Degree Requirements (H.B.A., H.B.Sc., BCom)

In this section:


 

Degree Requirements

For the complete and detailed description of degree requirements, see below. This chart is intended as a quick reference to describe the minimum degree requirements.

Type of Degree Honours Bachelor of Arts/Honours Bachelor of Science Bachelor of Commerce
Number of Credits (Full Course Equivalents; FCE) 20.0 20.0 (10.0 RSM/MGT courses, 10.0 other A&S courses [note: this is a program requirement])
Level of Credits
  • Maximum 6.0 100-level
  • At least 6.0 300/400-level
  • Maximum 6.0 100-level
  • At least 6.0 300/400-level, including at least 1.0 400-level
Program Requirements
  • 1 Specialist, or
  • 2 Majors*, or
  • 1 Major + 2 Minors*

* must consist of 12.0 different FCE

  • Management, Finance & Economics, or Accounting Specialist
Cumulative Grade Point Average 1.85 1.85
Breadth Requirement (for students beginning degree studies in September 2010 or after) Must take at least 4.0 credits that have been designated as satisfying the Breadth Requirement. Must be either (a) at least 1.0 credit in each of 4 of the 5 categories below, or (b) at least 1.0 credit in each of any 3 of the 5 categories, and at least 0.5 credits in each of the other 2 categories.

1 Creative and Cultural Representations
2. Thought, Belief, and Behaviour
3. Society and Its Institutions
4. Living Things and Their Environment
5. The Physical and Mathematical Universes

Distribution Requirement (for students who began degree studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science prior to September 2010)

 Must take at least 1.0 credit from each of the following three areas:

  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Sciences

N.B. Some restrictions on the acceptability of science courses apply to Bachelor of Commerce students. Refer to the Rotman Commerce section of the Calendar for details.

The Faculty of Arts & Science offers the following degrees:

  • Honours Bachelor of Arts
  • Honours Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Commerce (jointly with the Rotman School of Management)

 

Honours Bachelor of Arts/Honours Bachelor of Science

General Degree Requirements

To qualify for an Honours Bachelor of Arts or Honours Bachelor of Science, you must:

(a) Obtain standing (i.e., complete with a grade of 50% or higher/P/CR) in at least 20.0 Full Course Equivalents (FCE) that meet the following criteria:

  1. No more than 6.0 FCE may be 100-series.
  2. At least 6.0 FCE must be 300+series (no more than 1.0 FCE at the 300+ level in transfer credit may be counted towards these 6.0, with the exception of transfer credits attained through a U of T exchange program).
  3. No more than 15.0 FCE may have the same three-letter designator (“AST”, “ENG”, etc.). Courses beyond this limit will not be included in the 20.0 FCE required for the degree, but will be counted in all other respects.

(b) Complete one of the following program requirements

  • One Specialist program (which includes at least one FCE at the 400-level)   OR
  • Two Major programs, which must include at least 12.0 different FCE  OR
  • One Major and two Minor programs, which must include at least 12.0 different FCE

Note: whether you receive an Honours Bachelor of Arts or an Honours Bachelor of Science depends on the program(s) you complete; see Program Requirements, below.

(c) Regarding Breadth and Distribution Requirements: 

  • For students who began degree studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science in September 2010 or after: complete the Breadth Requirement  OR
  • For students who began degree studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science prior to September 2010: complete the Distribution Requirement.

(d) Obtain a Cumulative GPA of 1.85 or more by the time of graduation. Students who meet all the requirements for the Honours Bachelor of Arts/Honours Bachelor of Science except for the GPA requirement may elect to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree provided they are In Good Standing (i.e., CGPA is 1.50 or more).

 

Discontinued Degrees and Upgrading

Students who completed the 15 FCE (three-year) Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, discontinued as of the summer 2001 session, who return to upgrade that degree to an Honours Bachelor of Arts or Honours Bachleor of Science must exchange the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science diploma for the Honours degree diploma. A Bachelor of Arts degree leads only to an Honours Bachelor of Arts; a Bachelor of Arts degree cannot be upgraded to an Honours Bachelor of Science, and a Bachelor of Science degree cannot be upgraded to an Honours Bachelor of Arts. Students who upgrade to an Honours degree are not eligible to attend the convocation ceremony for the degree upgrade.

