Registration Guide - Bachelor of Arts with Major

Welcome to the Bachelor of Arts with Major!

First-year course selection for the Bachelor of Arts offers a lot of options. Whether you know exactly what you want to study in first year, or you are looking for ideas and want to explore new subjects, the BA program can accommodate you.

There are no required courses for the Bachelor of Arts degree program. However, there is a basic first-year course pattern to consider, and there are a few things to remember when choosing your courses. The good news is that there are no “wrong” choices. Whatever you choose to study this year, the courses will be usable in your degree program.

As you consider your course options, note that some first-year courses in the Faculty of Arts are full-year, 6-credit courses. Other departments have two 3-credit courses (one each term) that together provide 6 credits of introductory study in that subject.  Two programs - Development Studies, and Public Policy and Governance - have only one 3-credit course each at the introductory level.  See Questions 1 and 2 below if you wish to take the introductory course in either or both of these subjects in your first year.

Most students choose to carry a full course load, which is a total of 30 credits. This means that students are registered in 5 courses each term. Should you wish to register in a reduced course load (fewer than 30 credits), you may certainly do so, but you should arrange to speak with an academic advisor to ensure that you are aware of the implications of doing so.

 

Things to Remember

  • The BA with Major degree requires a major and a minor. These are the two subjects in which you will concentrate much of your studies over the next four years.
  • If you are beginning your first year with a clear idea of your intended major and minor, be sure to include 6 credits in each of those subjects.  (If these include one or both of Development Studies, and Public Policy and Governance, see Questions 1 and 2 below.)
  • If you are debating among three or four subjects as possible majors and/or minors, be sure to include 6 credits in each subject you are considering.
  • If you intend to do a program with Applied Forensic Psychology as your major subject, you will register in PSYC 101 (1st term) and 102 (2nd term) and 110 (2nd term); and 21 additional credits. For those 21 additional credits, you will normally choose 6 credits of introductory courses in each of three other subjects, plus one 3-credit course in a third subject in 2nd term. (See Question 7 below for more information.)
  • If you have selected the Humanities Colloquium, three of your subjects have been pre-selected for you (English, History, Philosophy).  You will need to choose two others.  (See Question 4 below for more information about the Humanities Colloquium.)
  • If you have selected the Social Justice Colloquium, three of your subjects have been pre-selected for you (Anthropology, History, Women's and Gender Studies).  You will need to choose two others.  (See Question 5 below for more information about the Social Justice Colloquium.)
  • If you intend to do a program with Public Policy and Governance as your major subject, you will register for ECON 101 and 102; PSCI 101 and 102; PGOV 101; and 15 additional credits.  For those 15 additional credits, you will normally choose 6 credits of introductory courses in each of two other subjects, plus one 3-credit course in a third subject.  See Question 2 below for further guidance on course selection.
  • If you are one of the many who do not yet know which subjects will be of most interest to them, explore the options and choose courses that sound interesting to you. Remember that there are no “wrong” choices. In fact, some students do not find their true interest until second year, and that is still fine.
  • Whether you know what you want to study, or are still searching for your passion, seriously consider exploring at least one or two subjects that are new to you. The BA program, especially in first year, is a perfect opportunity for trying something new. You never know what unexpected interest you might discover.

 

Basic First-Year Course Pattern

Please note that the subjects displayed in the following tables are also links to their respective pages on this website.  If first-year, 100-level courses are offered in a particular subject, their course descriptions are displayed at the bottom of the applicable subject page.

In your course selection, you should be sure to include courses from the two basic subject groupings below. Group I is composed of the humanities, and mathematics, statistics and computer science. Group II is composed of the social sciences and modern languages.

Group II
Anthropology
Development Studies
Economics
Modern Languages (French or Spanish)
Political Science
Public Policy and Governance
Psychology
Sociology
Women's and Gender Studies

* Mathematics & Statistics and Computer Science are departments in the Faculty of Science, but for purposes of BA students, Computer Science and Mathematics are considered as arts subjects.

The following discussion about course selection is based on a student choosing to register in the full course load of 30 credits.

You should choose at least one subject from Group I and at least one subject from Group II. In addition, you should choose a third subject from either Group I or Group II. Each of the subjects in these two groups can be majors in the Bachelor of Arts degree program, so it is wise to ensure that at least three of these are included in your first-year course selection.

Besides the above three choices, you will choose two additional subjects. Your remaining two subjects can be from the selections in Groups I and II, and that is the choice that many students will make. However, you can also choose from a few other areas of study.
 

Additional Arts Subjects
Art (Studio Art and Art History)
Classical Studies
German
Mi’kmaq
Music
Science Subjects
Biology
Chemistry
Climate and Environment
Earth Sciences
Physics

It is highly advisable that at least one of your remaining two courses be an arts subject, chosen from Group I, Group II, or the “Additional Arts Subjects” list above.  (This is because BA students can complete only one pair, or a minor, in one science subject.  If you take two different science subjects, one of those can only be used as an open elective in your degree program.  You may certainly take two different science subjects if you wish, as long as you are comfortable using some of your open elective credits in your first year.)

Your final course(s) can be from any of the subjects presented above, but some of the science subjects may be more accessible than others for first-year BA students during initial registration.

