Electives & Double-Counting Credits
In the Bachelor of Arts and Science degree program, students must complete at minimum of 20.00 credits, which equates to roughly 40 courses. Of the 20.00 credits 3.00 credits are designated "free electives" which can come from any courses that count for credit. However, students have the opportunity to gain more than 3.00 credits in electives if they double-count courses in their degree. Click here to see a full breakdown of which categories of a BAS degree the credits are put.
Double-counting allows students to use courses in up to two categories of their degree (e.g. Science Core and Science Minor). In some case double counting allows students to take a third minor without needing one or more additional semesters to graduate. But there are limits to how much you can double-count.
How Do I Double-Count Courses and Credits?
Double-counting is another way of saying that a course can be counted towards multiple degree requirements. For example: CHEM*1040 and CHEM*1050 are both 0.50-credit courses; Both courses are on the list of approved science core courses; and both courses can count towards a minor in chemistry. If a BAS student minoring in chemistry takes CHEM*1040 and CHEM*1050, then they will already have 1.00 of their 2.00 science core credits as well as 1.00 of their 5.00 credits of their chemistry minor. They therefore only need 1.00 more credits in the science core and 4.00 more credits in their chemistry minor, and have freed up 1.00 credits to use as electives. Students must ALWAYS graduate with a minimum of 20.00 credits.
When you apply to graduate, the school checks your transcript to make sure it matches the course and credit requirements for your degree program and for the minors you declared. Generally, double counting a course is automatic, which means in most cases you don't need to tell anyone how you want things to be double-counted. However, for planning purposes it is best to work with the Program Counsellor to check for courses that have double counted, or that you are planning to double count.
The Double-Counting Rule: Limitations on Double-Counting
There are of course some limitations on double-counting. The restrictions are as follows:
- No more than 3.00 credits in total can be double-counted.
- Only 1.00 credits can be double-counted between your two minors.
- E.g. If you are doing a Neuroscience and Psychology minor, even though PSYC*1000, PSYC*2330, and PYSC*1010 can all be found between both minors, you can only select two to double count.
- Only 1.00 credits can be double-counted between your science core and your science minor.
- E.g. If you were doing a chemistry minor and took CHEM*1040, CHEM*1050, and BIOC*2580 (all three of which count towards a chemistry minor as well as the science core), only 1.00 of those 1.50 credits would be double-counted.
- Only 1.00 credits can be double-counted between your arts core and your arts minor.
- Nothing can be triple-counted.
Double Counting from the Science Core
If you check our first-year course selection page, we've listed all of the first-year science courses that you should take for your science minor. In quite a few of these cases, the science core courses can be double-counted. You can check whether these core courses can or cannot be double-counted by looking at the academic calendars.
Double Counting from the Arts Core
Since there is no established list of core courses for the arts, double-counting works somewhat differently. You can think of your arts core as a checklist that looks like this (click here to see which college a subject belongs to):
- You need to take at least one course from a subject in the Arts/Humanities.
- You need to take at least one course from a DIFFERENT subject in the Arts/Humanities.
- You need to take at least one course from a subject in the Social Sciences.
- You need to take at least one course from a DIFFERENT subject in the Social Sciences.
The courses for your arts minor will typically belong to one subject in either the Arts/Humanities or Social Sciences. If you were doing an English minor, then you would be able to check item #1 from the above list, and if you were doing a Sociology minor, then you could check #3 off of the above list.