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Freshwater Science


Major in Freshwater Science

The Freshwater Science program integrates and synthesizes aquatic aspects of biology, chemistry, geography, and earth and environmental sciences. Students will study water quality and quantity, aquatic organisms, and the health of aquatic ecosystems

This program prepares students for careers related to inland aquatic ecosystems. Graduates of this program will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with future national and international freshwater environmental problems - both in water quality and quantity. In addition to employment in freshwater and environmental sectors, graduates will be prepared for graduate study and research in freshwater science.


First YearCredits
BIOL 116, 125                   6
CHEM 111 or CHEM 121                               3
CHEM 113 or CHEM 123                                                         3
EESC 111, 1126
MATH 1003
MATH 101 or 1033
PHYS 111 or 1123
PHYS 121 or 1223
Total Credits30
Second Year 
BIOL 2013
One of BIOL 202, GEOG 271, STAT 121, 230                 3

One of CHEM 201, 210

CHEM 2113
EESC 205, 2226
Communication Requirement16
Non-science electives26
Total Credits30
Third and Fourth Years 
BIOL 3083
FWSC 37533
CHEM 3013
EESC 2123
EESC 3013
EESC 4023
One of EESC 305, 342, 413, 4353
Two of EESC 309, EESC 323, EESC 4236
One of EESC 313, EESC 314, EESC 315, GEOG 310, GEOG 3143
Upper-level Science electives9
Non-Science electives2, 46
Total Credits60
Minimum Credits for Degree                                                           120

1Communication Requirement: This may be fulfilled by 6 credits from: APSC 176, 201, CORH 203, ENGL 109,112, 113, 114, 150, 151, 153, 154, 155, 156, BIOL 313, EESC 398. In exceptional circumstances, such as transfer students, other courses may be permitted by the program advisor. Students who have not completed the Communication Requirement by the time they enter fourth year will not be permitted to enrol in any courses other than courses that satisfy the requirement.

Students entering the B.Sc. in 2024 or later must complete at least 9 credits of non-science designated courses and 3 credits from INDG 100 or ENGL 114. Students who entered the B.Sc. prior to 2024 are required to complete 12 credits of non-science designated courses. These students are strongly encouraged to take INDG 100 or ENGL 114.

3In lieu of FWSC 375, two of BIOL 204, 205, 209, 210 will be accepted.

4At least 6 credits of these electives must be 300-level or higher.

Freshwater Science Honours Program

The Freshwater Science Honours program is designed for dedicated students in Freshwater Science desiring a recognized research component in their B.Sc. degree. Students must maintain a high academic standing, and demonstrate their ability to undertake independent research through completion of an individual research project.

Admission Requirements

  • Fourth-year standing;
  • A minimum overall grade average of 76% in 200-, 300- and 400-level courses applicable to the Major in Freshwater Sciences
  • Enrolment in EESC 449 with a research project and supervisor approved by the department head.
  • An individual research project as agreed upon by the student and the supervisor; and
  • Permission of the Department Head.

In exceptional cases, such as transferees from another institution, a student may be admitted to the Honours program notwithstanding the criteria listed above.

Graduation Requirements

  • Completion of the course requirements for the Major in Freshwater Science with EESC 449 Honours Thesis representing 6 of the 120 credits;
  • A 76% graduating grade average;
  • A minimum average of 76% in all 300- and 400-level courses applicable to the Major in Freshwater Sciences; and
  • A minimum grade of 76% in EESC 449. A written thesis is required and the research must be publicly presented as a seminar or poster.


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