Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

When are applications due?

Application deadlines are:

Summer 2022: Ealy bird deadline is February 18, 2022.

What if I am not an SFU student?

Non-SFU students must first be accepted to the Semester in Dialogue program. If accepted to the program, the student will apply to SFU as a visiting student. This process will be supported by the Semester in Dialogue Program Coordinator.

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 or supervisors from employment/volunteering.

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 - instructors or supervisors 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.

Students who have completed credits for DIAL 393 and DIAL 394 are not eligible to participate in the program.

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-archive, 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.

How much does the Semester in Dialogue program cost?

The cost is equivalent to SFU’s undergraduate tuition for either 10 or 15 credits, depending on which semester you participate. More information about tuition fees can be found here.