Pursuing Liberal Studies entails deepening one’s capacity for effective communication, incisive analysis, creative thinking and critical self-reflection. It is not just a university graduate’s overall sum of knowledge, but the capacity to increase, deepen, distribute and apply that knowledge, which matters most in an ever-changing world. Preparing students to flourish in their personal and professional lives informs the holistic, interdisciplinary, inquiry-driven approach of the Liberal Studies program. Creating awareness and compassion, fostering civic engagement and nurturing the needs of the whole student are central to the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities’ mission to equip students with the intellectual and interpersonal skills they need to excel in all facets of life.
Building on the disciplinary strengths of the university as a whole—and the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities in particular—Liberal Studies enables students to pursue their academic interests and professional aspirations beyond the disciplinary confines of other programs. Consisting of an introductory and capstone course, plus continuous opportunities for personalized institutional guidance and support, the Liberal Studies honours degree program grants students the flexibility to decide which courses to take among the fascinating array of offerings at the university.
Admission is competitive. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including school marks, distribution of subjects taken, and performance in subjects relevant to the academic program. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.
Current Ontario secondary school students must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U or 4M credits including English (ENG4U). All other applicants should refer to admissions for the requirements for their specific category of admission.
Note: Students intending to take Science courses as part of their Liberal Studies program are strongly recommended to have Advanced Functions (MHF4U), and two of Biology (SBI4U), Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U), Chemistry (SCH4U) or Physics (SPH4U).
A limited number of fourth-year students are granted an opportunity to participate in a learning experience with a community organization. The Practicum course consists of 100 hours of fieldwork, in-class seminars, a set of academic assignments and a major research paper and poster. As part of the pre-practicum process, students will be required to acquire a Vulnerable Sector check. For additional information, please refer to the course description for SSCI 4098U .
Degree and major requirements
To be eligible for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Liberal Studies, students must meet both the degree requirements and requirements of the major as outlined below for a total of 120 credits. Each year prior to course registration, the order and timing of course offerings will be released by the faculty and communicated to students.
Required first-year courses for all Bachelor of Arts students in Liberal Studies (18 credit hours)
Liberal Studies major [102 credit hours]
Students are required to complete at minimum 36 credit hours of 3000- and 4000-level courses (and at maximum 42 credit hours of 1000-level courses). That leaves 54 credit hours for 2000-, 3000-, and 4000-level courses to be completed in second, third and fourth years. Students are also required to complete four electives in first year.
Note: LBAT 2000U – Introduction to Liberal Studies should be completed in the second year of study. LBAT 4000U – Liberal Studies Capstone must be completed in fourth year.
In addition to LBAT 4000U , students are required to complete at least one other 4000-level course, one Faculty of Social Science and Humanities methodology course, and at least one humanities course offered in another Faculty of Social Science and Humanities program.
SSCI 4101U and SSCI 4102U Honours Thesis I and II
In order to be considered for the Honours Thesis I , students must apply during their sixth semester to begin their Honours Thesis I in semester seven. The course application must include a detailed statement of intent outlining the methodology, theoretical significance and the projected timelines for completion of the project. To proceed to Honours Thesis II , a student must have successfully completed Honours Thesis I with a minimum A- and prepare a written statement outlining the projected timelines for completion of the project.
Please note: only a limited number of applicants will be admitted to the Honours Thesis. Consent is required from both the instructor and the dean.