Academic Calendar

Faculty of Science

Dr. Steven Smith, Dean
Dr. Adam Sarty, Associate Dean - External & Student Affairs
Dr. Kathy Singfield, Associate Dean - Curriculum
Dr. David H. S. Richardson, Dean Emeritus
Laura Johnston, Science Undergraduate Advisor – Programs
Courtenay Kyle, Science Undergraduate Advisor - Outreach

The Faculty of Science prepares students to be leaders in the global community through hands-on learning in safe and stimulating state-of-the-art learning environments with award-winning instructors, leading researchers, and innovative science communicators.

Students electing to pursue a program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree should consider which of three types of programs (concentration, major, or honours) best suits their aspirations. B.Sc. Major and Honours students can add a minor in another subject, where available. B.Sc. Major and Honours students can add a Diploma in Forensic Science to their degree.

Major

The major program aims to provide students with the opportunity to gain a depth and breadth of knowledge and skills in their major subject area, as well as a broad appreciation in selected complementary science disciplines.   A minimum grade of C in all courses in the major subject. (Particular requirements for the major in Environmental Science are found in this Academic Calendar, Section 4, “Environmental Science”.) Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce in related fields. Successful graduates are also adequately prepared for continued study in professional programs and at the graduate level, if warranted by performance and motivation.

Honours

The honours program provides students with an opportunity to further specialize in the knowledge and skills of their major subject area and to develop their sense of inquiry by undertaking a research project supervised by an expert faculty member. Most disciplines feature a senior seminar course for honours students that fosters discussion of contemporary issues in the field. A minimum grade of C is required in all courses in the honours subject. (Particular requirements for the honours in Environmental Science are found in this Academic Calendar, Section 4, “Environmental Science”.) The honours program is designed primarily for students who wish to proceed to graduate work or who wish to obtain professional status in the area of the honours subject.  Motivated and interested students with demonstrated above-average success in their major program are urged to contact the Chair of the Department in which they wish to follow an honours program before the end of Year 3 for application details. Formal application for admission to an honours program must be made on a form available from the Service Centre.

General

The general program is designed to provide an opportunity for students to gain a broad knowledge, skills, and appreciation of science in a selected area of concentration and in selected complimentary disciplines.  B.Sc. General students are encouraged to supplement their science studies with courses in the humanities and social sciences.


 

Bachelor of Science

The following are considered “science subjects” at Saint Mary’s University: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Environmental Science, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.

 Note: Students in the Faculty of Science are NOT permitted to use the following courses as “other sciences” in fulfilling the requirements of their academic program:

  • ASTR 1010    Life in the Universe
  • CHEM 1221   Chemicals
  • FRSC 2200     Basic Sciences for Forensics I
  • FRSC 2201     Basic Sciences for Forensics II
  • GEOL 1202    Planet Earth: Atlantic Canada Perspective
  • GEOL 1203    Earth History: Atlantic Canada Perspective
  • GEOL 1210    Dinosaurs and Their World
  • MATH 1202   Concepts and Topics in Mathematics
  • MATH 1203   Concepts in High School Mathematics
  • MATH 1207   Survey of Statistics
  • PSYC 1200    Introduction to Psychology
  • EGNE             any course
  • GEOG            any course

Bachelor of Science - General (with a Concentration)

1.            A concentration program can be taken in the following disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology.  Subject to the regulations set forth in this Academic Calendar, students must complete ninety (90) credit hours.

Note: Students should note that at least 50% of all courses for any academic program must be taken at Saint Mary’s University and at least 50% of all courses taken in the concentration subject must be taken at Saint Mary’s University.

2.            Students will normally take thirty (30) credit hours during the regular academic year.

3.            For the degree of Bachelor of Science, students must successfully complete:

a.            three (3) credit hours in English [ENGL 1205] and three (3) credit hours in Humanities: Classics, English other than ENGL 1205, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Modern Languages (courses on literature and/or culture). Students planning to apply to professional schools, which require six (6) credit hours of writing components, are advised to take English 1205 (Introduction to Literature) and three (3) credit hours in English from among the ENGL 2300 to ENGL 2393 courses.  These courses have been designated by the Department of English as having a major writing component

b.            six (6) credit hours in Mathematics and/or Computing Science at the 1210-level or above. Students who have completed MATH 1250 may not use CSCI 1226 or MATH 1210 towards fulfilling this requirement.

