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Honours Programs


The Faculty of Science offers two different types of Honours degrees - the Honours Science programs, and the Honours Major programs.

Minors with Honours Programs

A Minor in each of the four disciplines, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics is available to Honours students in another department. See individual departmental sections for further information about the requirements.

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Liberal Science Option

Students in any UW program may enrol in the Liberal Science Option. This Option provides an opportunity to gain some generalist education in science, and to address a number of aspects of the interaction of science and technology with society. If the requirements are fulfilled, the Option will be recorded on students' transcripts upon graduation.

Students considering the Liberal Science Option should record their proposed Option program for approval by the Liberal Science Advisor in the Science Undergraduate Office.

In order to have a Liberal Science Option recorded, the following requirement must be met: successful completion of six approved term courses with an average of 60%, including:

  1. Three Liberal Science core courses or approved alternatives.
  2. Three other term courses proposed by the student and approved.

Students will submit written statements showing how the three Liberal Science core courses and three other courses form a coherent Option related to their main program and overall educational plans. Appropriate courses may be found both in regular academic departments and in interdisciplinary programs such as Women's Studies, and Society, Technology and Values.

Liberal Science Core Courses

SCI 260, 261, 263, 265, 267

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Teaching Option with Queen's University

In the Co-operative Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics programs it is now possible to replace one work term with an academic term at the Faculty of Education at Queen's University, and to gain teaching experience during other work terms. Graduates are awarded a BEd degree from Queen's University as well as a BSc degree from the University of Waterloo.

Application for admission is made during the 2A academic term in one of the Co-operative programs listed above.

Students must have 5.0 credits in the first teaching subject and 4.0 credits in the second teaching subject. Teachable subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Only 1.0 credit in courses with a Biochemistry theme may be used in Chemistry as a teachable subject (e.g. CHEM 333). PSYCH 101 and one other 0.5 credit Psychology course (not PSYCH 212) must be included as elective courses during the four years of the program, and PSYCH 101 should be completed by the end of the 2B term.

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Honours Science Programs

The Honours Science program allows students to study sciences in greater depth than permitted in the General Science program, but without as intense a degree of specialization as required in the more specialized programs such as Honours Biology, Honours Chemistry, etc. Students desiring a somewhat broader background in the sciences might find this program more suitable than the more traditional specialized programs. However, students contemplating graduate study in the traditional disciplines following their undergraduate studies are advised to pursue the more specialized Honours programs.

There are three programs available that will lead to the degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours Science), plus an Honours Science and Business program and two Environmental Science programs. They are:
Program 1: Non-specialized (see below).
Program 2: Biology specialization (see "Biology").
Program 4: Earth Sciences specialization (see "Earth Sciences").
Honours Science and Business (see "Honours Science and Business").
Honours Environmental Science Programs 1 and 2 (see "Honours Environmental Science").

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Honours Science Program 1 (Non-Specialized)

Admission to, and continuance in, Honours Science Program 1 requires a cumulative overall average of 60% and a cumulative average of 60% in all Faculty of Science courses.

In order to graduate in the Honours Science (non-specialized) program, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Successful completion of 21.0 credits, exclusive of Year One lab credits, with a cumulative overall average of 60%, and a cumulative average of 60% in all Faculty of Science courses. Of the 21.0 credits that are required:
  2. At least 1.0 credit must be in Mathematics.
  3. No more than 5.0 failed credits are allowed.
  4. No more than 3.0 SCI credits may be applied to the program.
  5. The Admissions Committee may approve part-time Distance Education status in this program for mature students if other commitments (e.g. employment) prevent full-time study. Approval will not be granted unless appropriate laboratory experience has been gained at the post-secondary level, through employment, or unless such experience will be gained during the degree program.


Year One
5.0 lecture credits, exclusive of laboratory credits.+ At least two of (a), (b), (c), or (d) must be taken:
a) BIOL 111/112 or two 200-level Biology courses;
b) CHEM 120/123 plus labs or CHEM 121/125 plus labs;
c) EARTH 121/122 plus labs;
d) PHYS 111/112 plus labs or PHYS 121/122 plus labs.

+ First year Chemistry, Physics, and Earth labs cannot be used for credit towards an Honours Science Program 1 degree.


Years Two, Three and Four
Normally, 3.0 or 4.0 Science credits are taken in each of Years Two, Three and Four.

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Honours Science and Business
Program Advisor: Professor H.M. Morrison

As high technology plays an increasingly greater role in society, there will be a growing need for graduates who have competence in the combined disciplines of science and business. The knowledge and skills which will be required by managers have never been greater. The modern manager must have a knowledge of finance, economics, accounting, marketing and organizational behaviour as well as the quantitative methods so deeply ingrained in the scientific method. A quantitative overview of science and acquired skills in the scientific method will be extremely useful in identifying and solving problems in the increasingly technology-oriented business world. Collection and efficient handling of relevant data are crucial in the decision-making process.

For those students leaning towards administration in industry, the following program is recommended. The business, economics, accounting, finance and mathematics courses required in this program mirror some of the courses taken in graduate MBA programs. Credit for some of these courses may be allowed by some of the admitting universities offering MBA degrees.

