Subject Areas, Requirements and Preclusions

As you may have noticed when reading the list of courses open to first-year students, Carleton courses are usually prefixed by an acronym for the subject area (ENGL = English). The acronym for the first-year seminar is FYSM and the subject areas may cover all BA departments or schools. You will receive credit for a FYSM in the department in which that course is offered.

Some FYSM courses may lead to a major in that subject area, but many do not. To find out if a FYSM will count as a required course for your major, see the Bachelor of Arts First-Year Course Selection Guide.

Some FYSM courses have counterparts that are regular lecture courses and the FYSM and the regular course preclude each other (are too similar to count as two separate courses). When courses preclude each other, only one of the two courses will count towards your degree—an expensive mistake that you do not want to make!

For example, if you take FYSM 1409 – Social Change in Canada, the course will be listed as an Indigenous and  Canadian Studies course on your degree audit report. The course also counts as a required first-year course for Indigenous and Canadian Studies majors.

Current FYSMs by Department includes all FYSM courses available in the 2018-2019 academic year and each course includes information on the department of origin, whether it leads to major and/or whether it has a preclusion.

You can also see information on FYSM courses in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Course Sections

Some courses have more than one section (A, B, C, etc.) and each section usually has a different topic. For example, the Department of English Language and Literature may offer up to seven sections of FYSM 1004 (A, B, C, D, E, F and G). This course is entitled Literature, Genre, Context. Each section focuses on different literary genres within varying contexts. Even though every section of FYSM 1004 has the same title, each instructor will cover different material and will use different textbooks. You can see why it is important to read each course outline carefully and to attend only the section in which you are registered.