The Foundation Year Program (FYP) can be the foundation for your university education in two ways. First, its curriculum of studying fundamental texts from the ancient to the contemporary world in an interdisciplinary and integrated fashion will give you important insight into the sources of much that shapes our own time. Second, its structure of lectures, tutorials and regular essay assignments means you will be equipped with crucial abilities of analysis, argumentation and expression.
When you take FYP you will attend four lectures a week*, followed by a tutorial with 12-15 classmates. In your tutorial group, led by one of our full-time faculty members, you will discuss the texts and debate with each other in an intimate and supportive learning environment. Every two weeks you will write a paper about one of the texts you’ve read.
FYP is equivalent to four full-year credits for first-year students enrolled in Arts, Journalism or Music degree programs; an abridged three credit version is available for Science students.
No other university offers our approach to supportive and immersive learning.
*Science students attend three lectures a week.
The Foundation Year Program ( FYP ) moves forward chronologically from the ancient to the contemporary world, exposing you to the fundamental works – in philosophy, history, literature, drama, and the natural and social science – that shaped, and were shaped by, the period of their emergence.
The right books. At the right time. In the right company.
Rather than reading books about – for example – the Ancient World or the Enlightenment, you read works written by people living in those periods. This approach challenges you to think about who these people were, how they saw the world in which they lived – and how their thinking and writing might help us understand our own world today.
Credits: FYP Science is 3 credits plus two courses in Science or Math that work for the subject you wish to pursue.
FYP science students attend the same classes as other FYP students, however Thursday lectures are replaced by a science elective at Dalhousie.
Electives: Science students are encouraged to take a science prerequisite and a math credit, or two science prerequisites. These either fulfill degree requirements or are prerequisites for upper year courses in a given field.
"What I loved most was this idea of spending a year reading, maybe 70 or more books, and you would then go and defend your ideas orally – and also written – on a routine basis. It opened up a whole side of inquiry that we’re often not able to engage with in our North American education system. We are in the midst of an extraordinary moment of change, geopolitically, environmentally, technologically. We need to be aware of history to make the wise decisions of the future.”
Co-Founder, Igarapé Institute,
Foundation Year Program,
Students in the Foundation Year Program may be interested in First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs), interdisciplinary study groups that augment and expand your first-year curriculum.
The Foundation Year Program has launched its own biannual newsletter, compiled with love by Assistant Director Susan Dodd and Administrative Assistant Elisabeth Stones, with contributions from many current and former FYP professors.
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