Honours Programs

Honours programs require a higher quality of work than is required by the other undergraduate programs of the college (such as the 90 credit hour degree and 120 credit hour major). Able and ambitious students are urged to enter these programs. There are two types of honours programs in the BA (concentrated and combined) and three types in the BSc (concentrated, combined, and multidisciplinary). Applications for admission to honours programs must be made to the departments concerned on forms available in departments, at the Registrar’s Office or online at dal.ca/honours

Students should apply in their second year. If application is made later, it may be necessary to make up some work not previously taken.

For each individual student the entire honours program, including elective credit hours, is subject to supervision and approval by the department or departments concerned, or in the case of multidisciplinary honours, by an interdisciplinary committee.

NOTE: The last day to apply to an honours program is September 19.

BA Concentrated Honours (120 credit hour)

  • First Year   No more than 18 credit hour equivalents of the first 30 credit hours taken may be in a single subject
  • 6 credit hours in a writing course
  • 6 credit hours in one or more language/humanities subjects (see Section 1 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in one or more social science subjects (see Section 2 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in one or more life or physical science subjects (see Section 3 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in a single language subject for (see Language Course section)
  • A minimum of 54, maximum of 66 credit hours beyond the 1000 level in the honours subject, grade must be "C or better", otherwise, course will not count toward degree.
  • Within the last 90 credit hours, complete 6 credit hours in each of two subjects other than the major
  • Total credit hours required above 1000 level - 72
  • Total credit hours required for degree - 120
  • Required GPA for graduation - 2.00
  • Honours Qualifying Examination: At the conclusion of an honours program a student’s record must show a grade which is additional to the grades for the courses taken to obtain the required 120 credit hours. This grade may be obtained through a comprehensive examination, the presentation of a research paper (which may be an extension of one of the courses), or such other method as may be determined by the committee or department supervising the student’s program. The method by which this additional grade is obtained is referred to as the Honours Qualifying Examination. Departments may elect to use a pass-fail grading system for this examination. Unless pass/fail grading is employed, the grade must be "B-" or better for honours, and "A-" or better for first class honours.
  • Required standing for graduation: Arts and Social Sciences subjects require a GPA of 2.70 (3.70 for first class) on courses in the honours subject. Science subjects (see below) require a GPA of 3.00 (3.70 for first class) in the honours subject.
  • May be combined with minor(s)

Note: If the student has a minor, courses in the honours subject and the minor are included in the GPA.

Bachelor of Arts concentrated honours subjects: Classics, English, European Studies, French, German, History, International Development Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Russian Studies, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Spanish, and Theatre or any of the BSc honours subjects.

BSc Concentrated Honours (120 credit hour)

  • an approved writing course
  • 6 credit hours in one or more language/humanities subjects (see Section 1 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in one or more social science subjects (see Section 2 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in math (see Math Requirement).
  • Minimum of 54 credit hours with a grade of C or better, maximum of 66 credit hours beyond the 1000-level in the honours subject
  • Total credit hours required for degree - 120
  • Total credit hours required above 1000 level - 72
  • Required GPA for graduation - 2.00
  • Honours Qualifying Examination: At the conclusion of an honours program a student’s record must show a grade which is additional to the grades for the courses taken to obtain the required 120 credit hours. This grade may be obtained through a comprehensive examination, the presentation of a research paper (which may be an extension of one of the courses), or such other method as may be determined by the committee or department supervising the student's program. The method by which this additional grade is obtained is referred to as the Honours Qualifying Examination. Departments may elect to use a pass-fail grading system for this examination. Unless pass/fail grading is employed, the grade must be "B-" or better for honours, and "A-" or better for first class honours.
  • Required standing for graduation:
    GPA 3.00 (3.70 for first class) on courses in the honours subject.
  • May be combined with minor(s)

Bachelor of Science concentrated honours subjects: Actuarial Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Economics, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Mathematics, Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Ocean Sciences, Physics, Psychology and Statistics.

