Frequently Asked Questions



I have completed AP/IB courses. Will I receive credit for these?

Students are able to receive credit for a maximum of four AP/IB courses. For AP credit, a student must achieve a grade of 4; for an IB credit, a student must achieve a grade of 5. Make arrangements with your Guidance Office to submit the final grades to the University of Guelph. Credits will automatically be granted by the Admissions Department once the final grades are received in the office.

Sometimes the credits granted are non-specific, meaning it doesn’t match a course offered here at the Guelph, but it does count as an elective towards your degree. If you believe your course does equate with a specific course here on campus, keep the course outline. We can have it reviewed by a professor - if the professor agrees the credit can be changed (eg. from BIOL*9110 which is not a course here at Guelph, to BIOL*1030 which is the BSc Core Requirement).

Any admission questions should be directed to where the experts in Admission Services can answer your questions.

What do most students do after they graduate from this program?

BAS graduates go on to accomplish pretty much anything that other students are accomplishing from other programs. Many students plan to pursue some additional professional education – teacher’s college, medical school, and physiotherapy school are examples that current students hope to pursue. You will be able to complete all of the specific subject requirements for professional school while in the BAS program. The choices available after graduation will certainly depend on what students decided to minor in their BAS degree and what they learned. Students in the BAS program have the same opportunities as students in other degree programs.

What is the BAS Cluster?

Academic Learning Clusters are a unique opportunity available through Residence Life in Student Housing Services. Academic Clusters are small groups or "clusters" of first year students who are enrolled in the same academic program, and share living space and friendships. This program is designed to help new students adjust to the challenges of university life and study. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be connected to other students in your program from the first day you move into residence.

As well, you are automatically connected with students who are taking the same courses, studying the same subjects and going through the same experience as you. All clusters also have an upper year student in the same program who is there to provide support and academic and social community events. For more information, check out Residence Learning Communities.

Do I complete the Science & Arts/Social Science cores in my first year?

No, it is not necessary to complete the entire science or arts/social science core in the first year. While the cores give BAS students a solid grounding in both the sciences and arts/social sciences, they also help the students figure out what their minors are going to be, so often student do end up completing the cores in their first year

As long as all the program requirements, including the cores are completed before graduation, students can organize their schedules any way they want.

When do I declare my minors?

Students should declare their minors at the latest by the end of second year. Depending on the minor, it may be recommended you declare your minor in first year in order to select courses that have limited enrolment by specialization (ie. SART, ARTH, ENGL).
Some students are able to declare their minors as early as their first semester while others may just need some extra time to complete minor entrance requirements or to decide between two possible minor options.

Finally, it’s not set in stone! If you change your mind about one (or even both) of your minors, it’s totally fine. We just fill out another form. It’s simply paperwork! Honest!

Is the BAS degree a three or four year degree program?

If you take a full course load (5 courses/2.50 credits) every Fall and Winter semester, you can complete the BAS honours degree in four years. As long as all the program requirements are met for graduation, students can decide how quickly or slowly they want to complete their degree.

I am thinking about pursuing graduate studies after I complete my BAS, will I be disadvantaged if I don’t have a major?

Not necessarily. There are many graduate programs (Masters and PhD) with a flexible set of admissions criteria and with interdisciplinary requirements.

If you are planning to pursue graduate studies in a traditional academic discipline (e.g. an MA and PhD in Psychology), not having a major does not need to be a drawback either. BAS students can complete the equivalent of a major by using their free electives to take the other classes required of a major. When admissions committees look at the applicant’s transcript, they will see that s/he has all same subject area courses as students in a major. Most graduate programs are more interested in what is reflected on the transcript rather than the titles of "major" or "minor."

What is an "interdisciplinary" degree?

The textbook definition of "interdisciplinary" is "relating to or involving two or more academic disciplines that are usually considered distinct". So in the BAS program, interdisciplinary involves studying issues and topics from various angles and methods, eventually working across disciplines in the sciences, arts, and social sciences, forming a more thorough and better understanding of the subject. Rarely can knowledge really be applicable until it is framed within a specific context. Defining this context is not usually limited to one discipline. To really understand and study a given subject, one needs to do so in its own discipline at first, but then broaden the understanding to include the intersections of other disciplines that present themselves all around us in our past, present and even future societies.

Is this program demanding?

The BAS program is no more or less demanding than any other program here at the University of Guelph. Depending on each student’s backgrounds and skill sets, as they complete their degree, they quickly come to know where their areas of strength and areas where they may need to concentrate their efforts. The great thing is that there are numerous resources available on this campus that are all geared towards setting students up for success academically, socially, emotionally and personally.

What is the difference between a degree with two minors and one with a minor and a major?

Degree programs across the country have varying ways of defining the specializations students complete. A "major" at Guelph normally requires 8-10 credits while a minor requires approximately half that number: 5-6 credits. The BAS program is distinct because students choose a minor in two different disciplines (science and arts or social science) and also complete a core set of courses which could also be understood as another specialization.

Can I get into Medical School after the BAS program?

If you know that you are interested in pursuing medical school after the BAS program, you can use the elective courses to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the medical schools that you are interested in. The main thing to be aware of is that there is no set requirements that ALL medical schools have. Requirements will vary from institution to institution. As you complete your BAS degree, you and I (BAS program counsellor) will work together to ensure that you are taking the right courses in order to pursue your larger goals and objectives.

