Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective and Current Students
The Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability (LCDS) is similar to a small department, one of five Colleges within Concordia University. We offer two Minor programs, an Elective Group, and a membership program with a strong focus on interdisplinarity. Because we are an Honours College, our students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in courses taken towards our Minor programs. There is no GPA requirement for the Elective Group in Sustainability Studies.
An Honours College is a small department within Concordia University that has a high academic standard and a corresponding GPA requirement.
The Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability is relatively small and offers only Minor programs and an elective group. For this reason, many incoming students do not know about it. We therefore invite current Concordia students who have room in their programs, are in good academic standing, and meet the GPA requirements to join the College by adding one of our programs. If you were invited to join, this is because you meet these criteria.
Adding a Minor or Elective Group allows you to group the electives you have to take anyhow in a meaningful way, such that they appear on your diploma as a specific program, making your profile more interesting and attractive to potential employers or graduate/professional school entry boards. Our programs are interdisciplinary, focussing on the importance of the communication across disciplines that is crucial to solving problems in a globalized world. In our programs, you will meet and work with students from all different disciplines in a small classroom setting, preparing you for life post-university, where interactions across disciplines will be critical. Our programs give students an edge in applying for graduate and professional schools and set them apart in the workplace. More than half our students go on to complete graduate or professional degrees.
The Minor and the Elective Group in Sustainability Studies differ in three ways:
(1) The Minor is a 27-credit* program and the Elective Group is only 15 credits. The Elective Group might therefore be easier for students in Honours, Specialization, Business, or other credit-heavy programs to complete.
(2) The Minor has a GPA requirement while the Elective Group does not. Students in the Minor in Sustainability Studies must have an average GPA of 3.0 in all the courses they take towards the Minor to graduate with the Minor. This does not mean that students in the Minor must earn at least a 3.0 in all classes taken towards the Minor, but it does mean that, if they do worse in one class, they must do better in another to make up the difference. Students in the Elective Group in Sustainability Studies have no such constraints.
(3) There are more courses available for the Minor than for the Elective Group. That said, if you can get into or have taken courses for the Minor that are not listed for the Elective Group, contact the department to see if something can be done to have these credits count.
Apart from these three differences, the Minor and the Elective Group in Sustainability Studies are pretty much the same.
*Note that, for students registered to begin the Minor before January 2019, it is a 30-credit program.
If you don't want to commit to a whole Minor or Elective Group, you can apply for membership with only 9 LOYC courses, as long as you get at least a B (3.0) in each. This membership then appears on your record and will set you apart in a similar way as doing a Minor.
The Minor in Sustainability Studies is focussed on environmental issues, while the Minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World is more focussed on the human element. The first is a 27-credit* program, while the second is a 24-credit program. There are a few courses that can be taken for both programs. For more information, see the Courses section.
*Note that, for students registered to begin the Minor before January 2019, it is a 30-credit program.
No, adding a Minor, Elective Group, or Membership is just a way of grouping the electives you have to take anyhow to make up the 90 or 120 credits you need to graduate in a meaningful way; there are no extra costs. Most major programs are 42 or 45 credits so you have to take another 48 or 45 credits to graduate (78 or 75 for a 120-credit program). Our Minor programs are 24 and 27 credits for the Minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World and the Minor in Sustainability Studies, respectively, and the Sustainability Studies Elective Group is 15 credits. The only way you would have to pay extra to take a Minor, Elective Group, or Membership is if you had to take more than the 90 or 120 credits you are required to take to graduate with the progam. This may be the case if you are doing an honours or specialization program, for example, although this depends on which Minor you add and how many credits you need for your honours or specialization. In any case, there are no fees associated with any of our programs, you just have to pay tuition for the credits, as you would for any other credits.
Yes, they can.
If your major, specialization, or honours program is in the Faculty of Fine Arts, you must successfully complete a minimum of six credits from course offerings outside the Fine Arts academic sectors (Visual Arts and Performing Arts). The non-Fine Arts academic sectors are defined as: Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, Business, Engineering and Computer Science. All courses taken towards either of our Minor programs or our Membership program can therefore be used to fulfill the General Education Requirement for students from the Faculty of Fine Arts.
If your major, specialization, or honours program is at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB), you have to take 12 elective non-Business credits to graduate. Courses taken towards either our Minor or Membership programs can be used to fulfill the General Education Requirement for JMSB students as long as they are outside of the JMSB. In other words, all but the MANA courses taken towards the Minor or Elective Group in Sustainability Studies can be used to fulfill the general education requirements of JMSB students.