If you are interested in Earth Sciences, the introductory courses are definitely open to you, and you are very welcome to take them. (Note that the introductory Earth Sciences courses do not have labs, though they do have bi-weekly two-hour tutorials.)  Physics is also an option and there are usually seats available for non-science students.  (Note that in addition to the "normal" introductory physics courses, the department offers two first-year astronomy courses developed for non-science students.  These astronomy courses can be used only as open electives in the BA program.)

Biology and Chemistry may be restricted to science students until all have registered. You may be able to register in Chemistry or Biology courses when you register for your other courses.  However, if you try to do so and receive a "College Restriction" error message, contact the relevant department chair to request to be added to a waiting list.  Usually, non-science students are ultimately able to register in these courses, but sometimes not until later in the summer.  In the meantime, be sure to choose and register in a different course, in case you are not able to get a seat in the science course(s) you want.

 

Summary of 5 Subjects for First Year 

(This will differ slightly for students planning to take DEVS 101 and/or PGOV 101.)

  1. Group I subject
  2. Group II subject
  3. Group I or Group II subject (different subject from 1 and 2 above)
  4. Arts subject – from Group I, Group II or “Additional Arts Subjects” list
  5. Another subject!
     

Questions You Might Have

1. I am interested in Development Studies, but there is only one 3-credit course available at the 100-level. What else should I take in the second semester to fill out my schedule?
You can take any other 3-credit course from the arts and science subjects listed above, as long as there is no first-term prerequisite for the course.  If you plan to use DEVS as a joint major, honours, subsidiary, minor, or pair subject, you will take DEVS 201 and 202 in second year.  If you plan to do a joint major or honours in DEVS, you should also take ECON 101 and 102 in first year, as these courses are required for the major or honours.  If you intend to do a minor or more in Development Studies, you should read the Subject Page for Development Studies, found at the link in the table above, for further guidance on first-year course selection.


2. I am interested in Public Policy and Governance, but there is only one 3-credit course available at the 100-level.  What else should I take in the second semester to fill out my schedule?
You can take any other 3-credit course from the arts and science subjects listed above, as long as there is no first-term prerequisite for the course.  If you plan to do PGOV as a major or honours subject, you could opt to take STAT 101 in second term, since that is a required 3-credit course for those programs.  (This would be in addition to ECON 101 and 102, and PSCI 101 and 102, as outlined in the "Things to Remember" section above.)  If you intend to do a minor in Public Policy and Governance, and have not already chosen to do ECON 101 and 102 as part of your first-year schedule, you could choose ECON 102 for second semester since either ECON 101 or 102 must be completed as part of the minor in PGOV.  If you intend to do a minor or more in Public Policy and Governance, you should read the Subject Page for Public Policy and Governance, found at the link in the table above, for further guidance on first-year course selection.

3. What if I am interested in taking a course in a subject that is not mentioned above?
The other subjects offered at StFX are in our professional or applied programs: Aquatic Resources; Business Administration; Engineering; Health; Human Kinetics; Human Nutrition; Nursing. Most courses in these departments are restricted to students in these programs. There are a couple of exceptions, however. BSAD 101 and 102 are available to non-business students, if there are seats available after registration has concluded for first-year students, but these courses are only usable as open electives in the BA program (or in a Business Administration minor with an Economics major). There are also a 200-level Human Nutrition course and two 300-level Nursing elective courses that are open to students outside of those programs. If you are interested in taking other courses from one of these departments you will need to contact the relevant department chair, but such permission is not routinely granted.

4. What is the Humanities Colloquium?
The Humanities Colloquium is an opportunity for first-year Bachelor of Arts students to study Western Civilization with an interdisciplinary focus on the great books. It offers ENGL 100 (Introduction to Literature and Critical Writing), HIST 101 (Western Civilization:  Earliest Civilizations to the War of Religion), HIST 102 (Western Civilization:  Columbus to Decolonization), and PHIL 100 (Introductory Philosophy) in an integrated, chronologically coordinated way. If you have an interest in these courses, investigate the option of this unique enhanced learning experience here.

5. What is the Social Justice Colloquium?
The Social Justice Colloquium is an opportunity for first-year Bachelor of Arts students to consider why inequality exists and how we can work together to create a world with greater opportunities for all people. It offers ANTH 111 (Introduction to Physical Anthropology / Archaeology), ANTH 112 (Introduction to Socio-cultural Anthropology), HIST 141 (Empire & Plague, 1300-1800), HIST 142 (Revolution:  Global from 1750), and WMGS 100 (Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies) in a coordinated format to encourage the study of social justice from various perspectives. If you have an interest in these courses, investigate the option of this unique enhanced learning experience here.

6. What if I am interested in an honours or an advanced major degree?
Course selection is no different for first year. You may wish to check table 4.1.5 in your Academic Calendar for grade and average requirements, so that you are aware of the grades you will need for admission to these programs at the end of second year.

7. I am in the Applied Forensic Psychology program; PSYC 110 is listed in both 1st and 2nd term, Can i take either section?  Also, what do I take to fill out my schedule for the other 3 credits?
You will need to take the PSYC 110 in the 2nd term only (the first term section is for 2nd year students).  You can take any other 3-credit course from the arts and science subjects listed above, to round out your schedule for first term.