BA Combined Honours (120 credit hour)

  • First Year  
    No more than 18 credit hour equivalents of the first 30 credit hours taken may be in a single subject
  • 6 credit hours in a writing course
  • 6 credit hours in one or more language/humanities subjects (see Section 1 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in one or more social science subjects (see Section 2 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in one or more life or physical science subjects (see Section 3 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in a single language subject for (see Language Course section)
  • Total credit hours required above 1000 level - 72
  • Total credit hours required for degree - 120
  • Required GPA for graduation - 2.00
  • Minimum of 66, maximum of 84 credit hours beyond the 1000 level in two allied subjects, not more than 48 credit hours nor fewer than 30 credit hours being in either of them. Grade must be "C" or better, otherwise, course will not count toward degree. The honours subject with the most advanced credit hours appears first on the record.
  • Within the last 90 credit hours, 6 to 24 - depending on the number selected in the honours subjects - elective credit hours.
  • Honours Qualifying Examination: see concentrated honours program above for details.
  • Required standing for graduation:
    Arts and Social Sciences subjects require a GPA of 2.70 (3.70 for first class) on courses in the honours subjects.
    Science subjects (see below) require a GPA of 3.00 (3.70 for first class) in courses in the honours subjects.
  • May be combined with minor(s)

Note: If the student has a minor, courses in the honours subjects and the minor are included in the honours GPA.

Bachelor of Arts combined honours subjects: Canadian Studies, Cinema & Media Studies, Classics, Contemporary Studies, Creative Writing, Early Modern Studies, English, French, Gender and Women’s Studies, German, History, History of Science & Technology, International Development Sstudies, Law, Justice & Society, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Russian Studies, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre and Computer Science, Environment, Sustainability & Society or any of the BSc honours subjects.

BSc Combined Honours (120 credit hour)

  • an approved writing course
  • 6 credit hours in one or more language/humanities subjects (see Section 1 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in one or more social science subjects (see Section 2 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in approved mathematics/statistics courses (see Math Requirement).
  • Minimum of 66, maximum of 84 credit hours beyond the 1000 level in two subjects, not more than 54 credit hours nor fewer than 30 credit hours being in either, including at least 18 credit hours above the 2000 level in each subject. Grades in honours subject courses must be C or better.
  • The honours subject with the most advanced credit hours appears first on the record.
  • If a BSc honours subject is combined with a BA honours subject, the BSc subject must have more credit hours than the BA subject.
  • Total credit hours required above the 1000 level - 72
  • Total credit hours required above the 2000 level - 36
  • Total credit hours required for degree - 120
  • Required GPA for graduation - 2.00
  • Honours Qualifying Examination: see concentrated honours program above for details.
  • Required standing for graduation:
    GPA of 3.00 (3.70 for first class) on courses in the honours subjects.
  • May be combined with minor(s)

Bachelor of Science combined honours subjects:

  • Choose two BSc honours subjects (Actuarial Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Economics, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Mathematics, Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Ocean Sciences, Psychology and Statistics)
  • Combined one BSc honours subject with Computer Science or Environment, Sustainability and Society provided the larger number of honours credit hours is in a science subject.
  • Combined one BSc honours subject with one of the BA honours subjects (except European Studies), or with Canadian Studies, Cinema & Media studies, Creative Writing, Law, Justice & Society or Music. The larger number of honours credit hours must be in the BSc subject.

BSc Multidisciplinary Honours (120 Credit Hour)

  • an approved writing course
  • 6 credit hours in one or more language/humanities subjects (see Section 1 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in one or more social science subjects (see Section 2 of Subject Groupings).
  • 6 credit hours in math (see Math Requirement).
  • A total of 72 credit hours beyond the 1000 level in three or more subjects. A minimum of 18 and a maximum of 30 in each of three subjects. Grades must be "C" or better.
  • Total credit hours required for degree - 120
  • 18 elective credit hours
  • Honours Qualifying Examination: See Concentrated Honours program above for details.
  • Required standing for graduation:
    GPA of 3.00 (3.70 for First Class) on courses in the honours subjects.
  • May be combined with minor(s)

Bachelor of Science multidisciplinary honours subjects - at least 54 credit hours of the 120 selected must be from the following subjects: biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, economics, environmental science, mathematics, microbiology and immunology, neuroscience, physics, psychology and statistics.

BSc Honours Science Co-op (120 Credit Hour)

Requirements are as for appropriate honours program (described above) with the addition of the following:

  • A minimum of three co-op work terms

Joint Honours: Dalhousie University - Mount Saint Vincent University

Special arrangements exist under which students may be permitted to pursue an honours program jointly at Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent universities. Interested applicants should consult the appropriate department of their own university at the beginning of the second year. Prospective joint honours students must be accepted by the honours departments concerned at both institutions. These departments supervise the entire program of study of accepted applicants. Students should be aware that not all courses available for credit at Mount Saint Vincent University can be given credit at Dalhousie and vice versa. In order for students to gain a joint honours degree they must satisfy all requirements of both institutions.