Do I have to take Physics?

Not necessarily. All BAS students are required to complete the science core and a science minor. What you decide your science minor to be will determine what science courses you will take for your science core. Typically, most BAS students will complete two of the four science areas (biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics). While physics may not be required for the BAS program, there are some grad or professional programs (ie. MCAT, GED, etc.) that may require physics.

What’s the difference between a Program Counsellor and a Faculty Advisor?

Program Counsellors have particular expertise in degree program requirements and regulations, as well as the specializations and their fit within the degree program.

Program Counsellors (by degree program)

Faculty Advisors have particular expertise in the program specialization (major, minor, area of concentration, area of emphasis) and its fit within the degree program.

Faculty Advisors (by specialization)

Could you provide more information about the Arts & Sciences Entrance Scholarship? Where and when do I apply?

The Entrance Scholarship open to first year BAS students is the John Vanderkamp Memorial Scholarship. Dr. Vanderkamp was a professor and Chair of the Department of Economics who went on to serve as Dean of the College of Social Science (1981-1991). Dr. Vanderkamp was an enthusiastic promoter of liberal education as encompassed in the Arts & Sciences Program.

Are there study abroad opportunities in the BAS program?

Yes and students are strongly encouraged to explore these opportunities!  The Centre for International Programs offers a variety of study abroad programs in over 30 countries, which you can read about on the CIP website. You can use CIP’s Program Search to find out which programs offer courses that may work for your minors. 

Students usually plan to study abroad during their second or third year.  Applications to study abroad are always due in late January of the preceding year, so make sure to plan ahead.  The first step is to attend a mandatory Study Abroad Information Session, which will outline the types of programs offered and answer students’ basic questions about requirements, finances, credit transfer, and the application process.

While it is often possible to take some courses that count as required courses for their minors, students are encouraged to save as many electives as possible, as this will give greater flexibility while studying abroad.  Some students have even arranged to take an ASCI courses while abroad (ie. ASCI*3000 community project, ASCI independent projects).

I’m planning to go to Teacher’s College. Will I be able to fulfill the requirements for Bachelor of Education programs in the BAS degree?

Yes. Students who want to teach at the Primary/Junior level do not need a teachable subject (the exception is French as a second language). Some schools give preference to students who have studied a broad range of subjects; others prefer students to have focused on Child and Youth studies. Check with the OUAC Teacher Education Application Service for specifics for each school via their website.

Students who want to teach at the Junior/Intermediate level need one teaching subject or “teachable”. A teachable at the Junior/Intermediate level consists of three full undergraduate courses; some schools require a specific average in the teachable courses. Check with the OUAC Teacher Education Application Service for a list of Junior/Intermediate Teaching Subjects, the Teacher’s Colleges that offer training in those areas, and the specific requirements for each school.

Students who want to teach at the Intermediate/Senior level need two teachable subjects. The first teachable requires five full undergraduate courses while the second teachable requires three full undergraduate courses. The BAS program works best for those interested in one arts/social science teachable and one science teachable. Students who want two science teachables will need to use their free electives to obtain enough courses in the second teachable area. Again, check with the OUAC Teacher Education Application Service for a list of Intermediate/Senior Teaching Subjects, the Bachelor of Education programs offering training in those areas, and the specific requirements for each school.

Can I get into the Ontario Veterinary College (DVM) from the BAS program?

Yes. Anyone applying to the DVM program must have a minimum of 3 years of undergrad experience. As well, applicants must fulfill specific requirements regardless of what program they are applying from. Through some careful planning (with the help of the Program Counsellor) all of these requirements are attainable through the BAS program.

What happens if I miss an exam?

The first thing you will need to do is to make a request for academic consideration. How do you do this? You send an email to or you come to program counselling office to fill out the paper work. In order to make a request for academic consideration, you need to have a valid reason for missing the exam (ie. medical, psychological, compassionate, etc.). After exams, instructors submit a list of students’ names that didn’t write the final exam or didn’t complete a major portion of their course work (ie. major paper, lab reports, presentation, etc.)

The list from the instructors is checked to see if any of those students requested academic considerations. Depending on the situation, we will go ahead and fill out the paper work requesting a deferred exam that will be written in the following semester. This will obviously depend on your reason for missing the exam in the first place. Do you have documentation that supports the reason for missing it? (ie. health services, counseling services, etc.)

At the end of the day, if you can write the exam, you should write the exam. That being said, if there’s any chance that you will perform badly for a valid reason, do not write the exam. It is always easier to request academic consideration to write a deferred exam than to try explaining why you did poorly on an exam.

What if I want to transfer into or out of the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences?

Transferring into the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences from another degree program here at the University of Guelph

  1. Go through the information provided under on the BAS website
  2. Meet with the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences Program Counsellor to go over program requirements and admission requirements into the program.
  3. Follow the online application process to transfer into the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences.

Transferring into another degree program at the University of Guelph from the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences program.

  1. Research program requirements in the program that you are interested in transferring into.
  2. Meet with the Program Counsellor of the program that you would like to transfer into to go over program requirements and admission requirements into the program.
  3. Follow the online application process to complete the internal transfer into the new program

If you are transferring to or from another degree program at another institution (other than the University of Guelph), please contact for information about transfer credits and admission processes.