Jul 13, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2020-2021 
University of Alberta Calendar 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

BSc Specialization Programs

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Four-year programs, comprising a minimum of ★120, provide education to a professional level and lead to the degree of BSc with Specialization.

Specialization programs are available in the Departments of Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Pharmacology, Physics, and Psychology.

A five-year (★150) BEd/BSc (Specialization in Science and Education) program with majors and minors in Biological, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences is also available (see BSc Honors and BSc Specialization  and BSc (Specialization in Science and Education)/BEd (Secondary) Combined Degrees Program [Science] ).


See BSc Honors and BSc Specialization Admission Requirements  for admission requirements.

Selection of Courses

Note: For success in your chosen program, ensure you have satisfied the pre/corequisite requirements for all courses. Departments have the right to remove students from courses for failing to present a passing grade (or higher, where stipulated) in the prerequisite course(s) and/or for failing to be enrolled in the corequisite course(s). Please see www.science.ualberta.ca/en/ProspectiveStudents/ScienceDegrees.aspx for more information.

The following regulations govern Specialization programs:

  1. In each year, a Specialization student’s program must be approved by a Specialization advisor in the appropriate Department and by the Faculty Office.
  2. A minimum of ★72 in Science is required in most Specialization programs. Certain Departments may require more than ★72. BSc Specialization in Planning requires a minimum of ★66 in Science.
  3. A student must take at least ★18 in Arts courses as part of the requirements for most Specialization degrees.
  4. Normally, no more than ★42 in junior courses are permitted in Specialization programs.
  5. Certain non-Arts and non-Science courses appropriate to the program may be permitted in Specialization programs with the prior written approval of the Department directing the student’s program.

Applicants to the BSc Specialization program who have taken non-Arts and non-Science courses before application will have the potential transfer credit for such courses assessed at the time of admission to the program.

Course Load Requirements

To graduate in four years normally requires that BSc Specialization students take the usual full course load of ★30 in each Fall/Winter of the program. Students who wish to extend their programs are still expected to complete at least ★24 in each Fall/Winter of the program. Exceptions to course load requirements must be approved in advance each year by the Department and the Faculty Office. (See Time Limits for Completion of Program below.)

Academic Standing and Graduation

The following regulations govern Specialization programs:

  1. Continuation in a Specialization program is by recommendation of the Department concerned and requires a GPA of at least 2.3 in each of the preceding Fall/Winter periods. See description of Specialization programs of individual departments for additional requirements relating to promotion in the Specialization program. Students must be in good standing (i.e., meet the continuation requirements) in the Specialization program in order to graduate.
  2. A student who fails to attain the standard necessary for continuation in the Specialization program will be required to withdraw from that program. In so doing, the student may apply to transfer to the General program in the Faculty. Students applying to transfer from a Specialization to the General program must meet the continuation GPA of 2.0.
  3. A student who fails to complete the requirements for a Specialization degree in the fourth year may be granted the General degree forthwith on application if the courses taken and the standing attained are satisfactory. Such students must apply to transfer to the General program.
  4. For graduation, a program of at least ★120 credited to the degree.
  5. BSc Specialization degrees With Distinction are awarded when students obtain a GPA of at least 3.5 and no failing grades on the last ★60, excluding courses declared extra-to-degree. If determination of the last ★60 requires consideration of one or more courses from a given term then all work from that term is included in the calculation for the purposes of qualifying for With Distinction. Normally, only U of A courses will be used in the calculation of the GPA for the last ★60 of the program.

Residence Requirement

A student transferring to the Faculty of Science with advanced standing must complete at least ★60 applicable to the BSc program while registered at the University of Alberta. Normally, at least ★30 of the last ★60 must be completed while registered in the Faculty of Science.

Time Limits for Completion of Program

All BSc Specialization programs are designed to be four-year programs. However, in some cases the minimum course load requirements have been reduced to allow students the flexibility to complete the degree over a longer time period. Students wishing to extend their programs beyond the time frame dictated by the minimum course load requirement for their program must first obtain the written approval of the Department and the Associate Dean, Undergraduate or designate.

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