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What is an elective group?

An Elective Group is a thematic, select grouping of courses around a specific topic or general area of interest. The groups total between 15-18 credits based on a list of courses from a variety of departments.

Why take an Elective Group?

Elective groups provide a balance between satisfying degree requirements and exploring broader interests in a structured and personalized way. An elective group is a set of elective courses focused on exploring a specific or general theme from a range of disciplines. These elective courses are normally taken outside of your program of concentration (Major, Specialization, Honours or Minor) and give you the opportunity to navigate your educational experience in a directed way. Courses within these groups can be used to partially satisfy the Arts and Science requirement of 24 credits outside of your discipline or the General Education requirement.

Who can enrol?

Any student can enrol in an Elective Group at any stage of their program. Students in the John Molson School of Business, the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, or the Faculty of Fine Arts are welcome to join Arts and Science students in any of the Elective Groups.

How do I choose an Elective Group?

The key to success is to choose something that is of interest to you. We recommend, however, that you pick a theme that will complement your main area of study or advance your own academic/personal development.

How do I enrol in an Elective Group?

There is no application process to enrolling in these groups. Students must see their department or faculty advisor who will enrol them in the Elective Group. Once complete, you must communicate with a department or faculty advisor who will review your student record to verify completion and add a notation to your record.

How do I register for courses in an elective group?

Students enrol as they would for any elective course. Once enrolled in the Elective Group of your choice, you select courses from the appropriate list until you have completed the required number of credits (either 15 or 18 depending on the Elective Group).

What else do I need to know about registering for courses that are a part of an Elective Group?

Some courses have prerequisites. You can verify course information (prerequisites and/or notes) in either the Class Schedule or the Undergraduate Calendar. In some cases, departments will consider waiving prerequisites for students enrolled in an Elective Group. We strongly recommend that you communicate with the department offering the course in advance of your course registration to confirm this possibility.

For full course descriptions, please go to the Class Schedule or Undergraduate Calendar.

Can I take more than one Elective Group?

Students are permitted to enrol in one Elective Group at a time. Once complete, you may choose to enrol in another Elective Group. Please see your department or faculty advisor to enrol in another Elective Group after it is confirmed that you have completed your first Elective Group.

Students may complete a maximum of two Elective Groups within a degree.

Will the Elective Group appear on my record/transcript?

Once you are enrolled in an Elective Group, the notation "enrolled in an Elective Group" appears on your record along with the name of the Elective Group. When you complete the Elective Group, your department or faculty advisor will add “completed Elective Group” on your student record.


If you have any questions about Elective Groups, would like to speak with a faculty advisor or book an appointment to discuss this option or your degree, please contact Student Academic Services (Faculty of Arts and Science): 

Phone: 514-848-2424 ext. 2104
Website (general information about your degree): Student Academic Services (SAS)

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