Academic Regulations For All Honours Programs

Unless stated otherwise, students in undergraduate programs are governed by university regulations for the honours and general BA. For the Progression/Graduation Requirements and Probation regulations, consult the University Undergraduate Regulations chapter

All students registered in honours programs are subject to the following regulations: 

  1. An honours degree program must consist of a minimum of 20.0 credits, including at least 9.0 senior credits in the area of specialization or at least 6.0 senior credits in each of two areas of specialization at the honours level. Individual departments may require more than this minimum. Students may elect to take a combined Honours BA program (available combinations are described in the Faculty of Arts - Departments section, the Faculty of Science - Departments section, and the School of Business & Economics  - Economics Department section).
    Where a combined program states a 100 level credit limit, the program with the lower limit applies to the combined degree. In cases where program descriptions of each of the constituent parts of a combination stipulates a different number of courses required for the combination, the larger total will apply.
    Progression requirements for the honours BA program are based on grade point averages (GPA) obtained from all courses taken and will be calculated on a cumulative basis. For progression, the requirement will be a minimum GPA of 5.00 (C) in each of the honours subject(s) of specialization and a minimum overall GPA of 5.00. For graduation, a minimum cumulative GPA of 7.00 (B-) in each area of specialization and a minimum overall GPA of 5.00 is required.

    This honours BA program regulation also applies to all honours BA and BSc programs in the Departments of Geography & Environmental Studies, Kinesiology & Physical Education and Psychology (Exceptions are noted in the program descriptions of the Psychology: Comprehensive and Research Specialist, the Political Science Research Specialization, the PPE and the Biology and Psychology joint programs).

    In cases where progression and graduation requirements of each of the constituent parts of a combination stipulates a different cumulative overall GPA required for the combination, the larger cumulative overall GPA will apply.

    Some programs have additional progression requirements stated in the program description. Refer to Regulation 3 below. Honours students enrolled in options and minors must satisfy the progression and graduation requirements for those programs. 

  2. General major designations are no longer be available to students in honours programs.

  3. Where student demand for entry or progression into Year 2 of an honours program in arts or science exceeds the availability of student spaces, students who meet the minimum criteria for progression from Year 1 to Year 2 will be considered for admission on the basis of their overall GPA (from all courses taken at Wilfrid Laurier University). Departments that intend to use other forms of GPA calculation must so advise students by October 1.
  4. Students are expected to choose an area of specialization by the end of Year 1 (5.0 credits). For those who are still undecided at that point, they may continue in Honours BA Arts up to the time when they have completed 15.0 credits. Honours BA Arts students progress through Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 if they achieve a cumulative GPA of 5.00 (C) in Faculty of Arts credits. When the 15.0 credits have been successfully completed, normally by the end of Year 3, students must make a choice whether to graduate with a General BA degree without designation, or to declare an honours program and continue into Year 4. It is the responsibility of the student to fulfill the requirements of the honours program.

    Students who fail to achieve a cumulative GPA of 5.00 in Faculty of Arts credits must proceed in the general program or may be required to withdraw if general progression requirements are not met.

    Honours BA and BSc programs are excluded from academic probation regulations.
  5. Unless other department regulations apply, students who have failed a course may proceed in the honours program, provided they have the required average. (For calculation of a GPA involving a repeated course, refer to the section, Grades, in the University Undergraduate Regulations chapter.) Such a student must repeat a failed course if it is a required course. If it is not a course required for the program, the student may repeat the course, or take an additional course. No course may be attempted more than twice.
  6. At the end of Year 1, students may transfer into another honours program at the discretion of the department. Thereafter, students may not transfer unless they have maintained the progression requirements. All transfers after the end of Year 1 must have the approval of the department.
  7. Students in honours programs and combination or joint honours programs must have their entire program approved by the honours department(s) by the beginning of each academic year.
  8. Any exceptions to the honours regulations require the written approval of both the department and the dean. Exceptions that would make the number of credits required for graduation fewer than 20.0 are not permitted.
  9. At the end of Year 4 in a BA or BSc honours program, students who are registered in an honours program, meet all progression requirements and successfully complete all credits of that program, but who cannot graduate from that honours program because their GPA is insufficient, have the option of receiving a BA or BSc degree (without General or Honours) which denotes the field of specialization of the honours program and any eligible options or minors on the transcript. An overall and major GPA of 5.00 must be met.
    (Note: honours degrees will not recognize unsuccessful attempts at honours subjects taken in combination: students in a combined honours program who are unsuccessful in meeting the GPA requirements of one of their honours subjects do not have the option of receiving a degree which certifies completion of a single honours subject and a "general-level" area of specialization.)

Regulations for Combining Honours with Secondary Programs

Honours students with an area of specialization may choose to organize their elective courses to meet the requirements for a combined honours program, option or minor in a subject other than the honours discipline(s). Additional courses may have to be taken to fulfill these requirements.

Students combining honours disciplines with secondary programs must meet the following regulations:

  1. All requirements for the combined honours program, option or minor, must be fulfilled. (Refer to Regulations Governing Minors.)
  2. The student must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 4.5 on all courses of the minor subject. If an option or minor requires a higher GPA, that GPA applies.
  3. An honours student with an area of specialization may receive designation for more than one option.
  4. An honours student with an area of specialization may receive designation for only one of the Co-operative Education and Professional Experience Program Options.

University BA Regulations

  1. Course Equivalency
    Departments may, with the approval of the dean, recognize a specific course as the equivalent of a required course when a student has obtained satisfactory credit for the course at this or another institution.
  2. Prohibition from Registration
    1. A student deemed by the department offering a particular course to have the knowledge or skills taught in that course may be declared ineligible to register for credit in that course.
    2. A student who has failed the equivalent of 2.0 junior credits in a subject, whether the failure occurred in the same course(s) or different course(s), will be barred from registering for credit in further junior courses in that subject, except by permission of the dean and of the department offering the subject.
  3. Directed Studies/Irregular Courses
    Directed Studies/Irregular courses dealing with subjects not covered by courses listed in the calendar may be offered to individuals or small groups of students. All outlines for Directed Studies courses together with the completed Directed Studies/Irregular Course Registration Forms must be submitted to the Dean of Arts for approval prior to the last day for adding a course in the term in which the Directed Studies/Irregular courses begin. All outlines must include a schedule of meetings, requirements for at least one graded assignment and a list of readings.
  4. Honours Courses
    Several departments in each faculty offer a limited number of courses which are specifically intended for, and restricted to, honours students in the discipline. For these courses, all other students require special permission from the department concerned to register in the honours-level courses.
    400 level seminars are open only to Year 4 honours students registered in the program in which the 400 level seminar is offered. Other students wishing to take 400 level seminars require permission of the department offering the course and the department in which they are specializing. A 400 level seminar cannot be repeated.
  5. Interdepartmental Programs
    The co-ordinator of an interdepartmental program must authorize the student's program in writing. Permission to take individual courses is granted by the department or the co-ordinating committee offering the courses.
  6. Double Counting
    Students are permitted to double-count courses for more than one program in which the same course is a required course or an elective.