WQB Course Certification Process

SFU is currently conducting the General Education Curriculum Review, a process to explore a forward-looking vision for the general education component of the undergraduate curriculum. More information on the review can be found here.

During the General Education Curriculum Review there is a moratorium on all new WQB designations. Requests for new designations will only be considered on an exception basis and must be accompanied by a strong rationale for why the designation is necessary prior to the completion of the General Education Review. If you are requesting an exception please submit the request with the appropriate forms along with a rationale to the University Curriculum and Institutional Liaison (UCIL) Office (ucil_office@sfu.ca). 

The UCIL Office and its affiliated Certification Committees review designation requests for courses that are intended to be offered as Writing-Intensive (W), Quantitative/Analytical (Q) and/or Breadth (B) that will help students satisfy the undergraduate curriculum requirements.

Outside the current moritorium, programs are encouraged to submit WQB designation requests for new or significantly modified courses, or for existing courses. Pilot offerings of new or modified courses are not required for designation evaluation.

All designation requests must have both departmental and Faculty approval before being considered; please obtain the signatures of both the Program Chair and the Associate Dean of the Faculty before submission. (Emails are acceptable in lieu of signatures for applications submitted electronically.) All approved W courses will receive additional instructional assistance funds at a rate of $75 per enrolled seat in the term in which they are offered, to be disbursed to the Faculties and distributed to individual Programs. Due to limitations with funding, W designation requests must be accompanied by a rationale for adding more W courses to the Program’s complement (e.g. alleviating bottlenecks, curriculum revision, providing more choice for majors, etc.).

The WQB Designation Request Forms page has the most current version of our WQB request forms. Forms can be downloaded in either .pdf or MS Word format. Those completing the W designation form should also refer to our Explanation of the W-Criteria web page.

Process for Proposing or Certifying a W, Q and/or B course:

  • Programs determine which new, modified or existing courses require designation as W, Q and/or B.
  • Programs (preferably the instructors) complete the appropriate designation request form for each course and attach a course syllabus.
  • Approval signatures from the Program Chair and Faculty Associate Dean must accompany the designation request form.
  • Forms are submitted to the University Curriculum and Institutional Liaison (UCIL) Office, VP Acadmeic, either electronically to ucil_office@sfu.ca or by hard copy, and evaluated for designation.
  • The UCIL Office will make a recommendation to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SCUS) and SCUS will make the decision on whether the designation will be recommended to Senate. 
  • Notification of approved course designations is sent to the applicants, Program Undergraduate Curriculum Chairs, and Associate Deans. Designation approval memos should be forwarded as quickly as possible for review by the appropriate Faculty Curriculum Committee, SCUS and finally Senate, prior to inclusion in the Course Catalogue and Calendar.
  • Designation requests will be reviewed continually, and approved designations become effective after Senate approval. Designations are not applied retroactively to existing courses.