- Degree Requirements
- Honours, Major and Minor Programs
- Joint Programs
- Major – Minor, Double Major and Other Combinations
- Double Degree Program
- Dual Degree Program
- Second Bachelor’s Degrees
- Post Baccalaureate Diploma Program
- Diploma in First Nations Language Proficiency
- Certificate Program
- Cooperative Education
Simon Fraser University offers three main types of undergraduate programs and credentials: degree programs leading to a bachelor's degree, diploma programs leading to a post baccaulaureate diploma, and certificate programs. Degree programs may be honours programs leading to an honours degree or general programs leading to a general degree.
To be granted a credential, a student must satisfy certain requirements which ensure a depth of study and a coherent combination of courses. These requirements are expressed in terms of the number of units in lower and upper division courses to be completed in and outside the subject(s) of study. In general, requirements for a credential are specified at three levels: university-wide requirements as described in this section, faculty-wide requirements as set by the faculty offering the credential, and subject requirements as set by the department, school or program defining the area of study. Students must satisfy the requirements of all three levels.
All students admitted to the University as of fall 2006 must meet writing, quantitative, and breadth requirements in completing their undergraduate degree. All students admitted to bachelor's degree programs at the University must satisfy certain university wide requirements as well as faculty and subject requirements. All bachelor's degree programs for a first bachelor's degree require successful completion of a minimum of 120 units including at least 44 upper division units. Degree requirements must be met at an acceptable performance standard.
Typically, faculties structure degree programs in terms of individual honours, major or minor programs for one or more subjects. An honours degree requires the completion of at least one honours or joint honours program, while a general degree normally requires the completion of at least one major or joint major, or two minor programs. Honours degrees are distinguished by the depth and intensity of study in the honours subject.
The requirements that apply to a particular student are generally those in effect at the time of admission, known as the requirement term. The requirement term for university-level requirements is the time of university admission: the requirement term for faculty-level requirements is the time of faculty admission; and the requirement term for a specific subject or concentration is the time of approved declaration of the subject or concentration. However, the ability to use the requirements at the time of admission is not indefinite. University and faculty level requirements apply for at most 8 years, while subject or area of study requirements apply for at most 6 years. If a graduation check determines that a student has not completed requirements within these limits, the term of the graduation application becomes the requirement term.
Students may take advantage of new curriculum by changing their requirement term at any time.
The University may award substantial transfer credit for course work that has been completed elsewhere. These transfer units reduce the amount of work needed to complete a Simon Fraser University credential, subject to minimum residency requirements for work completed at Simon Fraser University. Overall, the residency requirements define two conditions that apply to every program.
- At least half of the program's total units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study
- At least two thirds of the program's total upper division units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study
These conditions apply to all undergraduate degree, post baccalaureate diploma and certificate programs and programs that form part of an overall degree program for example, major, honours, minors, etc.
Changing a program of study may prolong enrollment, may result in some completed courses no longer qualifying for the new program, and therefore increasing the number of courses required to graduate.
Students may change their program of study provided that appropriate notification is filed with the department(s) concerned. To access the appropriate change forms, see http://www.sfu.ca/students/forms and look under Programs.
Grade Point Averages Needed for Graduation
Grade point averages (GPAs) used for graduation are the minimum GPAs that must be achieved to satisfy the requirements for a degree or other credential. The graduation GPA must be obtained both on the overall course work (CGPA) as well as on the upper division subset of that work (UDGPA).
In addition, program GPAs are the minimum GPAs that must be achieved to satisfy the requirements of an honours, major, extended minor or minor program. In each case, the program GPA must be obtained both on the overall course work used to satisfy the minimum program requirements as well as on the upper division subset of that work.
The graduation and program GPAs specified below are University minimum requirements; individual faculties and departments may, with senate approval, have higher requirements.
In the event of repeated courses, only the higher grade is used in these GPA calculations.
