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Not ready to enrol but want to learn more?

Fill out this form and a representative from The Chang School will contact you.

Express Interest

Develop university-level skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and writing with this flexible certificate. Choose social sciences and humanities courses that interest you and will best support your academic goals.

With this foundational certificate, you can strengthen your application for full-time undergraduate degrees. Successfully completed courses may be considered as transfer credits to college and university degree programs, subject to admission and transfer credit requirements.

What Will You Learn?

The certificate courses are drawn from the first-year foundation of Ryerson’s Faculty of Arts undergraduate programs.

The required courses will develop and enhance your skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and writing. Elective courses cover a wide range of topics in the social sciences and humanities, allowing you to explore specific areas that interest you.

Social sciences courses in criminology, economics, geography, sociology, psychology, and political science will introduce you to the subjects they study, the questions they ask, and the solutions they propose to contemporary issues in society and governance.

Humanities courses explore English literature, history, philosophy, and intercultural relations while sharpening critical analysis, thought, and your presentation of ideas. They are a partner to social sciences courses because they explore theories of society and governance, how past societies dealt with complex situations and what we might learn from them, the cultural communication systems of diverse cultures and linkages between them, and the roles that fiction and literary commentary play in shaping culture. Courses in French or Spanish provide language instruction for improved communication skills and for deeper understanding of culture.

Who Should Take This Certificate?

You may be interested in this certificate if you wish to explore university-credit courses in a wide range of social sciences and humanities topics. You may also wish to complete this certificate to strengthen your application to a full-time undergraduate degree program.

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our instructors are passionate about their subjects and connected to the current issues and debates within their fields of research. They are experienced educators, who facilitate engaging discussions for students of any educational background or academic interest.


Industry and Careers

A wide range of professions and industries require the foundational skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and writing that the social sciences and humanities provide. Those who have acquired these creative, analytical, and communication skills are more flexible to shift across a changing employment landscape as well as upward within their profession.

Certificate Requirements

  • 2 required courses: CSSH 105 and CSSH 205
  • 4 electives: 2 in Group A - Humanities and 2 in Group B - Social Sciences*
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

*Students may select a course in Arabic (CARB), American Sign Language (CASL), Chinese (CCHN), French (CFRE), or Spanish (CSPN) as part of the Electives - Humanities category. However, an online placement test is required; visit the Department’s website for details.


Recommended Course Sequence

We recommend you take courses in the following order:

  1. CSSH 205 - Academic Writing and Research
  2. CSSH 105 - Critical Thinking I
  3. Four electives: choose two courses from Humanities category and two courses from Social Sciences category

Admission Criteria


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
    • With 6 Grade 12 U or M credits


  • Mature student status

Note: If you do not meet the above stated admission criteria, you must complete CENG 110 (from Electives - Group A: Humanities) as one of your four electives. 


Awards and Financial Aid


Contact Us


Contact Dr. Ross Fair, Academic Coordinator, Social Sciences and Humanities Foundations.


Additional Details


Students may select a course in Arabic (CARB), American Sign Language (CASL), Chinese (CCHN), French (CFRE), or Spanish (CSPN) as part of this category. However, an online placement test is required; visit the Department’s website for details.