c.            twelve (12) credit hours in Arts subjects and/or Economics; excluding Mathematics and Psychology.  With respect to this regulation, all courses taught in Geography are considered Arts courses and all courses taught in Psychology [including PSYC 3348/WMST 3348] and Mathematics are considered Science courses and cannot fulfill this requirement.  These twelve (12) credit hours are in addition to requirement (a) above;

d.            not less than thirty (30) or more than forty-two (42) science credit hours in the area of concentration;

e.            eighteen (18) science credit hours not in the subject of concentration and in addition to the required Mathematics or Computing Science courses (see note below); excluding Geography and Engineering.  With respect to this regulation, all courses taught in Psychology and Mathematics are considered Science courses and all courses taught in Geography are considered Arts courses and cannot fulfill this requirement; and

f.             sufficient electives to complete the ninety (90) credit hours required for a general Bachelor of Science; and achieve a minimum degree grade point average of 1.70 in order to qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree.


 

Bachelor of Science - Major

4.            A major program can be taken in the following disciplines: Astrophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology.  Subject to the regulations set forth in this Academic Calendar, students must complete one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours.

 Note: Students should note that at least 50% of all courses for any academic program must be taken at Saint Mary’s University and at least 50% of all courses taken in the major subject must be taken at Saint Mary’s University.

5.            Students will normally take thirty (30) credit hours during the regular academic year.

6.            To earn a degree of Bachelor of Science with a major, students must successfully complete:

a.            three (3) credit hours in English [ENGL 1205] and three (3) credit hours in the humanities [see 3(a) above];

b.            six (6) credit hours in Mathematics and/or Computing Science at the 1210-level or above.  Students who have completed MATH 1250 may not use CSCI 1226 or MATH 1210 towards fulfilling this requirement.

c.            twelve (12) credit hours in Arts subjects and/or Economics; excluding Mathematics and Psychology.  With respect to this regulation, all courses taught in Geography are considered Arts courses and all courses taught in Psychology [including PSYC 3348/WMST 3348] and Mathematics are considered Science courses and cannot fulfill this requirement.  These twelve (12) credit hours are in addition to requirement (a) above; in addition to ENGL 1205;

d.            not less than forty-two (42) credit hours in the major subject.

e.            eighteen (18) science credit hours — not in the subject of major and in addition to the required Mathematics or Computing Science credit [six (6) credit hours]; excluding Geography and Engineering.  With respect to this regulation, all courses taught in Psychology and Mathematics are considered Science courses and all courses taught in Geography are considered Arts courses and cannot fulfill this requirement;

f.             sufficient elective credits to complete the one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours are required for a Bachelor of Science with a major; and achieve a minimum degree grade point average of 1.70 in order to qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree;

g.            an additional three (3) credit hours in Mathematics or Computing Science is required for the major in chemistry; and

h.            students must obtain a grade of at least C in all those courses used to satisfy section 6(d) above unless given a written waiver by the Dean of Science, acting in consultation with the academic unit concerned.


 

Bachelor of Science - Double Major

7.            With the approval of the chair of the academic units involved, students may pursue a double major program in any two science subjects (except Astrophysics). In addition to satisfying the requirements for the Bachelor of Science major (see above), students must complete the following:

Note: Students should note that at least 50% of all courses for any academic program must be taken at Saint Mary’s University and at least 50% of all courses taken in the major subjects must be taken at Saint Mary’s University.

a.            at least thirty-six (36) credit hours in each major subject;

b.            twelve (12) science credit hours not in the major subjects and in addition to the required Mathematics or Computing Science credit [six (6) credit hours]; excluding Geography and Engineering.  With respect to this regulation, all courses taught in Psychology and Mathematics are considered Science courses and all courses taught in Geography are considered Arts courses and cannot fulfill this requirement;

c.            sufficient electives to complete the one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours required for a Bachelor of Science with a double major [exclusion list under Major 6(e) applies]; and achieve a minimum degree grade point average of 1.70 in order to qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Science;

d.            students must obtain a grade of at least C in all those courses used to satisfy section 7(a) above.