If your major, specialization, or honours program is in the Faculty of Arts and Science, you have to take 6 credits outside of your disciplinary sector to graduate. In other words, if your major program is in the Humanities, you must take at least 6 credits in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and/or the other faculties (John Molson School of Business, Faculty of Fine Arts, or the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science) to graduate. If your major program is in the Sciences, you must take at least 6 credits in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and/or other faculties, and if you are in the Social Sciences, you must take at least 6 credits in the Sciences, Humanities, and/or other faculties. The Humanities include Canadian Irish Studies, Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics; Communication Studies; English; Études françaises; History; Journalism; Liberal Arts College; Philosophy; and Theological Studies. The Sciences include Biology; Chemistry/Biochemistry; Health, Kinesiology & Applied Physiology; Mathematics and Statistics; Physics; Psychology; and the Science College. The Social Sciences include Applied Human Sciences; Economics; Education; Geography, Planning and Environment; Political Science; Religion; School of Community and Public Affairs; Simone de Beauvoir Institute; and Sociology and Anthropology.
Courses taken towards a Minor or Elective Group can also be used to fulfill the General Education Requirement. Until 2017, LOYC courses counted under the Humanities sector; they now count under the Social Sciences. Thus, LOYC courses taken before 2017 can be used to fulfill a Humanities requirement, while those taken after 2017 can be used to fulfill a Social Science requirement.
Courses taken towards our programs in other departments count in their respective sectors. In other words, if you are in the Social Sciences (for example, Sociology) doing a Minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World, you can take your 6 credits of relevant electives in another sector to fulfill the general education requirement (example: language courses). If you are in the Minor or Elective Group in Sustainability Studies, you can automatically get credit in at least two different sectors by fulfilling the core requirements for the program (BIOL 205 counts under the Science sector and LOYC 320 counts as a Social Science as of 2017) and other General Education Requirements can easily be fulfilled thorugh the electives listed for the programs here.
Yes, you can add a Minor, Elective Group, or Membership if you are doing an honours or specialization program. Most honours or specialization programs are 60 or 66 credits, leaving you 30 or 24 credits to take outside of your honours or specialization. This is just enough to add a Minor or Elective Group without having to exceed the 90 credits you need to graduate. If you are in an extended-credit program, i.e., you need 120 credits to graduate because you did not complete CEGEP in Quebec, you have even more space for a Minor or Elective Group.
If you are already a Concordia student and you are in good academic standing, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to discuss our programs. Once you have made your decision to add the program, please fill out the Request form here and email it to email@example.com.
LOYC classes are open to all Concordia students. Please see the updated list of courses open to be taken as electives this year here. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have trouble registering. Some spots are reserved for students in our programs.
For current Concordia students, there is no deadline to apply, as long as you have applied before you apply to graduate. You can even take some courses to see if you like them before adding a program.
Even if you have already taken some electives, you can still add a Minor or Elective Group. In some cases, the electives you have taken can even count retroactively towards one of our programs; contact us to find out if the particular electives you have taken might count. If you have taken a lot of electives and/or are in a specialization or honours program, you might have to do a few extra credits to complete a Minor or Elective Group, depending on the program. Again, please do not hesitate to contact the department for specific questions about particular cases.
Yes, we encourage students to study abroad and can often count credits taken abroad towards our programs. Send us information about the courses you want to take abroad before you go so we can assess their relevance for your Minor or Elective Group.
Yes. Since our programs draw students from over 30 departments across the university, none of our courses assume a scientific background. LOYC/BIOL 205 is a core course for the Minor in and for the Elective Group in Sustainability Studies, but Biology students cannot count it as a course towards a Biology major because it is not specifically taught for science students. The Minor and Elective Group in Sustainability Studies are designed to provide a well-rounded, interdisciplinary education on environmental issues for students from all disciplines.
Yes. In the Minor and Elective Group in Sustainability Studies, you will learn about the political, social, and economic issues associated with the environmental problems of the day, issues that are crucial to addressing environmental problems even from a scientific perspective. In the Minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World, you will learn more about the human component, giving you a leg up in your chosen career, whether that be medicine, academia, industrial, or anything else.
No, courses do not generally have to be taken in any particular order or at any particular time during your career as an undergraduate, as long as you complete the program requirements before you graduate. Note that our courses are only offered once a year; see course listing for this year here.
Yes, all our programs can be done part-time.