 

“Second Degree” Requirements   

Students who have graduated with a degree from the Faculty of Arts & Science may apply through their college by June 1, 2019 to begin a second degree in Fall 2019, or by January 30, 2020 to begin a second degree in Summer 2020. Before applying, students are urged to determine whether a second degree is actually required for their purposes; for example, a “make-up” year as a non-degree student may satisfy admission requirements for graduate school. Students are governed by the rules of the Faculty in place at the time they commence their second degree.
 
Students who successfully apply for a second degree may pursue either an Honours Bachelor of Arts or an Honours Bachelor of Science degree; a Bachelor of Commerce degree may not be pursued as a second degree. The second degree, however, may not be in the same field(s) as the first degree.
 
The Faculty normally exempts students from the first year of the degree requirements (five (5.0) transferred/retained credits: four 100-level and one 200-level), regardless of the number of previous degrees held. Second degree candidates may not repeat courses taken in a previous degree; they may, however, count such courses towards satisfying prerequisite and program requirements, on approval of the department/programs office concerned. Candidacy in a new degree program of study will be established for the Fall or Summer, as appropriate, and a new grade point average will commence with the second degree courses.
 

Program Requirements

Completion of one or more programs is only one part of the general degree requirements. Variations made in program details for individual students do not in any way affect degree requirements.
 
Programs are groupings of courses in one or more disciplines; these groupings are listed with each academic unit entry in the “Programs and Courses” section of this Calendar.
 
Levels of programs are:
  • Specialist Program: a sequence of between 10.0 and 14.0 Full Course Equivalents (FCE) in one or more disciplines (note that some interdisciplinary Specialist programs may require up to 16.0 FCE). Specialist programs must include at least 4.0 300+series FCE, at least 1.0 FCE of which must be at the 400-level. 
  • Major Program: a sequence of between 6.0 and 8.0 FCE in one or more disciplines. Major programs must include at least 2.0 300+series FCEs, at least 0.5 FCE of which must be at the 400-level. 
  • Minor Program: a sequence of 4.0 FCEs in one or more disciplines. Minor programs must include at least 1.0 FCE at the 300+level. 
Please note:
Some courses included as program options may have prerequisites as requirements not listed in the program but which must be taken. Programs which list optional courses do not necessarily list their prerequisites. Students are responsible for fulfilling prerequisites; students enrolled in courses for which they do not have the published prerequisites may have their registration in those courses cancelled at any time without warning.
 
Students are required to:
  1. Enrol in at least one and no more than three programs (of which only two can be Majors or Specialists), in the session in which they pass the fourth Full Course Equivalent (FCE). See the Arts & Science Program Enrolment web site for details. Students admitted with transfer credit for 4.0 FCE or more must enrol in programs immediately upon admission.
  2. Meet any enrolment requirements for a program as stated in the Calendar. 

The programs(s) you complete determine whether you receive a Science or an Arts degree upon graduation. In the “Programs and Courses” section, each program indicates the type of degree to which it leads. For example, in the English section, the English Specialist listing is followed by “Arts program”; in the Mathematics section, the Math Major is followed by “Science program”, etc. A student completing one Specialist in an Arts area would receive the Honours Bachelor of Arts; a student completing one Specialist in a Science area would receive the Honours Bachelor of Science.

For program combinations that include more than one area (Arts and Science), the following applies:

