The General Studies program provides students with a broad liberal arts and sciences education with a focus on northern, Indigenous content. Students in General Studies are encouraged to embrace academic breadth in both knowledge and skills, develop the habit of analytical and critical thought, and recognize and respect multiple ways of knowing.
The program offers a variety of courses from which students choose their own path, including continuing into a university degree or related program, such as the Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Education degrees at Aurora College. Students may also be able to take electives in other Aurora College post-secondary programs such as Business Administration, Environment and Natural Resources Technology, Nursing, etc.
Students in the General Studies program earn up to 60 credits in two academic years: 3 credits per course, five courses per semester, Fall semester and Winter semester. Students who take fewer courses each semester will take more time to complete 60 credits.
Upon completing 60 credits in General Studies, students earn a Diploma in General Studies.
Applicants may be admitted into the General Studies program based on one of the following pathways: academic and mature student/experiential.
Applicants may be considered for admission who have a minimum final grade of 65% in the following:
- English 30-2 (or higher); AND
- One of the following: Math 30-2 (or higher), Science 30, Biology 30, Chemistry 30, or Physics 30; AND
- One of the following: Social Studies 20-2 (or higher) OR Northern Studies 30.
Applicants who have completed the Aurora College University and College Access Program (UCAP) may also be considered for admission if they have a minimum final grade of 65% in the following:
- English 150 (or higher); AND
- One of the following: Math 150 (or higher), Science 30, Biology 30, Chemistry 30, or Physics 30; AND
- Social Studies 150
Equivalencies and other postsecondary education may be considered.
Applicants who do not meet admission requirements may be considered for Acceptance on Probation, which may require taking one or more upgrading courses during their first year, if they:
- Meet the English requirement; AND
- Meet either the Math/Science OR Social Science requirement; BUT
- Do NOT meet the other requirement, however have a minimum 65% final grade at the Grade 11 level.
Mature Student/Experiential Pathway
Applicants who are 20 years or older, have been out of school for at least one year, and have relevant work/life experience may be considered for admission on an individual basis. Eligibility for the program may be determined through an interview and a placement test or other assessment of English and/or Math. The applicant may be required to submit a resume or other evidence of relevant work/life experience. Applicants may be required to meet some prerequisite or upgrading courses as part of their program or to take some courses.
Regardless of the pathway for admission, all applicants must:
- Submit official transcripts from high school and postsecondary education, as applicable.
Depending on the applicant’s pathway, they may be advised/requested to submit:
- A resume or other evidence of relevant work/life experience.
Applicants must complete an Aurora College application form and submit official transcripts (high school and postsecondary). Applicants are encouraged to apply early and submit all required and requested documentation.
Applicants who are enrolled in one or more of the required academic courses for admission are encouraged to apply early and provide transcripts that demonstrate that they are currently registered in these courses. Applicants may be accepted on probation, which is dependent on their successful completion of the required courses (65% or higher). Applicants who are accepted on probation will be required to provide a final transcript upon completion of the required courses to be fully accepted.
Students who have already completed postsecondary course work may have transferability into this program. Postsecondary transcripts and course syllabi/outlines will be required for evaluation. Students seeking transfer credit will be required to follow process defined in Aurora College Policy C.01 Transfer Credit.
Applicants will be admitted into the program based on how well they meet the program eligibility requirements and on space availability. Indigenous persons, long-term residents of the NWT, and graduates of the University and College Access Program (UCAP) at Aurora College will be given priority in the selection process if they have submitted a complete application on or before November 30. Priority consideration for admission will not be considered for applications received on or after December 1. Applications will be processed first come, first serve based on the date that the complete application** is submitted.
Some courses may have prerequisites that are different from the program admission requirements. Admission to the program does not guarantee permission to take every course. Students may need prerequisite courses, including upgrading courses, to satisfy course requirements. Prerequisite upgrading courses may not be used for credit towards the General Studies diploma.
*Preference will be given to longer-term northern residents from the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut before short-term residents of one year or less.
**A complete application is one that contains all required documentation (eg. application, transcripts, etc.) and all requested documentation (eg. additional documentation that supports your eligibility that is requested for your application).
The General Studies program provides students with a comprehensive university-level liberal arts and sciences education with a focus on northern, Indigenous content. The program is designed for students intending to continue into a university degree or related program, and will ladder directly into Year 3 of both the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Bachelor of Education (BEd) programs at Aurora College. Students may also transfer credits earned in General Studies to other diploma or degree programs at Aurora College and its partner institutions. Likewise, credits earned in diploma or degree programs at Aurora College or partner institutions may be accepted for credit in General Studies.
Students in General Studies must earn 60 credits, including successfully completing the three core courses, to be eligible to earn a Diploma in General Studies. Students interested in applying to the Bachelor of Social Work and/or Bachelor of Education programs must successfully complete core and other required courses for the respective program, in addition to the three core General Studies courses.
General Studies is not intended for students who will be primarily upgrading (eg. students who need to upgrade three or more courses), though applicants may include a limited number of upgrading courses in their course selection in their first year of General Studies.
- Provide students with a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences education with a focus on northern, Indigenous content.
- Provide students with a sound educational foundation so they can continue their education beyond General Studies, including into the Aurora College Bachelor of Social Work or Bachelor of Education or other postsecondary programs.
- Encourage students to engage in critical inquiry and self-reflection to facilitate life-long learning.
- The passing mark for each course will be 50%. However, students must maintain a cumulative average of 65% in the General Studies program.
- To earn a Diploma in General Studies, students must do each of the following:
- Maintain a cumulative average of at least 65 per cent in the program.
- Earn 60 credits from courses in the program.
- Successfully complete the three General Studies core courses.
- Achieve the diploma within five years of commencing studies.
- Prerequisite and upgrading courses may NOT satisfy course or credit requirements for program completion. As such, it may take longer than two years to complete the Diploma.
Document of Recognition
Aurora College General Studies Diploma