Pre-University Programs

Liberal Arts
(History, Culture, and Literature)


Liberal Arts is an honours program that takes students on an intellectual journey through culture and civilization, beginning in Ancient Greece and Rome, and ending with the modern world.   In welcoming, dynamic classes led by dedicated and passionate teachers, our students engage with the history, philosophy, literature and art of the Western world and beyond, in order to better understand ourselves as individuals and as communities.

Liberal Arts prepares you for the real world, in many ways other programs cannot. It forces you to question, ponder, investigate and draw conclusions. It allows you to come face to face with the human condition, which will further allow you to navigate the world in a purposeful and conscientious manner.   

Fiona Coughlin, 2021 graduate, student in Art History at the American University in Paris

Liberal Arts taught me the value of learning and gave me an abundance of opportunities. The program strengthened my discipline, time management skills and academic writing. These have allowed me to thrive at one of Canada’s most prestigious Universities. 

Alyssa Graham, 2018 graduate, History student at Queen’s University

I can’t speak highly enough of Liberal Arts. I loved every single class I took while also feeling like I was always pushing the boundaries of my own capabilities. When I started at the University of Toronto, I felt confident and prepared thanks to what I learned in Liberal Arts.

Cai Mitchell, 2018 graduate, Winner of Canada’s Loran Award and current undergrad student at University of Toronto

This program is for you if…

  • You are passionate about ideas, history, literature, and art, and love to read and write
  • You want to be challenged and stimulated in a small, close-knit community dedicated to learning
  • You want the opportunity to get outside the classroom and explore museums, galleries, attend concerts and participate in coffee hours and other extra-curricular activities
  • You want the freedom to choose from a wide variety of option courses and to complete an extensive research project on a topic of your own choosing
  • You want to meet people who are just as curious and open to new perspectives as you are and participate in exciting classroom discussions
  • You’re not sure what you want to study, but you know that you want to make a difference in the world.

What makes Liberal Arts special ?

Do you love learning about the past and how it shapes who we are and where we find ourselves today? Liberal arts is all about discovering the fascinating connections between different fields of knowledge (philosophy, art, religion, science, math, literature, etc.) during specific historical periods, helping you to gain a deeper understanding of the past and how it informs the present.

Every semester, you are pre-registered in four classes reserved exclusively for Liberal Arts students, which encourages a sense of community amongst our students and fosters classes that are both comfortable and dynamic.

At the same time, Liberal Arts offers you a wider variety of option classes than any other program.  You can customize the program to suit your interests. Explore new disciplines such as psychology and business, keep your options open with science and math, get hands on with ceramics or photography, learn a new language such as Mandarin or Spanish, or really dive in with specialized history and literature classes. Click here for a complete list of the option courses available to Liberal Arts students.

Why choose the Liberal Arts program?

In a world characterized by constant innovation and transformation, the endlessly transferable skills of a liberal arts education are in greater demand than ever before (check out what some of the most successful leaders in hi-tech, business, finance, and law have to say about the value of a liberal arts education here). Adaptable and intellectually agile, our students acquire a broad base of knowledge that enables them to understand the connections between where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we’re headed.

As a small program, Liberal Arts makes it easy to get to know your teachers and forge lifelong friendships with students who are just as curious and passionate about literature, history and culture as you are! Want to hear more? Click here to read glowing testimonials from our alumni.

Where can Liberal Arts take you?

Due to its emphasis on developing critical thinking, reading, oral and written communication, and problem-solving, graduates of the Liberal Arts program are extremely well-positioned to excel in any number of fields, including law, education, languages, communications, business, culture, and politics. Our students go on to study at the most respected universities in Canada and abroad, and are frequent recipients of awards and scholarships at those institutions.

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 a specific prerequisite.

Sec. IV Mathematics Cultural, Social and Technical Option


Standing and Advancement Policy

Students will be asked to leave the Program if they are not in good standing:
Students are expected to maintain an overall average of at least 75% after their first year, and for every semester subsequently.
Students may not fail more than two courses while in the Program.
Students may not fail a Program-specific course more than once.
Program-specific courses include Humanities; General Education English; Classics; History 104 and 252; Philosophy 910 and 912; Religion 122; History of Art 903; Principles of Mathematics and Logic; History and Methodology of Science; Integrating Activity.

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.

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.B0
  • 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

Liberal Arts Department
514 457-6610 x5178 or 5173

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.

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