Jul 19, 2024  
Undergraduate Calendar 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Calendar 2016-2017 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Arts & Science

Arts and Science Program


Commons Building, Room 105, ext. 24655, 23153


J. Wilson/B.A., B.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.


S. Anderson
R. Bishop/B.A


Alan Chen (Physics and Astronomy)
David Clark (English & Cultural Studies)
Catherine Frost (Political Science)
Henry Giroux (English and Cultural Studies)
David Goutor (Labour Studies)
Louis I. Greenspan (Religious Studies)
Matthew Grellette (Philosophy)
Roger Jacobs (Biology)
Joseph LaRose (Religious Studies)
John Maclachlan (Geography and Earth Sciences; Arts & Science)
Elizabeth Marquis (Arts & Science; MIIETL)
William Scarth (Economics)
Matthew A. Valeriote (Mathematics and Statistics)
Jean Wilson (Linguistics and Languages; Arts & Science)
Roman Viveros-Aguilera (Mathematics & Statistics)

The Arts & Science Program provides students with a broad-based, liberal education. By means of electives, the Program also allows for substantial specialization in a particular discipline or area. The interdisciplinary Program has been designed for students who wish to further their intellectual growth through the study of significant achievements in both the arts and the sciences and through practice in methods of inquiry.

The integrated curriculum consists of courses offered by the Council of Instructors of the Arts & Science Program, together with other courses offered by departments across the University. The curriculum is designed to meet three major objectives:

  1. to enable substantial work in both the arts and the sciences;
  2. to develop skills in writing, speaking, and critical thinking;
  3. to foster the art of scholarly inquiry into issues of public concern.

Meeting the last of these objectives is the particular aim of inquiry courses, which begin in Level I and continue in Upper Levels. To investigate with skill and insight a complex public issue, such as world population growth in relation to food supply, requires an understanding of the methods and findings of many disciplines; it calls on a liberal education. Moreover, acquiring skill in such investigations requires practice in formulating questions, searching out evidence, and bringing the insights of academic disciplines to bear on the interpretation of evidence.

The Program offers preparation for advanced study in many professional schools, including those of architecture, business, dentistry, health administration, journalism, law, medicine, and teaching; and for research in many disciplines and interdisciplinary areas.

Students in this program who wish to prepare for graduate study in an academic discipline should consult with the appropriate department concerning requirements. In general, preparation for graduate study may be accomplished by combining the core Honours Arts & Science curriculum with a concentration of electives in the intended area of graduate study. Combined Honours Programs, which are available in many subjects, combine the core curriculum of the Arts & Science Program with a prescribed set of courses in a subject and can be expected to satisfy course requirements for admission to graduate study in the particular subject.

Academic Regulations

Student Academic Responsibility

You are responsible for adhering to the statement on student academic responsibility found in the General Academic Regulations  of this calendar.

Access to Courses

All undergraduate courses at McMaster have an enrolment capacity. The University is committed to making every effort to accommodate students in required courses so that their program of study is not extended. Unless otherwise specified, registration is on a first-come basis and in some cases priority is given to students from particular programs or Faculties. Students will be informed of their enrolment periods and are encouraged to enroll as soon as online enrolment is available to them in the Student Centre in Mosaic.

Student Communication Responsibility

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • maintain current contact information with the University, including address, phone numbers, and emergency contact information.
  • use the university provided e-mail address or maintain a valid forwarding e-mail address.
  • regularly check the official University communications channels. Official University communications are considered received if sent by postal mail, by fax, or by e-mail to the student’s designated primary e-mail account via their @mcmaster.ca alias.
  • accept that forwarded e-mails may be lost and that e-mail is considered received if sent via the student’s @mcmaster.ca alias.

The Arts & Science Program is governed by the General Academic Regulations of the University, (See the General Academic Regulations  section in this Calendar) and the regulations described below.

The Program begins in Level I and leads to the degree, Bachelor of Arts & Science (Honours) on completion of Level IV. The four-level program provides an opportunity for specialization through electives and through an individual study or thesis course.

Students who decide to conclude their studies in the program on completion of Level III may qualify to graduate with the degree, Bachelor of Arts & Science (B.Arts Sc.). Students must have a GPA of at least 6.0 to continue in the program. In the case of some Combined Honours programs, the average must include specified courses.

Registration in Level I of the Arts & Science Program is limited to approximately 60 students.

Inquiry Seminar Requirements

Inquiry courses comprise ARTSSCI 1C06 A/B  and a set of Upper-Level Inquiry seminars on a variety of topics. ARTSSCI 1C06 A/B  must be completed in Level I. Nine units of Upper-Level Inquiry are required and are taken in Level III or IV.

Combined Honours Programs

Students in the Arts & Science Program may undertake Combined Honours Programs in many disciplines within the Faculties of Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences. See Arts & Science and Another Subject  for a list of combined programs that are already established. Students should consult the Director of the Arts & Science Program for consideration of other possible combinations. On-line application for Admission to Level II (March) is required for all Combined Honours Programs.

Individual Study/Thesis

Students in the B.Arts Sc. (Honours) Program are required to complete an individual study or thesis (ARTSSCI 4A06 A/B  or 4C06 A/B ). Students in many Combined Honours Programs are also required to complete an individual study or thesis, often through a course in the discipline of their Combined Honours Program (offered by the relevant department). Students should consult the Combined Honours Program description for specific requirements (http://artsci.mcmaster.ca).

For further information, please see Academic Standing and Program Requirements in the General Academic Regulations  section in this Calendar.

International/Canadian Exchange Programs

One calendar year before study abroad: Interested students should consult the Director, Arts & Science Program.

Calendar year of planned travel: No later than the end of December, students must propose a program of study for approval by the Director. Credit will be confirmed only after transcripts are received and academic achievements are reviewed on the student’s return.

To be eligible for study abroad students must have completed 60 units with a GPA of at least 7.0. The B.Arts Sc. (three-year) degree is not granted on the basis of international study; the 30 final units of work must be done at McMaster.

Information concerning student exchanges can also be found in the Academic Facilities, Student Services and Organizations section of this Calendar under the heading International Student Services. Inquiries can be directed to the office at:

International Student Services / MacAbroad
Gilmour Hall, Room 104
Telephone: (905) 525-9140, extension 24748


Bachelor of Arts & Science (Honours)