Office of the Registrar
Faculty of Science (2008/2009)
3.5 Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science

A program is offered leading to the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science. An Honours degree offers greater specialization in a given field of knowledge than a General degree, and requires higher than average academic achievement. Possession of this degree will be of great advantage to all students planning more advanced work in their chosen field. In many cases, an Honours degree is a prerequisite for admission to a graduate program.

  1. Admission and Registration

    1. Declaration of Intent: A candidate for an Honours degree shall declare in writing his (her) intention to pursue an Honours program and to obtain an Honours degree in a specified subject or subjects. Such declaration shall be submitted to his (her) Department(s) of specialization and to the Registrar not earlier than the beginning of his (her) fifth semester, or the equivalent, at University, and not later than the final date set for the application for a degree. A candidate for an Honours degree must have completed all courses listed under Admission to the Department of Subject of Major before declaring his (her) intent to pursue an Honours degree, regardless of whether these courses had been completed at the time of admission to his (her) Department of specialization.

      Note:

      An otherwise qualified student who fails to declare his (her) intention to obtain an Honours degree on or before the last day of the period outlined above shall be awarded a General degree even if he (she) fulfils all other requirements for an Honours degree. The University cannot undertake to notify him (her) that he (she) may be eligible for an Honours degree.

    2. At the beginning of each registration period the Head(s), or delegate(s), of the Department(s) in which a candidate is taking Honours, shall approve a candidate's program. The Head(s) of Department(s), or delegate(s), shall advise each candidate of programs suitable for his or her particular needs.

    3. Students who have been awarded a Bachelor of Science (General) degree may convert it to a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree by declaring their intention and by completing the requirements for the Honours degree as outlined in these regulations.

    4. To graduate, a candidate for an Honours degree must have completed all courses listed under Admission to the Department of Subject of Major in addition to those courses required by individual departmental regulations.

  2. Course Requirements

      1. For the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science with a single subject major a candidate will be required to have completed 120 prescribed credit hours in courses. For the Joint Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science a candidate will be required to have completed either 120 or 135 credit hours as prescribed by the specific program. In either case, those courses must include the courses specified in Clause 1 of the Regulations for the General Degree of Bachelor of Science.

      2. Clause 2.a. I. notwithstanding, certain Departmental regulations preclude the possibility of completing a single subject Honours degree in 120 credit hours and may require the completion of 123, 126 or 129 credit hours in courses. (See Note below). In such cases all courses required to satisfy requirements of the degree will be used to determine Academic Standing 6. b. below.

        Note:

        The requirements for an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science cannot be completed in 120 credit hours if any of the following three statements is true: (I) the student is a major in Chemistry, or Physics and has completed the former Mathematics 1080; (ii) the student is a major in Chemistry or Physics and has completed the former Chemistry 1800; (iii) the student is a candidate for the Honours B.Sc degree in Chemistry or Physics and has completed Physics 1021. Such students will only meet the degree requirements after completing 123, 126 or 129 credit hours in courses.

    1. Courses shall be chosen so that a candidate shall have completed:

      Either, (i) at least 60 credit hours from courses in one of the following subjects, including the courses in that subject completed at the first year level: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science (See Note 2.), Earth Sciences, Economics, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Psychology.

      Notes:

      1. For options in the Biochemistry, Dietetics and Nutrition programs the courses shall be those specified in the respective programs.

      2. For the Behavioural Neuroscience Program, the courses shall be those specified in the program.

      3. For the Environmental Physics Program, the courses shall be those specified in the program.

      or, (ii) at least 84 credit hours in courses from two subjects listed in I. above, including the courses in these subjects completed at the first year level, with no fewer than 36 credit hours in either subject approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies of the Faculty of Science on the recommendation of the respective Heads of Departments.

      or, (iii) in special circumstances, a program of at least 90 credit hours in courses from two or more subjects, including the courses in these subjects completed at the first year level, one of which need not be taken from those listed in I. above, as recommended by the Heads of the Departments concerned and approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies of the Faculty of Science.

