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Overview

BE FUTURE READY. Transform your Diploma into a Degree

Enhance the value of your previous post-secondary academic success by building an honours degree that is both marketable and progressive. Seneca's Honours Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (offered part-time, full-time and online) presents students with a clear and flexible pathway into degree studies.

The (Hons) B.IS degree addresses the challenges of tomorrow's world by developing expertise across multiple perspectives and by providing valuable skills that cross broad themes and disciplines. The program builds on professional knowledge and skills gained from a diploma and uses previously earned credits to complete the degree.

Core to a liberal arts focused curriculum are the skills and abilities that are most valued by 21st century employers: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Seneca's BIS degree can ensure that you have right balance of skills to maximize your potential and to be ready for the future.

Learn more.

Seneca has been granted a consent by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer this degree for a 7-year term starting April 26, 2012. In conformity with the Minister's criteria and requirements, Seneca will submit an application for the renewal of the consent for this program 12 months prior to the expiration of the consent. Seneca shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame.

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.

Career Opportunities

An Investment of a Lifetime:

Life after graduation...what can you do now? Graduates of the Honours Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree are uniquely placed to enter the competitive workplace or to continue their studies at the graduate level in a variety of disciplines.

In an ever evolving global marketplace, graduates from BIS become part of a balanced workforce where soft skills - those acquired in this degree - are highly valued. For example,

  • 67% [of businesses] identified collaboration and teamwork as a key skill for entry-level employees, while other skills in high demand included communication (59%), problem-solving (51%) and people skills (48%).
  • 55% of the world's professional leaders have bachelor degrees in the social sciences or the humanities.
  • Large companies are increasingly looking to recruit or develop employees with strong soft skills. These skills are particularly important when identifying and developing future leaders.

Liberal arts focused education is the future of work.

Entry Requirements

Mature students (19 and older) with:

  • an Advanced Diploma (three-year program) from a recognized College.
  • a Diploma (two-year program) from a recognized College.
  • a partial diploma from a recognized College, a partial bachelor's degree, or other accredited postsecondary education (graduate certificates or certificates). 

Transfer Credits

  • Graduates of a three-year diploma program from a recognized College will be granted advanced standing for a maximum 20 courses toward the 40-course (plus co-op) degree.
  • Graduates of a two-year diploma program from a recognized College institution will be granted advanced standing for a maximum 15 courses toward the 40-course (plus co-op) degree.
  • Students with a partial diploma from a recognized College, a partial bachelor's degree, or other accredited postsecondary education (graduate certificates or certificates) may be entitled to transfer credit which will be assessed on an individual basis.
 

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Curriculum

ENG106
Writing Strategies
Availability
 

This course focuses on critical thinking and the rhetorical elements of both persuasive and evaluative forms of writing. Students will learn to differentiate between shades of fact and opinion, objectivity and bias, and apply the techniques of sound argument for a variety of purposes. The main elements of effective communication and research techniques are also examined. Techniques explored and skills developed in this course are applied throughout the four years of the program.




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ENG207
Introduction - Scholarly Research and Writing
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

EAC150 or equivalent

Scholarly Research and Writing will focus on developing the student's evaluative and analytical skills, which are essential to writing an academic research paper. The emphasis will be on preparing the student to deepen and improve their understanding of scholarly materials, and on expanding and refining their writing and documentation skills. Also, there will be a focus on rhetorical analysis because it is the foundation of exposition and argument. The final research paper will be complemented by an oral presentation.




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LSP400
Presentation Skills
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

ENG106 or equivalent

This course prepares students to make professional oral presentations to diverse audiences in a variety of settings. The fundamentals of public speaking and speech writing are covered, as well as the production and use of presentational aids. Students will be in introduced to presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint and/or Adobe Photoshop. They will familiarize themselves with presentation techniques based on imaging manipulation and other aids.




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INS100
Introduction to the Social Sciences I
Availability
 

This course provides a foundation for further study in the social sciences by introducing students to their basic subject matter and theory. It is designed for students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Program, forming a basis for upper level courses in any of the relevant social sciences. It will also serve as a Liberal Studies course suitable to provide an introduction to social science topics for the broader body of Seneca College students. The course is unified via a focus on a central theme or themes of relevance to all the social sciences, such as power and human nature. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments, this course will offer a comprehensive interdisciplinary introduction to these central issues, integrating diverse social science approaches to the topic. The course emphasizes the development of critical thinking and writing skills, facilitates the practical application of student learning, and promotes the integration of social science insights into students' broader understanding of themselves and their world.




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INT100
Quantitative Reasoning
Availability
 

This is a one-semester mathematics course designed to introduce some important topics in mathematics. It is intended to provide students with the prerequisites for a further course in Statistics. The course will engage students in meaningful mathematics through discovery, problem solving and discussions.




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INW100
World Civilizations: Bronze Age to the 15th Century
Availability
 

Students in INW100 will develop a broad understanding of world civilizations that have contributed to our sense of world history. Students will explore the development and interactions of various societies over time by examining world historical processes and using a range of disciplinary approaches (i.e. history, philosophy, sociology, art history, etc.). In INW100 students will discover how this complex tapestry of narratives has culminated in our modern understanding of the world as a "global village".




