formal - faculty members are encouraged to send a short email in lieu of a formal letter.


What are the eligibility criteria?

The Semester in Dialogue is open to undergraduate students from all departments and faculties who have completed 45 credit hours prior to beginning the program, including transfer credits from other institutions. The program also can be taken post-graduation as a special student, and credits can be applied towards a post-baccalaureate diploma.

Can I enroll in other courses while taking the Semester in Dialogue?

Students are not able to take additional courses at the same time as the Semester in Dialogue.


When is it best to take the Semester in Dialogue?

Students often take the semester near the end of their undergraduate education as a means to explore what they are doing and why it matters, but the choice is yours based on your individual needs and preferences.

How often are course themes repeated?

Program themes are selected based on emerging opportunities to link coursework with community. Although some themes are occasionally repeated, there is no regular schedule for this to occur. Regardless of theme, all program offerings provide similar opportunities for immersion in dialogue, self-exploration and community engagement.

What credits will I receive?

For the Fall and Spring terms, you will receive 15 credits (DIAL 390W, 391W, 392W). For the Summer term, you will receive 10 credits over a compressed, 7-week period (DIAL 390W, 391W).

Is the program eligible for SFU’s Writing (W) and Breadth (B) requirements?

The Semester in Dialogue fulfills SFU writing (W) requirements, and each course within the semester can fulfill either B-SOC or B-HUM breadth requirements.

How do I transfer credits  to my major Department?

Students should consult with their major Department prior to taking the Semester in Dialogue to determine how DIAL credits fulfill major, minor, or elective course requirements.

How does this relate to the Minor in Dialogue program?

The School of Communication offers a Minor in Dialogue that is also available to students who take the Semester in Dialogue and fulfill additional course requirements. For more information about the minor program, view the SFU calendar or contact a Communications advisor.