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 truly wish to undertake an interdisciplinary and/or laboratory research experience. Its goal is to foster a community of scholars who have diverse disciplinary and research interests, but a general intellectual curiosity about most disciplines. The program is intended primarily for students who are interested in completing a four-year Honors degree before moving on to their chosen careers.
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 comprised of 3.0 courses. 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.
Brescia and Huron University Colleges 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.
Students who complete the first two years of the Scholar's Electives Program successfully before registering in one of the HBA combined programs in the Richard Ivey School of Business may continue in the Scholar's Electives Program and receive this designation at graduation.
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 in Years 2 and 3. 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 if necessary. Students will also 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 Student Success Centre. The current listing of minimum admission requirements to undergraduate programs from foreign countries is maintained by the Office of the Registrar. For admission requirements of international applicants, please refer to the International Students admission policy
in the Admission
section in the Academic Calendar.Admission Requirements
Students apply for admission to the Scholar's Electives program prior to registration in first year of a BA, BHSc, BMSc or BSc degree program. Scholar's Electives is a limited enrollment program, open to full-time students who qualify for membership as Western Scholars 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.
The Scholar's Electives program is a 21.0-course program that includes an honors degree, with either an Honors Specialization or Honors double Major modules, 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 a team of experienced faculty members. Mentoring for the Supervised Individual Research courses in Years 2 and 3 of the Scholar's Electives module will be by individual faculty members who are experienced researchers.
Scholar's Electives Module
Students must be registered in a minimum of 5.0 courses during each Fall/Winter session. Scholars Electives 1020Y
or Scholars Electives 1100F/G
will be taken in addition to the minimum course load of 5.0 courses in Year 1. With permission of the Department and Dean's Office, students with an appropriate background may be permitted to include senior courses in Year 1. In second and third year, the Scholar's Elective courses will be taken within the minimum course load of 5.0 courses. Scholars Electives 4400Y
will be taken in addition to the minimum course load of 5.0 courses in Year 4. After first year, students are required to take all of their courses at the 2000-level and above. (One exception may be permitted with Dean's approval.). Graduation regulations such as breadth and essay requirements, apply to Scholar's Electives students.
These modules allow study in areas that are not covered within the existing modules. Each themed module will be overseen by an appropriate mentor or Associate Dean. 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 (minimum of 5.0 courses) during the Fall/Winter session and must achieve a sessional average of at least 80% in all courses taken during the Fall/Winter session with no mark less than 65%. Students must achieve a mark of at least 80% in their two Scholar's Electives research courses (Scholars Electives 2200E
, 3301E, 3302E
, 3303E, 3304E, 3305E
). If additional courses are taken during the summer session, students must achieve an average of at least 70% during the summer session 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%.
The diploma awarded to students will record both the status of Scholar's Electives and the module(s) studied, as recommended by the Dean.
Scholar's Electives Program SR.11-140