Future BAS Students
The Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BAS) program is an opportunity for students who have varied interests to study the things that interest them the most. The flexible nature of the program allows students to choose a specialization in both the arts/social sciences and the sciences; combine that with interdisciplinary courses and elective courses, and students can build a degree that suits them best. Born from a student and faculty desire for innovative academic work at the undergraduate level, the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BAS) program gives students the opportunity to study in over 40 unique specializations. Students will learn where their specializations intersect and diverge through interdisciplinary courses which range from methods and theory to honours research projects. These students enter U of G’s BAS degree intent on a program which combines disciplinary rigour with interdisciplinary focus. The BAS program was developed from the premise that the humanities, sciences and social sciences offer perspectives that inform and complement each another. This integrated approach to knowledge and learning is particularly important in addressing the complexities and proposing solutions in our contemporary society.
The Bachelor of Arts & Sciences program can be divided into 4 main groupings:
Six (6) Interdisciplinary Courses (ASCI)
These Arts & Science (ASCI) classes at the core of the program are probably one of the biggest benefits of the program. They are specialized classes that incorporate both the arts and sciences in the curriculum and study where they intersect. In the BAS program, you'll also have a chance to develop your research skills and knowledge in both the arts and sciences. These unique courses aren't only rooted in academics and theories either, they actively study how arts and science are a functioning part of society around us by studying past and current global issues, incorporating service learning through community volunteering and looking at specific case studies. As well, these specialized courses are only available to BAS students, so it's a chance to really get to know all the other students in your program while also getting a chance to meet lots of people outside of your program when taking your other courses. These courses provide a balanced understanding of connections and interplay between broad disciplines, grounding their learning, and are key components to a successful interdisciplinary program.
Core Science and Core Arts/Social Science Courses
BAS students are all required to complete a core of four (4) science courses as well as a core of four (4) arts/social science courses before graduation. This ensures that all BAS students have a solid grounding across the humanities, social sciences and the sciences as true Arts & Science students. These courses also help students determine what specializations they may be interested in pursuing in the BAS program. This is why most students opt to complete their core requirements within their first year.
In addition, all BAS students in the program complete two specializations: a specialization in the Sciences and a specialization in the Arts/Social Sciences. These two specializations can be as closely related or as independent from each other as the student wishes.
Science Specializations available to BAS Students include:
Agriculture, Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computing & Information Science, Ecology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Environmental Analysis, Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, Nutrition & Nutraceutical Sciences, Physics, Plant Sciences, Statistics, and Zoology.
Arts and Social Science minors available to BAS students include:
Anthropology, Art History, Arts, Culture and Heritage Management, Business, Business Economics, Classical Studies, Creative Writing, Criminal Justice and Public Policy, Economics, English, European Culture and Civilization, Family and Child Studies, French Studies, Geography, German, History, International Development, Italian, Marketing, Media & Cinema Studies, Museum Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish and Hispanic Studies, Studio Art and Theatre Studies.
Even within this unique program where BAS students are choosing courses and learning from across many different disciplines, there is still an opportunity for students to take courses purely out of interest. Elective courses allow students to sample different academic opportunities from across campus or to focus their efforts towards a specific specialization.
Elective courses are often used to meet various requirements that the minors may not meet for certain grad school and professional school programs. Similarly, some students use the electives to take extra courses in one of their given minors to obtain an equivalent to a major. This way when they graduate, though they will still graduate with 2 minors, but their transcript will also reflect that they have taken the appropriate courses for the equivalent to the major.
Lastly, elective courses are most often used by students that wish to travel with exchange programs or study aboard programs or to complete one of the University of Guelph’s certificates. Elective courses give students the freedom to explore different courses while studying at another institution anywhere in the world.
The Bachelor of Arts & Sciences program is an honours program consisting of 20.00 credits. Most offered courses are 0.50 credits, thus requiring students to take approximately 40 courses to complete this program. These 20.00 credits are spread across the 4 different groupings as mentioned above. The order that you take the courses in and the length of time it takes you to obtain the 20.00 credits is all up to you.
If you already know what your two specializations are going to be and want to pursue them rather than completing the core requirements first, that's up to you. It just means somewhere along the way, you will eventually need to meet the core requirements. Similarly, while most students complete the program within 4 years by taking a full course load each Fall and Winter semester for 4 years, there are other ways to complete this degree. Some students choose to take a reduced course load for many different reasons (ie. Varsity sports, part-time jobs, personal health and time management, etc.), meaning they will take longer than 4 years to complete the degree. That's okay too! The point is, this is YOUR degree. Complete it the way you want to regardless of how others are completing their degrees.
Careers & Opportunities
We are often asked: “What can I do with this degree? Could you provide us with examples of career and academic options pursued by graduates from this degree program?”
Students who graduate from BAS are eligible for any of the professional schools (Medical, Vet, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Teaching, Law, Journalism, MBA, etc). They also have the requirements to pursue graduate education in interdisciplinary programs. Students interested in pursuing a “traditional” graduate education (e.g., MA English) may need to complete more course work to earn the “equivalent” of a major in the subject area of choice.
Students are equally attracted to this degree for what it affords them while in university – the chance to pursue more than one discipline – and for the diverse paths to which it may lead upon graduation. Many plan to seek advanced degrees including MA and MSc programs; others are looking to professional degrees such as medicine, education, law, veterinary medicine; others still are enthusiastic about combining their interests in careers in journalism, public health, and environmental conservation.
Here are some more examples careers, graduate and professional programs our BAS grads have pursued:
- Broadcast Coordinator
- Sexual Health Educator
- Environmental Technician
- Rural Planner
- Medical Anthropologist
- Resident in General Surgery
- Naturopathic Doctor
- Equine Stable Manager (and Professional Horseback Rider!)
- Digital Marketing Coordinator
- Chartered Financial Analyst
- Program Manager for Energy Conversation
- Communications and Public Relations Coordinator
- Assistant to Canadian member of United Nations International Law Commission
- Teacher in French Immersion School
- Genetic Counsellor
- Speech Pathologist
- Aboriginal Consultant for Oil Sands Development
- Master’s Degrees and PhD programs in: Occupational Therapy, Museum Studies, Journalism, Public Health, Toxicology & Pharmacology, Social Work, Landscape Architecture, Environmental Studies, History & Philosophy of Science
- Graduate Diplomas in: Forest Ecology, Communication of Science
- Teacher’s College to teach: Biology, English, Drama, Physics, Music, History, French, Mathematics, Chemistry, Social Sciences
- Medical School
- Law Degree
- Chiropractic College
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Students not interested in pursuing further education have the same broad range of opportunities open to them as other graduates, depending on their own interests and skills.