Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the Scholar’s Electives program and what is the deadline for the Supplementary Application?

When applying for the Scholar’s Electives Program, students will select the Scholar’s Electives “Radio Button” while completing their OUAC application. They then will receive an acknowledgement package from Western. This package will include instructions to activate their Western Student Identity. After receiving their Western username and password students access and complete the online Scholar’s Electives Program Supplemental Application.

The deadline to apply for the Scholar’s Electives Program is February 14th. Students can enter the application and save their progress as they work on the application, but must click 'Submit' by February 14th to officially apply to the program. Late, incomplete, and unsubmitted applications will not be considered.

How many students are selected for this competitive program?

50 to 75 students are invited to participate in the Scholar’s Electives Program across all eligible faculties.

What is the selection process for the Scholar’s Electives Program?

Your application will be reviewed by a selection committee, which is comprised of Associate Deans from participating faculties. The committee will review your grades in addition to your outstanding achievements beyond the classroom (e.g. extracurricular activities, school club participation, community involvement, etc.)

When will decisions be made regarding admission to the Scholar’s Electives Program?

Selections for this program will be determined and communicated by mid-April. All applicants will be notified with an email to their Western ( email accounts; please monitor this account diligently.

If I am not accepted into the Scholar’s Electives Program will I still be considered for my regular program at Western?

Yes, students who are not selected for the Scholar’s Electives Program will be considered for the regular programs. Admission to your desired faculty is not tied to your application to the Scholar's Electives program.

After I have been selected for the Scholar’s Electives Program, what are the progression requirements?

To continue in the Scholar’s Electives program, you must enroll in 5.0 or more credits during the Fall/Winter session and achieve a sessional average of at least 80%, with no grade below 65%. On any additional courses taken during the summer session, students must maintain a sessional average of at least 70%, with no mark below 65%.

Graduation requirements: Completion of an Honours Bachelor degree, including the Scholar’s Electives module, with a minimum cumulative average of 80%, with no grade below 65%. Scholar’s Electives students complete a minimum of 21 courses (many students will complete more). The diploma awarded to students will record both the status of Scholar’s Electives and the Specializations and/or Majors studied, as recommended by the Dean.

What kind of research am I able to do?

In second year, research may include reading scholarly articles, writing papers, learning about a lab or the field, and sometimes even active research. In your upper years you continue to build on your skills and may take the lead on a research hypothesis or take ownership over a component of a larger research question being pursued by your faculty mentor. Other students work independently of their mentor, seeking them out for guidance and support as they engage deeper with the ideas of their field. Research projects vary widely and are flexible to the needs and interests of the student and mentor.

Do I get to choose my mentor or am I assigned one?

In March of your first year, you will attend an information session about how to reach out to faculty members and recruit a mentor. There is lots of support with this process through the Scholar's Electives Program Coordinator and the Academic Deans of each faculty. Students are responsible for researching potential mentors during their first year and reaching out to them over the summer before their second year.

Do we choose our research topics?

You will work with your faculty mentor to find a research topic that works for the both of you. Students often try to find a mentor that matches their interests, but when this is not possible, many faculty are open to supporting students as they explore new ideas and topics. Students are expected to work with a faculty mentor within their home faculty. Projects involving faculties outside of the student's home base will need to be approved by the respective Associate Dean.

Is it possible to do my degree in one faculty and be part of Scholar's Electives in another faculty?

You must be invited into the Scholar's Electives program by the faculty to which you applied at Western (e.g. Science first-year students must be invited into the program by the Faculty of Science). Once in the Scholar's Electives program, third-year students may consider an interest in another faculty and find a mentor in a faculty outside their primary enrollment. Working with a mentor outside of your home faculty requires primary faculty approval. For example, we have Science students paired with faculty members in Arts and Humanities and Health Sciences!

What types of events are held throughout the year for Scholar's Electives students?

In addition to the academic benefits, Scholar's Electives offers many exciting educational and leadership opportunities throughout the year. These include: workshops to improve your skills as a student, career planning and networking sessions, opportunities to volunteer in the London community, sessions to leverage your leadership potential, as well as wellness and social events to mix-and-mingle with your peers. The first event is the Kick-off Reception in September where you will be able to meet other Scholar's Elective students from all four years, as well as faculty and members of the Western and London communities.

I'm a student with AEO status. Can I still participate in Scholar's Electives?

Yes, students with AEO status can be part of Scholar's Electives if they meet the admission and progression requirements.

Can I still participate in Scholar's Electives while attending the Ivey Business School?

Yes, you can be enrolled in both the HBA program at Ivey Business School and the Scholar's Electives program at the same time if you do a combined degree. If you do not do a combined degree, you cannot continue with your Scholar's Electives status. In your first year of Ivey (third year of undergrad) you will not do any Scholar's Electives work, so you will complete your Scholar's Electives coursework in the fourth and fifth years of your degree. Students do not have to make the decision to pursue a combined degree until Year 3.

What is the workload with Scholar's Electives? Will it be difficult to maintain the 80.00% average I need each year?

It is absolutely possible to maintain the 80% average to stay in the program and the workload is manageable. Nonetheless, some periods can be more stressful and busy than others. There are many resources on campus available to you to ensure that you achieve your academic goals including the Scholar's Programs Coordinator, Learning Development & Success, and the Writing Support Centre. Academics and Leadership Programmers are available if you live in residence, as well as your professors, teaching assistants, and librarians. Never hesitate to ask for help if you need it. We are here to support you!

Do I have to live on the Scholar's Electives floor in Elgin?

No, it is not mandatory. There are limited spaces on the Scholar's Electives floor, so you may have the option to live on the floor, live in residence on another floor, or to live off-campus. The Scholar's Electives floor is a great opportunity to meet your peers and participate in program-specific events designed by the Scholar's Electives residence staff member, but it is not the only way to engage with the Scholar's community.

How many students live on the Scholar's Electives floor?

Approximately 75% of first-year Scholar's Electives students live on the floor.

Do Scholar's Electives have their own orientation session during the summer?

No, all Scholar's Electives students will participate in the regular Summer Academic Orientation program with other students.

Are we still eligible to be Western Scholars if we are in Scholar's Electives?

No. You cannot be in both Western Scholars and Scholar's Electives. The programs offer many of the same benefits, and Scholar's Electives students have access to all Western Scholars supports and resources. Therefore, it doesnt make sense to be part of both. Learn more about the Western Scholars program.

Are there any additional costs for the extra half credit for Scholar's Electives?

No, there is no additional cost.