What is a Quantitative/Analytical course?

As a requirement to graduate with a Bachelor's degree, students must successfully complete at least two Quantitative/Analytical (Q) courses with a grade of C- or better. Q courses may be taken at either the lower or upper division. This requirement presumes that students registering in Q courses have met a basic competency standard (see 'Quantitative Requirements for admissions'). Students not ready for Q courses must successfully complete Foundations of Analytical and Quantitative Reasoning (FAN X99) prior to registering in Q courses. It is strongly recommended that students take their first Q course as early as possible, preferably in the first 30 credits.

Interpreting the definition of Q courses

To qualify as Q, a course must have either quantitative (numerical, geometric) or formal (deductive, probabilistic) reasoning as part of its primary subject matter, or make substantial use of such reasoning in practical problem solving, critical evaluation, or analysis.

Mathematics courses already required in Math, the Sciences, Engineering, Business and Economics, and statistics courses required in Social Science programs qualify as Q courses, as do the symbolic logic courses offered in Philosophy.

Courses that contain a significant math or stats component currently offered in programs such as Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Business, Economics and other Social Science programs are also eligible for Q designation.

A third type of Q course is designed especially for students in the Humanities and Fine Arts. The goal of such courses is not simply to nurture traditional math skills. Such courses aspire to the greater challenge of deepening the understanding and appreciation of quantitative and formal reasoning, their ubiquitous utility, and their creative potential. These courses focus on the relation between:

  1. concepts and structures communicated through numbers and other systems of abstract representation (such as formal languages, programming languages, geometries, graphs); and
  2. fostering students' ability to engage more effectively with the subject matter of their respective programs and practical everyday situations.

Such courses may not focus primarily on quantitative or formal reasoning methods, but give significant exercise to such techniques through model building and problem solving, both in class and in course assignments.

Click here for a list of SFU courses designated Quantitative.