The Certificate in Formal Reasoning provides you with an interdisciplinary introduction to the abstract laws of thought through the study of logic, critical thinking, and axiomatic mathematics. The valid deduction and clear communication skills emphasized in this training are universally valuable; sharpening your reasoning and argumentation abilities will allow you to more effectively pursue your intellectual passions, whatever they may be.

Quick facts
  • Two-year certificate
  • Full or part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus
  • You can complete this program concurrently alongside a degree program

What you will learn

You will study critical thinking and learn to analyze both everyday and technical arguments for faults and fallacies. You will study symbolic logic and become proficient in the art of valid deduction. You will study important abstract mathematical structures - including sets, fields, and vector spaces - and explore their properties and applications, gaining an understanding of and appreciation for proofs and axiomatic systems.

PHIL 140.3: Critical Thinking

This course is an introduction to principles of logic and reasoning. It is designed to develop skills in critical thinking, including the analysis, evaluation, and development of arguments. The course will cover topics in informal logic, deductive logic, and inductive logic, which may include argument analysis, fallacies, categorical logic, natural deduction, causality, Bayesian probability theory, and scientific reasoning.

MATH 163.3: Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning

This course provides an introduction to techniques and communication in abstract mathematics. It explores the notion of proof and introduces standard notation and nomenclature through the study of logic and proof techniques, sets, functions and relations, integers and counting, complex numbers, and graphs. The student will learn to comprehend and construct proofs using direct and indirect methods, and recognize the value of mathematics beyond the act of computation.

PHIL 241.3: Introduction to Symbolic Logic I

An introduction to modern logic. The syntax, semantics, and proof theory of truth-functional statement logic and first order predicate logic. Formalization of natural language statements and arguments.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Existence and uniqueness

The Certificate in Formal Reasoning is the first and only program of its kind at a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Interdisciplinary perspectives

The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students to benefit from the complementary expertise of two departments: the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Department of Philosophy.

Complementary certification

The Certificate in Formal Reasoning can be completed as a useful ancillary credential concurrently with undergraduate degree programs across campus, from Arts and Science to Engineering to Education.


The abstract reasoning skills and clear expression of thought engendered by the study of formal reasoning are valuable in academic research and in all professions involving argumentation.

Some career opportunities include:

  • Scientific/technical communication
  • Scientific research
  • Computer programming
  • Systems analysis
  • Diagnostics/troubleshooting
  • Investigative journalism
  • Industrial and operations design
  • Artistic design and criticism
  • Fiction writing
  • Puzzle making
  • Public policy
  • Law
  • Engineering: all majors/specializations
  • Education: elementary, secondary, or post-secondary instruction
  • Other fields involving abstract reasoning

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $760.80 per 3 credit unit class $3,195.36 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $1,089 per year $1,089 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2023-2024 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 for this program.

Program options

Students hanging out in the Bowl in front of the Peter MacKinnon Building

The Certificate in Formal Reasoning is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree program from this college or others, or after having already received a degree.

If you are already enrolled at USask, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023
May 2024
Apr 1, 2024
Documents due: May 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024
Documents due: Mar 1, 2024
July 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
Mar 1, 2024
Documents due: Apr 1, 2024
September 2024
Aug 15, 2024
Documents due: Aug 15, 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
January 2025
Dec 1, 2024
Documents due: Dec 15, 2024
Sep 1, 2024
Documents due: Oct 1, 2024

Ready to apply?

If you are a current USask student, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

To apply to this program as a new student, please apply for admission to any undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Science and after you are admitted, declare your plans to the college.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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