Exceptions to WQB requirements

General Education at SFU enhances undergraduate degrees by informing and complementing students’ programs of study, encouraging students to develop understandings and skills that equip them for life-long learning, and preparing them to appreciate, critique and contribute ideas and values of diverse, complex, and interdependent local and global communities in an ethical and comprehensive manner.

Faculty or Program Exceptions

Some Faculties or programs have adjusted their breadth requirements to better harmonize with the B requirement (e.g. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), or applied for specific breadth exemptions due to tight program demands (e.g. Engineering Science). Advisors should check with their respective departments or Faculties to determine if there are any breadth changes beyond the WQB graduation requirements.

Joint or Double Major

Students completing joint or double majors and honours, two extended minors or a double minor will not be required to take double W, Q and B requirements. W, Q and B designated courses in either one or both disciplines of the majors or honors or double minor programs may be used to satisfy the writing, quantitative and breadth requirements. For example, a student taking a double major in English and Physics may count:

  • B-Science designated Physics courses for B-Sci credit (unlike straight Physics majors, who cannot count Physics B-Sci courses towards their B graduation requirements)
  • B-Humanities designated English courses for B-Hum credit (unlike straight English majors, who cannot count English B-Hum courses towards their B graduation requirements)
  • W designated English for the lower and upper division W requirement
  • Q designated Physics courses toward the Q requirement

Students in double minor programs should select an upper division W from one of the two discipline areas in which they are taking their double minors.

Second Degree

Students admitted to second degrees are exempt from all of the Breadth requirements, the lower-division W course, and one Q course. The remaining W and Q courses must be a minimum of 3 credits each; the W course must be upper-division and within the major, while the Q course may be upper- or lower-division. Second degree students must meet the FAL and FAN prerequisites in order to enrol in W and Q courses. Second degree students who have met WQB requirements in a first degree at Simon Fraser University are still required to meet this UD W and Q requirement for the second degree.

Courses With Multiple Designations

Students who take courses that have multiple designations (e.g. MATH 160-W, Q, B-Sci) will be able to "double" or "triple" count a single course for their WQB credits. Students will still only receive 3 credit hours for such a course, but all of the designations will be granted, provided the B is outside the student's major. Therefore, such students will be able to complete their WQB graduation requirements in fewer than the 36 required WQB credit hours. For example, a Biology major would be granted both W and B-Hum credit by taking ENGL 104, thereby completing two designations by taking only one course.

This rule does not apply to courses with multiple B-type designations. For example, if an English major takes ARCH 131 (B-Soc, B-Sci), the student must select which B-type credit they want applied to their graduation record. It is important that students stay aware of the types of B courses they take, and whether those course are inside or outside of their programs. No B course within a student's major will count toward their B credits.

Dual Designation W and B

In order to fulfill the university Writing and Breadth course requirements, students may consider selecting a course that allows them to "double their money" -- a course designated as both W and B-Hum, or W and B-Soc, or W and B-Sci. Students who successfully complete such courses with a minimum C- grade will be able to count both W and B designations towards their graduation requirements.

Check Course Schedules each term for offerings of the following courses (listed alphabetically):

