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Frequently Asked Questions

What defines a lower or upper-level liberal studies course?

What are the assignment requirements for Liberal Studies?

How many liberal studies courses can I take?

When should I take my liberal studies courses?

Can I take upper-level courses before lower-level courses?

Why can't I always get the liberal studies course I selected in my pre-registration form?

How do I know if a course is a liberal studies course or not?

I've never written a university essay before and English is not my first language. Where can I get help or advice?

Can I get liberal studies credits for courses taken at another university?

Who do I contact for answers to my general Liberal Studies inquiries?

What defines a lower- or upper-level liberal studies course?

Lower-level courses are taken during the first two years of a four-year program, and are introductory or survey courses. Upper-level courses are taken during the last two years, and are more focused and intellectually demanding.

What are the assignment requirements for Liberal Studies?

The Liberal Studies policy at Ryerson requires a significant writing component. Liberal studies courses must include one or more individually-written, out-of-class assignment(s) totaling in the range of at least 1,200-1,500 words at the lower level and of at least 1,500-2,000 words at the upper level. A weight of 25-35% is attached to the written assignment(s), and requires the student to carry out an analysis of the assignment's subject, and make and justify an evaluative, comparative or explicatory judgment. Students will receive comments on the clarity of organization, syntax, and grammar of their writing. These attributes will affect how the assignment is evaluated.

How many Liberal Studies courses can I take?

Most Ryerson programs require six one-semester liberal studies courses as part of their four-year degree.

When should I take my Liberal Studies courses?

Each year you may pre-register for your liberal studies courses and these are scheduled in as part of your regular program. You should take your liberal studies courses as a regular part of your course load.

Can I take upper-level courses before lower-level?

Yes, but normally you should take lower-level courses in years one and two before taking upper-level liberal studies courses. Although there are few prerequisites in the liberal studies curriculum (in order to maximize choice for students), upper-level liberal studies courses assume a higher level of analytic, research and writing ability.

Why can't I always get the Liberal Studies course I selected in my pre-registration form?

Some courses are "flagged", i.e., off limits for some programs. A course on "Theatre and the Canadian Identity", for example, is flagged for theatre students because these students take a lot of professional courses related to theatre. This ensures that students take courses that will broaden their horizons.

Because of space, timetable, and resource factors, students who choose very popular courses do not always receive their first choice.

How do I know if a course is a Liberal Studies course or not?

All liberal studies courses are identified as lower-level or upper level in the Course Calendar. You cannot substitute a professional or professionally-related course for a liberal studies.

I've never written a university essay before and English is not my first language. Where can I get help or advice?

Ryerson's Writing Centre is a popular and free resource which helps students hone their writing skills so they can produce better assignments and essays. Ryerson's English Language Support provides programs, both on-site and through their website, to help students whose first language is not English.

Can I get Liberal Studies credits for courses taken at another university?

Transfer Credits are considered for post-secondary courses completed at accredited institutions before being admitted to Ryerson. Please apply for transfer credits online (course outlines may be required), visit the Transfer Credit website for more information.

Please note: If you are a current Ryerson student interested in taking a course at another institution, you must obtain prior permission by applying for a Letter of Permission (LOP).

Who do I contact for answers to my general Liberal Studies inquiries?

For general information on Liberal Studies, contact Matthew Haddad, matthew.haddad@arts.ryerson.ca, 416-979-5093, JOR123 or the Liberal Studies Academic Advisors.