Undergraduate FAQs


I applied for admission to SFU as a GSWS Major.  Do I need to see an advisor?

Plan designations you made on your SFU application form are 'intentions' only. You must declare a GSWS plan once you have met the declaration requirements.

How do I declare a GSWS program?

If you have met the declaration requirements for a GSWS academic program, please e-mail a PDF of your Advising Transcript, sorted by "both," to the GSWS Manager/Advisor. Your advising transcript is available via goSFU. Please be sure to include your SFU student number, full name, and specify which program you wish to declare (i.e., major, joint major, minor, research certificate).

How do I obtain an Advising Transcript?

  1. Login to
  2. Click the "other academic..." drop down menu (located under "View My Grades")
  3. Select "Transcript: Advising" and click 'go'
  4. Select "Both" for *Sort By and click 'go'
  5. Click "view PDF" (it may take several minutes to complete)

*Please ensure pop-up blocker is off

May I use a course from another Department toward the requirements for my GSWS program?

Please check the SFU Calendar for courses that may be applied to your GSWS program. Other courses which have significant Indigenous content may be applied toward the major or minor as an elective, subject to approval by the Department. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Students should e-mail the GSWS Manager/Advisor and attach a full course syllabus (including weekly schedule) for consideration.

What SFU Calendar regulates my academic career?

The Calendar in effect when you took your first course at SFU regulates your degree. The Calendar in effect when you declared an Indigenous Studies program regulates that program plan. The Calendar is available here.


Course Repeats

How many duplicate courses may I complete at SFU?

You are permitted a total of five duplications (repeats) at SFU, and you may duplicate a specific course only once. Our Department does not grant exceptions to this University policy. Duplications taken at other institutions before arriving at SFU are not counted, however if you repeat a course at SFU which you already took elsewhere that does count as a repeat.

If I duplicate a course, how are my GPAs calculated?

The higher mark is used to calculate your GPAs. The other mark remains on the transcript, but is not calculated in GPAs. Note that a mark from another institution cannot supercede an SFU grade.


Enrollment Issues

E-mail the GSWS Manager/Advisor with your SFU student number, full name, and PDF of your Advising Transcript. In some cases, manual waitlists are kept. In the meantime, keep checking goSFU to see if you can put yourself into the course. Enrollment figures fluctuate quite a lot between the enrollment period and the start of classes, and seats may become available at any time.

I cannot enroll in a particular course, because it requires "Department Consent." What does this mean?

Enrollment restrictions are posted under "Class Notes" in goSFU. Depending on the course, spaces are reserved for particular cohort students, or students who have declared a gsws program.

May I register for a course if I do not have the prerequisites?

Usually, no. Students may request a prerequisite waiver from the instructor teaching the course. You must make a compelling argument for why the prerequisite(s) may be waived in your case, and attach supporting documentation (e.g., outlines of courses taken previously). If you have requested the waiver by e-mail, please forward the instructor's approval to the GSWS Manager/Advisor. A prerequisite waiver does not guarantee students a seat in the course.

How can I drop a course?

Students may be able to drop a course in goSFU. Students must consult the current Undergraduate Schedule for the course add/drop deadlines, refunds, penalties, and notations. Information on withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances can be found here.


Transfer Credit

How many credits can I transfer?

Under a Bachelor of Arts, students can have a maximum of 60 transfer credits, including a maximum of 15 upper division transfer credits. Refer to the SFU Calendar for further information regarding transfer credit.

How can I find out whether a course will transfer to SFU?

The BC Transfer Guide is an accurate source for evaluated coursework taken at BC institutions. Students who have completed courses at universities or colleges outside of BC should contact Admissions in Student Services to ask whether and how a course has been articulated at SFU. Students transferring courses to SFU should be prepared to submit the detailed course syllabus for each course they wish to transfer to SFU.

May I take a course at another institution if I am already registered or have completed courses at SFU?

Yes, if you want the credit to transfer back to SFU, you must apply for a Letter of Permission before taking the course. A Letter of Permission may take 6 to 8 weeks to process. Many institutions require that you have an approved Letter of Permission prior to enrolling at their school.



How do I appeal a grade?

Before commencing an appeal, you must read the policies and procedures related to grades and appeals. Please be aware that if you request a grade appeal, your course work may receive the same grade, a lower grade, or a higher grade after re-evaluation.

Briefly, the steps are:

  1. Discuss your concerns with the course instructor.
  2. If you feel that the grade was unfairly awarded, you may submit an appeal in writing to the Undergraduate Chair. You must submit all original marked assignments.
  3. If you feel the Department's decision was inappropriate, you may submit an appeal in writing to the Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. The decision of the Dean is final, subject only to an appeal to Senate.



How do I apply for graduation?

Students can apply for graduation via goSFU. If you have withdrawn your application, or if it has been denied, you must re-apply online. Please see convocation information and student deadlines.