A Bona Fide Academic Requirement

  • describes the knowledge and skills that a Student must acquire and/or demonstrate in order to complete a course or program successfully.
  • is an essential and minimum requirement of the course or program, including methods of assessment that the Student must meet.
  • cannot be waived without fatal consequences for the academic integrity of the program.
  • must be taught and assessed within a program of study.

Please note:

  • BFARs can NEVER be waived or substituted1.
  • Unless otherwise specified by an academic program, the demonstration of a BFAR may be modified.
  • Modification is a revision to the way a student must demonstrate required skills and knowledge, or sometimes additional assistance for a student which does not detract from the skills and knowledge the student must aquire.
Do we need program-level BFARs in addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies BFARs?

Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) BFARs are umbrella BFARs that are applicable to all programs. They do not include program-specific aspects. Where program-specific requirements exist, they must be included in a program-specific BFAR statement in addition to the FGS umbrella BFAR statement.

Do I need to include a rationale for my BFAR?

YES. The rationale provides the justification for why the BFAR is an essential program requirement. It outlines why the integrity of the program would be compromised if the BFAR was not met.

Do students have to meet FGS and program BFARs?

YES. The following statements will accompany all BFARs:

Students must meet FGS BFARs in addition to meeting those as set by their program. Please see program-specific BFAR statements for a complete listing.

Students must meet program specific BFARs in addition to those set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). Please refer to the FGS Academic Guide for further information.

Process for Obtaining Senate Approval of Bona Fide Academic Requirements for Programs not Subject to External Accreditation[i]

BFAR Approval Process

[i] Programs that are subject to external accreditation must submit essential skills and abilities documents to Senate for approval. The phrase “subject to external accreditation” is being interpreted and applied as follows for the purposes of this exercise. If a regulatory body accredits your program and that body has its own essential skills and abilities document or expects that you will have one, you are required to develop an essential skills and abilities document for submission to Senate for approval. All other externally accredited programs may choose to develop either an essential skills document or a bona fide academic requirements document. Further information on the development and submission of essential skills and abilities documents is available in the document entitled “Developing Essential Skills and Abilities Requirements for Programs Subject to External Accreditation,” (Senate, September 4, 2013).

[ii] Please refer to your Department Council Bylaw and your Faculty/School/College Council Bylaw for information on the authorities these bodies have with respect to recommending course and curriculum changes to Senate.

Where can I find information about BFARs?
  • BFAR development support can be found by contacting the BFAR team at The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (TheCentre@umanitoba.ca).

1. “Waiver” means the removal of a criterion for admission, progression or graduation from a program of study. A waiver is an Accommodation, but should never be offered in regard to a Bona Fide Academic Requirement. A waiver does not include a case where a requirement is replaced by another requirement (this is a Substitution), but rather is the complete elimination of a non-essential academic requirement. Deans and Directors may approve Waivers and may delegate this authority to an associate Dean. Such delegations should be made in writing.

"Substitution" means the replacement of a certain admission criteria, prerequisite course, course/program requirement or University requirement with another that is deemed comparable. http://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/students/accessibility.html