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INX100
Introduction to the Natural Sciences
Availability
 

This survey course is intended to give students a broad understanding of those sub-disciplines that comprise the natural sciences and to provide students with an understanding of the history, philosophy and social contributions of science. It will introduce students to current issues of particular concern to both science and society.




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INS200
Introduction to the Social Sciences II
Availability
 

This course provides a foundation for further study in the social sciences by introducing students to their basic subject matter and theory, focusing in particular on political science and economics. It is designed for students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, forming a basis for upper level social science courses. It will also serve as a Liberal Studies course suitable to provide an introduction to social science topics for the broader body of Seneca College students. The course is unified via a focus on central themes relevant to all the social sciences, such as power and human nature. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments both online and in-class, this course offers a comprehensive interdisciplinary introduction to these central issues, integrating diverse social science approaches to the topic. The course emphasizes the development of critical thinking and writing skills, facilitates the practical application of student learning, and promotes the integration of social science insights into students' broader understanding of themselves and their world. Introduction to the Social Sciences 1 is not a prerequisite.




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INT202
Statistics
Availability
 

This course provides an introduction to basic statistical concepts and techniques that are common to various disciplines. Statistical methods of data collection, analysis, presentation and interpretation for making generalizations, projections and decisions will be introduced. Both descriptive and inferential techniques will be explored.




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INW200
World Civilizations: 16th Century to Modern Times
Availability
 

Students in INW200 will develop a broad understanding of world civilizations that have contributed to our sense of world history. Students will explore the development and interactions of various societies over time by examining world historical processes and using a range of disciplinary approaches (i.e. history, philosophy, sociology, art history, etc.). In INW200 students will discover how this complex tapestry of narratives has culminated in our modern understanding of the world as a "global village".




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INC300
Social Media & Professional Identity: The Web of Influence
Availability
 

Every day, millions of people share their opinions with a global audience via Tweets, #s, blogs, wikis, videos, likes, tags, text messages and online comments. Digital spaces and mobile technologies allow us to be connected to our personal and professional networks and communities 24/7. In what ways does this hyper-connectivity impact the ways in which people regard their place in the world and define themselves?
In this course we will analyse the social, ethical, political and cultural ramifications of societies that are increasingly mobile and digital. The impact of new genres and forms of expression on our identities will be explored as we actively participate in online networks and create materials for social media.




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INH301
Gender and Sexuality in World History
Availability
 

Historically, women and men have been expected to behave in gender appropriate ways. Yet, what is considered appropriately feminine or masculine is not fixed; instead, these ideals are socially constructed and depend on time and place and are influenced by other categories of identity like status or class, and race and ethnicity. In this course, we will examine the construction of gender ideals and consider the impact of these ideals on aspects of life ranging from the most private (sex, sexual identity, sexual regulation, family formation) to the most public (work, citizenship and political power, war, conquest). Covering the classical period to the modern period and including societies in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, this course will take a comparative approach and will analyze the impact of cultural contact on gender ideals. Whether accepted, adapted or rejected, gender expectations have affected every aspect of men's and women's lives in world history.




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INS301 OR INS302
 
INS301
Introduction to the Cognitive Sciences
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

ENG106 or equivalent.

Although philosophers have considered the nature of the mind for millennia, a new interdisciplinary approach developed in the 20th century: cognitive science. After millennia of study, the problems remained the same: Is the mind different from the brain? What is consciousness? How can I tell if other people have minds? Is it possible to create an artificial intelligence? Are humans truly rational? Cognitive science includes approaches from computer science, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy and psychology in an attempt to answer these ancient questions. Students will be introduced to central themes in cognitive science by reading key articles and excerpts from books from important cognitive scientists across the various disciplines.




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INS302
Ethics for the 21st Century: Theory and Practice
Availability
 

This course examines some of the most influential ethical theories, emphasizing practical application in real world situations. Starting with timeless issues affecting persons throughout history, the main focus will be on current ethical problems unimaginable to the founders of western ethical thought along with future scenarios at the boundaries of our own imaginations. Students will explore how to make ethical choices in our complex, technologically mediated, and rapidly changing world.




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INX300
Astronomy
Availability
 

This course introduces students to the science of Astronomy. They will study the planets, stars, galaxies, the structure of the observable universe and our place in it. Students will understand the Earth's motions, the reason for seasons, tides, and eclipses. They will learn about modern views of the solar system, the nature of stars and their evolution. Students will gain understanding of galaxies and the history of the observable universe. As a result, they will develop a better appreciation of the beauty of the cosmos and the scientific quest to understand it.




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Professional Studies Options
INR300 OR RES480
 
INR300
Critical Analysis of Research
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

ENG106 or equivalent

This course will explore the major theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of research and examine the ways in which research designs relate to the development of supportable conclusions and the validity and reliability of research findings. The ways in which the choice of paradigm, conceptual framework, approach, design and data collection and analysis influences the outcomes of a research study will be examined, as well as the ethical considerations for social research. This holistic approach chosen for this course differs from the more traditional introductory methods courses which often focus solely on technical procedures. Through the analysis and evaluation of published research articles and reports students will develop the skills for critically evaluating the choice of a variety of research methods and the reliability and validity of research studies.




