Pre-University Programs

Arts & Sciences


Arts and Sciences is an enriched program that emphasizes the interconnections of knowledge across its various disciplines. The program follows a rigorous course of study in Mathematics, Sciences, Social Sciences, and incorporates courses in Visual Arts.

The program also features specially-conceived English and Humanities courses which seek to integrate knowledge acquired in other Arts and Sciences courses in order to explore the relationships between literature, art, humanities, science, and history.

Becoming part of a collaborative community of teachers and students, which significantly enhances your education and personal experiences of CEGEP!

What distinguishes the program offered at JAC from others like it?

John Abbott is the only public English CEGEP to offer the Arts and Sciences program. Our program involves a somewhat reduced complement of science and math courses in comparison to the College’s Science program. This allows Arts and Sciences students to prepare for science studies at university while also exploring social sciences and visual arts. The Arts and Sciences Humanities and English courses constitute an expansive sequence that will help students contextualize and reflect critically on knowledge learned in this comprehensive program’s distinct areas of study.

Who is suited for this program?

  • You are curious
  • You have diverse interests
  • You seek a comprehensive education
  • You what to grow, by collaborating with others in a supportive learning community
  • You have a facility in mathematics
  • You would like to try your hand in an Art studio
  • You want to keep the door open to Science studies at university while doing more than just Science at CEGEP

Why choose the Arts & Sciences program?

This program is for students with wide-ranging curiosity and interests in disciplines in both the arts and the sciences. Universities look favourably on the program: due to a modification of the R-Score calculation, Arts & Sciences students see their grades improved due to the strength of the group (this results in more than the previous 0.5 bonus afforded to this program).

Where Arts & Sciences can take you!

Students in Arts and Sciences keep their options for university wide open. Graduates are eligible to apply to law, architecture, design, engineering, medicine, dentistry, and all other university programs in Québec, except for music and dance.

Eva Goblot, an Arts and Sciences graduate of 2020

She is the artist behind a mural showcasing Stellar Evolution at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal.  This mural was an idea submitted for her end-of-term project in Studio Art, in which students sought inspiration from the RASC Montreal Centre Astronomy Library. The student work was mentored by Sheila Nadimi from Visual Arts and Karim Jaffer from Physics, to aid in the delivery of this final project and for guidance on the science behind the idea.   After graduating, Eva continues her studies in Civil Engineering at McGill University.

MYTHS About the Arts & Sciences Program

MYTH #1:  The Arts & Sciences Program is easier than the Science Program.

Most students within the A&S Program will tell you the answer to this is FALSE.  The A&S Program is demanding with a much broader range of courses than the Science Program.  This is what draws many into the A&S Program: being able to do more.  The science and math courses within the A&S Program are very similar to or identical to courses within the Science Program.  And success rates in the challenging domains like Physics and Calculus are comparable between the two programs.

MYTH #2:  The Arts & Sciences Program is 50% art and 50% science.

FALSE.  One shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  The French title of this program, Sciences, lettres et arts, is more apt.  But to get a true feeling of the program, it should be called The Integrated DEC of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Math, Literature and Arts … but that becomes a mouthful and so far we haven’t come up with a good acronym.  There is far more science in A&S than arts.

MYTH #3:  It is easier to get into the Arts & Sciences Program than the Science Program.

The answer is:  it depends.  At John Abbott, the A&S Program is limited to one cohort of 40 students.   Thus, even a shift in a dozen student applications can greatly affect your ability to get into the A&S Program.  In the first round of applications in March 2020, only 69% of the applicants to A&S were admitted (compared to 71% of student applicants admitted into the Science Program, including Honours).

MYTH #4:  The Arts & Sciences Program can’t get you into Medical School.

FALSE.  The A&S Program is, at its core, a STEM-based program with the full complement of science courses in math, chemistry, physics and biology.  In fact, some of our recent graduates are currently studying medicine.  Of course, regardless of which science-based program you choose, your performance must be exceptional in order to get into these highly competitive university programs.  A&S gives you not only the science required, but also psychology and sociology courses helping you to become a better doctor.

MYTH #5:  I can’t draw, so I won’t do well in Arts & Sciences.

FALSE.  Are you currently able to solve calculus integrals using the substitution method?  Probably not, but we can teach you.  Equally, you will learn different artistic techniques to expand your current skill set.  The point is to have an open mind and a willingness to push yourself and improve.

Programs & Courses

Sciences and Math

In a crucial sense, its Science and Math courses form the core of the Arts & Sciences Program.
The Program covers all the fundamentals of the Science program so that graduates are able to move on to any science-based program at university. Depending on whether students opt for the Program’s 5-sciences or the 6-sciences version, they take 75% or 80% of the Math and Science courses in the regular Cegep Science program. Science.

At John Abbott, students must take General Biology 1, Chemistry 1, and two Physics (Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism). They then have the option of taking one or two of General Biology 2, Organic Chemistry 1, or Physics (Waves & Optics).

The Program also involves four obligatory Math courses: Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus, Statistics, and Linear Algebra. The obligatory status of Statistics reflects the importance of the Social Sciences in Arts & Sciences. With its science component to core Science courses, the Program allows students to explore Social Science and other areas of the College’s curriculum.

Social Science

There are four obligatory Social Science courses in the Program: History (Western Civilization), Sociology, Psychology, and Political Economy. Students in the 5-sciences version of the Program also have the option of taking a fifth Social Science course.

