Liberal studies are offered at two levels: the lower, which are normally taken during the first two years of a four-year program, and the upper, which are normally taken during the last two years of a four-year program.
The courses offered at each level are listed under Table A and Table B in the Undergraduate Calendar.
The required number of lower and upper level liberal studies varies according to program. Liberal studies courses always have the designation (LL) or (UL) in their course description. Courses not identified as either (LL) or (UL) are not Liberal Studies courses and do not meet the Liberal Studies requirement for graduation purposes.
Certain courses listed in Table A and Table B, due to their close relation to the professional fields, cannot be taken for Liberal Studies credit by students in some programs. Please refer to the list of Table A Restrictions and Table B Restrictions in the Undergraduate Calendar for complete details.
Bands are timeslots that do not conflict with your required term courses and are used for liberal studies scheduling purposes. You must find the band number your program has been allocated in order to use the course offerings chart for the Fall/Winter terms. Once you determine your program band, select the courses from the list that match your program band number. Courses that do not match your program band number will be unavailable during the course intention period.
Please follow the steps below on how to find your program band and search for available courses offerings for liberal studies in the upcoming semesters.
- Find your program in the Liberal Studies Program Band Chart.
- Note the band number assigned to your program. Bands 1 and 2 fall under Table A and band 3, 4, and 5 fall under Table B.
- Click on the course offerings chart for lower-level (Table A) or upper-level (Table B) liberal studies.
- Locate the courses that match your program band.
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.
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.
Most Ryerson programs require six one-semester liberal studies courses as part of their four-year degree.
Each year you may complete course intentions 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.
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.
Some courses are "restricted," i.e., off limits for some programs. A course on "Theatre and the Canadian Identity," for example, is restricted 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. Please refer to the Table A and Table B Restrictions list in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Because of space, timetable, and resource factors, students who choose very popular courses do not always receive their first choice. Please refer to the Course Offerings tab on this page.
All liberal studies courses are identified as lower-level or upper level in the Undergraduate Calendar. You cannot substitute a professional or professionally-related or open elective course for a liberal studies.
Writing and Language Support is a popular and free resource which helps students hone their writing skills so they can produce better assignments and essays, as well as provides programs (both on-site and through their website) to help students whose first language is not English.
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.
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).
As per policy, upper level liberal studies courses may be substituted for lower level liberal studies requirements, but lower level liberal studies courses may not be substituted for upper level requirements. Students can email their Curriculum Advising Officer (if known) or the Curriculum Advising general mailbox, firstname.lastname@example.org, to request that their Table B course be used towards their Table A requirements. Please include your student ID and name of program in the email. Courses that appear under the restriction list for your program may not be used for this purpose.
There are other factors involved when assessing a course for a liberal studies credit including course content, whether it provides breadth, the grade breakdown, and the nature of written component. It must comply with section 5.3 in PDF filePolicy #2.
Students must select courses that are designated as liberal studies in the Undergraduate Calendar. These are Senate-approved courses that meet the liberal studies policy requirements in terms of course content and writing requirements. Courses not identified as liberal studies cannot be used towards the fulfillment of a liberal studies requirement for graduation purposes.