Frequently asked questions

Our Admission Model

Why has the SFU admission model changed?

SFU’s admission model for BC high school students has changed for fall 2019 and onwards due to the results of an extensive review which determined the four-course admission model did not support the success of students in their first year.

The changes are partially in response to the changing BC curriculum, including the elimination of provincial exams. Once the new BC curriculum has been finalized, we will review the courses and adjust the lists accordingly.

Benefits of the new admission model:

  • It allows individual programs to put emphasis on courses that are most relevant to their discipline.
  • It includes specific grade 11 and grade 12 courses which are strong indicators of first year success at SFU.
  • It allows us to include grade data across a wide spectrum of grade 11 and grade 12 courses

Approved Grade 12 Courses: List A and List B

How were List A and B courses selected?

  • These lists are based on an analysis completed on all courses presented by BC12 students over the last five years. Lists A and B contain courses that our research has shown are indicative of student success at the end of a students’ first year at SFU.

What is the difference between List A and List B?

  • List A: Required or recommended courses used in the admission evaluation that are strong indicators of student success and relevant to the program of study.
  • List B: Approved courses used in the admission evaluation that recognize the breadth of courses students may complete.

What does emphasis on List A mean?

  • List A are the classes that will support student success in their intended program. We therefore recommend that students focus on doing well in their List A courses.

Why does each program have a different List A and List B?

  • Each program’s list is made up of courses that are relevant to the discipline and indicators of student success within the chosen area of study.

Why are Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) applicants required to take a math or science course as part of their required courses?

  • Math and science provide an important foundation and skill set for the job market.
  • 90% of BC grade 12 applicants to FASS completed a math or science 12 course in high school.

Admission Evaluation

Will the minimum of five courses impact the number of courses Grade 12 students take?

  • No — our research indicates that 89% of BC 12 applicants presented five or more approved grade 12 courses; only 11% of BC 12 applicants had completed only four approved grade 12 courses for admission.

Can students take more than five courses for admission? Is it an advantage to a student to take more than the minimum five required courses?

  • Yes — five is just the minimum number of approved grade 12 courses required to be considered for admission.
  • All approved courses matter as we take a comprehensive look at a student’s transcript. Students are encouraged to complete a minimum of 5 courses and, if they want to take more than 5, select those that they believe they can do well in.

What if a student has taken six or more approved Grade 12 courses?

  • For students with six or more grade 12 courses from List A, the lowest List A, non-required grade will be excluded from the evaluation
  • For students with six or more approved grade 12 courses, but five or fewer from List A, the lowest grade from List B will be excluded from the evaluation.

If a required course within Lists A or B of a first choice program is unavailable, or a student is unable to take the courses due to personal circumstance, there are two methods to request a course exception.  Please note, high school students must meet the five course minimum to be considered for admission:

How can students satisfy the Social Studies 11 requirement?

Any course that satisfies the 2018 BC graduation requirements for Social Studies 11/12 will meet SFU’s Social Studies 11 admission requirement.

How can students satisfy the Language 11 requirement?

All language grade 11 or 12 language courses can satisfy this requirement, including:

  • Transfer Standing (grade will not be used) or external language credit
  • Challenge grades
  • Beginner language courses
  • American Sign Language

May students use one course to fulfill two requirements?

  • Yes, students are able to use one course to fulfill two requirements. 
  • For example, a student applying to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences may use History 12 to satisfy both the Social Studies 11 and List A requirements.
  • Students who also do not have a Math 11, can use an approved Math 12 course to both meet the quantitative and use their grade in their application evaluation.

How are AP and IB courses evaluated in the new model?

  • AP and IB courses may be used in place of exact equivalents to meet specific program requirements (e.g., CHEM HL = CHEM 12) and in subject area equivalents.
  • See the AP webpage and IB webpage for more information.

How is the admission average calculated under the new model?

  • We will no longer be calculating an admission average. Instead, we will use grades for all approved courses in the evaluation for admission.
  • Our goal is to admit students that will be successful within their program of study. Historically, our applicants have presented grades in the 80’s to most programs. Some programs are more competitive and will require higher grades.
  • International students will still require more competitive grades for admission. 

How will the literacy and numeracy assessments be used in the admission evaluation?

  • The literacy and numeracy assessments will not be used in the admission evaluation, but all students must be proficient in literacy and numeracy to be considered for admission. 
  • Students must meet SFU’s English Language and Quantitative and Analytical Skills requirements.

Does SFU accept challenge exam marks for admission?

  • Yes, SFU does accept challenge exam marks.

Broad-Based Admission

Is SFU implementing a broad-based/holistic admission process, where additional information other than grades is used in the admission evaluation?

  • A new program in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE), will be piloting a broad-based admission model for Fall 2019; more information will be released in Fall 2018.
  • Contemporary Arts continues to require an audition, interview or portfolio.
  • The Beedie School of Business continues to require a supplemental application.

Applying for 2019 and after

What are the admission requirements for a 2018 graduate who does not apply for Fall 2018 admission?

  • A student will be held to the admission requirements pertaining to the year they graduated for the next two years.