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General Education Electives

What is General Education?

General Education (GNED) electives give you the opportunity to explore a topic that interests you. The elective must be outside the vocational outcomes of your program and will provide a general overview of a topic.

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities requires all students in diploma and advanced diploma programs to successfully complete a minimum of three General Education electives to graduate. According to the Framework for Programs of Instruction, "General Education strengthens student’s [sic] generic skills, such as critical analysis, problem solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance” (Framework for Programs of Instruction, Revised July 2009, p. 21).

Should you neglect to complete three GNED electives during your program of study in the semesters determined by your program you will be required to make these up at an additional cost in order to graduate.

Each program determines in which semesters the Gen Ed electives are included and students can self-enrol through the Gen Ed Registration Portal on myLoyalist. These electives are included in the tuition fees for the specific semesters and failure to take them according to the program map can result in delayed graduation. Taking any course off cycle from the program map results in an overage of hours in a future semester and additional fees. More information can be found in AOP 225 – Post-Secondary Registration and Graduation. This is a policy of the Registrar’s Office not a Gen Ed specific policy (it applies to any required courses that are taken off-cycle).

If registering for a Gen Ed elective that is off-cycle, students must complete a manual registration form available on the Student Forms page and submit it to Enrolment Services at

Choosing electives that interest you will help broaden your sense of self and the world around you, giving you adaptability for the constantly changing, diverse world in which we live.

When do I take my GNED elective?

Review your program manual and the course information listed on the program page to determine during which semesters you are required to take your GNED electives.

Please note that GNED course offerings vary by term; when the GNED registration portal opens, you will be offered courses based on what will fit within your timetable.

Before registering for your GNED elective, please review the Frequently Asked Questions document below for details about your options, transfer credits, exemptions and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning options

Students in a diploma or advanced diploma program must successfully complete three General Education courses to qualify for graduation. Information on when GNED courses should be taken can be found on the program map in each program’s manual.

Additional fees may be charged to students who take General Education courses off cycle with their program map. Please see AOP 233 for further information.

General education courses are delivered in a classroom or online. Please consider the following when making your selections:

    • Online learning requires good time management, adherence to deadlines, minimal interaction with the instructor, and is suitable for those who enjoy independent study. 
    • For the most part, online learning allows you to study wherever and whenever you choose.
    • Traditional delivery in a classroom includes an independent study component, which requires good time management, adherence to deadlines, and minimal interaction with the instructor.
    • Both in-class and online courses will include a module to be completed on the Learning Management System

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