Visual Arts

There are two obligatory Visual Arts courses: Art History and Art 1 (studio art). You do not have to have a rigorous training in art or be unusually talented to succeed in studio art. You do have to be willing to try your hand in various artistic media and be ready to enjoy working in a studio setting.
Students in 5-sciences have the Option of taking one further art production course. Those who intend to apply to university programs in Architecture, Art, or Design can opt to take this art course in their third semester to facilitate the preparation of a portfolio for university application purposes (university applications are generally submitted early in the fourth semester).

Such students should begin preparing a portfolio based on their second-semester studio art course and should consult closely with their art teachers and with university application officials.


The Program's third general area of study (along with visual arts and the sciences broadly conceived) is covered by its English and Humanities sequence. One of the objectives of Arts & Sciences is to develop students` sense of the interrelationships between different areas of human activity and fields of study. The Program's seven contrasting and complementary English and Humanities courses are one of the principal means by which this is accomplished. The English courses include a course in literature and its responses to science & technology and another in literature and its relationship to other arts. The first semester Humanities and English courses in the Program are coordinated with the Art History and Western Civilization courses, and the fourth semester Humanities and English courses have elements relevant to the Integrating Activity and Political Economy courses.

Challenging Courses

Different courses and disciplines challenge and inspire students in different ways, but with regard to the crucial issue of passing or failing, only a few courses are really of concern. In a roughly descending order of pass/fail difficulty, the courses that students often find most challenging are Integral Calculus (semester 2), Electricity & Magnetism (semester 3) Differential Calculus (semester 1), Mechanics (semester 1). Please be prepared to make the required effort in those courses. All the other Science and Math courses can also be challenging, but failures in those courses are rarer.
Incidentally, it is possible to fail Physical Education based solely on absences - so make sure you understand the Attendance Policy in Phys. Ed. courses, and all other courses.

Program Courses Offered Only Once a Year

Some Program courses are offered only once a year with no possibly equivalent courses available in other semesters. The courses given only once a year are 1) in the first semester, Art History; 2) in the second semester, Chemistry 1 and Art 1 (studio art); 3) in the fourth semester, the Integrating Activity and Political Economy. Any student who contemplates dropping one of those courses should be aware that he or she will have to wait a full year before being able to take the course again and will consequently be significantly off-pattern in terms of his or her progress through the Program. Dropping any of those courses is very strongly discouraged.


We have made the Electricity and Magnetism course obligatory in the third semester because General Biology 1, Chemistry 1, Mechanics, and Electricity and Magnetism are recommended for acceptance into McGill. Furthermore, the regular sequence of Physics courses at John Abbott is Mechanics, then Electricity and Magnetism, then Waves and Optics.


There is only one obligatory Chemistry course in the program, whereas the Science program has the obligatory two courses sequence of Chemistry of Solutions and General Chemistry. The Arts and Sciences Chemistry 1 is essentially equivalent to General Chemistry, but Chemistry 1 includes some laboratory training that Science students get in Chemistry of Solutions. Arts and Sciences students who want two Chemistry courses for university application purposes take Organic Chemistry 1 as their second Chemistry.

Science Option

The Science Options in this Program are really Core Science-program courses. Students have the choice of taking one or two of the 4th semester Science Options (General Biology 2, Organic Chemistry 1, Physics NYC: Waves & Optics).

Non-Science Option

The Non-Science Option can either be a Social Science (first or second level) or an arts production course (Visual Arts or Creative Arts, as appropriate and available).

Integrating Activity Pre-requisites & Repeats

Pre-requisites: The pre-requisites for the fourth semester Integrating Activity course are Mechanics, General Biology 1, Chemistry 1, Art 1 (studio art), Statistics, and 2 of the first 3 Social Science courses: Western Civilization, Sociology, or Psychology.

Repeating the IA course:

A student can take the Comprehensive Assessment / Integrating Activity course twice, barring exceptional circumstances.

Admission Requirements

CEGEP Requirements

A Secondary School Diploma which includes:
  • Secondary 5 Language of Instruction
  • Secondary 5 Second Language
  • Secondary 4 Mathematics
  • Secondary 4 Science and Technology
    OR Secondary 4 Applied Science and Technology
  • Secondary 4 History and Citizenship Education

Program Prerequisites

This program has the same prerequisites as other science programs:
  • Sec. V Chemistry
  • Sec. V Physics
  • Sec. V Mathematics Technical & Scientific Option
    OR Sec. V Mathematics Science Option
OR a Secondary School Vocational Diploma which includes:
  • Secondary 5 Language of Instruction
  • Secondary 5 Second Language
  • Secondary 4 Mathematics

Please note:

Applicants who have not studied in Québec must have education deemed equivalent by the College.

How To Apply

John Abbott College is affiliated with the Service régional d’admission du Montréal métropolitain (SRAM) and uses its online application service.

The application deadline is March 1 (Fall semester).

Warning: The documents and payment must be submitted by the deadline.


Program start: Fall


To apply:

  • Complete the online SRAM application
  • Select John Abbott and the program of your choice along with the corresponding SRAM program number: 700.A0
  • Upload any necessary documents directly to your online SRAM application

Students whose prerequisites are more than five years old should contact the Admissions office.

Admissions Office
514-457-6610 x5358, 5355 & 5361

Arts & Sciences Program Coordinator

Are you a current student or graduate of the Arts and Sciences Program? Join our discussion group on LinkedIn.

Student for a Day Program

You are interested in John Abbott College and would like spend a few hours on campus?

Please follow this link to fill out the form Student for a day, and someone will contact you to set up a time for you to come to JAC and discover our campus.

During the tour, you will visit our newly renovated library, our sports facilities, the campus store, the cafeteria, etc. You will also be shown all the services offered on “Main Street”. If you have questions about application and programs, you can speak to someone in Admissions.

back Skip to content