UFV Academic Calendar 2013/14

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General Studies

Bachelor of General Studies degree

The Bachelor of General Studies is a degree program that is versatile, interdisciplinary, and flexible. The BGS can be customized to suit different educational and career goals and students can select courses from any UFV discipline. Students can focus studies on one or two areas, or complete courses from many areas. While there are some courses that provide the framework for the degree, the program provides an opportunity for students to define their education. This program is perfect for the self-directed learner because it allows them to link individual interests and abilities to career goals.

The BGS program accepts credits from certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees from accredited community colleges and universities. The program allows students to build on their previous credentials or to use these credentials to accumulate credits toward the degree.

Some students who currently are enrolled in the program include:

• students who are diversifying to acquire a broad educational background;
• students who intend to become elementary school teachers;
• students whose educational or career interests have changed or who changed institutions partway through their programs;
• students whose main interest lies in a subject area in which UFV does not offer a major;
• students who want to do a sizeable portion of their courses online;
• students who have created a specialized thematic focus to their studies;
• students who are combining minors in a customized way.

All Bachelor of General Studies students are expected to gain a broad general educational background and so are required to complete course work selected from a variety of disciplines (i.e. breadth requirements). In addition to satisfying the breadth requirements, students select elective courses (i.e. electives) that lead to a General option, a Thematic option, or one or more minors.

General option

The general option allows students to earn a degree by including courses used to satisfy the breadth requirements, 45 credits of upper-level courses, and electives to obtain the 120 credit minimum. Students may choose to incorporate courses to complete one or more minors, but there is no requirement to do so.


The following list of minors is available to students in the Bachelor of General Studies degree program. Please refer to the relevant section of the UFV calendar for the specific requirements for each minor. As new minors are developed, they will be incorporated into the Bachelor of General Studies program.

• Anthropology
• Applied Ethical and Political Philosophy
• Art History
• Biology
• Business
• Communications
• Computer Information Systems
• Computing Science
• Criminal Justice
• Economics
• English
• French
• Geography
• History
• Kinesiology
• Latin American Studies
• Mathematics
• Mathematics and Statistics
• Media and Communication Studies
• Physics
Political Science
• Sociology
• Theatre
• Visual Arts

Thematic option

The thematic option allows students to create an individualized program of study from a variety of disciplines that form a common theme (for example, aboriginal studies, explorations of aging, gender studies, international development, language and culture studies, social policy, or advertising).

The purpose of the thematic option is the enable students to create a meaningful education plan that encourages the crossing of disciplinary boundaries to combine learning in an area where majors and minors are not offered.

Students selecting a thematic option will submit a Thematic Option Proposal. The plan must include courses that satisfy the breadth and upper-level requirements, and link the courses used to support the theme. The thematic option requires a minimum of 24 upper level credits from at least two disciplines. This plan must be approved by a committee of faculty, drawn together because of their expertise in the student’s proposed thematic area.

Aviation option: Professional Pilot Training (Fixed Wing)

A thematic option exists for Aviation students interested in completing the Bachelor of General Studies and receiving the Professional Pilot Training — Fixed Wing thematic option designation. Bachelor of General Studies Aviation students complete training for the commercial pilot license and at least one of the advanced options: heavy jet or professional flight instructor. Please refer to the Aviation section of the calendar for details, or contact the program administrator at Coastal Pacific Aviation at info@coastalpacific.com or 604-855-1112, or the BGS advisor at BGS@ufv.ca, 1-888-504-7441 (local 6333), or 604-851-6333.

Police option

Note: This option is not available in 2013/14.

The Bachelor of General Studies (Police option) degree is designed primarily for police officers who want to complete a baccalaureate degree. Students can concentrate on criminal investigations or leadership, an option which allows greater flexibility in building an individualized career path. Another important feature is that the program recognizes selected in-service courses that have been re-written to meet both operational and academic standards. The program is also flexible in that students can elect to take courses from other institutions, either traditional, online, or distance education. Although the program is the result of a joint educational initiative between UFV’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the RCMP Pacific Regional Training Centre, plans are in place to offer the program to municipal police officers employed in British Columbia, and eventually to all peace officers in (and outside) Canada. For details about the Police option, please contact the Criminology/Criminal Justice BGS Administrative Coordinator at 604-557-4068.

