New joint degree proposed


Discussion with university senate about potential future degree.

On November 22nd, the StFX Senate is meeting to vote on a new degree that is the first of its kind at StFX. The proposed program is a combined Bachelor of Arts and Science, comprised of newly developed Health-Science courses, the Xaverian has learned. Since the degree structure has yet to be voted on, it is subject to change, but is still an exciting new addition to the university.


Ryley Erickson, Vice President Academic with the Students' Union, explains that the degree will be similar to other joint degrees, with 24 credits in the Health department, alongside two concentration areas from which students have a particular list of courses offered to choose from.

Photo by: Jessica Fullerton

Photo by: Jessica Fullerton

The Science Representative to the Students' Union, Victoria Sandre, elaborates on the fundamentals of the degree such as health, global health, and health leadership as well as other existing disciplines.

She states that, "This new degree structure was created as an interdisciplinary program to target students with interests in a wide span of aspects of health, whether they be medically-related or on the social science side.”

At first glance, the BASc degree has some similarities with a Human Kinetics degree. In both cases, you are able to take Arts and Sciences courses. HKIN students can decide how "science heavy" they would like their degree to be, and often the choice comes down to either chemistry or psychology. However, Sandre states that although there is some overlap, the BASc in Health program is unique - as the Arts stream includes areas of study such as Social Determinants of Health, while subjects such as Biomedical Sciences will be found in the Sciences stream.

Erickson is hopeful that once the BASc in health degree becomes available, it will have great popularity and lead to many similar joint degrees in the next few years at StFX. More information will be available after the Senate meeting called specifically for the proposed degree on the 22nd.

Update from Senate

The new Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Health was one of various topics discussed at the last StFX University Senate meeting held in the Mackay Room of the Bloomfield Centre on the evening of Tuesday, November 22.

Beginning next year, students will be able to pursue a degree in Health that combines arts and science courses in addition to compulsory health courses that are restricted to students pursuing the new degree.

Health students will be registered for biology, chemistry, psychology, sociology, and an introductory course in health for their first year of study. Students in the program will only be able to register for electives come second year.

The degree will be science heavy according to Dr. Karen Brebner, Dean of Arts at StFX and Professor of Psychology, requiring at least 20 credits in the sciences.

This new degree option will also replace StFX’s Health Studies Colloquium, which engages a combination of arts and science students in biology, psychology, and sociology during first year.

Current students in Health Studies Colloquium, which is now in its second year of operation, will have the opportunity to pursue the degree moving forward and it appears many have an interest in doing so. Generally the core health courses will be restricted to students pursuing the new degree.

The university will publish a press release within the next few days to provide more information about the degree and how to apply.

With files from Georgy Pyle, Senior Reporter.