The Scholar's Electives program allows students who have demonstrated outstanding academic potential to apply to Western for admission to both a primary, discipline-based program of study and the Scholar's Electives module. The program is designed to provide an intellectually stimulating learning environment for students who wish to undertake a truly interdisciplinary and/or intensive laboratory research experience. Its goal is to foster a community of scholars who have diverse disciplinary and research interests, but share a general intellectual curiosity about most disciplines.
Those selected will comprise a small group (no larger than 50-75 students per year at the constituent university) who will, in addition to their Honors degree courses, enroll in a Scholar's Electives module of 3.0 courses. The courses include a first-year research project, upper-year interdisciplinary courses, a limited number of upper-year lab research courses, and a research communication project. The interdisciplinary courses in the Scholar's Electives module will be taught by faculty members from more than one Faculty and expose students to significant ideas from different disciplines.
The small enrollment in the program will enable the students to connect with one another and ensure greater individual contact with faculty members. Development and staffing of the Scholar's Electives modular courses will be the responsibility of the participating faculties.
Each Affiliated University College also offers a Scholar's Electives program leading to a BA degree under the same conditions. Admission to the program shall be granted by the Academic Dean (Brescia or King's University College) or Dean of Arts and Social Science (Huron University College) and, where appropriate, in consultation with the Dean(s) of the constituent university Faculties involved in the proposed course of study.
While the primary benefit of enrolling in Scholar's Electives is the flexibility to achieve personal and unique academic goals, there are a number of ancillary benefits associated with the program. Scholar's Electives students will have the benefit of being paired with a Faculty mentor. The mentor will serve as the student's primary academic advisor, working in collaboration with an Academic Counsellor from the student's home Faculty. The mentor will hold regular meetings with the student to monitor the student's progress and provide advice as necessary. Students also will be able to participate in the Scholar's Electives Peer Mentorship program, and they will have the opportunity to network and build a community with other high-achieving students through planned activities and events facilitated by both the Faculties and the Centre for New Students.
Normally, students apply for admission to the Scholar's Electives program prior to registration in first year of a BA, BHSc or BSc degree program. Scholar's Electives is a limited enrollment program, open to full-time students who qualify for consideration by having at least a 90% admission average. Selection will be determined by a Selection Committee on the basis of grades and personal accomplishments, such as demonstrated achievement beyond the classroom and community contributions, as detailed on a supplementary admissions form.
After the first year, students whose achievements are comparable to the program's admission and progression requirements may apply to the Selection Committee for late admission.
The Scholar's Electives program includes an Honors degree, with either an Honors Specialization or Double Major, as well as the Scholar's Electives module. The Honors Specialization or the Major modules may be standard modules offered by Departments, or theme areas designed by the student with the support of Faculty mentors and approved by the Dean's Office. The lecture/seminar courses in the Scholar's Electives module are interdisciplinary courses developed and taught by teams of experienced faculty members. Mentoring for the Supervised Individual Research courses in the Scholar's Electives module will be by individual faculty members who are experienced researchers.
The Scholars Electives Module
0.5 course: Scholars Electives 1020Y: Introductory Research project (introduction to research in the student's field, normally taken in first year)
2.0 courses from: Scholars Electives 3301E, 3302E, 3303E, 3304E; normally taken in Year 2 and 3
0.5 course: Scholars Electives 4400Y; normally taken in Year 4 (participation in Research Fair by presentation of research results at a University-wide poster session)
Note: Scholars Electives 3303E and 3304E require the permission of the Faculty of Registration.
Students must be registered in a minimum of 5.0 courses during each Fall/Winter session. Students also may take additional courses during the summer. With permission of the Department and Dean's Office, students with an appropriate background may be permitted to include senior courses in their first-year program. After first year, students are required to take all senior courses. Regulations governing the New Academic Choices, including the breadth and essay requirements, apply to Scholar's Electives students.
These modules allow study in areas that are not covered by New Academic Choices. Each module will be overseen by an appropriate mentor. Examples of these themes include:
Peace Studies (Economics, Politics, Philosophy, Anthropology, History, Women's Studies, etc.)
Multiculturalism (Politics, Geography, Comparative Literature, History, Languages, etc.)
Scientific Methodology (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Philosophy, etc.)
Progression and Graduation Requirements
To maintain their registration in the Scholar's Electives program, students enroll in a full course load during the Fall/Winter session and must achieve a sessional average of at least 80% with no grade less than 65%. On any additional courses taken during the summer session, students must maintain a sessional average of at least 70%, with no mark less than 65%.
Graduation requirements: Completion of an Honors Bachelor degree, including the Scholar's Electives module, with a minimum cumulative average of 80% with no grade less than 65%.