Understanding Honours Options in the Faculty of Science

There are many ways to Start Something in the Faculty of Science, and doing an honours program is just one way a student can customize their education. The following will explain more about what completing an honours program means and how to get started in one.

Honours programs offer a way to dive further into an area of study. Honours programs require that students maintain a higher GPA in their classes, sometimes have specific additional courses that need to be completed, or require the completion of a supervised final project. All of the programs in the Faculty of Science offer an honours program in some form. When a student graduates at the end of their program, they will have the honours designation noted on their degree.

Here are some quick links to help you navigate the honour degree streams:

What are the different honours programs?

There are three types of honours programs in the Faculty of Science: programs that are only offered as honours, programs that are direct entry from high school, and programs that you apply to transfer into in an upper year.

Neuroscience is the only program in the Faculty of Science that is only offered as honours. Students can either apply to this program directly from high school or as a transfer student.

Which honours programs can I apply directly into from high school?

Biochemistry; Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology; Neuroscience; Plant Biology; and Zoology are specific majors in the Faculty of Science. These majors are offered as honours programs and non-honours programs. If you want to apply to one of these majors directly from high school, your only option is to apply to the honours program. If you are interested in one of these majors as the non-honours program, you should apply for Biological Sciences as a high school applicant and then apply to transfer into the specific major as a change of program after the first year of study.

How do I get accepted into an honours program directly from high school?

Applicants will be evaluated for the honours program the same way they would for any other program. During the evaluation process, high school students are evaluated using the five required courses for admission to calculate an overall admission average. The courses required for the Faculty of Science are English 30-1, Mathematics 30-1, Two of: Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Physics 30, Mathematics 31, CTS Computer Science 30 and one approved course or option. The estimated competitive average can vary, and entry into honours programs requires students to have an average in the 90s.

How do you transfer into an honours program?

There are two main criteria for transferring into an honours program. The first is that you need to have 30 units completed by end of winter for fall admission, and the second is that you need to have a GPA of 3.30 or above.

Can I still do a combined degree as an honours student?

Yes! Students in a Faculty of Science honours program can also do a combined degree while they are in the honours stream.

How do I apply for an honours program?

Applications for Fall 2024 will open on October 1 for domestic students and will be available online. When you fill out the application for admission, you will be asked to pick two program choices you would like to be evaluated for. The first choice should always be the program you are most excited about; your second choice should be a program you would also be happy to complete and ideally where the estimated competitive average is less competitive than the first choice. If you plan to apply for an honours program, we suggest including it as a first choice because of the competitive average required for admission. Select a less competitive second choice for your best chance of gaining admission and joining the UCalgary community!

Who can I contact to learn more?

The Recruitment Team is always available to provide more information about the application process, evaluations, program requirements and more!