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Faculty of Arts Q&A 

Why Arts at Ryerson?

The Faculty of Arts at Ryerson will offer you an education that is suited to the demands of today’s constantly evolving world. We are a forward-thinking university, highlighting growth, innovation, and cutting edge research above all else. While respecting academic traditions, we are not afraid to take risks as we strive to push post-secondary education into new territory by connecting the past to the future.

Like the university itself, Ryerson's Faculty of Arts has experienced tremendous growth in scholarship, creative activity, and teaching over the past decade. We have blazed a path for program, faculty and student growth that is hard to match at any other Canadian university. Since 2000, we have launched 19 new BA, MA, and PhD programs (within  and across disciplines) and have hired over 80 new tenured or tenure­ track faculty members, with most of these being new positions.

In all of our growth, we have adopted a creative touch to program building, ensuring that the humanities and social sciences are configured in new and innovative ways (e.g., student placements and internships in the cultural industries, in industry, in all levels of government, in hospital and community agencies, and in NGOS at home and abroad). For the 2013-14 academic year, over 15,000 students applied for one of the 1,200 coveted seats in our undergraduate programs.

Attending university can be a life-changing experience. Choose a university that cares about your experience. Choose Arts at Ryerson.

What programs are offered in the Faculty of Arts?

The Faculty of Arts is all about the humanities and social sciences. If your interest lies in politics or the law, history, culture and languages, the environment, the human mind, or questions of who we are and why we do the things we do, then Ryerson’s Faculty of Arts may be for you. Click here to explore the programs that we offer.

What services are available to help me make a successful transition from high school to university?

Numerous services and resources are available to help make your first year—and beyond—successful. As a new student, you will be invited to attend the Faculty of Arts' Enrollment Workshops and Orientation. These August events are opportunities for you to meet other new students and to learn how to select and register in your Fall courses. The Faculty of Arts also offers a range of services and resources through our Student Experience Centre, which is dedicated to working with you to enrich your university experience and to help you succeed. Whether you need help with educational or career planning, or information about exchange programs, volunteer opportunities, or ways to become involved on campus, the staff in the Student Experience Centre are there to support you.

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What if I have a question about an assignment or an upcoming exam? Will I have a difficult time getting access to a professor?

Not at all! At Ryerson, our professors are very approachable and enjoy meeting their students.  All professors have office hours; these are generally posted on the professor’s office door or included in your course outline.  If you are unable to meet with your professor during office hours, you can make alternate arrangements by booking an appointment via email. The professor's email address is always included in the course outline.  We encourage you to get to know your professors. Whether it’s to talk about an assignment, learn more about a topic discussed in class, or to resolve and issue, Ryerson professors are there for you! 

Will I graduate within four years?

All degrees can be completed in four years and the majority of students do so; however, some students take five years to complete their degrees because they want to integrate volunteer work, exchange programs, or work experiences into their education to augment their learning. How long you take all depends upon your goals and aspirations.

If you are interested in exploring opportunities that will enhance your university experience, please click here.

What is considered an acceptable grade at university?

All Ryerson students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 1.67 (this is equivalent to a C-) in order to earn a Bachelors of Arts degree.  Going to university is a big step and it is not uncommon for students to experience a 10% drop in grades during the first year of university. In order to ensure the success of all students, the Faculty of Arts has a mechanism to warn students if they are in academic jeopardy.  If you are not doing well in your classes, we will put a support system in place to help you get back on track. 

What can I do with an Arts degree? 

There are many different career paths. An arts degree is one of the most versatile degrees that you can take and one that will help you develop the critical thinking skills that are indispensable in any career.

When you enroll in the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson, one of our career counsellors will work with you to discuss your personal interests, values, and life and career goals in order to help you discover your true vocational calling. Our goal is to help you find meaningful work and not just a job that pays the bills. We want to be sure that you find your best personal fit in an increasingly complex and competitive labour market and that you have the skills needed to succeed in whichever profession you choose. 

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Is what I’ve heard about arts degrees true…that an Arts student has to go on to graduate or professional school to find a good job?

It really depends on what “job” or meaningful career you want to have when you graduate from Ryerson University.  In some fields, there is a regulatory body that governs the profession. For example if you want to be a psychologist, social worker, lawyer, or teacher  you will have to go on to graduate school or take a professional degree in order to meet the labour market qualifications. 

Before deciding to enroll in a graduate degree or professional program, take some time to learn more about the nature of the work done in your field by volunteering or conducting informational interviews. If you are thinking of going post-graduate studies, use this resource to begin your self-reflection process.