Foundations Courses

The content of W and Q courses presumes that students have met a basic competency standard. Two Foundations courses are available to students not ready for W and/or Q courses:

  • Foundations of Academic Literacy (FAL X99), and
  • Foundations of Analytical and Quantitative Reasoning (FAN X99)

Students will be advised at admission if they are required to register in one or both of these courses. Students required to register in one or both of these courses are strongly recommended to take these courses as soon as possible and must successfully complete the course(s) within 3 enrolled terms at SFU (normally 45 units of a degree program).

A grade of C or better is required to progress from FAL into W courses or FAN into Q courses. Students may attempt these courses no more than twice. If FAL or FAN are not successfully completed within 3 enrolled terms (normally 45 units), students will be blocked from registering in further course work at SFU until competency in English and Math are demonstrated. Please refer to this Student Services web page for more information on FAL/FAN blocks.

This competency can be demonstrated by:

  • retaking English 12 or high school Math, or
  • achieving a score of 4 on the essay section of the Language Proficiency Index (with a minimum of 50% on each of the subsections) for English competency, or
  • achieving a score of 20 out of 30 on the SFU Q Placement Test (if the student has not taken this test earlier) for Math competency, or
  • registering in transferable post-secondary English or Math courses
    **Effective September 2014, students electing this option who are not yet hard-blocked from enrollment due to FAL/FAN deficiency must apply for a Letter of Permission in order to take such courses at another post-secondary institution while enrolled at SFU. A minimum grade of C is required in order to transfer back courses taken on LOP.

Students transferring to SFU with 60 units are recommended to register as soon as possible in FAL or FAN if they are required to take one or both of these courses, otherwise they will be blocked from taking W and Q courses and may not meet their graduation requirements in a timely way.

    **Please note: attaining FAN X99 exemption via a non-math course (e.g. an equivalent to PHIL XX1-Q) may restrict the ability to take SFU math or other disciplinary courses. For students wishing to take SFU MATH courses, check with the Mathematics department advisor about what is acceptable prior to enrolling in a transferrable Q course outside of SFU to meet the FAN requirement. In particular, some Q courses such as MATH 100 and MATH 190 have minimum grade requirements in high school math courses as prerequisites, and a FAN X99 exemption may not be adequate for enrollment eligibility. This may also impact enrollment eligibility in SFU PSYC 210, which also has a high school math grade minimum, and students should check with the Pscyhology department regarding appropriately meeting the FAN requirement.

    Students who opt to upgrade high school math via a college adult education course should ensure it will be recognized for appropriate high school equivalency. Such courses do not provide university credit.

    FAL X99 and FAN X99 are 4-credit courses and will be charged at the regular tuition rate.

Foundations of Academic Literacy (FAL X99)

This course introduces students to the kinds of reading and writing they will encounter in lower-division courses across university disciplines. Credits earned in FAL X99 are additive, and do not count towards the total credits required for a degree. The grade received in FAL X99 is included in calculation of the cumulative grade point average. Students must receive a C or better in this course to proceed to a W course. Students may attempt this course twice. Click here to be redirected to Education for course details of FAL X99.

Foundations of Analytical and Quantitative Reasoning (FAN X99)

This course is for students who need to upgrade their quantitative background in preparation for Q courses, or for those who wish to refresh their skills after several years away from mathematics. Credits earned in FAN X99 are additive, and do not count towards the total credits required for a degree. The grade received in FAN X99 is included in calculation of the cumulative grade point average. Students must receive a C or better in this course to proceed to a Q course. Students may attempt this course twice. Click here to be redirected to Math for course details of FAN X99.

Free Q placement testing is available. Students will be able to write this placement test only once. Students who receive a pass (20 out of 30) on this test may bypass FAN X99 and may instead register directly in a Q course. For more information regarding the Q Placement Test and sittings, please click here.

    Opting to take FAN X99 or the Q Placement Test when exempted from FAN

    Students who have been exempted from FAN X99 but who feel they need to improve their skills in these areas are welcome to register in FAN X99, provided there is available space (interested students should contact the FAN coordinator in Mathematics before registering). In particular, some courses such as MATH 100, MATH 190, and PSYC 210 have minimum grade requirements in high school math courses as prerequisites. Mathematics would like all students requesting permission to take MATH 100 and MATH 190 without prerequisites to first take the Q Placement Test. As for students who are eligible to take such courses but unsure of their readiness, they can simply try the practice test available on the Q Placement Test link.