This program is offered in both Regular and Co-operative systems of study. Students wishing to apply to the Co-op program should preregister in March of their first year.

Admission to, and continuance in, Honours Science and Business requires a cumulative average of 65% in both Science and non-Science courses.

In order to graduate in the Honours Science and Business program the following requirements must be met:

  1. Successful completion of 22.0 credits, exclusive of Year One lab credits, with cumulative averages of 65% in both Science and non-Science courses. Of the 22.0 credits required:
  2. No more than 5.0 failed credits are allowed.
  3. No more than 2.0 SCI credits may be applied to the program.
  4. The following courses must be included:

Year One
Two first-year Science courses*; BUS 111W/121W; MATH 107/108; CS 100 or elective**, CS 102, SCI 040 (BUS)

Year Two +
ECON 101/102; ACC 121/122 (or BUS 227W/247W instead of ACC 121/122); CS 212; one first-year Science course*, SCI 040 (BUS)

Year Three +
M SCI 211, 331; CS 330, SCI 040 (BUS)

Year Three or Four
SCI 333

Year Four +
M SCI 431 or 432, SCI 040 (BUS)

* first-year Science course sequences are: At least three of the above course sequences must be taken.
** Students with no computer literacy should take CS 100 before CS 102
+ Normally, 2.0-3.0 Science credits should be taken each year

Recommended electives are:

MTHEL 100, MATH 125, one of ECON 221, STAT 202 or 204; M SCI 261, 311, 461, BUS 352W, 454W

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Honours Environmental Science

Program 1 Advisor: Professor D. Barton (Biology) Program 2 Advisor: Professor J.J. Sloan (Chemistry)

Students wishing to follow this program in the Co-operative system of study should first speak to Professor Barton (Program 1) or Professor Sloan (Program 2), and to Mr. R.A. Pullin of the Department of Co-operative Education and Career Services.

Admission to, and continuance in, both Environmental Science programs requires a cumulative average of 60%. In order to graduate with the degree Honours BSc (Environmental Science) the following requirements must be met:

  1. Successful completion of 20.0 lecture credits plus any corequisite lab credits. At least 12.0 credits must be Faculty of Science credits. At least 8.0 of the 12.0 must be at or above the 300-level. At least 4.0 of the 8.0 other than any SCI credits must be at the 300- or 400-level.
  2. No more than 5.0 failed credits are allowed.
  3. No more than 2.0 SCI credits may be applied to the degree.

Program 1: Fundamental science and current environmental concerns. The emphasis is on knowledge and skills needed to solve complex problems.

Program 2: Has an atmospheric science focus, offering an understanding of processes potentially dangerous to the atmosphere, including photochemical smog, acid rain, hydrocarbon emissions, ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect and the physics of atmospheric transport and radiation balance.

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Environmental Science Program 1


Year One*
BIOL 211 Introductory Vertebrate Zoology
BIOL 240 Fundamentals of Microbiology
BIOL 250 Ecology
CHEM 120 Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter
CHEM 120L Chemical Reaction Laboratory 1
CHEM 123 Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics
CHEM 123L Chemical Reaction Laboratory 2
CHEM 129 Introductory Spectroscopy
EARTH 121 The Planet We Live On and EARTH 121L Introduction to Earth Sciences Laboratory 1
MATH 107/108 Calculus 1 and 2
SCI 040 (ENS) Environmental Science Seminar
One elective (0.5 credit)

Recommended Electives: BIOL 241, 273; CS 102; STAT 202; GEOG 102


Year Two*
BIOL 210 Introductory Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL 221 Plant Biology 2 - The Diversity of Plants
CHEM 237 Introductory Biochemistry
CHEM 266 Basic Organic Chemistry 1
CHEM 223 Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 223L Analytical Chemistry Laboratory 1
ENV S 201 Introduction to Environmental and Planning Law
ERS 241 Introduction to Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
GEOG 201 Geomorphology and Soils or EARTH 342 Applied Geomorphology
SCI 040 (ENS) Environmental Science Seminar
Two electives (1.0 credit)

Recommended Electives: BIOL 241, any of ENGL 210C, 210E or 210F


Years Three and Four
BIOL 454 Environmental Toxicology 1
BIOL 457 Analysis of Communities or BIOL 456 Population Biology
CHEM 357 Physical Biochemistry
CIV E 375 Water Quality Engineering
EARTH 123 Introduction to Hydrology
EARTH 358 Environmental Geology for Earth Scientists
SCI 040 (ENS) Environmental Science Seminar
Fourteen electives (7.0 credits)

Recommended Electives: BIOL 447, 450, 455, 456; CHEM 254; CIV E 472, 486; EARTH 456, 458, EARTH 436 A/B


* BIOL 240, Fundamentals of Microbiology should be completed by the end of Year Two.

