Bridging Courses (Policy and Guidelines)

Bridging Courses (Policy and Guidelines)

Legislative History:

Approved by SCARSA, Approved by Senate: 1992/05/28, Date Effective: 1992/05/28

Approval Authority: Senate

Signature: Malcolm Ransom


A bridging course is a university-preparation course with an academic curriculum that is offered to mature students as a means of preparing for the intellectual challenges of a university education, successful completion of which is recognized as a basis of admission to the University.

Role of Bridging Courses in the Admissions Process

For mature students with no previous post-secondary school record, completion of an approved bridging course with a grade of B or better shall be recognized as one of the bases of admission for mature students applying to undergraduate Faculties provided that other general requirements for mature student admission to the relevant Faculty have been met.

For students who have previously attended post-secondary institutions, successful completion of a bridging course is but one factor that may be considered when the entire academic record is reviewed at the time of application.

Approval of Bridging Courses

In order for the successful completion of a university-preparation course to be considered a basis of admission  the course must be approved as a bridging course through the normal route for course approval in the department, Faculty, or non-Faculty based institute offering the course. Approval should be granted only to a university-preparation course that meets the requirements set out in the regulations that follow. Academic Standards, Curriculum and Pedagogy should be informed of any decisions regarding the granting of approval of any university-preparation course. In this way, ASCP will be able to monitor decisions to ensure the consistent application of Senate policy.

Senate Approved Guidelines

Only university-preparation courses that comply with the following guidelines will be approved as bridging courses for the purpose of mature student application and admission:

  1. The course must be taught over the Senate prescribed duration.
  2. The course curriculum must be academic in content. The course must use university-level materials and provide instruction and significant practice in literate critical skills. A course with a predominantly non-academic curriculum, such as a course designed to upgrade basic English language skills, shall not qualify as a bridging course. However, a course may incorporate non-academic preparation as an ancillary or add-on component of the curriculum and still qualify as a bridging course, so long as the focus remains on academic matters for the required minimum duration.
  3. Grades must be based on tested performance, and must signify skills adequate for university-level courses which demand essays and/or essay type examinations, and a grade of B or better is necessary to have the result recognized for the purpose of admission.