Writing, Quantitative and Breadth Requirements

All students admitted to an undergraduate degree at SFU as of Fall 2006 must complete a minimum of 36 units of courses designated as Writing, Quantitative, or Breadth, with a grade of C- or better to receive the WQB credits. Students transferring from a BC college with 60 units should consider completing some transferable W, Q and B courses prior to admission to SFU.

Benefits of the Writing, Quantitative and Breadth Requirements

A superior education, with greater applicability and relevance, and better preparation for careers

  • Our students will graduate as improved writers, with better quantitative reasoning skills and a greater breadth of knowledge.
  • Many employers value writing and quantitative skills as well as depth of knowledge in disciplines.
  • Better writing and quantitative abilities increase the probability of gaining admission to graduate schools (GREs) and professional schools (LSATs)

Writing Requirements - Courses with a "W" designation will assist students to learn the course content through the process of writing intensive assignments. These courses will help students to improve their writing abilities and overall communication skills, and will teach students to write in the genres of their disciplines.

    Students will take a minimum of:
  • one lower-division W course (at least 3 units)
  • one upper-division W course (at least 3 units), in the student's major subject. The upper-division W course must be taken at SFU.

Quantitative Requirements - Courses with "Q" designation will assist students to develop quantitative (numerical, geometric) or formal (deductive, probabilistic) reasoning, and to develop skills in practical problem solving, critical evaluation, or analysis.

    Students will take a minimum of:
  • two Q courses, lower or upper division (at least 6 units).

Breadth Requirements - Courses with "B" designation will expose students to concepts and ideas from a range of disciplines and perspectives outside of their programs. Students may complete breadth courses throughout their degree programs, taking courses at the lower or upper division. Only courses outside of the student's major subject may count as a B.

    Students will take a minimum of:
  • two courses labelled as Breadth-Humanities (B-Hum, 6 units)
  • two courses labelled as Breadth-Science (B-Sci, 6 units)
  • two courses labelled as Breadth-Social Sciences (B-Soc, 6 units)
  • two additional courses outside the student's major subject (6 units). These additional courses may or may not be designated as breadth, and in most cases will fulfill the particular Faculty or Program breadth requirements.

Multiple W, Q, and B Designations

Some courses may fulfill more than one requirement:
  • A course may count as Q and B, or W and B, or W and Q, or W, Q and B. Students will receive all designation credits, unless the B is from their own major. Such students may satisfy their WQB requirements with fewer than 36 units because they can "double count".
Some courses may have multiple B designations:
  • A course may be designated as B-Soc and B-Hum, or B-Hum and B-Sci, or B-Soc and B-Sci, or all three B designations (B-Soc, B-Hum and B-Sci), but only one B type will be counted towards requirements. Students must consider which B type they wish such a course to meet in order to fulfill their B requirements.

A grade of C- or better is required to earn W, Q or B credit.


Joint or Double Majors, Extended Minors, Double Minors

Students taking joint or double majors and honors, extended minors, or double minors are not required to take double W, Q and B requirements. W, Q and B designated courses in either one or both disciplines of the majors or honors or minor programs may be used to satisfy the writing, quantitative and breadth requirements. For example, a student taking a double major in English and Physics may count:

  • B-Hum designated ENGL courses for B-Hum credit (unlike English-only majors, who cannot count ENGL B-Hum courses towards their B requirements)
  • B-Sci designated PHYS courses for B-Sci credit (unlike Physics-only majors, who cannot count PHYS B-Sci courses towards their B requirements)
  • W designated ENGL for the lower- and upper-division W requirements
  • Q designated PHYS courses toward the Q requirements

Students in double minor programs should select an upper division W from one of the two discipline areas in which they are taking their double minors.

Second Degrees

Students admitted to a second degree program are exempted from all of the breadth requirements (designated and additional), three units of the Q requirements, and the lower division W requirement. The remaining W and Q courses must be three units each. Second degree students must meet the FAL and FAN prerequisites in order to enrol in W and Q courses. The W course must be upper division in the student's major. Second degree students who have met WQB requirements in a first degree at Simon Fraser University are required to meet this W and Q requirement for the second degree.