    2. Further courses may be chosen from any of the subjects listed in Clause 2. b. above, or from other courses recognized for this purpose by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies of the Faculty of Science (see Note 5 of the Bachelor of Science General Degree) provided that, of the 120 or more credit hours required:

      1. a candidate shall have completed at least 90 credit hours in courses from the subjects listed in Clause 2. b. above, including those completed at the first-year level, and

      2. there shall be no fewer than four subjects in which a candidate shall have completed courses. In the case of unspecified transfer credits awarded in a subject area not taught at Memorial University of Newfoundland, any number of such transfer credits in the aggregate shall count as one subject area.

      3. Not more than 15 unspecified transfer credit hours in courses awarded from a subject area not taught at Memorial University of Newfoundland shall be used to satisfy the requirements of the degree.

  3. Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation

    1. In addition to the regular examinations, a candidate in an Honours program shall pass a general comprehensive examination in his (her) Major subject or subjects. Alternatively, a candidate may be required to submit a dissertation, which at the discretion of the Head(s) of the Department(s) of specialization may be followed by an oral examination thereon.

    2. If a candidate is required to submit a dissertation, such dissertation must be submitted to the University Library before the degree is conferred. All Honours dissertations in the University Library shall be available for unrestricted consultation by students and faculty except under very exceptional circumstances which must be approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies. Copyright remains with the author. A signed release form must accompany an essay or a dissertation when it is submitted to the University Library.

    3. The deadline for the submission of Honours dissertations shall be no later than three weeks before the end of the final semester of the candidate's program.

    4. The Honours dissertation shall be equivalent to either a 3 credit hour course or a 6 credit hour linked course as specified in the course offerings of each Department.

  4. Departmental Regulations

    Candidates for Honours Degrees shall also comply with such additional requirements of the appropriate Department(s) as are approved by the Senate and printed in the Calendar.

  5. Residence Requirements

    1. To qualify for an Honours Degree in Science, a candidate shall attend a recognized university or an equivalent institution for at least seven semesters as a full-time student. Honours candidates transferring credits to Memorial University of Newfoundland from other universities or equivalent institutions shall either spend a minimum of four of the seven semesters as full-time students at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and take a minimum of 24 credit hours in courses from their Honours discipline or take a minimum of 36 credit hours in courses from their Honours discipline as full-time students at Memorial University of Newfoundland (whichever is to their advantage), provided that the total number of semesters spent as full-time students at this and other recognized universities or equivalent institutions will not be less than seven.

    2. To qualify for an Honours Degree in Science and additionally a second degree, a candidate shall attend this University for at least ten semesters as a full-time student, except with the special permission of the Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Studies.

  6. Academic Standing

    In order to graduate with an Honours degree, a candidate shall obtain:

    1. a grade of "B" or better, OR an average of 75% or higher (whichever is to the candidate's advantage) in the minimum number of courses in the Honours subject (or subjects) prescribed by the Department (or, in the case of joint Honours, Departments) concerned, excluding the 1000-level courses,

      AND

    2. an average of at least 2.75 points on the total number of courses required for the degree (see UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS - General Academic Regulations (Undergraduate), Grading for explanation of the point system).

      Note:

      A student may, with the approval of the Head of the Department and the Committee on Undergraduate Studies, repeat or substitute up to three courses in order to meet the requirements of Clause 6.a. above. In counting repeats, each attempt at the same course will count as one course towards the maximum. That is, the same course, repeated three times, would place a student at the maximum and no additional repeats or substitutions would be allowed.

  7. Classification of Degrees

    1. If the candidate's general average is 3.25 or better per required course, and his (her) average for the courses in his (her) Honours subject (excluding 1000-level courses) is 3.50 or better, he (she) shall be awarded an Honours degree with First Class standing.

    2. If the candidate fulfils the conditions of Clause 6. but not of Clause 7 a., he (she) shall be awarded an Honours degree with Second Class standing.

    3. No classification will be given to the degree awarded a candidate who has completed (I) fewer than one half of the courses required for the degree at this University, or (ii) who has completed fewer than one half of the courses required for the degree at this University since 1959. All candidates for such degrees shall, however, fulfil the conditions of Clause 6. on the courses taken at the University since September, 1959, in order to qualify for the degree.

    4. A declared candidate for an Honours degree who fails to attain the academic standing specified in Clause 6. but fulfills the academic requirements for a General Degree shall be awarded a General Degree, the classification of which shall be determined in accordance with the UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS - General Academic Regulations (Undergraduate), Graduation.