What is the BAS?

The program is divided into four main groupings; interdisciplinary courses, core science & core arts/social sciences, two specializations and free electives. A detailed chart is available within the undergraduate calendar.

Six (6) Interdisciplinary Courses (ASCI)

students in classSupporting the freedom to study two specializations of your choice, an Arts & Science degree’s foundation is six (6) required Arts & Science (ASCI) courses. These classes are dispersed among your four years in the program, and follow an interdisciplinary curriculum (designed specifically for BAS students) to help build a strong foundation in critical thinking and inquiry.

The ASCI courses also provide the opportunity to develop research and communication skills, from collaborative seminars to self-directed thesis studies. For example, third year students can choose between case studies of past and current global issues, or immersive service learning through volunteer positions in the Guelph community. The ASCI courses help students to recognize connections between their own disciplines and how their knowledge and skills can be applied to a bigger picture.

Core Science and Core Arts/Social Science Courses

All BAS students are required to complete a core of four (4) science courses as well as a core of four (4) arts/social science courses before graduation, in addition to their chosen specializations. This ensures that all BAS students have a solid grounding across the humanities, social sciences and the sciences. Although core courses do not have to be completed in any particular order, many students choose to fulfill the core requirements in their first year and experiment with subject areas before declaring their minors.


In addition, all BAS students in the program complete two specializations: a minor in the Sciences and a minor in the Arts/Social Sciences. These two specializations can be as closely related or as independent from each other as the student wishes, and the student does not need to finalize their choice of specializations until the end of second year.

Science Specializations available to BAS Students include:

Agriculture, Applied Geomatics, Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computing & Information Science, Ecology, Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, Nutrition & Nutraceutical Sciences, Physics, Plant Sciences, Statistics, and Zoology.

Arts and Social Science specializations available to BAS students include:

Anthropology, Black Canadian Studies, Business, Business Economics, Classical Studies, Creative Writing, Criminal Justice & Public Policy, Culture & Technology Studies, Economics, English, Family & Child Studies, French Studies, Geography, German, History, International Development Studies, Italian, Linguistics, Marketing, Media & Cinema Studies, Museum Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sexualities Genders & Social Change, Sociology, Studio Art and Theatre Studies.

Elective Courses

Do your passions know no boundaries? Diversify your knowledge even further with the opportunity 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 specialization.

Elective courses are often used to meet various requirements that the minors may not fulfill for certain graduate studies/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, at graduation (though they will still graduate with 2 minors), the student’s transcript will reflect that they have taken the appropriate courses for the equivalent of a major.  Lastly, elective courses are most often used by students that wish to travel with exchange/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.