Overall minimum requirements for all courses (CGPA) and all upper division courses (UDGPA) completed at Simon Fraser University
|joint honours first class with distinction†||4.00 or greater|
|joint honours with distinction*||3.50 or greater|
|joint honours||3.00 or greater|
|honours first class with distinction†||4.00 or greater|
|honours with distinction*||3.50 or greater|
||3.00 or greater|
|joint major first class with distinction†||4.00 or greater|
|joint major with distinction*||3.50 or greater|
2.00 or greater
|major first class with distinction†||4.00 or greater|
|major with distinction*||3.50 or greater|
2.00 or greater
2.00 or greater
Minimum Program Grade Point Averages (GPAs)
* students graduating with a first undergraduate degree who have achieved 3.5 or greater in both the cumulative grade point average and the upper division grade point average will receive the designation of with distinction
Honours, Major and Minor Programs
Programs of study in an individual subject are generally structured as one of three program types, depending on the intensity of upper division study.
- Honours programs require completion of a minimum of 60 upper division units including a minimum of 48 units in the honours subject or field.
- Major programs require completion of a minimum of 44 upper division units including a minimum of 28 units in the major subject or field.
- Minor programs require completion of a minimum of 14 units of upper division work in the minor subject or field.
Each type of program also requires lower division work, with varying unit requirements in the lower division courses. (See faculty and departmental requirements.) In some faculties a type of minor program known as an extended minor is offered, consisting of the upper division requirements of a minor and the lower division requirements of a major.
Programs defined to include two or more subject areas are known as joint programs.
- Joint honours programs require a minimum of 50 units of specified upper division work in the joint honours subjects.
- Joint major programs require a minimum of 30 units of specified upper division work in the joint major subjects.
Major – Minor, Double Major and Other Combinations
It is generally possible to combine two or more programs of study within a single degree. The following combinations are common; all require completion of a minimum of 44 upper division units.
- Major-minor programs, consisting of the major requirements of one subject and the minor requirements of another subject within the framework of a single degree.
- Double-major programs, consisting of the major requirements of each of two subjects within a single degree.
- Double-minor programs, consisting of the minor requirements of each of two subjects within a single degree.
Combined programs require that the minimum upper division unit requirements of each program be separately satisfied. Even if a course is common to the content requirements of two programs, it may only be counted towards the upper division unit requirements of one of the programs. In such cases, course substitutions towards upper division credit of the other program(s) must be approved by the relevant program chair(s).
Programs may be combined within a faculty or across faculties. The overall degree requirements of at least one faculty must be met. In the event that the requirements of more than one faculty are met, a single degree will be awarded by the faculty selected by the student. The requirements of each program as well as faculty and university degree requirements must be met. A combined program may require more than 120 units of total course work.
Double Degree Program
A double degree program is a program allowing students to work towards two SFU degrees concurrently. Program requirements are based on the requirements of a first bachelor's degree plus those of a second bachelor's degree. A minimum of 164 units is required including at least 88 units of upper division work.
Dual Degree Program
A dual degree program is a program leading to bachelor's degrees at two different institutions. SFU requirements must include at least those of a second bachelor's degree. A minimum of 44 upper division units must be completed at SFU.
Second Bachelor’s Degrees
A student who already holds a bachelor's degree(s) from an approved institution may complete a second or subsequent bachelor's degree at the University. A minimum of 44 units of upper division work is required.
Faculties may offer specific second bachelor's degree programs. Otherwise, the basic requirement for a further bachelor's degree is the completion of the upper division requirements associated with a first bachelor's degree. Completion of lower division prerequisites may also be required or may be waived at the discretion of the department or program in which the further degree is being sought.
A student may not enroll in a further bachelor's degree program in a subject in which she/he already holds a degree. A student who has a minor (or equivalent) in a particular subject may enroll in a further degree with a major or honours program in that subject.
Credit earned towards a previous degree or diploma may not be used toward a further bachelor's degree. Transfer credit may be given for additional courses completed beyond the previous credential but prior to Simon Fraser University admission. However, the normal upper division residency requirement applies: at least two thirds of the upper division course work for the degree must be completed at Simon Fraser University. Some faculties may have additional residency requirements.
Faculties may limit inter-faculty transfer for second degree students. Students admitted to second degrees are exempt from all of the breadth requirements (designated and undesignated), three units of the Q requirements and the lower division W requirement. (The remaining W and Q courses must be a minimum of three units each. The W course must be upper division in the student's subject or field.) For more information, see Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements.
