Jul 13, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022 
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

BSc Honors Programs

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A minimum of ★120 normally taken in no more than five consecutive academic years is required to complete the Honors program for the degree of BSc with Honors. Some departments require that an Honors program be completed in four years, others permit five. See individual departments for details. These programs provide specialization in the chosen subject or subjects as well as the higher standard implied by the term “Honors.”

Honors programs are available in the Departments of Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physics, Physiology, and Psychology. Honors is the preferred program for students who plan graduate study.


See BSc (Honors)  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 the Faculty of Science Programs website for more information.

The following regulations govern Honors programs:

  1. In each year, an Honors student’s program must be approved by an Honors Advisor in the student’s Department and by the Faculty Office.
  2. A minimum of ★72 in Science is required in most Honors programs. Certain Departments may require more than ★72 in Science courses.
  3. A student normally must take at least ★18 in Arts courses as part of the requirements for the Honors degree.
  4. Normally, no more than ★42 in junior (100-level) courses are permitted in Honors programs.
  5. Certain non-Arts and non-Science courses appropriate to the program may be permitted in Honors programs with the written approval of the Department directing the student’s program.

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

Course Load Requirements

Students in Honors programs must complete ★24 or more during the Fall/Winter of each year of the program. In some Departments, Honors students are required to complete ★30 each Fall/Winter. See individual Departments for details. Exceptions to course load requirements must be approved in advance each year by the Department and the Faculty Office.

Academic Standing and Graduation

The following regulations govern Honors programs:

  1. Continuation in an Honors program is by recommendation of the department concerned and requires a GPA of at least 3.0 on a course load of ★24 or more in the preceding Fall/Winter periods. See description of Honors programs of individual departments for additional requirements relating to continuation in the Honors program. Students must be in good standing (i.e., meet the continuation requirements) in the Honors program in order to graduate.
  2. A student who fails to attain the standard necessary for continuance in Honors must withdraw from the Honors program. In so doing, the student may transfer to a Specialization program with the appropriate department’s approval or to the General program in the Faculty of Science. Students applying to transfer from an Honors program to Specialization or General must meet the continuation standards for the program concerned.
  3. A student who fails to complete the requirements for a degree with Honors in the fourth year may be granted the Specialization degree or the General degree on application if the courses taken and the standing attained are satisfactory. Such students must apply to transfer to a Specialization or General program.
  4. First-Class Honors Degrees 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 First-Class Honors. 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 Program Completion

All BSc Honors 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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