First-Year Study Options

Start your academic journey in the Bachelor of Arts degree by choosing one of three approaches to your first year of study: Arts One, the Coordinated Arts Program, or a custom timetable.

As a Bachelor of Arts student, you do not declare or apply for a program in your first year. Instead, you choose one of three first-year study options to develop your academic interests and prepare you for when you add a major or minor to your degree before your third year.

Arts One

Learn from five instructors from a variety of disciplines in a small class setting. Read and discuss classic and contemporary texts from different historical periods and cultural contexts, and consider their influence on society.

  • Easier transition into university
  • Smallest class size in First Year Arts (4-100 seats)
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum
  • Student research journal
  • Dedicated study space
  • Social and academic support from peers and faculty
  • Dedicated academic advisors
  • Satisfies the Writing Component of your Bachelor of Arts degree and three credits of the Literature Requirement

Arts One is a full-year course worth 18 credits

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Arts One is great for students that like to read and write and really want to delve into the classics and foundational elements of English, History, and Philosophy.

Student, Arts One

Coordinated Arts Program

Explore a range of courses within the humanities, social sciences, and creative and performing arts within a supportive cohort setting.

Select one of five streams that group linked-but-separate courses connected by a broad research focus designed to help you make connections across courses, ideas, and issues.

Recent streams include:

  1. Media Studies
  2. Environment and Society (formerly People and Planet)
  3. Individual and Society
  4. Law and Society
  5. Political Science, Philosophy, Economics

  • Easier transition into university
  • Smaller classes (25-125 seats)
  • Standard timetables
  • Coordinated assignment schedules
  • Dedicated study space
  • Social and academic support from peers and faculty
  • Dedicated academic advisors
  • Opportunities to apply learning beyond courses
  • Student research initiatives
  • Annual conference to showcase student research
  • Satisfies the Writing Component of your Bachelor of Arts degree and most CAP streams satisfy three credits of the Literature Requirement

CAP is a full-year, 18-credit commitment

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The best part of being in CAP was the opportunity to regularly see the same professors and students for an entire year, which allowed me to develop professional relationships early in my university career.

Student, Coordinated Arts Program

Custom Timetable

Build your own timetable with a personalized set of courses to meet your degree requirements. Include a wide range of study topics or delve into a specific area of interest.

  • Flexible course schedule
  • Explore a broad range of Arts disciplines
  • Learn from multiple professors
  • Meet students from different programs and years of study

The Faculty of Arts has requirements that you must meet before you can graduate from Arts — you don’t have to take all of these in your first year, but you should consider them when you are planning your degree.


  • Register in WRDS 150 or ENG 100 to complete the writing component of the Writing and Research Requirement in your first year.
  • Identify a few potential programs (majors) you are interested in and make sure you take the prerequisite courses for those programs in your first year. To help plan your schedule, create different worklists for your potential program options on the Student Service Centre.
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The best part of having a custom timetable is flexibility. Although I was clear on what I wanted to major in, I still wanted to learn about other subjects outside of my comfort zone.

Student, Custom Timetable

Compare first-year study options

 Arts OneCAP Custom Timetable
Credits 18 credits

12 elective credits
18 credits

12 elective credits
30 credits (build your own timetable)
CoursesA year-long program comprised of weekly lectures, seminars and tutorialsA year-long program comprised of 4-6 courses (5 streams)Mix of courses
LengthTwo terms (Sept-Apr)Two terms (Sept-Apr)Two terms (Sept-Apr)
Teaching Approach Each theme is taught by five faculty members from various Arts departmentsEach course is taught by a different faculty member from various Arts departmentsVaries
Format 100-student lecture once per week

20-student seminar twice per week

Four-student tutorial once per week
100-125 student lecture once per week

25-student CAP seminar once per week (previously ASTU)
Workload One set of readings

A series of essays

One final capstone assignment and a final exam
Each course has readings, assignments, and an exam

*Assignments are coordinated across CAP courses

*Assignments are not coordinated across courses
Degree Requirements Writing componentWriting componentYou must select courses that will meet your first-year degree requirements

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