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Flexible Pre-majors

A 'pre-major' is defined as the set of first and second year courses in a discipline or subject area which students are required to complete in order to be admitted to a major within a degree program, with admission usually occurring at the end of the second year of a four-year degree. The intent of a flexible pre-major (FPM) agreement is for programs and institutions to identify and agree upon the set of lower-level courses in a discipline or subject that students will need to complete if they wish to transfer directly into the third year of a degree program, ideally without having to take additional courses at the receiving institution. The FPM is a formal inter-institutional agreement facilitating student transfer into programs offering a major in a discipline or subject. The agreement is usually accompanied by a grid identifying courses at each participating institution that fulfill each component of the first two years of the major.

The FPM agreement is designed and facilitated by an articulation committee. The committee collectively identifies the set of relevant courses, or the learning outcomes, for the completed first and second year of a four-year degree program. Participating institutions then identify their own courses that satisfy these requirements, and sign the FPM agreement. Signing the agreement acknowledges that the institution's courses will transfer to the other participating institutions and/or that the institution will accept the other participating institutions' courses as satisfying its pre-major requirements. After an FPM is established, the articulation committee is responsible for annually reviewing the agreement and the transferability of the relevant courses.

It is important to note that a student's completion of an FPM does not guarantee admission to the receiving institution or to the degree program. Institutions participating in FPM agreements will maintain other admission requirements, such as minimum GPAs or breadth requirements in elective courses. Completion of an FPM is not noted on a student's transcript; it will be identified by the receiving institution when a transcript is assessed for admission.

More information on FPMs can be found in BCCAT's publication Flexible Pre-Majors: Final Report of the FPM Working Group. This report includes a description of the process of developing and signing a FPM agreement and answers frequently asked questions about FPMs. The English Flexible Pre-major Agreement is a current example.

BCCAT has also recently added a Flexible Pre-Major section at the BC Transfer Guide website.