Semester In

Build a course using Semester in Dialogue's experiential learning framework.

Through Semester In, departments and faculty at SFU gain access to Semester in Dialogue mentorship and course numbers in order to develop their own courses as part of their department or faculty's academic offerings.

The Semester In concept emerged from one of SFU’s signature program, Semester in Dialogue, a one-semester, full-time offering designed to inspire students with a sense of civic responsibility and encourage their passion for improving society. Semester in Dialogue is unique in being the only undergraduate course at SFU outside of the traditional department and faculty administrative structure, an unusual position for any university teaching program.

Organizing a Semester In

Semester In is presented as one seamless unit, but for grading purposes credits are divided into two or three simultaneous courses offered as a full 15 credit version with all three courses, or a shorter 10 credit version.

Credits for the three courses are applied towards departmental/faculty major or minor requirements, but could also be used for breadth requirements for students outside the offering Department or Faculty. Departments/Faculties might also decide to approve their Semester In as meeting requirements towards an Honours degree.

Generally two or three faculty teach full-time each semester, the equivalent of 7.5 credits or roughly two typical SFU courses per faculty for the 15 credit model. Faculty may be seconded from SFU departments through teaching buyouts, or come from the community and be paid a stipend.

Course Descriptions

Semester In (Dialogue Component):
DIAL 393W (5): The Dialogue component of the Semester In will immerse students in the art and practice of thinking and communicating. The focus will be on strategies and methods to use in understanding diverse perspectives. Students will have an opportunity to expand their verbal and written communication skills as well as explore dialogue-archive through invited guests and internal discussions. Prerequisite: 45 units or permission of instructor. Must be taken simultaneously with DIAL 394.

Semester In (Seminar Component):
DIAL 394 (5): Topics covered each term will vary, but generally each course will examine a subject that encourages broad approaches and probes provocative issues. Learning will be active rather than passive, stimulating students to research, explore and discuss. Prerequisite: 45 units or permission of instructor. Must be taken simultaneously with DIAL 393W.

Semester In (Final Project Component):
DIAL 395 (5): Students will develop a class-wide final project, including conception, design, implementation and a final report. As well, each student will present a final individual project, to be designed with faculty. Prerequisite: 45 units or permission of instructor. Must be taken simultaneously with DIAL 393W and DIAL 394.


Departments/Faculties would decide whether their Semester In would be open to students across the university, or limited to students enrolled in the offering Department or Faculty.

Students can only enroll in one Semester In or Semester in Dialogue program.

Semester In would not be eligible for credit towards a Dialogue Minor, unless pre-approved by the School of Communications, which offers the Dialogue Minor.

Semester In would normally be offered no more than twice under DIAL numbers. We would expect Departments/Faculties to apply to Senate to create their own course numbers at that point.

Enrollment should be capped at 20 students.