Course Code Course Title Designation
ARCH 272W Archaeology of the Old World (3) W; B-Soc - W effective September 2012
CA 257W Context of Theatre l (3) W; B-Hum - B effective May 2013
CA 357W Context of Theatre ll (3)  W; B-Hum - B effective May 2013
DIAL 390W Undergraduate Semester: Dialogue (5)  W; B-Soc or B-Hum - B-Hum option effective May 2012
DIAL 391W Undergraduate Semester: Seminar (5)  W; B-Soc or B-Hum - B-Hum option effective May 2012
DIAL 392W Undergraduate Semester: Final Project (5) W; B-Soc, or B-Hum - B-Hum option effective September 2012
EDUC 100W Selected Questions and Issues in Education (3)  W; B-Hum
ENGL 111W Literary Classics (3)  W; B-Hum - effective September 2016
ENGL 112W Literature Now (3) W; B-Hum - effective September 2016
ENGL 113W Literature and Performance (3) W; B-Hum - effective September 2016
ENGL 114W Language and Purpose (3) W; B-Hum - effective Septemebr 2016
ENGL 115W Literature and Culture (3) W; B-Hum - effective September 2016
ENSC 100W Engineering Technology and Society (3) W; B-Sci or B-Hum - B-Hum option effective September 2010
HIST 102W Canada Since Confederation (3) W; B-Hum
HIST/IS 209W Latin America: the National Period (3)  W; B-Hum; B-Soc - W and B-Soc effective January 2015
HIST 214W Quebec, Society, Culture and Politics (3)  W; B-Hum
HUM 101W Introduction to the Humanities (3) W; B-Hum
HUM 102W Classical Mythology (3) W; B-Hum
HUM 302W The Golden Age of Greece: an Integrated Society (4)  W; B-Hum
HUM 312W Renaissance Studies (4) W; B-Hum - B effective January 2015
HUM 321W The Humanities and Critical Thinking (4)  W; B-Hum - W effective Janury 2012
IAT 206W Media Across Cultures (3) W; B-Hum - W effective January 2012
INDG 110W International Indigenous Lifewriting (4) W; B-Hum - W effective January 2017; B effective May 2017
INDG 201W Canadian Aboriginal Peoples' Perspectives on History (3) W; B-Hum - B effective January 2008; W effective September 2015
MATH 160W Mathematics in Action (3)  W; Q; B-Sci
MATH 178W Fractals and Chaos (3) W; Q; B-Sci
PHIL 100W Knowledge and Reality (3)  W; B-Hum
PHIL 120W Moral and Legal Problems (3) W; B-Hum
POL 101W Introduction to Politics and Government (3) W; B-Soc
PSYC 109W Brain, Mind and Society (3) W; B-Sci
SA 200W Power, Conflict and Change in Canadian Society (SA) (4) W; B-Soc
SA 302W Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism (4) W; B-Soc
WL 101W Writing About Literature (3) W; B-Hum - effective January 2011
WL 102W Literature Across Cultures (3) W; B-Hum - W effective May 2015
WL 103W Early World Literature (3) W; B-Hum - W effective January 2011
WL 104W Modern World Literature (3)  W; B-Hum - W effective January 2011
WL 105W World Literature Lab (3) W; B-Hum - W effective September 2017
WL 305W Sages and Poets (3) W; B-Hum - W effective January 2011; B effective September 2014

Info for Admits Prior to September 2006

Undergraduate students admitted to the University prior to September 2006 are not bound by the new WQB graduation requirements that affect students entering as of 1067. However, continuing students will notice changes to the Calendar and Timetable, and to their records and advising transcripts that show the new WQB designations for many SFU courses.

Continuing students will notice that many SFU courses that were undesignated in the past now have a W, Q and/or B attached to them. There are also many new courses with these designations. All students who meet normal course prerequisites may take these courses. The WQB designation will appear on transcripts, but will have no bearing on pre-1067 continuing students' graduation requirements.

Continuing students may find a notation on their advising transcripts that indicates they have 'credit' for FAL X99 and FAN X99, even though they haven't taken these courses. This is simply a notation within the system to allow continuing students to take courses designated W or Q because FAL X99 (Foundations of Academic Literacy) and FAN X99 (Foundations of Analytical and Quantitative Reasoning) are now prerequisites for such courses.

Opting to take fal x99, fanx99, and the q placement test

While students admitted prior to Fall 2006 are not required to meet the new minimum English language and mathematics proficiency requirements, such students who feel they need to improve their skills in these areas are welcome to register in FAL X99 and FAN X99, provided there is available space. Interested students should contact the FAL coordinator in Education and the FAN coordinator in Mathematics prior to registering. For information on these new Foundations courses, please click here.

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 Quantitative Placement Test.

As for students admitted prior to Fall 2006 who are eligible to take such courses but unsure of their readiness, they can simply try the practice test. Some of these students may not have studied any mathematics in a long time and may wish to take FAN X99 prior to attempting any Q courses.