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RES480
Research Methods
Availability
 

This research methods course examines the various components of the research process including the formulation of research questions or a research hypothesis; the review of the literature; qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research designs; research ethics; and data collection. The students learn how to effectively search online databases to find the literature relevant to their research topic and chose or design valid and reliable instruments when conducting research. In addition to examining ethical protocol in conducting research, the course explores various ways to collect data, and effective communication of research ideas. After learning about various research designs, students develop the elements of a research proposal, based on a problem relevant to their professional practice, a related literature review, and a description of the methodology appropriate to conduct the study.




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INR700
Capstone Research Project I
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

INR300 or equivalent.

Our primary goal for this course is for students to conduct a capstone project. Students apply learning from previous courses to one large scale product. INR700 build on prior learning in Applied Research Methods to conduct a small scale project that relates to the student's area of academic and professional interest. Students refine the design of the project, collaborate with peers and the Research Advisor in charge of this course. The main task for INR700 is to ensure that students can complete a capstone research project on time in INR800.




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INR800
Capstone Research Project II
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WTP200
Work Term Preparation
Availability
 

Co-op education is meant to provide learners with the opportunity to integrate academic learning with relevant work experience. It also provides students with the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their chosen field of study. The purpose of this work term is to enable the learner to make a smooth transition from the academic setting to a work environment. In this course, learners will develop strategies to assist them in the job search process.




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WTR200
Work Term Reflection
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

WTP200

The integration of classroom activities with work term experience is vital for the complete and successful learning and understanding of co-op work placement experiences. Structured integration and reflective learning with peers provides the opportunity to evaluate work experience into a broader context. Guest speakers from the industry will give students further employment exposure and an opportunity to network.




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INS881
Interdisciplinary Studies, Work Term
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

WTP200

The Co-op work term is 4 months in length and is a paid or unpaid work experience whereby a student is employed in a job directly related to the program outcomes of the degree. The work term is based on an approval from the faculty supervisor in charge of placements and co-ops. It provides the student with the opportunity to practice in his/her chosen field. A faculty supervisor helps the student prepare for, select, and contract an approved co-op opportunity. The faculty supervisor provides support for the learning experience throughout the student's time in placement.




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Note on Liberal Studies Options (LSOs): Students who have a two-year diploma from a recognized College are typically required to take four (4) LSOs. Students who have a three-year advanced diploma from a recognized College are typically required to take two (2) LSOs.

Note on Professional Studies Options (PSOs): Students who have a two-year diploma from a recognized College are typically required to take five (5) PSOs. Please consult the Program Coordinator for information on course options. Students who have a three-year advanced diploma from a recognized College are typically granted transfer credit for all the PSOs required to graduate.

Work Term

A work experience that includes at least one term in a formal work environment. The work term(s) may be a paid or unpaid position that is completed between two academic semesters and requires a minimum of 420 hours of work. Students must be in good standing and meet all identified requirements prior to participating in the work experience. The successful completion of the work term(s) is required for graduation.  Eligibility for participation does not guarantee that a work position will be secured. Additional fees are required for the mandatory degree work term regardless of success in securing a work position.

Part-time studies students who are currently employed or who have past work experience that is relevant and aligns with the program outcomes are encouraged to use their  current or past full-time work experience to fulfill (CWT650) of the Work integrated Learning requirement through the completion of a process called a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).

Application Form

To apply, please fill in the form below and forward the following documents:

  1. all relevant transcripts from post-secondary institutions attended
  2. a current CV detailing education and work experience
  3. a Letter of Intent - 750 words - in response to the following question: "What does interdisciplinary mean and why are you interested in the (Hons) Bachelor of Interdisciplinary degree"

Hard copies may be submitted by mail to:
M.A. Rubens
Faculty of Continuing Education, D2200
1750 Finch Avenue East
Toronto ON M2J 2X5

OSAP Funding Available

This program is eligible for OSAP funding.

Course load is used by OSAP to determine funding options for programs.

If you are taking 1 - 2 courses at the same time, you may be considered for part-time student grants and loans.

  • 1 course (20%)
  • 2 courses (40%)

If you are taking 3 or more courses at the same time, you may be considered for full-time student grants and loans.

  • 3 courses (60%)
  • 4 courses (80%)
  • 5 courses (100%)

To find out if you qualify and to learn how to apply, please visit the OSAP website.

For information on other awards and financial assistance, please see Financial Aid.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Graduation

When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Promotion and Status

As per section 12.1 of Seneca's Academic Policy:

For degree programs, the minimum requirement for promotion is an average of C (2.5) in courses in the main field of study (professional courses), and an average of C (2.0) in all other courses.

Program Contacts

Contact us via this form or using the phone number(s) below it.





Colleen Shea
Program Assistant

416.491.5050 x22685


Ingrid Carlson
Student Advisor

416.491.5050 x22444


Melanie Rubens
Program Coordinator

416.491.5050 x22589


Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.