8.            Students’ programs must be approved by the department(s) in which the major is taken and must satisfy any core programs specified by the department(s) and approved by the Faculty of Science. These requirements may be waived in special cases by the Dean of Science who may approve a special program for the student in consultation with the department(s) concerned.


 

Bachelor of Science - Major and Minor

9.            With the approval of the departments involved, students may pursue a major-minor program in any two science subjects.  Science students may also pursue a minor in another faculty (see details later in this section of the Academic Calendar).  In addition to satisfying requirements for the Bachelor of Science major (see above), students must complete the following course requirements:

Note: Students should note that at least 50% of all courses for any academic program must be taken at Saint Mary’s University and at least 50% of all courses taken in the major and minor subjects must be taken at Saint Mary’s University.

a.            at least forty-two (42) credit hours in the major subject;

b.            at least thirty (30) credit hours in the minor subject;

c.            twelve (12) science credit hours not in the major or minor subjects, in addition to the required Mathematics or Computing Science credit [six (6) credit hours]; excluding Geography and Engineering.  With respect to this regulation, all courses taught in Psychology and Mathematics are considered Science courses and all courses taught in Geography are considered Arts courses and cannot fulfill this requirement;

d.            sufficient electives to complete the one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours required for a Bachelor of Science with a major-minor;

e.            in addition, students must obtain a grade of not less than C in every course for the major subject and a PGPA not less than 2.00 out of 4.3 in the minor subject. A student failing to meet either of these conditions will be permitted to continue in the major-minor program only with the approval of the Dean of Science, acting in consultation with all of the departments/programs concerned.

Note:  In conformity with academic regulation 7c (i) students must achieve a minimum degree grade point average of 1.70 in order to qualify for graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree - with a concentration, major, double major, or major-minor.


 

Bachelor of Science - Honours and Double Honours

10.          An honours program can be taken in the following disciplines: Astrophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology; or as a combination of any two of these subjects (except Astrophysics). Students who plan to take an honours program must have the approval of the honours department(s) and the Dean.

 Note: Students should note that at least 50% of all courses for any academic program must be taken at Saint Mary’s University and at least 50% of all courses taken in the honours and double honours subjects must be taken at Saint Mary’s University.

 11.          For the Bachelor of Science degree with honours, students must complete the requirements for a major [6 (a – h) and the following:

 a.            sixty (60) to seventy-two (72) credit hours in the honours subject, or in double honours [see Science Regulation 12(d)].  The exceptions are: Astrophysics and Computing Science;

 b.            eighteen (18) science credit hours not in the honours subject [six (6) credit hours in double honours, eighteen (18) credit hours in Astrophysics and Computing Science] in addition to the required Mathematics and Computing Science credit [six (6) credit hours]; excluding Geography and Engineering.  With respect to this regulation, all courses taught in Psychology and Mathematics are considered Science courses and all courses taught in Geography are considered Arts courses and cannot fulfill this requirement;

 c.            sufficient electives to complete the one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours are required for a Bachelor of Science with honours.

 d.            For a double honours program, students must complete:

  • forty-eight (48) credit hours in the subject in which they are completing their thesis. (This includes the thesis and seminar course where relevant.)
  • students must complete forty-two (42) credit hours in their second honours subject,
  • six (6) credit hours in another science,
  • twelve (12) credit hours in Arts, as well as the required three (3) credit hours for English [ENGL 1205] and three (3) credit hours in the humanities,
  • six (6) credit hours in Mathematics and/or Computing Science at the 1210-level or above, as stipulated in the regulations of the specific Department. Only one of MATH 1250 and CSCI 1226 may be used towards fulfilling this requirement.

for a minimum of one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours. Entry into this double honours program requires approval by the chairs of the two departments and the Dean of Science.

 e.            For an honours and major program, students must complete:

  • forty-eight (48) credit hours in their honours subject.
  • students must complete thirty-six (36) credit hours in their major subjects,
  • six (6) credit hours in another science,
  • twelve (12) credit hours in Arts, as well as the required three (3) credit hours for English [ENGL 1205] and three (3) credit hours in the humanities, and
  • six (6) credit hours in Mathematics and/or Computing Science at the 1210-level or above, as stipulated in the regulations of the specific Department. Only one of MATH 1250 and CSCI 1226 may be used towards fulfilling this requirement.

for a minimum of one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours.

