Feb 23, 2024
A minimum of 120 units, normally taken in four academic years, is required to complete the Honors program for the degree of BSc with Honors. 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.
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).
Students who entered a BSc Honors 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 Honors programs:
- 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.
- A minimum of 72 units in Science is required in most Honors programs. Certain Departments may require more than 72 units in Science courses.
- A student normally must take at least 18 units in Arts courses as part of the requirements for the Honors degree.
- Normally, no more than 42 units in junior (100-level) courses are permitted in Honors programs.
- 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
The BSc Honors 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 Honors programs:
- Continuation in an Honors program is by recommendation of the department concerned and requires a GPA of at least 3.0 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.
- 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.
- A student who fails to complete the requirements for a degree with Honors in the last 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.
- First-Class Honors Degrees 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 First-Class Honors. Normally, only U of A courses will be used in the calculation of the GPA for the last 60 units of the program.
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.