An Arts Student's Guide to Q and B-Sci Courses

Well, it’s that time of year once again—the time where we frantically sit at our computers and await that designated hour so we can frantically sign into our GoSfu accounts and select away. I am, of course, talking about course registration. This is already fairly stressful for the average student, what with trying desperately to get into the courses we need to take for our major or minor. But it can be made even more stressful when trying to hunt for a class to fulfill SFU’s beloved WQB requirements. For all the Arts students out there, it can be daunting to look through course lists to try to find a Quantitative or Breadth-Science course that looks both interesting and passable. So, this time around, I am trying to make your course selection a little simpler by compiling a list of Q and B-Sci courses that are perfect for students who find themselves more at home with an essay than with lab work.

Archaeology 131 - Human Origins (B-Sci)

Archaeology is the study of humans and their activity in the past, and as the outline defines, ARCH 131 is a course that is meant to be an introduction to “biological anthropology and paleoanthropology,” which are “the sciences that address human biological and cultural evolution.” In other words, this is a class where you learn about the origins of human beings and where they came from. It is being offered next spring and consists of just a midterm and a final exam. When asked how she was finding ARCH 131 this semester, sociology major Mariyah Ali said that she didn’t find the content very difficult to follow or understand, and noted that almost all the information needed for the midterm was posted on the canvas site. She did say that there was a lot of information to be memorized though, so be prepared to write out lots of cue cards and notes!

Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology 110 - Human Nutrition: Current Issues (B-Sci)

In this BPK class, you will be introduced to the basics of nutrition, while studying it from a uniquely Canadian perspective and looking at some nutritional practices and pitfalls here in Canada. Gursimran Mahendru, a Biology major, said that he would recommend the course, as it was “pretty useful if you want to learn about how the everyday things we eat affect us." Similar to ARCH 131, Gursimran said that the content was fairly easy but that a lot of memorization is involved.

Earth Sciences 104 - Geohazards: Earth in Turmoil (B-Sci)

This class looks at precisely what the name indicates—different geological hazards that exist on this planet and how they negatively affect the Earth. It looks at different geological processes, like earthquakes and volcanoes, and examines what they are and what causes them, and looks at how they impact the environment and society. The course is broken down into two midterms and one final exam.

English 212 - Metrics and Prosody (Q)

This English class is not only great for anyone who loves poetry but also for anyone who needs a Q. Who would have guessed? ENGL 212 examines some of the historical methods of measuring poetry, with a real focus on scanning and analyzing poems through different methods of quantitative analysis. SFU graduate Michelle Allin said she “found that it was one of the most fun courses [she’d] taken all undergrad” and would highly recommend it to others. Next semester’s class assignments are broken down into one essay, three in-class tests, a creative writing portfolio, and class participation. It’s not one to be missed if you are a lover of poetry or English!

Geography 111 - Earth Systems (B-Sci)

Accessible to both GEOG and non-GEOG students, the goal of the class is to introduce students to landforms, climates, soils, and vegetation, while studying their origins, distributions, roles, and interrelationships in the ecosystem. This class consists of weekly two-hour lectures, as well as two-hour labs. It is graded on lab work, a midterm, and a final, which may turn some people away from it. However, it does include field trips, which can be a really unique experience that not many students get to enjoy.

Math 190 - Principles of Math for Teachers (Q)

Even though the idea of taking math in university can be a terrifying one, this class is apparently very doable. In order to get into the class, you have to have at least a B in Foundations of Math 11, or at least a C in SFU FAN X99. Even if you haven’t done any math in a few years, Anais St-Laurent, who is majoring in French, said that it doesn’t really matter. She said that even though she hadn’t taken Math since Grade 11, she didn’t find it hard at all, and said that as long as you stay on top of the weekly assignments, you will be able to do well. The class seeks to go over the ideas involved in number systems and geometry in elementary school math curriculums while giving an overview of the historical development of these ideas, and their place in contemporary mathematics.

Physics 190 - Introduction to Astronomy (B-Sci & Q)

A physics class for an Arts student made so that any non-science student can do well, PHYS 190 covers the development of astronomy and includes topics like naked-eye observation of the night sky, modern observational equipment and techniques, and explores the solar system, stellar evolution, galaxies, the Hubble expansion, the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, and startling new theories of the origin and destiny of the universe. According to Saunam Chan, a Psychology major, “you’ll learn about the cosmos in a way that’s reminiscent of Discovery specials on space or even Bill Nye episodes, as the science is very light and digestible.” He went on to say that if you have ever been curious about space, then this is the class to take.  

Statistics 100 - Chance and Data Analysis (B-Sci & Q)

STAT courses often sounds intimidating, but this is another class that is made to be as accessible as possible for non-STAT students. Devin Stewart, a Business and Economy major, said that he found STAT 100 to be a fairly easy course that was “primarily memorization of vocabulary as opposed to actual problem solving”. The course outline states that this course will cover focus on phenomena and data analysis and study them through the simulation and examination of real world contexts including sports, investment, lotteries, and environmental issues. 

To learn more about these or any other courses you can find course outlines on the SFU website.