 12.          Students’ academic programs must be approved by the department(s) involved.

 13.          For a Bachelor of Science degree with honours, students must obtain a degree grade point average of at least 3.00 in those courses used to satisfy the requirements of section 12, above.  In cases where a course has been taken more than once for upgrading purposes, only the latest instance of the course will be used to evaluate graduation standing.

 14.          In a program requiring an Honours Thesis, students complete the thesis course appropriate for their program.  In keeping with Academic Regulations 4b, a course outline for Honours Thesis courses will be provided. Thesis research will be conducted under the direction of the faculty supervisor, and the completed thesis will be evaluated by the supervisor and one (or more) other faculty member(s) associated with the program. At least one of the supervisor or evaluator(s) shall be a full-time faculty member at Saint Mary’s University. The student is also required to give a public presentation of their thesis work in a forum approved by the program. Upon approval by the thesis evaluators, an electronic version of the completed thesis shall be submitted to the university library.


 

Bachelor of Science (Major in Computing Science and Business Administration)

For details on this program, please consult the “Computing Science and Business Administration” entry under Computing Science in Section 4 of this Academic Calendar.

Bachelor of Science (Major in Geography)

For details on this program please consult the “Geography” entry in Section 4 of this Academic Calendar.

Bachelor of Science (Geology/Commerce)

For details on this program, please consult the “Geology” entry in Section 4 of this Academic Calendar.

Combined Cooperative Education Program in Commerce/Geology

Students enrolled in the combined commerce/geology major/honours may also pursue a co-op option in this dual program. Applications to and completion of this combined option is the same as those for other Science co-op major/honours programs.

Bachelor of Science (Major/Honours in Geology/Geography)

For details on this program, please consult the “Geology” entry in Section 4 of this Academic Calendar.

Bachelor of Science (Major/Honours in Environmental Science)

For details on this program, please consult the “Environmental Science” entry in Section 4 of this Academic Calendar.


 

Dual Bachelor Degree Programs

Since it is possible to pursue two bachelor degrees from Saint Mary’s University, students may desire to arrange their courses so as to obtain a bachelor degree in any two of the following three Faculties - Arts, Commerce, or Science.

 While the total time required is somewhat longer, such dual degree programs are quite feasible. In essence, students have to fulfill the degree requirements of each Faculty with respect to required courses. Courses which are common to both degree programs and electives can be counted toward both degree programs. 

 Students who contemplate pursuing any dual degree program should consult with the Deans of both Faculties before embarking on their program of study.

 If a student opts to graduate after completing only one of the degree programs, and subsequently wishes to complete the second program, the requirements are those for a second undergraduate degree as stated in academic regulation 25.


 

Non-Science Minor

Students in the Faculty of Science are permitted to declare a minor in a subject taught in the Faculty of Arts or Faculty of Commerce from those academic units which currently offer this program option. The specific requirements for minor programs will be those set forth by the host academic unit and that while students may take a minor in another Faculty, they must fulfill the requirements of the degree in which they are registered, including officially declaring and fulfilling the requirements for a major or honours (or in the case of Science, a concentration).


 

Second Undergraduate Degrees

Students wishing to complete a second undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s should consult Academic Regulation 25, Section 2 of this Academic Calendar.


 

 

Cooperative Education Programs (Major and Honours)

The Faculty of Science offers Cooperative Education programs in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology, Computing Science and Psychology. Cooperative Education is a dynamic approach to university education which integrates academic classroom studies with related practical work experiences in the major subject. The principle upon which this concept is based is that learning and individual development are greatly enhanced when the concepts studied in the classroom are periodically applied, tested and observed by the students in meaningful work situations. Through this program, participating industries have an excellent opportunity to observe and influence the education of bright enthusiastic students. They also benefit from the access gained to university faculty and expertise, while university faculty and students become aware of the concerns of industry and the technical problems which they face.

