Jul 13, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Science Specialization

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Four-year programs, comprising a minimum of 120 units, 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 units) 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 Bachelor of Science Specialization in Science and Education / Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education Combined Degrees Program [Science] ).


The Bachelor of Science degree framework has undergone a major renewal. Starting Fall 2024 students will choose from two pathways, BSc (Major) versus BSc (Honors). All BSc Specialization programs will be discontinued effective Fall 2024.

Students who entered a BSc Specialization program prior to Fall 2024 must complete all program requirements by April 30, 2029. Refer to the Calendar in effect at the time you were admitted or readmitted for the regulations governing the degree program requirements. It may be possible for some students to follow the program requirements and regulations governing the new Bachelor of Science degree program (see Bachelor of Science (Major and Honors) - Effective Fall 2024 ); consult an Academic Advisor to discuss the possibility of transitioning between program pathways.

Please see Faculty of Science Admission Requirements  for information regarding admission into the new Bachelor of Science degree program.

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 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 units in Science is required in most Specialization programs. Certain Departments may require more than 72 units. BSc Specialization in Planning requires a minimum of 66 units in Science.
  3. A student must take at least 18 units in Arts courses as part of the requirements for most Specialization degrees.
  4. Normally, no more than 42 units 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

The BSc Specialization degree is designed to be a four year program. To graduate in four years, students should take a full course load of 30 units in each Fall/Winter of the program. Students may meet degree requirements in a shorter time by attending Spring/Summer. Students may extend their program beyond four years by taking a reduced course load.

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 last 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 units 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 units, excluding courses declared extra-to-degree. If determination of the last 60 units 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 units of the program.

Residence Requirement

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

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