Co-operative Education option

The Co-operative Education option provides students with the opportunity to acquire paid, career-related work experience in conjunction with their studies in the Bachelor of General Studies degree program. See the Co-operative Education section for more details.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process allows students the opportunity to have non traditional learning and work experience assessed for credit.

For further details about the recognition of informal learning for credit, please see Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.

Entrance requirements

Students must have successfully completed 30 post-secondary credits of which nine must be university-level credits, and must include three credits of English composition or other writing courses (see program requirements, below). A 2.0 GPA is required for entry into the degree program.

For the purposes of this degree, post-secondary credits will be interpreted as credits that are transcripted by UFV as 100-level or higher.

When to apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall, Winter, and Summer semesters. For application deadlines, see Specific intake application process.

How to apply

Submit the application fee along with your UFV application for admission form to the Office of the Registrar (OReg). You can apply online or download an application form at ufv.ca/admissions/admissions/apply. Application forms are also available from any OReg or Student Services office.

Additional documents required for a complete application:
• Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) from all post-secondary institutions you have attended showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details.
• A completed “Proposed Plan of Study” form.

The supplemental form, “Proposed Plan of Study,” is available on the Bachelor of General Studies website. This form outlines how you plan to meet the graduation requirements.

Basis for admission decision

Applicants who meet the entrance requirements will be admitted in order of their application date. This date is set when the UFV application, the BGS Proposed Plan of Study, all required documentation, and the application fee have been submitted.

Program requirements

The Bachelor of General Studies requires successful completion of 120 credits with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. At least 45 upper division credits are required for the Bachelor of General Studies. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required on upper division courses used for the degree. At least 30 credits must be completed at UFV, of which at least 15 must be upper-level credits. The 120 credits must incorporate the breadth requirements as well as include appropriate electives.

Breadth requirements

Graduates of the Bachelor of General Studies program are expected to have:

• effective written and oral communication skills
• effective team and interpersonal skills
• ability to think critically, problem solve, and apply mathematical and scientific reasoning
• an understanding of the scientific and natural world and the ability to use technology
• a sense of social responsibility and citizenship and an understanding of the global context in which we live and work
• an appreciation of the cultural and aesthetic world.

These breadth requirements can be satisfied by successfully completing courses from the list below. For more specific information and possible alternatives to the list, consult the BGS Advisor.

Any three credits of English composition or Communications writing courses chosen from:

• ENGL 105
• CMNS 125
• CMNS 155
• CMNS 251
• ENGL 210

Any six credits selected from:

• Adult Education
• Business
• Child and Youth Care
• Criminology
• Health Science
• Kinesiology
• Social Services, Human Services, Social Work

Any six credits chosen from:

• Mathematics and Statistics
• Philosophy
• Psychology

Any six credits chosen from:

• Agriculture
• Applied Business Technology
• Biology
• Chemistry
• Computer Information Systems
• Computing
• Geography
• Library Technology
• Physics

Any six credits chosen from:

• Anthropology
• Economics
• History
• Latin American Studies
• Media and Communication Studies
• Political Science
• Sociology

Any six credits chosen from:

• English Literature
• Literature in Translation
• Modern Language
• Theatre
• Visual Arts


A student’s choice of electives will depend on their goals, but must include at least 45 upper-level credits, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on those credits.

Additional requirements for the Thematic option

In order to qualify for the BGS thematic option, students must develop and submit a thematic option proposal to the BGS advisor.

The thematic option proposal is reviewed by a faculty team selected for their expertise in the focus area. Thematic option instructions and forms are available on the Bachelor of General Studies website. Students completing their approved thematic plans with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the thematic courses and satisfying the BGS requirements will receive a Bachelor of General Studies degree with the thematic option identified on their transcripts.


Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits in UFV courses, including at least 15 upper-level credits. Provided those requirements are met, up to 50% of credits required for the degree may be met through recognition of non-formal credit through the PLAR process (including course challenges). Total transfer credit and prior learning credit must not exceed 90 credits.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.