Academic Programs Committee ReportsUNIVERSITY COUNCIL
ACADEMIC PROGRAMS COMMITTEE
FOR INFORMATION ONLY
PRESENTED BY: Jim Merriam, Chair, Academic Programs Committee
DATE OF MEETING: December 16, 2004
SUBJECT: Arts & Science: revision to BSc distribution requirements
DECISION REQUESTED: That Council approve the revisions to the BSc distribution requirements in the College of Arts and Science.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL:
The following requirements will be added for all BSc degree programs:
1. Competency in mathematics or statistics
2. Greater breadth in introductory science courses
3. Increase in major subject minimums for the Four-year and Honours degrees
4. Requirement for 300- and 400-level classes in the major.
5. Departments can request permission to require more than 60 credit units in one subject area.
6. All BSc. students will be required to take at least 18 credit units in non-science courses in Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, including at least 6 credit units in English and/or History to ensure that all Science students take courses for which a writing component is explicitly required.
These changes develop breadth in introductory science and depth in the major discipline, as well as enhancing writing skills by students. These requirements are consistent with Science degree programs at other Western Canadian universities.
IMPACT AND RELATIONSHIPS:
The majority of BSc students already meet several of these standards. There would be some additional demand for Mathematics, English and History courses which the college can accommodate.
Under the guidelines approved by Council for program revisions, changes of this type in a Bachelors' degree program perhaps could have been approved by Academic Programs Committee and reported to Council for information. APC decided, however, that Council should approve these changes because they have the potential to affect the programs of so many departments and students
APC reviewed these changes over several meetings and discussed them with the college, particularly to clarify the impact of the removal of the restriction on total credit units in a subject. APC ensured that recommendations from departments to increase the credit units required in their subject would be considered individually by the college program committee and would require justification from the department. The committee also forwarded the changes to the Budget Committee for information.