Online Bachelor of General Studies: FAQs

What are the benefits of doing my Bachelor of General Studies in Education online? 

This program option will appeal to students who need more flexibility due to their work schedules, distance from campus, childcare, physical challenges, travel and many other reasons.

Who can apply to the Bachelor of General Studies in Education?

Students are eligible to apply to the Bachelor of General Studies in Education directly from high school in any semester. For more information please see SFU's requirements for admission www.students.sfu.ca/admission-requirements.html and application deadline dates www.students.sfu.ca/deadlines/admission_scholarships.html.

I’ve already completed a year of undergraduate studies. Can I switch now and finish my coursework online?

Yes, you can transfer to the BGS in Education in any semester upon consultation with a Faculty of Education advisor to determine if this is the best option for you. You can meet with an advisor at your preferred campus. Contact an advisor.

What can I do with a Bachelor of General Studies in Education? 

This degree program offers many career paths. After completing a Bachelor of General Studies in Education, many students apply to the Professional Development Program (PDP) at the elementary level and go on to become teachers. Other students combine an Education minor with a minor from another Department or Faculty and pursue a variety of careers often working with youth and/or children in a setting outside of the school system.

You may also want to check out SFU’s Career Planner: www.students.sfu.ca/academicadvising/degreeplanner.html

What exactly is involved in doing a Bachelor of General Studies in Education? 

All students will complete:

  • 120 units of study (45 units must be at the upper division);
  • three required Education courses (EDUC 100W, EDUC 252 and EDUC 352W);
  • and WQB courses.

In addition, one of the two completion options must be fulfilled:

  1. The general education option which requires additional lower and upper division Education coursework; or
  2. the double minor option which requires two minors or extended minors, one of which must be from the Faculty of Education. 

Specific requirements can be found here: www.students.sfu.ca/calendar/2013/fall/areas-of-study/education.html

Outside of the required Education courses, can I take courses from other faculties at SFU in order to follow pathways toward the jobs and opportunities I have in mind?

Yes, that is one of the benefits of being in the Bachelor of General Studies in Education. You can create a degree toward your future goals. Check with a Faculty of Education advisor to verify that your courses and units will be accepted toward requirements.

New online courses are being added to SFU’s Centre for Online Distance Education (CODE) each semester. See current CODE courses: www.code.sfu.ca/webview/23672 and course outlines: www.code.sfu.ca/courses-by-term.

I would like to pursue a career working as an educator in the field of law enforcement. Can I do a double minor – one in Education, the other in Criminology?

Yes, Criminology is one of the common minors combined with Education. 

What minors from other departments are available to combine with an Education minor?

Currently, in the Double Minor option, Bachelor of General Studies students may combine one Education minor (Curriculum and Instruction is offered on-line) with a minor in English or Criminology. Required courses for minors in other departments, such as Psychology and Kinesiology, are scheduled to be added in 2014. Check with the Centre for Online and Distance Education for updates.

Will completing a Bachelor of General Studies in Education online affect my application to the Professional Development Program (PDP) for teacher education? 

Many students who complete a Bachelor of General Studies in Education pursue the Professional Development Program (PDP). Completing this degree program online will not negatively impact a student’s application to the Professional Development Program. 

Note: Completion of the Bachelor of General Studies in Education does not automatically result in acceptance to PDP.

What if I don’t like taking all my courses online?  Can I switch to taking courses on campus? 

Yes, students completing a Bachelor General Studies in Education may take courses online and/or in person without losing any completed units.

I’m concerned about missing out on classroom discussions and being able to talk to the instructor.  How can online courses compensate for not having face-to-face classes? 

In online courses, there are lots of group discussions, group feedback and group work. Additionally, you can communicate easily through online email with the tutor marker and/or course supervisor. Most tutor markers have office hours if you would like to speak to them on the telephone. Some students organize Skype meetings to communicate more directly with classmates and/or group members. Other courses may even include a visual program to recreate a “live” classroom atmosphere.

Can I take breaks during the semester and work at my own pace? 

Usually there is a course schedule with due dates for group discussions, feedback and assignments. While there is flexibility within a week to do readings, responses and assignments, you cannot wait a month to begin a course or miss a significant amount of time during the semester. Additionally, you could not wait till the last month of the course and complete all assignments by the end of the semester. Constructivist and cooperative learning are considered important components of online learning. The course syllabus is posted online with a calendar and will help you budget your time.

What if I have to take off a semester or two?

Students are able to take a break in their studies. However, being away for more than three semesters will result in the discontinuation of your program and you will need to reactivate your record prior to resuming your studies. 

Will I ever be required to come to campus?

If you live in the Lower Mainland you will need to come to campus to write your exams. Textbooks and most materials are available online or will be sent to students’ addresses by SFU CODE. And while it's not required we would be delighted for you to attend your convocation ceremony.

What type of technology will I be required to have or use to participate in online courses? 

SFU CODE is currently using the online program called Canvas. This can be accessed through any computer that has an internet connection. You simply use your SFU accounting ID and password. Sometimes the course has direct links from Canvas to the SFU library, or you can access the SFU library directly as you would normally do for any course readings or research.

Is financial aid available to me?

Financial aid applies to online Bachelor of General Studies in Education students just as it would to on-campus students.

How much does the online Bachelor of General Studies in Education tuition cost? 

The tuition costs are the same for all full-time undergraduate students. (See https://students.sfu.ca/fees.html)  If you live outside the Lower Mainland, you may be eligible for a U-Pass exemption at http://students.sfu.ca/upass/eligibility.html

What if the course I want to take in a particular semester is full and not offered the following semester? 

Some spaces will be reserved in most of the required Education courses for students declared in the Bachelor of General Studies in Education. Planning ahead will help you determine when to take the courses you need and want to take. Most faculties commit to a two year course schedule.

How will I know if I’m fulfilling the required courses, and that the electives I’m interested in will count toward my degree?

You can access the Faculty of Education webpages to get information on requirements. You can also make inquiries at any time to the very helpful and friendly Faculty of Education Advisor.

How many courses can I take in one semester?

Full-time students can enrol in a maximum of 18 units per semester. On the other hand, students often opt to take between one and five courses, depending on their personal circumstances, such as their need to be full time students due to student loans, bursary needs or scholarships.  If you would like to take more than the prescribed units, you will need permission from the Office of Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Education.

What if I want to take a course that SFU does not offer? 

It is possible to take an online course at another university, like Athabasca or Thompson Rivers University (TRU), and have it added to your credits. This will require you to go through the Letter of Permission process, which may take up to six weeks to receive approval. Always consult with an Education advisor before enrolling in coursework at another institution.  

Still have more questions? Contact the Undergraduate Programs Advisor:

Hui Huang

Advisor & Recruiter, Undergraduate Programs

Phone: 778-782-3436
Email: educadv@sfu.ca
Office: EDB 8626, Burnaby Campus