A “Cooperative Education” notation is entered on the parchments and academic transcripts of undergraduate students who successfully complete Cooperative Education requirements in addition to their regular degree requirements.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Cooperative Education Programs

a.            Application for admission to the program is normally after the first semester of Year 2. Final decision on admission to the program is made at the end of the second semester.

b.            Students should apply for admission to the Cooperative Education program on a special form available from the Cooperative Education Office. Students will be admitted to the Cooperative Education program on the basis of their formal academic achievement and interviews with the Liaison Officer of the Cooperative Education Programs, and the appropriate departmental Cooperative Education Advisor.

c.            The normal prerequisite for admission to the Cooperative Education program in a regular Bachelor of Science program is a minimum CGPA of 2.50 and a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the course(s) of the student’s declared major subject(s).

d.            Students will be admitted to the Cooperative Education program on the basis of their interest, aptitude and assessed ability to combine successfully the academic requirements of a major or honours science program together with the special work term requirements of the Cooperative Education program they wish to enter.

Requirements for Continuance in and Graduation from the Cooperative Education Program

a.            Students must complete all of the regular requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree (see regulations 1 through 13 above). Since individual programs may have specific additional requirements for Cooperative Education students, students should consult the appropriate departmental section of this Calendar for a description of these regulations.

b.            In addition to the above requirements, students must officially register for and complete a minimum of three work terms as specified by the department of their major program (see regulations below and departmental Cooperative Education regulations). Official registration is on the regular registration forms available from the Service Centre.

c.            To continue in and graduate from the Cooperative Education program, students must earn a minimum DGPA of 2.50 with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all courses in their major subject(s).

Policies and Regulations Governing Cooperative Education Work Terms

a.            The University will make every effort to locate work term positions for Cooperative Education students in academically related areas of employment, but cannot guarantee placements. Employment settings may also be identified by Cooperative Education students, but require the approval of the Liaison Officer, Cooperative Education Programs, in consultation with the appropriate departmental Cooperative Education Advisor.

b.            The satisfactory fulfillment of Cooperative Education work terms require:

(i) the completion of a minimum of three terms of work experience in academically related paid employment situations of 13 to 16 weeks.  Under certain circumstances, and with the approval of the appropriate department, students may be permitted to satisfy their work terms requirements in an unpaid position.
(ii) a satisfactory employer evaluation for each Cooperative Education work term;
(iii) the satisfactory completion of a written report submitted within 30 days after the end of each work term detailing the student’s work experience in accordance with departmental standards and expectations.

c.            A notation will be included on students’ academic transcripts following satisfactory completion of each work term.

d.            Graduating students who have successfully completed their Cooperative work term requirements will have this noted on their academic transcripts. If, in addition, all other normal academic requirements are fulfilled, a “Cooperative Education” notation will be printed on their parchments.

e.            Students may be required to withdraw from the Cooperative Education program if:

(i) they are dismissed from, quit or fail to accept an appropriate and approved Cooperative work term position;
(ii) they fail to submit or successfully complete a work term report;
(iii) they do not maintain the required grade point average necessary for continuance in the Cooperative Education program;
(iv) in the judgment of their department, they are no longer suited for the particular requirements of the Cooperative Education program.

f.             Students who voluntarily withdraw from or who are required to withdraw from the Cooperative Education program may remain enrolled in and continue with the major or honours degree program offered by their department.

g.            Cooperative Education students will be expected to attend any special seminars or colloquia developed by the Cooperative Education Office which deals with employment orientation and the application of formal academic study to work experiences.

h.            Since academic study during work terms is discouraged, registration in any courses during a work term requires the approval of the Dean of Science or appropriate departmental Cooperative Education Advisor. If approval is granted, no more than six (6) credit hours may be taken during a work term.

Fees for Cooperative Education

a.            Students are required to register for all work terms at the Service Centre, according to normal registration procedures, including all stipulated deadlines. Work terms will be officially designated on students’ transcripts as:

  • Work Term 1         = COP 1000
  • Work Term 2         = COP 2000
  • Work Term 3         = COP 3000

b.            Students pay for their academic courses and work terms as they take them.

In general, the Cooperative Education program takes one year longer to complete than the corresponding traditional program, but the academic content of both is the same. Students may, with the permission of the Department, transfer from the Cooperative Education program to the non-Cooperative Education program.


 

Graduate Studies

Information concerning the Science programs at the graduate level is found in the Graduate Academic Calendar.  Graduate programs in Science include:

  • Master of Science in Applied Psychology
  • Master of Science in Applied Science
  • Master of Science in Astronomy
  • Master of Science in Computing & Data Analytics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology