Bachelor's Degrees: Liberal Studies Requirement
The following Liberal Studies requirements are effective as follows:
- Students accepted into part-time Degree programs as of October 1, 2008
- Students accepted into full-time Degree programs commencing August/September 2009
All BCIT bachelor’s degree programs include Liberal Studies courses that broaden your perspective beyond your specific discipline, explore approaches to enduring human concerns, and enhance your competence in critical reasoning and decision making. A BCIT bachelor's degree requires a minimum of 12 credits (usually 4 courses) of Liberal Studies (LIBS), including both core and elective courses.
Liberal Studies core courses
Two 3-credit BCIT courses, Critical Reading and Writing (LIBS 7001) and Applied Ethics (LIBS 7002), are mandatory for most students in BCIT bachelor's degree programs. These two foundational courses are offered in the fall, winter and summer terms in both online and campus versions.
Liberal Studies elective courses
The remaining 6 credits of Liberal Studies are electives that can reflect your interests and preferences. The BCIT Liberal Studies Department offers a selection of these electives in the fall, winter and spring terms in both online and campus versions.
Transfer Liberal Studies elective courses
All courses taken outside BCIT for possible transfer credit to BCIT as Liberal Studies electives must meet the Liberal Studies criteria. Normally, this criteria is met by second year university courses or higher. Students should check their program website for specific requirements regarding Liberal Studies.
Non-BCIT courses eligible to receive credit as Liberal Studies electives for BCIT bachelor's programs must be:
- academic in nature
- transferable into a recognized Canadian University degree program
- taken at a recognized public post-secondary educational institution in Canada
- assessed to determine transferability into a recognized Canadian University degree program, if the course has been completed at a college or technical school outside B.C. or a university outside Canada.
Transfer credit in the following areas will be assessed on a course by course basis: Criminology, Cultural Studies, Economics, Geography, Language Studies, Law, Multicultural Studies, Intercultural Communications, and Psychology.*
*Courses whose content and methodology are significantly technical, vocational, or professional will not be granted transfer credit.
Courses in other subject areas must be submitted for individual adjudication.
Pre-approval of your Liberal Studies requirements
We strongly recommend that you have your Liberal Studies course selections pre-approved before you register. Pre-approval of courses is done only after you are accepted as a degree student. For pre-approval, please complete the Liberal Studies Electives Approval form [PDF].
All BCIT LIBS 7XXX level courses are acceptable and do not require pre-approval.
Transfer credit levels and final decision
Credits are determined by the number of credits that are transferred into the receiving university by the school offering the course. Courses that have credit granted under a general subject category but at no specific level will be considered to be at the 100 (introductory) level and therefore not eligible for transfer credit.
BCIT Liberal Studies department reserves the right to make the final decision in cases where ambiguity exists over:
- the category of a course
- the level of the course
- the number of transferable credits available for the course
- the university at which the course will be assigned transfer credit
Elective course restrictions
- To complete the Liberal Studies requirement, you may not use subject areas covered within the two-year BCIT diploma program which you require to gain entrance into the BCIT degree program. This is true even if your admission into the degree program is based on your education from another institution.
- Specialty courses required as part of your BCIT bachelor's program do not qualify as Liberal Studies electives.
There is no recency requirement for Liberal Studies courses you completed before your acceptance into a BCIT degree program and for which you seek transfer credit. For example, a third-year history course completed in 1985 may be eligible for Liberal Studies credit if it is university-transferable.
Credit evaluation process for Liberal Studies courses taken
- When BCIT formally accepts you into a degree program, you may apply for potential Liberal Studies elective credits from courses you have taken at a college or university in Canada.
- If you have completed courses you wish to have transferred, you must supply us with detailed course outlines at the time you took the course(s).
- If you have completed courses at a university outside of Canada, you must provide:
- a Comprehensive Report from International Credential Evaluation Service
- detailed course outlines
Transfer credit for a non-elective Liberal Studies course
If you have taken a course that you consider equivalent to either LIBS 7001 or LIBS 7002 and wish to apply for transfer credit, please complete and submit a Course Credit/Exemption form [PDF], detailed course outline and official transcript. For more information, visit Liberal Studies or contact Michael_Bourke@bcit.ca.