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Environmental Science Program 2


Year One*
PHYS 111/112, 111L/112L replaces BIOL 211 and one elective, from Program 1.
Year Two*
AM 250 or MATH 228, BIOL 230, 241; CHEM 223/223L, 266; PHYS 222, 223, SCI 040 (ENS);
Three electives (1.5 credits)

Recommended Electives: PHYS 259, ERS 241, GEOG 102, ENV S 195 and ENV S 201; Any of ENGL 210C, 210E or 210F.


Years Three and Four
BIOL 454; CHEM 237, 254, 303, 305; EARTH 123, 358; SCI 040 (ENS)
Thirteen electives (6.5 credits)

Recommended Electives: AM 251, 343; BIOL 455, 456, 457; CHEM 212, 313, 357, 412; ENV S 220, ERS 317, ERS 352, GEOG 102, 120, 208, 309; M E 351, 459, 571; PHYS 480.


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Honours Co-operative Environmental Science - Program 1


Fall Winter Spring
Year 1A Year 1B Work Term BIOL 240, 250 BIOL 211 CHEM 120/120L CHEM 123/123L EARTH 121/121L CHEM 129 MATH 107 MATH 108 SCI 040 (ENS) SCI 040 (ENS) One elective (0.5)*
Year 2A Year 2B Work Term BIOL 210 BIOL 221 CHEM 266 CHEM 237 ENVS 201 CHEM 223/223L GEOG 201 or ERS 241 EARTH 342 One elective (0.5)* One elective (0.5)* SCI 040 (ENS) SCI 040 (ENS)
Work Term Year 3A** Work Term CHEM 357 CIV E 375 EARTH 358 Two electives (1.0) SCI 040 (ENS) SCI 040 (ENS)
Year 3B** Work Term Work Term BIOL 454 BIOL 457 EARTH 123 Two electives (1.0) SCI 040 (ENS)
Year 4A Year 4B Electives (2.5)** Electives (2.5)** SCI 040 (ENS) SCI 040 (ENS)

Note
BIOL 240 should be completed by the end of Year Two.

* Year One Recommended Electives: BIOL 273; CS 102; STAT 202, GEOG 102
Year Two Recommended Electives: BIOL 241, any of ENGL 210C, 210E or 210F
Year Three Recommended Electives: BIOL 447, 450, 455, 456;CHEM 254; CIV E 472, 486; EARTH 456, 458, EARTH 436A/B
** Courses shown in 3A and 3B can be interchanged with courses taken in 4A and 4B.

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Honours Co-operative Environmental Science - Program 2


Fall Winter Spring
Year 1A Year 1B Work Term CHEM 120/120L CHEM 123/123L PHYS 111/111L PHYS 112/112L MATH 107 MATH 108 EARTH 121/121L CHEM 129 BIOL 240 One elective (0.5)* SCI 040 (ENS) SCI 040 (ENS)
Year 2A Year 2B Work Term AM 250 or MATH 228 CHEM 223/223L, 266 BIOL 230, 250 BIOL 241 PHYS 222 PHYS 223 One elective (0.5)* One elective (0.5)* SCI 040 (ENS) SCI 040 (ENS)
Work Term Year 3A** Work Term CHEM 254 CHEM 237 CHEM 303 EARTH 358 One elective (0.5)* SCI 040 (ENS)
Year 3B** Work Term Work Term BIOL 454 EARTH 123 CHEM 305 Two electives (1.0)* SCI 040 (ENS)
Year 4A Year 4B Electives (2.5)** Electives (2.5)** SCI 040 (ENS) SCI 040 (ENS)

Note
BIOL 240 should be complete by the end of Year Two. * Year 2 Recommended Electives: PHYS 259/259L, ENVS 195, 201, ERS 241, GEOG 102; any of ENGL 210C, 210E, 210F.
Year 3 and 4 Recommended Electives: AM 251, 343; BIOL 455, 456 or 457; CHEM 212, 313, 357, 412; ENVS 220, ERS 317, 352, GEOG 102, 120, 208, 309; ME 351, 459, 571; PHYS 480.
** >Courses shown in 3A and 3B can be interchanged with courses taken in 4A and 4B.

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Honours Major Programs

Honours Major programs are offered through the Regular and Co-operative system of study. Specifically:

Honours Biochemistry - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Biochemistry (Biotechnology Option) - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Biology/Business Economics - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Biology - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Biology and Chemistry - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Biology and Geography - Regular
Honours Chemistry - Regular and Co-operative Applied (also with Options)
Honours Chemical Physics - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Environmental Chemistry - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Earth Sciences - Regular (Geology or Geography), and Co-operative Applied (Environmental Hydrogeology, Geology or Geophysics Options)
Honours Environmental Science - Regular and Co-operative
Honours Physics - Regular and Co-operative Applied
Honours Psychology - Regular and Co-operative

The Honours Chemistry programs (including Co-op Applied Chemistry and Honours Biochemistry) are normally limited by the available physical facilities to the best qualified students. Those who have failed core courses should not expect to proceed in any Honours Chemistry program.

Enrolment is limited to approximately 45 students in Year Two of all Earth Sciences programs. Selection is made on the basis of academic standing in Year One, including standing in EARTH 121 and 122.

Refer to the specific departmental sections for the degree requirements of the above programs.

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