The most up to date information about our programs can be found in the corresponding Calendar Section.
Honours in Ocean Sciences
The Honours in Ocean Sciences is an interdisciplinary program that provides a solid foundation in ocean studies, including the basic principles of its main sub-disciplines (physical, chemical, geological, and biological oceanography). Possession of this degree will be of great advantage to students planning advanced work or graduate studies in a marine science field.
To earn an Honours in Ocean Sciences, students must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours in Ocean Sciences, as outlined below. The program includes a prescribed number of courses at the 3000/4000 level as well as mandatory completion of Ocean Sciences 499A and 499B, which consist of supervised research leading to the submission and oral defence of a dissertation.
The Honours program may comprise a broad base of courses following the model of the generic Major in Ocean Sciences or be more narrowly focused, in line with the stream in Environmental Systems. Upon admission, the student’s Honours program will be defined in consultation with the student's supervisor, and approved by the Head of the Department (or delegate) in accordance with the
Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science
Students wishing to take this program are also encouraged to carefully consult the Degree Regulations, Regulations for the General Degree of Bachelor of Science.
More information, including on how to gain admission into the Honours in Ocean Sciences, the recommended courses and time tables, can be found in the Handbook of Undergraduate Studies in Ocean Sciences.
Admission Requirements for the Honours in Ocean Sciences
Admission to the Ocean Sciences Honours Program is based on academic standing.
Students should be enrolled in one of the Major programs offered by the Department of Ocean Sciences before applying to the Honours, normally upon completing the third year of their program. For admission to the Honours program, students shall, at a minimum, have completed all admission requirements for their Major program.
Students should plan well in advance to ensure they have all the appropriate prerequisites. Entry to required courses may be limited and determined by academic performance. Students are advised to consult with the Department at the earliest opportunity to prepare adequately for program admission. Each student registered in the Honours will be assigned an advisor who should be consulted on academic issues, including course selection.
Program Regulations for the Bachelor in Science with Honours in Ocean Sciences
Students must successfully complete:
- the 30 credit hours required under Admission Requirements for the Major in Ocean Sciences or the Major in Ocean Sciences (Environmental Systems);
- Chemistry 2400 (or equivalent). Chemistry 2440 will be accepted as a substitute for Chemistry 2400. However, a number of advanced Science courses may require Chemistry 2400 and 2401. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to complete the Chemistry 2400/2401 sequence or otherwise carefully plan their options;
- Physics 1021 or 1051;
- Statistics 2550 (or equivalent);
- a minimum of 12 credit hours chosen from:
- a. Biology 2060, 2122, 2250, 2600, 2900;
- b. Biochemistry 2100, 2201 or the former 2101, 3206 or 3106, 3207 or 3107, 3108;
- a. Ocean Sciences 2000 (or Biology 3710), 2001, 2100, 2200, 2300 and 2500. Ocean Sciences 1000, completed under Admission Requirements for the Major in Ocean Sciences or the Major in Ocean Sciences (Environmental Systems), will count as 3 of the required 45 credit hours in Ocean Sciences;
- b. at least 18 credit hours in Ocean Sciences courses at the 3000 and/or 4000 level. Choices include but are not limited to Ocean Sciences 3000, 3002, 3600, 3640, 4000, 4100, 4122, 4200, 4300, 4601;
- c. Ocean Sciences 499A/B; and
- Those courses in which a grade "B" or an average of 75% or higher are required to graduate with an Honours degree (as per Clause 1, under Academic Standing of the Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science) are the 42 credit hours in Ocean Sciences courses at the 2000, 3000 and/or 4000 level, and 15 credit hours in courses at the 3000 and/or 4000 level in any of Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geography, or Physics.
- Chemistry 2440 will be accepted as a substitute for Chemistry 2400. However, a number of advanced Science courses may require Chemistry 2400 and 2401. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to complete the Chemistry 2400/2401 sequence or otherwise carefully plan their options.
- Students should be aware that Biology 2250 and Biochemistry 2100 are credit restricted.
The dissertation is a crucial part of the program. It involves an original piece of research undertaken under the supervision of a faculty member of the Department of Ocean Sciences (or someone holding cross-appointment or adjunct status in the department), as approved by the Head of the Department. This segment of the program corresponds to a two-semester linked course (Ocean Sciences 499A/499B; 6 credit hours), where a grade of pass in 499A is required in the first semester to proceed to 499B.
Work conducted during Ocean Sciences 499A/499B includes directed reading relevant to the dissertation topic, preparation of a dissertation outline, supervised research, data analysis and interpretation, a written dissertation and an oral defence. Electronic copies of the dissertation, complete with figures and tables, are to be submitted to the candidate’s supervisor and to the Head of the Department not less than two weeks before the end of lectures in the semester in which the candidate is registered for Ocean Sciences 499B.
The candidate will be examined orally on the contents of the dissertation, before the last day for examinations in the semester. The examining committee shall consist of the Head of the Department (or delegate), the candidate's supervisor, and an examiner appointed by the Head of the Department in consultation with the candidate's supervisor.
Please consult the Department of Ocean Sciences’ Honours Guide for more detailed information.