Post Baccalaureate Diploma Program
A diploma program should, in general, consist of regular upper division university courses; graduate courses may be included. The study program should be the equivalent of one full year or more of university study (30 or more units). A first university degree or the equivalent is normally a prerequisite, but, if stipulated, mature applicants whose experience makes them particularly suited to a program may also be admitted.
- Successful completion of an approved program comprised of 30 units of third and fourth year courses, and some graduate courses if appropriate.
- At least 15 units must be in a discipline or subject area which most closely fits the learning goals of the student.
- Minimum grade point average of 2.5 on courses applied toward the diploma.
- Completion of lower division prerequisites, if required.
- Completion of the diploma within five years of admission to the program.
- Students may complete more than one post baccalaureate diploma program.
- Students should consult with the diploma program advisor regarding availability of courses.
- Some of the program courses have prerequisites not included in the diploma requirements. Students are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites of all courses in their programs.
- Program applicants will need to refer to the current University Calendar for detailed information concerning application and enrollment procedures, fees, program requirements, and course descriptions.
- There are program advisors in each department for that department’s diploma programs.
- Transfer credit for work done at other institutions may be approved toward fulfilment of the program subject to the University residency requirements
- Transfer credit is normally only valid for approved courses completed within ten years of the diploma student's completion term
- Transfer credit for use toward the diploma is granted only on approval of the Faculty
- Units applied to one diploma may not be applied to another Simon Fraser University certificate or diploma or degree
Diploma in First Nations Language Proficiency
The Diploma in First Nations Language Proficiency program is for students who wish to acquire high intermediate to advanced oral proficiency in particular First Nations language. The program consists of 30 upper division units and may be completed on a full- or part-time basis.
- Admission to this Diploma will normally require prior completion of the SFU Certificate in First Nations Language Proficiency (CFNLP). Students who have completed a certificate or First Nations language courses deemed equivalent to the SFU CFNLP at another post-secondary institution, or who undergo a Prior Learning Assessment and demonstrate skills in a First Nations language equivalent to at least low intermediate language proficiency, may also be admitted into the diploma.
- Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 calculated on all courses applied to the diploma that are completed at Simon Fraser University. Duplicate courses are counted only once.
- Units applied to this diploma may be also applied to major or minor programs of a bachelor's degree under the normal regulations governing those programs but may not be applied to other Simon Fraser University certificates or diplomas.
- Some of the courses may have prerequisites not included in the diploma requirements. Students are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites of all courses in their programs. Prerequisite information can be found in the University Calendar in the course descriptions section.
- Students intending to pursue this diploma should consult with the diploma program advisor in the First Nations Languages Program of the Department of Linguistics.
- Any student admitted to this diploma program who subsequently transfers to a degree program will need to complete the university WQB degree requirements. See Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements.
A certificate program consists mainly of regular lower division courses; upper division courses may be included. The program should be the equivalent of between one half and one full year of university study (18-30 units).
- Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 calculated on all courses applied to the certificate that are completed at Simon Fraser University. Duplicate courses are counted only once.
- Units applied to one certificate may be applied also to major or minor programs of a bachelor’s degree under the normal regulations governing those programs but may not be applied to another Simon Fraser University certificate or diploma.
- Some of the courses have prerequisites not included in the certificate requirements. Students are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites of all courses in their programs. Prerequisite information can be found in the University Calendar in the course descriptions section.
- There are program advisors in each department or faculty for the certificate programs. Students intending to pursue a certificate should consult with the program advisor.
- Any student admitted to a certificate program who subsequently transfers to a degree program will need to complete the WQB degree requirements. See Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements.
A co-operative education program consists of at least three work terms to be completed while doing regular academic terms. Co-op courses are granted additive credit. See Co-operative Education for more details.
Programs of advanced learning and research leading to master’s and doctoral degrees are offered.
Doctoral programs engage students in research, either independently or in collaboration with larger research groups. Master’s programs introduce students to the research process or prepare them with critical and analytical skills for the professions. Graduate diploma programs provide specialized combinations of courses for students who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills at an advanced level.
See the following Graduate General Regulations for more information:
- 1.7 Program Requirements
- 1.4.7 Co-operative Education