What is a Breadth course?

As a requirement to graduate with a Bachelor's degree, students must complete 24 credits of Breadth outside of their major program with a grade of C- or better, including 18 credits of designated breadth (6 credits labelled Social Sciences, 6 credits labelled Humanities, and 6 credits labelled Sciences), and 6 credits of undesignated (or additional) breadth. Undesignated breadth courses may or may not be labelled as breadth, and in most cases will fulfill the particular Faculty or Program breadth requirements.

Breadth courses may be taken throughout the student's academic career.

Designated Breadth course criterion:

To qualify as designated breadth (DB), a course should be intellectually accessible to "non-majors"; that is, a student's ability to master the course content should not depend on bringing to it the kind of specialized knowledge typically possessed by students majoring in a discipline. Although by definition most DB courses will, therefore, be "introductory" in nature, upper-division courses may qualify as DB courses if they do not require the student to have specialized knowledge of this type, but specify simply that the student must have taken a certain number of university credits.

In addition, a DB course substantially fulfills AT LEAST ONE of the following conditions:

  1. It explicitly addresses how and why a discipline defines, acquires and organizes knowledge in particular ways; it identifies important questions and problems in the discipline and describes procedures used to generate valid answers to the questions or workable solutions to the problems.
  2. It is designed to give students a broad understanding of the historical development and/or the contemporary dynamics of the physical, natural, social and/or cultural environments.
  3. It provides a survey of a substantial body of the knowledge, theories and/or controversies that are deemed to be central to a discipline or disciplines.

More broadly, courses having a breadth designation approach the course material in ways that expose students to new theoretical perspectives, forms of thought and modes of enquiry, and will offer students an opportunity actively to examine and assess their values, beliefs and commitments.

Click here for a list of SFU courses designated as Breadth.