  • A student completing one Major in a Science area and one Major in an Arts area has a choice of either the Honours Bachelor of Science or the Honours Bachelor of Arts. 
  • In combinations of one Major and two Minors, the type of degree depends on the areas of the three programs.  For example, if the Major is in a Science area and the two Minors are in Arts areas (or vice versa), the student has a choice of either the Honours Bachelor of Science or the Honours Bachelor of Arts.  If the Major and one Minor are in Science areas and the other Minor is in an Arts area, the student would receive the Honours Bachelor of Science.  Similarly, if the Major and one Minor are in Arts areas and the other Minor is in a Science area, the student would receive the Honours Bachelor of Arts.
  • A student completing one Specialist in a Science area and an additional Major in an Arts area (or vice versa) has a choice of either the Honours Bachelor of Science or the Honours Bachelor of Arts.
Students enrolled in either two Majors or one Major + two Minors must ensure they have a minimum of 12.0 different Full Course Equivalents (FCE) between the programs. For example:
  • A student is enrolled in the Physiology Major (8.0 FCE) and the Biology Major (8.0 FCE). In order to meet the 12.0 different FCE requirement, they may have up to 4.0 overlapping FCE between their Majors (8.0 + 8.0 = 16.0; 16.0 – 12.0 = 4.0). These two programs contain 3.0 core FCE in common: (BIO120H1+BIO130H1), (CHM138H1+CHM139H1), and (BIO220H1+BIO230H1). Therefore, they may take up to 1.0 more overlapping FCE between the majors. In short, 8.0 for PSL + 8.0 for BIO = 16.0 FCE; 16.0 FCE - 12.0 different FCE = 4.0 FCE overlap allowed.
  • A student is enrolled in the Economics Major (7.0 FCE) and the Statistics Major (6.5 FCE). In order to meet the 12.0 different FCE requirement, they may have up to 1.5 overlapping FCE between their Majors (7.0 + 6.5 = 13.5; 13.5 – 12.0= 1.5). They take MAT135Y1 and STA257H1+STA261H1 (2.0 FCE total) towards both programs. Since they have exceeded the 1.5 FCE overlap limit by 0.5, they must take an additional 0.5 FCE towards one of the Majors so that they will have 12.0 different FCE between them.
Note:
In biological and science programs there may be occasions when scientific observations are made by students on themselves or on fellow students. These include common diagnostic or immunization procedures. Unless a valid reason exists, students are expected to participate in such exercises. If any investigative work involving student participation does not form part of the program, participation is voluntary. 
 
Self-Designed Programs
 
Students may design their own programs, which must be substantially different from any program in this Calendar. Such a program, if formally adopted by the student’s College on the basis of its academic rigour and coherence, and if approved by the Committee on Academic Standards, will be accepted as fulfilling the degree requirement for certification in a program (transcripts indicate only “Completed Self-designed Program approved by ’X’ College”). Since the approval process is necessarily a long one, students following this alternative must discuss this process with their College Registrar immediately after completion of the fourth course in the Faculty.
 

The Breadth Requirement

Students beginning degree studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science in September 2010 or after are required to complete the following Breadth Requirement as part of their Degree Requirements. (The Distribution Requirement described following this section does not apply to such students.)
 
Courses in the Faculty of Arts & Science are classified into five Breadth categories by subject content. (Note that some courses do not have a Breadth Requirement assigned and therefore do not count toward this degree requirement.) The purpose of the Breadth Requirement is to ensure all students graduating with an Honours degree from the Faculty of Arts & Science have chosen courses across a broad range of subject areas in the Faculty as part of their undergraduate education.
  1. Creative and Cultural Representations
  2. Thought, Belief, and Behaviour
  3. Society and Its Institutions
  4. Living Things and Their Environment
  5. The Physical and Mathematical Universes
Students must take at least 4.0 Full Course Equivalents (FCE) that have been designated as satisfying the Breadth Requirement. These 4.0 FCE must be either (a) at least 1.0 FCE in each of any 4 of the 5 categories above, or (b) at least 1.0 FCE in each of any 3 of the 5 categories, and at least 0.5 FCE in each of the other 2 categories.
 
A course’s Breadth designation can be found following the course description in the Calendar for the year in which the course is taken. Courses marked "BR=None" do not count toward any breadth category.
 
For example:
 
    HIS103Y1 Statecraft and Strategy: An Introduction to the History of International Relations[48L/20T] 
    An analysis of the development of the international system, from 1648 to 1945, which highlights
    the role of war as an instrument of national policy, as a determinant of the system of states and
    as a threat to international society.
    Exclusion: any 100-level HIS course, with the exception of AP, IB, CAPE, or GCE transfer credits.
    Distribution Requirement Status: None 
    Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)
    HIS103Y1 counts as 1.0 FCE in category 3 (Society and Its Institutions.)
   
    ENG215H1 The Canadian Short Story [36L]
    An introduction to the Canadian short story, this course emphasizes its rich variety of settings,     subjects, and styles.
    Prerequisite: 1.0 ENG FCE or any 4.0 FCE
    Distribution Requirements: Humanities
    Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)
    ENG215H1 counts as 0.5 FCE in Category 1 (Creative and Cultural Representations).
   
