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General Education

Philosophy Statement

The English and Liberal Studies curriculum encompasses a broad range of courses in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences. Inherent in the English and Liberal Studies curriculum is the student's development of thinking and communication skills through reading and writing. Courses stress the intellectual development of students in order to help them understand the complexities of their own and other societies. A substantial amount of the course content focuses on Canadian culture and society. The curriculum of English and Liberal Studies goes beyond the emphasis on vocational skills that are necessary for particular areas of employment and includes a focus on the diversity and richness of human experience.


The general education curriculum at Seneca College consists of required English courses and general education options. Most two and three-year diploma programs, with a few exceptions, require three general education options, as well as one required vocational/general education subject (four general education credits in total). It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the requirements for his/her program. Please refer to the Schools of English and Liberal Studies' website ( for further details.

English Requirements

All Seneca College post-secondary students are required to take a first semester composition course. For those in two and three-year diploma programs and most certificate programs, students are required to take College English - EAC150, or its equivalent, a College-level reading and writing course. In degree programs, students are required to take a university-level reading and writing course. Students are registered into the appropriate first semester composition course for their program, based on the results of the Seneca College Skills Assessment Test, which is completed after students are admitted to a Seneca program. Not all students are eligible to take a college or university-level writing course in their first semester. These students will be registered in the appropriate, non-credit, developmental English course based upon their language competency. EAC149 or its equivalent, like EAP500, is a non-credit developmental reading and writing course designed to prepare students for EAC150. Students are placed in EAC149 based on the results of the Seneca College Skills Assessment Test, or on successful completion of EAP300 or ESL933. EAP300 and EAP330 (English for Academic Purrposes) are non-credit English Preparation subjects designed to help full-time students, for whom English is a second language, improve skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students are placed in either EAP300 or EAP330 based on the results of the Seneca College Skills Assessment Test. Students may be required to drop one first semester program subject in order to accommodate this English subject. Students may not enrol in any level of EAP, EAC149, or EAC150 until they have taken the Seneca College Skills Assessment Test. EAP300, EAP330, EAP500, EAC149 and EAC150 do not count as general education credits, nor do the various business and technical writing subjects like EAC394, EAC397, SES391, SES392, TPC452 and SES394.

General Education Requirements and Categories

The general education curriculum is structured in a manner to ensure that each student acquires a breadth of knowledge and understanding and to allow, as much as it is possible, maximum subject choice for the student. To meet that end, the curriculum is organized into two categories. The subjects in each of the categories are designed to meet the goals established by the College Standards and Accreditation Council (CSAC). The categories and their sub-categories are as follows:

  1. Literature
  2. Liberal Studies:
  • Cultural Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences and Environmental Studies
  • Canadian Studies

In two and three-year diploma programs, students are required to earn four general education credits, one of which may be a vocational, general education credit. In a one-year certificate program, students are required to earn two general education credits. One of the general education subjects MUST be a literature subject for which EAC150 or its equivalent is a pre-requisite. The remaining electives MUST come from DIFFERENT subject areas within the Liberal Studies sub-categories. One may be an additional Literature course. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the proper components are completed. If students wish clarification or further information about these requirements as they relate to their particular program of study, they are encouraged to see a staff member in any of the Schools of English and Liberal Studies.

General Education In Degree Programs

Students in degree programs will be required to take a minimum of three open electives, two of which will be at the advanced level in order to provide exposure to increasingly complex theory. To meet this requirement, Liberal Studies options for degree programs are divided into two levels: the lower, which normally do not have any pre-requisite beyond successful completion of first semester; and the upper, which may require a pre-requisite. Students’ depth and breadth of knowledge will be promoted through exposure to subjects in one or more of the following broad categories: culture and communications; social sciences; natural sciences and environmental studies; and Canadian studies.

Essential Employability Skills

Essential employability skills are the foundation for every task you will perform in your personal, professional and academic life. These skills include communication, interpersonal, analytical/critical thinking, numeracy and computer literacy. Essential employability skills are an integral part of all programs and subjects offered at Seneca College.