Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Overview

Choosing Your Major

Your academic major is the program of study in which you are most interested. Each program has required and/or recommended courses for your first year of study. Before enrolling, consult the program requirements in the Undergraduate Calendar. Interested in two majors? You can combine two areas of study in a Combined Honours (or Double Major) four-year program. In the first term, you should take the courses listed for both programs. In addition, you should plan to meet with advisors in both areas of study to ensure your course selections meet all requirements.

Choosing a Minor

In addition to your major, you can also gain an advantage by including a “minor” in your academic major. A minor is an area of supplementary specialization (generally 6 specific courses in an area of study). Tailor a university experience that is unique to you!

Choosing a Certificate

You might also be interested in taking courses toward a certificate (generally 8-10 specific courses). Certificate programs within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS) include: Arts Management; Law and Politics; North American Studies; Public Administration; Second Language Education; Women’s and Gender Studies; and Work and Employment Issues.

Discovering Your Interests (Undeclared Major)

Your undergraduate years are a time of discovery—of who you are, your strengths, and what your passion is in life. If you are unsure in what you want to major, you can register as an “Undeclared Major” in your first year of study. This will give you the opportunity to try different subject areas and discover your real interests. To help you, we require all Undeclared Majors to seek academic advising at the university’s Student Success Centre, and in the departments in which you have a particular interest. As an Undeclared Major, you should take Understanding the Contemporary World (01-01-120: double-credit course in Fall semester), a course specifically designed to help you develop and explore your own university skills.

Effective Writing

All first-year students in a FAHSS program must take Effective Writing I (01-01-150 in the Fall semester and Effective Writing II in the Winter semester.) (English majors are exempt from Effective Writing II.) These foundational courses are designed to help you develop the writing skills you need to succeed in your university courses. The Effective Writing courses include an online component, as well as a weekly, on-campus class component.

Looking For An Arts Course?

Arts courses include those offered in: Dramatic Art; English; Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Philosophy; and the Creative Arts. You may take one or two of these courses in your first year of study. Here are some suggested Arts courses:

01-07-137 Introduction to German, Italian and Spanish Literature
01-11-162 Introduction to Roman Civilization
01-11-211 Greek Prose
01-11-212 Greek Poetry
01-11-221 Latin Prose
01-11-222 Latin Poetry
01-11-280 Topics in Classical Culture
01-24-111 Theatre in Contemporary Culture
01-24-130 Theatre History I
01-26-103 Writing Creatively
01-26-128 Women and Literature
01-26-140 Topics in Literature
01-28-150 Contemporary Visual Culture
01-34-110 Introduction to Western Philosophy
01-34-112 Philosophy and Human Nature
01-34-129 Contemporary Moral Issues
01-34-130 Philosophy and Popular Culture
01-34-160 Reasoning Skills
01-39-110 Fundamentals of Film Theory and Aesthetics

Looking For a Social Science Course?

Social Science courses include those offered in: Anthrozoology; Communication, Media and Film; History; Political Science; Psychology; Social Work; Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology; Women’s and Gender Studies; and Work and Employment. Social Science courses you might take in your first year of study:

02-51-160 Animals and Humans in Society (also offered as an Arts course)
02-38-101 Social Justice in Action
02-38-140 Queer Activism (also offered as 02-53-140)
02-40-101 Introduction to Media and Society
02-40-140 Introduction to Film Studies
02-43-113 Europe Encounters the World: Facing Islam, 8th-15th Century
02-43-123 The World in the 20th Century 1914-1945
02-45-100 Introduction to Canadian Government and Politics
02-45-120 Space, Place, and Scale: Foundations of Human Geography
02-45-130 Comparative Politics in a Changing World
02-46-115 Introduction to Psychology as a Behavioural Science
02-46-116 Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science
02-47-117 Meeting Human Needs through Social Welfare
02-48-100 Understanding Social Life
02-48-110 Foundations of Social Life
02-53-100 Women in Canadian Society
02-53-106 Women and Religion (can also be counted as an Arts course)
02-53-120 Gal Pals: Women and Friendship (can also be counted as an Arts course)
02-54-100 Labour and Social Movements in Canadian Society
02-54-105 Working for a Living

Explore Your Creative Side

Put some music in your life and earn academic credit! Each of these courses counts as one-half (0.5) credit:

01-33-210 University Singers (by audition)
01-33-220 University Wind Ensemble (by audition)
01-33-240 Jazz Ensemble (by audition)
01-33-310 Chamber Choir (by audition)

Contact the School of Creative Arts, Ext. 2829, or email for more information. Private lessons (full or half credit): 60- or 30-minute lessons in classical or jazz/pop for all instruments/voices. Audition required; fees apply. Other music courses available, subject to availability and instructor approval.

Interested in Visual Arts? Our foundational Studio courses have a limited number of places for non-majors each semester:

01-27-105 Studio Practice and Ideas/Space
01-27-106 Studio Practice and Ideas/Image
01-27-107 Studio Practice and Ideas/Drawing
01-27-108 Studio Practice and Ideas/Time-Based

Looking For a Science Course?

Science courses include those offered in: Biological Sciences; Computer Science; Earth & Environmental Sciences; Mathematics & Statistics; and Physics. Suggested Science courses for majors in FAHSS programs:

03-41-200 Life Choices and Economics
03-55-100 Biology of Organisms
03-57-110 Introductory Crime Scene Investigation
03-57-201 Introduction to Forensic Science
03-60-104 Computer Concepts for End-Users
03-60-106 Programming in C for Beginners
03-62-101 Access to Differential Calculus
03-62-102 Access to Linear Algebra
03-64-190 Introduction to Astronomy I
03-64-191 Introduction to Astronomy II
03-66-100 Introduction to Geomorphology
03-66-102 Atmosphere and Climate
03-66-110 Natural Hazards and Disasters

Interested in Learning a Language?

Most programs in FAHSS have Language or Science requirements. There are
many Language courses open to students who have no previous knowledge of
the language, including:

German (01-15-102 and 01-15-202)**
Italian (01-21-102 and 01-21-202)**
Latin (01-14-100)
Spanish (01-23-102 and 01-23-202)**

** These are intensive double-credit courses.

French: Students with Grade 11 “U” French can take 01-29-114 (Preparatory French: Intermediate Level II). Students with Grade 12 “U” French can take 01-29-121 (French Language Training I) followed by 01-29-122 (French Language Training II). Students may also take 01-29-141 (Introduction to Literary Studies). Use your language skills to go on an exchange program at a foreign university in Year 3, a great asset when you look for a job!

If you already have some language background, call the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Ext. 2888 for placement into a more advanced language course.

Note: Suggested courses listed in this overview may be offered in the Fall, Winter or both terms. Students should check available offerings when planning and selecting courses.