    ANT100Y1 Introduction to Anthropology [48L/12T]
    Society and culture from various anthropological perspectives: socio-cultural, biological,
    archaeological, and linguistic.
    Distribution Requirements: Social Science
    Breadth Requirements: Living Things and Their Environment (4), Society and its Institutions (3)
    ANT100Y1 counts as 0.5 FCE in Category 3 (Society and its Institutions) and 0.5 FCE in Category 4 (Living Things and Their Environment.)
 
Students may count towards the Breadth Requirement any course which has a Breadth designation, and in which they have achieved standing (a grade of 50% or higher/P/CR). Courses that you take as part of your Specialist, Major and/or Minor programs count towards the Breadth Requirement.
 

The Distribution Requirement  

This Distribution Requirement applies only to students who began degree studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science prior to September 2010. (The Breadth Requirement described above does not apply to such students.)
In the Faculty of Arts & Science courses fall into three areas:
  • Humanities
  • Social Science
  • Sciences
To qualify for any degree you must complete at least 1.0 Full Course Equivalent (FCE) in each of these three areas, for a total of 3.0 FCE.
 
Courses that you take as part of your Specialist, Major and/or Minor programs count towards the Distribution Requirement.
 
A course’s Distribution Requirement designation can be found following the course description in the Calendar for the year in which the course is taken. For example:
 
    ANT100Y1 Introduction to Anthropology [48L/12T]
    Society and culture from various anthropological perspectives: socio-cultural, biological,
    archaeological, and linguistic.
    Distribution Requirements: Social Science
    Breadth Requirements: Living Things and Their Environment (4), Society and its Institutions (3)
    ANT100Y1 counts as 1.0 FCE in Social Science. 
 
    ENG215H1 The Canadian Short Story [36L]
    An introduction to the Canadian short story, this course emphasizes its rich variety of settings,
    subjects, and styles.
    Prerequisite: 1.0 ENG FCE or any 4.0 FCE
    Distribution Requirements: Humanities
    Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)
    ENG215H1 counts as 0.5 FCE in Humanities. 
 

Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Degree Requirements

(See also the complete Rotman Commerce degree, program and course listing)
 
To qualify for a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a student must:
 
(a) Obtain standing (i.e., complete with a grade of 50% or higher/P/ CR) in at least 20.0 Full Course Equivalents (FCE) that meet the following criteria:
  1. No more than 6.0 FCE may be 100-series.
  2. At least 6.0 FCE must be 300+series, at least 1.0 FCE of which must be at the 400-level (no more than 1.0 FCE at the 300+ level in transfer credit may be counted towards these 6.0, with the exception of transfer credits attained through a U of T exchange program; students participating in an approved exchange program may count all 300+ level transfer credits from the exchange toward the minimum 6.0 FCE requirement ).
  3. No more than 15.0 FCE may have the same three-letter designator (“AST”, “ENG”, etc.). Courses beyond this limit will not be included in the 20.0 FCE required for the degree, but will be counted in all other respects.
(b) Complete one of the following program requirements: Specialist in Accounting, Specialist in Finance and Economics, or Specialist in Management
 
(c) Complete the Arts & Science Breadth Requirement (see above)*;
 
(d) Achieve a cumulative GPA of 1.85 or more by the time of graduation.
 
*Note: September 2016 and onward students will follow the Arts & Science Breadth Requirement and are no longer required to have 1.0 FCE from category 1 (BR1).  
 
Students who began degree studies prior to September 2010 must complete the Faculty Distribution Requirement for Bachelor of Commerce students (see below).
 
Faculty Distribution Requirement for Bachelor of Commerce Students
 
As part of the degree requirements for the BCom, Students who began degree studies in the Bachelor of Commerce prior to September 2010 must complete 1.0 Full Course Equivalent (FCE) in each of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences areas as they are defined below: 
  1. 1.0 FCE must be from the Humanities.
  2. 1.0 FCE must be from the Social Sciences (MGT/RSM courses may be used to meet this requirement with the exception of MGT120H1/MGT201H1, COM110H1, and RSM100Y1 which have NO Distribution Requirement status).
  3. 1.0 FCE must be from the Sciences, with the following exceptions : ALL 100-series courses in CSC, MAT, STA; STA250H1, STA255H1, STA257H1, STA352Y1.
  4. NOTE: transfer students from University of Toronto Mississauga or Scarborough must meet the Faculty of Arts & Science Distribution Requirement for Bachelor of Commerce students.

 

Certificates and the Language Citation

Certificates (In-conjunction)
 
Certificates offered in conjunction with an undergraduate degree program are composed of a sequence of courses relating to a particular subject or theme, intended to complement an existing program. The total number of FCE required for a Certificate is less than a Minor (normally 2.0-3.0 FCE), to allow room for completion alongside normal programs of study. 
 
Faculty of Arts & Science Language Citation  
 
The University of Toronto is an ideal place for students to pursue the advanced study of languages. Our students live in a country that promotes multiculturalism, and our university is located in one of the world’s most diverse cities. We offer significant language opportunities in both ancient and modern languages. We also offer a variety of international academic programs and the number of such programs will expand.  As our students seek further international study, work opportunities, and post-graduate study, they may be assisted by a notation on their academic record of language proficiency.
 
The Language Citation in the Faculty of Arts & Science is official recognition on a student’s transcript that the student has progressed to an advanced level in the study of a language, and has been assessed as achieving good results in that study. In particular, to achieve the Language Citation, a student must complete 2.0 Full Course Equivalents (FCE) in language instruction or in courses taught in the language to be assessed, beyond the first-year level, and must achieve at least a B- in each of the courses beyond the introductory level. The Language Citation will consist of a notation on the transcript that reads: “Completed Requirements of Language Citation in [name of language].” This notation will appear in the Faculty of Arts & Science sessional segment of the student’s academic record on the transcript listing the courses and marks for the session in which the Citation is assessed as complete. 
 
Note that Language Citation is not a program, and will not contribute toward the program(s) required to complete the degree. The Citation may be of interest to those who are completing programs involving language study, but it may also be of interest to those whose program interests lie elsewhere, but wish to have achievement in a language noted on their academic record.
 
To be assessed for the Language Citation, students should contact the academic unit that will be assessing the language for the Citation and indicate which courses they would like to be considered for the assessment. If students already have proficiency in a language and wish to move directly to courses beyond the introductory level, they should consult the relevant academic unit about appropriate placement. Students wishing to include courses taken in the country where the language is spoken should consult the relevant academic unit about appropriate study abroad options.
 
The Citation can be earned in any language, modern or ancient, which provides sufficient advanced training at the University of Toronto, provided the unit offering the instruction participates in the Citation. Courses taken at the University of Toronto Mississauga or University of Toronto Scarborough may also be eligible to be included in the assessment for Faculty of Arts & Science students.
 
The list below  identifies the academic units that offer a Language Citation. For details, including the languages in which students may achieve a Citation, see the relevant entries in this Calendar.
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Classics
  • East Asian Studies
  • French
  • Germanic Languages & Literatures
  • Italian Studies
  • Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
  • Portuguese
  • Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • Spanish 

 

Graduation

There are two graduation periods: June and November. Students must request graduation using ACORN by the deadline specified in the Sessional Dates section of the Calendar. Prospective graduands should check Degree Explorer (https://degreeexplorer.utoronto.ca) at the end of March (for June graduation)/late September (for November graduation) to see if their programs have been confirmed by the relevant academic unit(s). They should also check Degree Explorer at the end of May/late October for confirmation of their eligibility for graduation by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.

For students graduating in June, only courses completed by the end of the preceding winter term (ending in April) will be assessed for graduation. For students graduating in November, only courses completed by the end of the preceding summer session (ending in August) will be assessed for graduation.

Prospective graduands should receive an email from the Office of Convocation providing details of the convocation ceremony in late March (for June graduation)/mid-October (for November graduation). An email will be sent from the Office of the Faculty Registrar in late May or early June (two weeks prior to the convocation ceremony)/late October (two weeks prior to the convocation ceremony) to students who have a request for graduation confirming their eligibility.

Recognition of Exceptional Academic Achievement: “High Distinction” and “Distinction”

Students who graduate with a Cumulative GPA* of 3.50 or above are described as graduates “With High Distinction”. This achievement is noted on the diploma and transcript.
 
Students who graduate with a Cumulative GPA* of 3.20 to 3.49 are described as graduates “With Distinction”. This achievement is noted on the diploma and transcript.
 
* Note: the Cumulative GPA must be based on at least 5.0 FCE taken for Faculty of Arts & Science degree credit.